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Jailhouse Jessica takes Open Trot at Pompano
Monday, April 06, 2015 - by John Berry, for Pompano Park

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Pompano Beach, FL --- Jailhouse Jessica, handled by Bruce Ranger, pulled off a minor upset (9-5) in Pompano Park's $12,000 Easter Sunday Open Trot for mares. The 5-year-old daughter of Jailhouse Jesse took advantage of an early miscue by the 1-5 toteboard favorite Frau Blucher to score a handy win measuring 3-1/2 lengths in 1:54.4.

As Ya'll Like It, driven by Sam Stathis, finished second after cutting the early panels in the mile while Frau Blucher, with Kevin Wallis handling the lines, rallied after her bobble leaving and finished third. Blushing Hanover and Oaklea Sydney completed the order of finish in the quintet.

Skip Smith photo
Jailhouse Jessica and Bruce Ranger teamed up to score a 1:54.4 win in Easter Sunday's Open Trot for mares.

Jailhouse Jessica, a $6,000 claim in mid-January, has now banked $33,800 in her eight starts for her new owner, Karma Racing, under the training guidance of Dale Gilmour.

As the Hummer Starting Gate left the field on their own, Frau Blucher made that aforementioned bobble with As Ya'll Like It away with alacrity and taking the field to the opener in :28 with Blushing Hanover in the garden spot and Jailhouse Jessica settling into third ahead of Oaklea Sydney and Frau Blucher.

Three-eighths into the mile, Frau Blucher had caught the field and after the :56.1 half was on the move from the back of the pack. But Jailhouse Jessica already had the jump on that one, brushing from third three-eighths out and into the lead past the third station in 1:26.1 with As Ya'll Like It second and Frau Blucher now third, two lengths away.

From there, a :28.3 final panel sealed the deal with As Ya'll Like It still game to the wire in second and Frau Blucher next.

In a post race interview, driver Bruce Ranger related, "Dale's mare (Jailhouse Jessica) has been very sharp in recent weeks but when you are facing a stakes winning million dollar winner (Frau Blucher had banked $947,992 coming in) you just hope for the best. You know she's got a mark three seconds faster than (Jailhouse) Jessica. So, when she made that bobble leaving, it certainly helped our cause, no doubt about that. I must say that Dale has done a remarkable job with Jailhouse Jessica."

Jailhouse Jessica now has lifetime earnings of $93,845 with more than one-third of that earned since the claim just a few weeks back. She rewarded her follower with a generous $5.80 mutuel.

Driver Sam Stathis, by the way, came back in a later event to score his very first lifetime driving win with Celebrity Artemis, a 4-year-old daughter of Andover Hall owned by Celebrity Farms, in a non-winners of two trot.

Leaving from the rail, Celebrity Artemis was given sharp handling, thwarting any threats early with a :28.3 opener and then getting excellent rated guidance through panels of :58 and 1:28 before holding off the late surging Mountain Top, with Wally Hennessey, with a :29.1 closer. The mile of 1:57.1 was a new lifetime best for the winner.

In the $10,000 claiming ($20,000-$25,000) pace, JJ's Doughnut, with Kevin Wallis in the bike, found room late along the pylons to score a half-length win in a lifetime best 1:50.3.

This 8-year-old son of Yankee Cam was involved early with Johnny Grippa (Bruce Ranger) slicing through hot panels of :26, :54 and 1:22 with Canadian Touch (Matt Romano) joining the fray into the far turn. In the lane, Canadian Touch pushed his neck in front, only to be nailed by JJ's Doughnut near the wire. Canadian Touch did finish second with Johnny Grippa third. Raji's Blue Line rallied from last to finish fourth while Acton Onelasttime, the recent $4,000 claim now competing successfully in this class, earned the nickel.

JJ's Doughnut, trained by Chris Oakes for owner Susan Oakes, won for the seventh time this season and now has $37,364 on his card to go along with his new mark. JJ's Doughnut paid $4.40 to win as the favorite.

Finally, in Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, the iron horse A Fool For Mark, driven by Dave Ingraham for his son, owner-trainer Dustin, rallied to score his 43rd lifetime win -- fourth this year -- in 1:52, keying a 1-4-3-10-9 combo worth $3,676.84 for a 20 cent investment. The carryover for Monday's Super Hi-5 is now more than $105,000. Post time for Monday's 10 race program is 7:30 p.m.

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