Pompano Beach, FL --- Pompano Park kicked off its 50th anniversary season on Saturday in a festive atmosphere featuring a live bugler, the popular Miami Food Trucks, a new wagering format and fireworks...on the toteboard!
In the winner’s over feature, Avantage, the longest proposition on the board at 21-1, upset the applecart in scoring his very first win of the year.
The 7-year-old altered son of Electric Stena, driven by Tom Sells, took full advantage of a suicidal early pace involving the 1 to 10 stable entry of Deep Finesse and B N Bad--:26.1 to the quarter--to sweep into the lead on the final turn to score by 1-3/4 lengths over Fine Fine Fine (Bruce Clarke). Hillybilly (Bryce Fenn) completed the trifecta with Hyperion Hanover and Neptune Blue Chip earning the final two awards.
In a post race interview, Sells said, “This horse kept knocking on the door for so long and that hot pace really helped him. When I tilted him out around that second turn, he really came alive. He rarely misses a check and, finally tonight, he got the lion’s share. He’s just a good, solid, hard trying racehorse!”
Trained by Michele Plouffe for owner Elizabeth Zimmerman, Avantage paid $45.20, $13.00 and $27.20 across the board, keying a trifecta payoff of $4,263.00.
Fine Fine Fine paid $15.20 and $42.80 while Hillybilly returned $15.60 top show--the lopsided show payoffs resulting from the entry, garnering the vast majority of the show money, being off the board.
In Florida Sunshine Stake action, the 3-year-old Tashia, again handled by Stephane Lareau, extended her winning streak to seven with a splendid 1:55.1 win for owner Jay Sears, who was celebrating his 72nd birthday.
Trained by Kim Sears, the versatile free-legged filly motored up from fifth around turn two, engaged the leading Seven Arias (Sells) around the final turn and put her away turning for home, winning by 1-1/2 lengths. Dandee Diamond (Wally Ross, Jr.) finished third. I Spy A Gator and Full Of Moxie earned the final checks in the field of nine.
In the Sunshine State Stake for sophomore trotters, Tim T, driven by Tom Sells, easily handled his foes with a gate to wire score and knocked more than two seconds off of his previous lifetime best.
His margin was almost five lengths at the end of the 1:56.4 mile.
Favored Railee Kwik (Ranger) was second while Proud Expression (Mel Turcotte) finished third. Stablemates Sky Crest and Without Hesitation earned the minors.
Tim T is a gelded son of Basil trained by Mike Deters for the consortium of Morosini, Fritz and Prendergast.
Earlier in the day, a non-wagering matinee featuring Florida breds in Sunshine State Stakes action was held with noteworthy performances by Sandalonia, J D Eleven Bell’s, Tough Issue, Tyree’s Treasure and Quincy, among others.
Sandalonia, driven by Mickey McNichol, took top honors in a division of the juvenile pace for fillies, using a gutsy :29 final panel to hold off La Regina and Gold Star Jessica in 2:00.2.
The Six Of Diamonds lass is trained by Sandy Hollon for owner Heddy Nelson.
J D Eleven Bell’s, a daughter of Eleven A M, made a bold quarter move to the top and led the rest of the way for Bruce Ranger, stopping the clock in 1:59.
In the division for 2-year-old colts and geldings, Tough Issue Tom Sells), a gelded son of Tough Sir, led every step of his mile, using a :28.1 final panel to establish a new lifetime mark of 1:59.1.
Trained by Mike Deters, Tough Issue is owned by Brenda Komers along with the Verderame Stable.
The spirited Tyree’s Treasure annihilated her competition with a victory measuring 13-1/2 lengths in a new lifetime best of 2:00.3.
Bruce Ranger handled the filly’s lines for trainer Mark Friedman and owners Holliy Proesel and the Polo Stable.
Finally, Quincy, who usually likes to race off the pace, used the opposite tactics to win in 1:55.2 for Bryce Fenn.
The 3-year-old son of Six Of Diamonds clocked all the fractions--:28.1, :57 and 1:26.4 before using a :28.3 finale to seal the deal for the Marc Aubin Stable.