Pompano Beach, FL --- Angels Delight, given a brilliantly rated drive by Jason Dillander, took top honors in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (March 2).
The 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, trained by Jim McDonald for owner Joe Pennacchio, pinned a wire-to-wire, half- length defeat on De Vins Girl, driven by Rick Plano, with the even money toteboard favorite Arodasi third, 1-1/4 lengths away, in 1:52.4. Fiesta Camcun and Fashion Ruffles rounded out the top five.
Angels Delight showed her usual early speed from post four and Dillander had her on the lead a few steps out of the gate with De Vins Girl, leaving from the outside post, settling in the garden spot through an opener of :27.4.
It was right then, with all parties content in their places, that Dillander rated Angels Delight and lolly-gagged through a :29.3 second panel, reaching the half in :57.2 with a comfortable 1-1/2 length lead.
On the backside, Arodasi charged from fifth up to second during the official :28.2 quarter -- hers being :27.2 -- but Angels Delight sprinted home in :27, holding off the late charging De Vins Girl with Arodasi next after pacing her final half-mile in :54.2.
In a post race interview, driver Dillander summed up the event with one single word, "Perfect!"
Trainer McDonald had high praise for both the mare and the pilot saying, "She's been very solid her last nine starts -- either first or second in all of them -- and I felt confident that, if she could get a good rated trip, she'd be tough. Jason did a magnificent job tonight. So, we'll split the kudos 50-50!"
Angels Delight now has a 3-4-0 scorecard in her seven starts this year and $25,000 in bounty. She's banked $89,486 lifetime. As third choice in the betting, Angels Delight paid $7.40 to win.
Ranger moves on in Driver's Challenge
Pompano Park's $20,000 Driver's Challenge continued on Sunday night with the first of three semifinals and Bruce Ranger emerged victorious over Rick Plano on the strength of two wins, a second and a fifth in the four race competition. The final tally was 28-8.
Ranger now moves to the March 15 finals and will face the winner of the Simon Allard-Kevin Wallis match-up on Monday and the winner of the Jason Dillander-Mickey McNichol pairing on March 10.
Pick-5 carryover, Pick-4 guarantee highlight Monday night at Pompano
Although the Sunday 50 cent Pick-5 started off rather formful through the first few races, Say Uh-Huh (Wally Hennessey) sent everyone overboard after getting up in the final strides to take race four, rewarding her backers with a $62.40 mutuel.
The upset left no live tickets heading into the final leg of the sequence, creating a $5,149 carryover for the Monday (March 3) card. Track officials have added a $10,000 guaranteed pool as well. The 50 cent Pick-5 is a nightly wager covering races one–five.
As usual, Monday night will also feature a $5,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool covering races five–eight. The guarantee was easily met on Sunday night with more than $9,500 wagered into the pool.
As part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program, free program pages may be found for both wagers by clicking here.
Live racing continues at The Isle Casino Pompano Park every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evening with a first post of 7:05 p.m.
-- Gabe Prewitt also contributed to this report