Pompano Beach, FL…September 23, 2017…The FSBOA stakes season for Florida bred youngsters finally got underway on Saturday, September 23 and while drivers Wally Hennessey, Bryce Fenn and Jay Sears each had doubles on the non-wagering program, it was trainer Kim Sears who hit the grand slam–four training wins.
Kim reached the winners circle with the two year-old pacing gelding Jay Jay to kick off the program, grabbed the juvenile filly pace with Krinda in the third race, scored with the first time starter Brian in the fourth race and completed the slam with Azzaro, making his sophomore trotting debut.
Jay Jay, a gelded son of Six of Diamonds owned and driven by 75 year-old Jay Sears, carved out the opening panels of :32 and 1:03.3, was out-brushed on the backside by Dontbelevmejuswatch (Jason Mac Dougall) by the third station in 1:33.4, pulled straightening for home and went on to score by a length in 2:04.2 in his racing debut.
Mischief Maker (Wally Hennessey) finished third while Silver Wings and Mister Special T picked up minor awards.
Krinda, a daughter of Six of Diamonds owned by Jay Sears along with son, Hall of Fame driver Brian Sears, led from first stride to last in scoring impressively for Jay in 2:02.2, highlighted by a final panel in :29.4.
This first time starter carved out fractions of :30.1, 1:00.1 and 1:32.3 before a :29.4 romp home sealed the deal by 6 3/4 lengths over Starcasim (Joe Sanzeri) with Six Line Lily (Hennessey) next and Purple Rose fourth after a brief brush forward three-eighths into the mile before making a miscue.
Bryce Fenn, closing in on 2,500 career victories, was in the bike for the win–his 2,485th.
Brian, a gelded son of Proud Bushy, took top honors in the two year-old trot for the colts and geldings for Jay Sears, cutting the mustard through panels of :32.1, 1:05.1 and 1:37 before out-gunning stablemate Captain Thomas (Ray Vizzi) in the final stages.
The latter actually pushed his neck in front mid-stretch but a miscue dashed his chances late.
Jiro Dangerous (Rob Hoffman) finished third over Treasure Quest and Night Stalker.
Kim touch “home plate” in her grand slam with Azzaro and that son of Proud Bushy, owned by Jay and Kim Sears, took advantage of an early blunder by arch-rival I’m Done (Tom Lehmann) to score a handy win in 2:02.4 off panels of ::29.3, 1:00.3 and 1:32.1.
Wally Hennessey was in the sulky for Azzaro’s sophomore debut.
Both Azzaro and I’m Done have records of 10-5-5-0 as their rivalry heats up this semester as three year-olds.
Gold Star Aurora, the champion two year-old of her Florida class last year, opened her 2017 campaign by annihilating her competition in 2:00.4–her winning margin an astounding 43 3/4 lengths for Wally Hennessey as this daughter of Rock On sliced through panels of :29.4, 1:00.1 and 1:30.4 before coasting home by almost nine seconds over Hsndle My Scandel (Jason Mac Dougall) with Gold Dust Darling (Hank Hayward) third over Golden Diamond.
Gold Star Aurora has tasted defeat only once in her nine race career.
Owned by Marianne Audley, Gold Star Aurora is trained by Maggie Audley, who made her 2017 training debut after finishing last season with a UTRS well over .500.
The fastest mile of the day was posted by Marah Lee’s excellent three year-old Royel Millennium colt, Maybe Ned, who led every step in a 1:57.2 mile for trainer-driver Bryce Fenn.
The winner carved up panels of :29 and 1:00.1 before going full throttle on the backside through subsequent panels of :28.4 and :28.2 to score by 2 1/2 lengths over Gold Star Spider (Hennessey) with Fabiano (Jay Sears) third over Heavens Boy.
Driver-trainer Jason Mac Dougall took the two year-old filly trot with I Rhoda Daley, a daughter of Desperado Don owned by Lee Clarke along with Mac Dougall.
I Rhoda Daley made a bold move three-eighths into the mile to take command and then widened her lead throughout the remainder to score by 7 1/4 in 2:14 over Jennifer (Jay Sears) and Bella Olivia (Herman Brewer).
In a racing oddity, what was supposed to be a walkover for the three year-old filly Sparkling Comet, didn’t materialize as the filly was injured before the scheduled event and forced to be scratched, thereby forfeiting the purse.
The second leg of the Sunshine State Stakes will be held next Saturday, September 30 with post time scheduled at 10:00 a.m.
Pompano Park’s regular pari-mutuel season opens Sunday night, October 1.
Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park and the FSBOA