Pompano Beach, FL…Oct. 26, 2019…Amid intermittent sprinkles and strong winds, the outstanding Six of Diamonds filly Natasha extended her winning streak to 11 dating back over the last 13 months with a handy 1:56 win over a Pompano Park track labeled “good” dulled a bit by the aforementioned rain.
The win came during the eight race Sunshine State Stakes for Florida eligible two and three year-old sponsored by the FSBOA–Natasha’s win in the division for three year-old pacing fillies.
Handled again by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears, Natasha brushed to the lead around the opening bend and carded fractions of :27.4, :58.3 and 1:27 before a final panel of :29 sealed the deal over a game Gold Star Stormie (Corey Braden) with Lime Twist (Mike Micallef) a late charging third.
The win pushed Natasha’s career bounty close to $75,000 with the bulk of the lucrative Florida stakes season looming ahead in the next few weeks.
In admiring the talent of Natasha, Hennessey related, “She does everything right. She knows how to leave and, when she make the top, she knows how to relax and she knows how to fight when the competition starts to throw their punches.”
It was one of four wins for Hennessey on the non-betting stakes program with the Hall of Fame driver also scoring with Prairie Gold Mine in the two year-old trot for the boys, Kerry B in the sophomore filly trot and Damien Hall in the three year-old trot featuring a quartet of geldings.
Hennessey’s scorecard reads 13-4-2 in his 20 starts during this early stakes season.
Here is a recap of the Saturday third leg action of the Sunshine State Stakes:
TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT–PRAIRIE DELIGHT
Prairie Delight kept her lifetime record unblemished with her third straight career victory, scoring for trainer-driver Jim McDonald in a lifetime best 2:06.1.
The daughter of Shibboleth Hanover survived a skittish moment while making a quarter move to the top and went on to sore a win measuring a neck over the late surging Brasen Bo (Mickey McNichol). Whitney Annette (Dave Ingraham) finished third in her quintet, well back of the top two.
After the event, driver McDonald explained, “when I made that move for the lead around Mickey’s filly, my filly shied away from Mickey’s whip and she went way wide. She kept her composure, though, made the lead and dug in late. She gave me all she had and that’s all I expect from my young horses.”
Co-owned by McDonald along with wife Dona and Bill Bigler, Prairie Delight is yet another strong youngster bred by Laurie Poulin.
TWO YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING TROT–PRAIRIE GOLD MINE
Prairie Gold Mine, handled by Wally Hennessey, extended his unbeaten streak to two with a solid 2:04.3 win–his margin two lengths over Prairie Romeo (Dave Ingraham) with Rhinestone Cowboy (Mike Micallef) third after recovering from an early miscue.
Prairie Gold Mine, a gelded son of Diamond Goal, took charge early on and carved out fractions of :31.1, 1:03.3 and 1:34.3 before holding off a brief bid from the runner-up with a :30 closer.
Prairie Gold Mine is co-owned by breeder Laurie Poulin along with Fred Morosini, Fritz Racing and trainer Mike Deters.
TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE–GOLD STAR IGOTDIS
Gold Star Igotdis, gave driver Walter Ross, Jr. all he could handle during a vastly improved 2:01 win, featuring an individual :58.2 final half by the winner, including a :28.3 finale.
The young lass by Rock On was away third allowing Pocahontas Cam (Mike Micallef) to set the pace of :30, 1:02 and 1:31.4 with Alil Touch of Pink in the garden spot before she tilted out with 5/16ths remaining, wearing down the leader in the final 16th and drawing away late while racing in the center of the track.
Trained by Maggie Audley for the Gold Star Farm, it was the first success in three life starts for Gold Star Igotdis prompting trainer Audley to remark, “We absolutely couldn’t have done this without the great horsemanship of Wally Ross, Jr.
“He always said this filly had some potential and, after her first two starts, we were beginning to have our doubts but Wally said ‘I’m tellin’ ya, she’s gonna be all right. Let’s just let her get over her growing pains and she’s gonna be a real good filly!
“Like I said, ‘we couldn’t have done this without Wally. He is just a great horseman!”
Prairie Fashion (Dave Ingraham) finished third in this quartet of fillies.
TWO YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING PACE–HURRIKANE KINGJAMES
Hurrikanekingjames, driven this time around by Carl Garofalo, controlled the festivities from his rail post position and led every stride of his mile, hitting the wire in 2:00.2. This son of So Surreal, trained by Michile Lorenzo for the Jonathan Klee Stable, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and George Vierno, sawed through panels 30.2, 1:01.1 and 1:30.3 before a :29.4 jaunt home sealed the affair easily over Shuldahadahunemoon (Nick Coblentz) by 10 3/4 lengths.
This two year-old races like a seasoned veteran with 4-0-2 scorecard in 12 lifetime starts and earnings approaching $59,000 to go along with a sharp Saratoga mark of 1:55.1.
THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT-KERRY B
Kerry B proved, once again, that she loves her Florida surroundings as this daughter of Muscle Mass toured Pompano Park’s “good” oval in 2:04.1, dodging raindrops along the way.
Handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner-husband Jay Sears, Kerry B had an open lead all the way around while posting panels of :30.3, 1:02.2 and 1:33.1 before coasting home to hit the line in 2:04.
Proud Sophie (Dave Ingraham) was second, a nose better than Crown Bushy (Bryce Fenn)–both 7 1/2 lengths away.
Kerry B is perfect at Pompano this fall semester with her lifetime earnings around $58,000.
THREE YEARA-OLD COLT/GELDING TROT–DAMIAN HALL
Damien Hall, handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Jim McDonald and the Pacing Pretty Stable, cruised around the Pompano Park oval in a lifetime best 2:00.1, a new lifetime mark.
The altered son of Cash Hall, using the rail post position to perfection, churned through panels of :29.2, 1:01.1 and 1:31.2 before shutting the door on his opposition with a sharp :28.4 finale.
McGoldrick (Dave Ingraham) tried to stay with the leader but made a miscue in the lane and finished 10 3/4 lengths away. Savin Park (John Campagnuolo) was third in the quartet.
The win kept Daamian Hall’s record unblemished this year at 3-for-3 and left McDonald’s training scorecard during this early stakes season at a perfect 5-for-5.
THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE–NATASHA
Natasha pushed her winning streak to 11 stretching back to September 15, 2018 with a sharp 1:56 performance for Wally Hennessey, who was in the bike for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears,
The outstanding daughter of Six of Diamonds took charge from Gold Star Stormie shortly after the start and put up numbers of :27.4, a well rated :58.2 and a picked up 1:27 before stretching her lead with every stride during a :29 final quarter.
Gold Star Stormie (Corey Braden) did finish second while Lime Twist (Mike Micallef) was a very fast closing third.
Natasha, last year’s Super Night champion in her juvenile division for pacing fillies, now is undefeated in three starts this year with her lifetime bounty approaching $75,000. Said Hennessey after the win, “What can I say that hasn’t been said already. She does this all on her own…like a guy in the cockpit on automatic pilot.”
THREE YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING PACE–JB’S BOOMERANG
JB’S Boomerang, a gelded son of Royel Millennium, finally got his first lifetime win with a furious closing kick to win in 1:57 for driver-trainer Bryce Fenn.
After just missing last week, JB’s Boomerand rallied way wide at the top of the lane as the field stretched four across the track in the final 16th and just did nose out Mister Marvalous (Wally Hennessey), who found his best stride late while saving ground along the pylons. The official margin was a neck.
Gold Star Hefner (Corey Braden) was hung out to dry like wet laundry through panels of :29.4, :59.3 and 1:28, actually stuck his nose in front just yards from the wire, and finished a very game third.
Bryce is part-owner of the winner along with Marah Lee and, after the race, said, “well, we finally got there. He’s been racing so well–as have the others–and today was no different. He always gives his all and, today, that proved to be enough. It’s a very well matched division.”
Pompano Park’s pari-mutuel season begins next Sunday, November 3.
Reported by John Berry for the FSBOA and Pompano Park