Pompano Beach, FL --- Tashia, the splendid 3-year-old Six Of Diamonds filly, extended her winning streak to six on Saturday (Sept. 28) as the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association hosted the first fall stakes program at Pompano Park.
The non-wagering matinee featured 2- and 3-year-olds in an 11 race extravaganza over the fast five-eighths-mile oval under the 86 degree warmth of the fall Florida sunshine.
Tashia, handled by Stephane Lareau for owners Jay and Kim Sears, went a brave first up journey to collar the feisty filly Seven Arias, driven by Bruce Ranger, in the final strides of the mile timed in 1:56.1. I Spy A Gator, with Bob Roberts in the bike, was third followed by Tamala and Goldstar Rockette -- the latter two switched in the official order of finish when all was said and done.
Tashia, winless last year as a 2-year-old, has now won nine times in 2013, good for $27,000 and change this year and just three dollars short of $40,000 lifetime.
The free-legged filly was away fourth as Seven Arias opened the festivities with a :29.2 quarter before dittoing that time during the second panel, reaching the half in :58.4. On the backside, Tashia began to roll and during a hot third quarter officially times in :28, pulled on even terms with Seven Arias. In the lane, these two fillies battled right down to the line with Tashia eking by in the final stride or two.
The other division for the sophomore pacing fillies went to Hollie Proesel’s Full Of Moxie, driven by Bruce Ranger for trainer Brian Pelling.
The Full Of Fun filly went right to the front, was beautifully rated through fractions of :29.4 and :59.3 and repelled a serious bid from Dandee Diamond (Walter Ross, Jr.) to score by a half-length in 1:58.1 for her maiden win in four lifetime starts. The latter, incidentally, made a miscue at the start falling several lengths away and raced a courageous journey thereafter in a very game effort. Track Girl was third, followed by One Fine Diamond and I.C.U. Misty.
There was an upset of sorts in the Sunshine Stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings as Quincy, yet another offspring of Six Of Diamonds, upset his stablemate Hillybilly with driver Bruce Ranger. Both are trained by veteran Marc Aubin.
Quincy, owned by the Marc Aubin Stable, assumed control right from the get-go before yielding to Hillybilly through an opening quarter in :28.1. The latter cut sensible fractions of :57.3 and 1:27 (his record is 1:52.1) but Quincy used a :27.2 final panel to easily go by late to score by 1-1/4 lengths for his 10th win of the year.
Wingull and Mickey McNichol teamed up for third with Goldstar Thumper and Jose Lightning getting the final awards in the field of seven.
In sophomore trotting action, the fillies were led home by last year’s champion, Tyree’s Treasure, who was an easy winner in a new lifetime best of 2:01.4 for driver Bruce Ranger. The “Famously” bred filly (she is by Famously) led every step of the mile, sealing the deal with a final panel of :29.3. Mark Friedman trains the filly for the Polo Stables and Hollie Proesel.
Joe Pennacchio’s Railee Kwik, a son of Basil, pulled off an upset in the trotting division, going a brave first over journey in taking the measure of another son of Basil, Tim T, handled by Tom Sells, in a lifetime best effort of 1:58.2. Rex finished third in that mile. Proud Expression and Worthy Crown also picked up checks.
In the juvenile divisions, Blame Bushy (Mickey McNichol) and Markie (Jay Sears) won in their respective trotting divisions for the fillies while Showing Off gave Jay Sears a driving double with a 2:07 effort.
Two slender noses decided the two divisions for the 2-year-old pacing fillies.
In the first, the Six Of Diamonds filly Sandalonia, handled by Mickey McNichol, first got by the stubborn J D Eleven Bells at mid-stretch and then held off the furious late surge of ICU CharlieT to win by a nostril in 2:00.1 for owner Heddy Nelson and trainer Sandy Hollon, who earned her 50th lifetime training success.
In the second division, Amante Standardbreds' LA Regina, a daughter of N Aboriginal, snuck through along the pylons to score a nose decision over Marion (Sean McAleese) in 2:01.1. It was her maiden success in just two lifetime starts. Heather was a neck away from the winner’s circle in third.
Finally, in the 2-year-old pacing division for the colts and geldings, Tough Issue, an altered son of Tough Sir, led gate-to-wire in 1:59.3--:28.3 for Tom Sells. Trained by Mike Deters, Tough Issue is owned by Brenda Komers along with the Verderame Stable.