Pompano Beach, FL --- Andover America finally reached the winner's circle at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (Dec. 11) as the 8-year-old, brushing from fifth halfway through the mile to the lead around the final turn, scored a handy two length win for Bruce Ranger in 1:54 in the $10,000 Open Trot.
Jesses Jo, driven by Ed Hensley, finished second while Keystone Thomas, piloted by Joe Pavia, Jr., wound up third. She's All In and Pure Barre picked up the final two awards in the field of nine.
|Dee Leftwich photo|
|Andover America, handled by Bruce Ranger, took top honors in Pompano Park's Open Trot on Wednesday night.|
The winner, a classy son of Andover Hall, with 48 lifetime wins and $730,240 coming into the action, was unhurried early on as Keystone Thomas took the field to the opener in :28.2, soon to be replaced on the front end by Jesses Jo, who was hard pressed to make the top off of a :27.3 second panel which placed him at the half in :56.
That's when Andover America was sent throttling by Ranger and he took the lead with authority around the final turn and put the field away turning for home.
In a post race interview, Ranger said, "You know, a lot depends on how the race goes…whether the pace will be soft or hot, you know, things like that. Tonight, the pace was very hot, especially that second quarter and when we hit the backside, I thought, 'now's the time!' He responded very well and that was that. He went a great mile."
Owned by Mc Trade Enterprises, Andover America was the 9-5 toteboard favorite and returned $5.80 to his $2 backers.
The Open 2 Trot went to Deb Clayton's I'll Tell You What, driven by Dave Ingraham. This 8-year-old son of Lockkeeper, also coming into the action with 48 lifetime victories, went a brave first-over journey to collar pacesetting Blushing Hanover (Kevin Wallis) in deep stretch to win by a half length in 1:55.1. HP Forte (Mark O'Mara) was a fast closing third while Surface, trotting the fastest final panel in the field (:28.3) finished fourth. Dutchess Seelster picked up the nickel in the nine horse field.
I'll Tell You What was third choice on the board and returned $9.20 to win.
The Open 3 Trot went to the vastly improved Sun Island, who used a stout brush on the backside from sixth to surge into the lead around the final turn and scored in a lifetime best 1:55. His previous best was 1:55.3 achieved as a 3-year-old three years back.
Shelby County (Rocky Stidham) finished second with Thekeptman (Andy Santeramo) third. Pacesetting Gale Warning was fourth while the favorite, Spring Goal, finished fifth.
Bruce Ranger handled the winner for owner Gene Kirsch to send his lifetime bounty to $145,338 -- only $9,830 over the past two seasons. As fourth choice in the pool, Sun Island paid $10.00 to win.