Pompano Beach, FL --- Prairie Sunrise and Geronimo Fame won their respective $10,000 divisions of the Sunshine State Stakes finals for juvenile trotters at Pompano Park on Monday (Oct. 28), while Fiesta Camcun took top honors in the feature for the mares.
In a non-wagering event for the colts and geldings, Amante Standardbreds' Geronimo Fame, handled by Bruce Ranger, captured top honors in his field of five, grinding his way to the top in deep stretch to score by three parts of a length over Gator On Patrol (Tom Sells) in 2:04.3. Swamp Gator (Bob Roberts) finished third while Midnight Michael and Showing Off completed the rundown.
THe winner, a son of Famously trained by Stewart Nemiro, was away in good order and found a spot in third as Gator On Patrol opened up a sizable lead through panels of :32 and 1:04.1. Midway on Pompano's backstretch, that lead began to melt as Ranger tipped his colt out and began grinding slowly forward. Around turn three, Geronimo Fame was just a length and a half away, pulled alongside the leader at the sixteenth pole and drew clear from there.
After the race, Ranger said, "This colt does have a high turn of speed but he has to be handled a bit gingerly because he can lose his composure if he's driven too aggressively early. Tonight, I just floated him out of there, found a good spot and let him grind himself into contention on the backside. He's still learning, but he can certainly trot a good final quarter."
It was the colt's second lifetime win -- second straight -- in only six lifetime starts.
In the companion event for the fillies, Prairie Sunrise, owned by Laurie Poulin, Fred Morosini, Ken Fritz and trainer Mike Deters, pulled off an 18-1 shocker with Tom Sells in the bike, knocking seven full seconds off of her previous best in scoring a 2:02 win measuring 3-3/4 lengths over Markie (Jay Sears) and favored Trotting JC Poss (Andy Santeramo). Blame Bushy and Famous Halle got the final awards in the field of nine.
This daughter of Arapa Victory used a huge rally in the lane to get her second lifetime win and light up the toteboard with a $39.00 win mutuel at the same time. Her victory also caused a second straight carryover in Pompano Park's new 50 cent Pick-5 wager.
Gapped in fifth halfway through the mile, Prairie Sunrise began to roll forward three-eighths out, went to the extreme outside turning for home and exploded by Markie in mid-stretch.
"She does have tons of speed," driver Tom Sells said, "but she's a bit fractious -- hard to handle -- but she does have a lot of talent, if she can mind her manners. This was a very big effort for her."
In the $10,000 feature for the mares, Fiesta Camcun overcame her outside post to score a decisive win for Stephane Lareau in 1:53.3, pinning a 2-1/4 length defeat on the 7-5 favorite Gold Star Glitter (Kevin Wallis). Up Front Lady Gray (Rick Plano) was third in the mile followed by Diamond Amber. Bombilla Hanover, putting a lengthy challenge from turn two through turn three, got the nickel.
Fiesta Camcun, a 7-year-old daughter of Camotion trained by Paul Bernardo for owner Diane Hellen, took the lead immediately from her outside post and carded an opening panel of :27.2 before stubbornly giving way to Gold Star Glitter. The latter carded subsequent fractions of :55 and 1:24 with Bombilla Hanover lurking boldly at that point and Fiesta Camcun simply waiting for a bit of racing room.
Turning for home, Bombilla Hanover drifted out just a tad and Fiesta Camcun found the room, left her cozy pocket and marched on by mid-stretch for the handy score, her 11th of the year, to push her seasonal bounty to $72,352.
Driver Lareau, in a post race interview, said, "This mare is very handy and can leave like gangbusters. I was hoping to get some cover after using her early and when Kevin's (driver Wallis) mare made that move to the top, it set up a garden trip. The half was pretty hot (:55) and I thought I was in a very good spot. We had a similar trip a couple of weeks ago. This one worked out perfect!"
As third choice in the betting, Fiesta Camcun paid $10.20 to win.
Bruce Ranger had three wins on the card -- two on the betting card -- while Tom Sells and Kevin Wallis, the latter celebrating his birthday, had two wins apiece.