Pompano Beach, FL — Hey Don’t Tell Me stretched his winning streak to four on Monday night (Dec. 6) at Pompano Park as the South Florida track hosted four divisions of the Tom Audley Memorial for 3-year-olds, honoring the memory of one of the most revered and respected horsemen in the Sunshine State.
For Hey Don’t Tell Me, it took a lifetime best performance in the pace for the boys for trainer-driver Dale Hiteman to reach the winner’s circle, using a :27.4 closing kick home to collar Theflyingrock (Joe Chindano Jr.) by a neck in 1:52.1. Gold Star Artie (Braxten Boyd) was third, 5-1/2 lengths away while his stablemate Gold Star Baron was another neck back, edging Lucky Ramsey by a nose in the field of seven.
With three tough miles in his previous trio of wins in Sunshine State Stakes competition, “trainer” Hiteman decided to give Hey Don’t Tell Me a couple of weeks off and keeping this in mind, “driver” Hiteman, after leaving from the five post to take an early lead, yielded to Mister David C around the opening turn and through a hot :27 opener.
Mister David C continued to lead past the half in :56.1 and then on the backside Hiteman decided to sit chilly with Hey Don’t Tell Me. Theflyingrock blitzed his third quarter from third in :27.1 to take charge, opening up a sizeable lead turning for home. Hey Don’t Tell Me wiggled out of the pocket from third to begin gnawing away after the third station was reached in 1:24.
Theflyingrock and Hey Don’t Tell Me dueled to the wire after a breakaway from the field with Hey Don’t Tell Me just up for the win near the wire.
In a post race interview, Hiteman related, “We have been fortunate to win here but this really is a very competitive group in this division. This was evident last week when we weren’t in and there were four of them right there on the wire. I really didn’t want to go first up on the backside and was just hoping I’d get some clearance once we turned for home. So, with a little bit of luck, we found some clearance around the final turn and we got the chance we were looking for. The horse did the rest.”
Owned by DTM Stable, Hey Don’t Tell Me vaulted his seasonal earnings to $23,142. As the 2-5 favorite, he paid $2.80 to win.
The remaining three Audley Memorial events went to Milleniums Girl, Ifnotmewho and Ifnotnowwhen.
Milleniums Girl, with Dave Ingraham in the sulky subbing for the injured Mike Simons, closed fastest of all in her pace for the fillies to score in 1:55.2, using a :28.3 punch home for the knockout blow over Prairie Sweetness (Wally Hennessey) with Rocks Stormyd (Boyd) third. Sparkyfareyouwell, the longest shot on the board, rallied from last to finish fourth while Prairie Dutchess picked up the nickel.
At the outset, it was the outside three fillies from posts seven, eight and nine all searching for the top spot as KK’s Dream Girl (post eight) zoomed off the wings to take charge before yielding to Prairie Sweetness (post nine) at the :28 opening bell with Rock’s Stormyd (post seven) finding a cozy spot in third. But not for long, as that filly rushed up to take command three-eighths into the mile before clocking a half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:26.
Meanwhile, Milleniums Girl, sixth halfway through, picked up some live cover on the backstretch and then surged widest of all as that cover stalled around the final bend. Once they straightened away, Milleniums Girl achieved full flight and rolled on by for the win measuring 1-1/4 lengths.
After the race, the always low-key Ingraham said, “She’s just a nice, handy filly that gives it a go every start. She was really strong at the end of her mile last week and I felt she could be right with them this time. She has been giving hints and tonight she got it done. Happy for Mike (Simons).”
Trained by Mike Simons for Richard Marsh, this daughter of Royel Millennium now owns a 3-5-1 scorecard in 11 starts with $15,882 on her card. As the ever-so-slight 2-1 favorite, she paid $6.00 to win.
The Audley Trot for fillies went to Ifnotmewho, handled by Hennessey for trainer Jake Huff and owner Herman Brewer. The daughter of Credit Winner led at every pole — :28.1, 1:00.3 and 1:30.2 before a :28.4 finale was just good enough to hold off the furious late surge of Prairie Virtue (Corey Braden) by a nose. Prairie Trinket (Ingraham) was third while Prairie Ginger and Ciao Bella completed the top five in the septet.
In reflecting on the win, Hennessey said, “Well, to tell you the truth, I really didn’t know what to expect tonight. She had been off for a couple of weeks and I didn’t know if she might be a little short but, then, I remembered that she had been off a couple of weeks before her first race here and Jake always has his ready to go. She got a good breather during the second quarter which helped and she sprinted home pretty good — :28.4.”
The win was the third this semester for Ifnotmewho and pushed her career bankroll to $92,840. Off as the 3-1 second choice, Ifnotmewho paid $8.20 to win.
The Hennessey-Huff-Brewer combo actually had a double in the Audley Memorial events as Ifnotnowwhen rallied late to score a one length win in the (non-wagering) trot for colts and geldings.
This altered son of Muscle Massive was first out of the gate, yielded to Shulda Hada Drink (John MacDonald) after the initial :31.2 quarter and stalked that one through subsequent panels of 1:00.3 and 1:30.4 before collaring that one a sixteenth from home to score in 2:01. Seeking Matthew (Alessandro Spano) was third while Jo Jo Jet completed the quartet.
Ifnotnowwhen has swept through the Florida Stakes season unscathed this fall and is five-for-six since his arrival here. He now sports a lifetime bankroll of $46,542.
Tuesday’s program features a trio of “Send It In” Specials, including a $15,000 guaranteed pool (12 percent takeout) in the Pick-4, a Pick-6 carryover of $2,570 and a Super Hi-5 jackpot of $3,637. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.