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Starcasim shines in Melvyn Aylor Memorial
Monday, November 20, 2017 - by John Berry, for Pompano Park

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Pompano Beach, FL --- Pompano Park played host to the FSBOA sponsored Melvyn Aylor Memorial Stakes on Sunday night (Nov. 19) with 2-year-olds in the spotlight seeking a share of more than $60,000 in purses.

I Rhoda Daley, Brian, Gold Star Diablo and Starcasim took home the major share of their respective events with the latter pulling off a major upset in the lone event on the pari-mutuel program.

Starcasim, a 2-year-old daughter of Mysticism owned by Russ Guardino along with trainer Joe Sanzeri, got up in the final stride to edge past Prairie Easter, handled by Corey Braden, by a neck in 1:56.3 in the $16,050 Aylor division for pacing fillies. Prairie Foolish, with Jim Meittinis in the bike, rallied from an early miscue to finish third while Diamond Eyes was fourth. The 1-5 heavy favorite, Krinda, had an extraordinarily difficult journey and was only able to pick up the nickel in her quintet.

At the outset, Prairie Easter, leaving from the advantageous post five, left with alacrity to command right from the get-go with Starcasim away very well from post one and Krinda, appearing rough gaited, third but on the move forward as the leader reached the quarter in :28.3. With Krinda still pressing forward, an identical second panel in :28.3 left Prairie Easter and Krinda racing as a team halfway through the mile in :57.1.

On the Pompano backside, Krinda, still rough gaited, continued to press Prairie Easter with driver Sanzeri having to make a decision whether to move three wide or sit cozy along the inside past the third station in 1:26.2. He chose the latter and found room turning for home and began gnawing away at the leader, finally edging by in the final stride or two.

In a post race interview, driver Joe Sanzeri related, "Well, this was a great time for Starcasim to break her maiden. Wally's mare (Krinda) just wasn't herself and she obviously was the one to beat here. My filly left a bit more alertly than she usually does and I was in a great spot all the way. On the final turn, I knew I had to make a decision to sit tight or go around. I decided to sit tight hoping I could find some room. 

"Fortunately, for me anyhow, I had the opportunity to come out from the pocket and she responded. She's a game thing and I am very proud of her performance tonight."

"Super Night," which is next Sunday at Pompano Park, "should be very interesting," he concluded.

In garnering her maiden win, Starcasim more than doubled her earnings, which now stand at $14,230 on the strength of her 1-2-2 scorecard in eight career starts. Off as the 14-1 third choice in the betting, Starcasim paid $31.00 to win and with the vast majority of the place pool wagered on Krinda, an even healthier $39.80 to place. Prairie Easter, off as the 5-2 second choice, paid $17.80 to place. There was no show betting.

The Aylor Memorial festivities began with three non-wagering events, the first one going to I Rhoda Daley, capturing her $14,700 event for trotting fillies for Wally Hennessey in 2:05.1. The sharp daughter of Desperado Dan took command a couple of steps after the wings folded and carved up panels of :32.2, 1:04.1 and 1:35.3 before a :29.3 finale closed the door on a game Jennifer, driven by Dave Ingraham, who recovered from an early miscue to finish second. Ms Katie B was third for Gary Braden.

Owned by Lee Clarke along with trainer Jason MacDougall, I Rhoda Daley now has six wins and two seconds in eight lifetime starts and earnings of $33,366.

The $15,500 Aylor for juvenile trotting colts and geldings went to Brian, who wired his competitors for Wally Hennessey in 2:03 off of panels of :31, 1:02.2 and 1:32.1. The gelded son of Proud Bushy, owned by trainer Kim Sears along with husband Jay, held off a game Prairie Eclipse, with Mike Deters in the sulky, to score by a length -- the latter recovering from a miscue leaving the port. Jiro Dangerous, driven by Mickey McNichol, enjoyed a trouble free mile to finish third while Captain Thomas and Treasure Chest were next in the field of five.

Brian now has $30,404 in bounty on the strength of his 8-4-2-1 scorecard.

The pacing colts and geldings were in the spotlight in the $15,500 Aylor Memorial and Dan Clements' Gold Star Diablo, a gelded son of Mysticism, made an early sprint to the front and wired together panels of :28.3, :58 and 1:27 en route to a 1:55.3 win for Wally Hennessey. The Mike Deters trainee pulled away from the pocket sitting Silver Wings, driven by Corey Braden, to score by 4-1/2 lengths. Jay Jay was third for Dave Ingraham while Mister Special T finished fourth. Dontblevmejustwatch earned the minor award in this quintet.

Gold Star Diablo stretched his winning streak to five with the win and now has six wins in eight career starts to go along with a mark of 1:54.3f and $35,530 in bounty.

The $11,000 Open Handicap Pace went to the New Zealand bred Mister Daytona, driven by trainer Mike Simons, in 1:51. The 5-year-old son of American Ideal, away third in his septet as Duc Dorleans (Wally Hennessey) sizzled opening panels of :26.3 and :55.1, made a bid from two lengths off the pace to the lead, pacing his backside quarter in :26.2. From there, Mister Daytona widened his margin through the lane to score by 3-1/2 lengths over the late-charging Sing For Me George (John MacDonald) with Duc Dorleans next. Rockntouch finished fourth while Hollywood Sign picked up the nickel in the field of seven.

Owned by Albert Abdala III, Mister Daytona won for the 10th time this semester, pushing his 2017 earnings to $142,722. As the 6-5 favorite, Mister Daytona paid $4.40 to win.

In the "better for the bettor department," Monday's program features four carryovers including the Pentafecta fourth ($3,179.03), Pick-5 ($2,504.33), Pick-6 ($1,624.79) and Super Hi-5 Finale ($13,743.92).

Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.

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