Pompano Beach, FL — In an event that took a photo finish camera to separate five mares within a neck of each other at the wire, Prairie Westerngal, driven by Wally Hennessey, emerged victorious in Pompano Park’s $10,500 Open I-II Handicap on Tuesday night (Feb. 16), covering the mile in 1:52.3.
The win gave trainer Mike Deters his second feature win in roughly 24 hours as his Rebellious took top honors in the similar event for the boys on Monday night.
The official margin was a head at the wire with the fast closing Take Abit Of Life (Mike Simons) second and Crisp Mane (David Miller), Tempus Seelster and Ask Me Ifi Care next — all separated by noses.
As the wings folded, Ask Me Ifi Care (Mike Micallef) was sent out in full flight and roared through an opening panel in :26.4. Maintaining her lead at the half in :56.1, Ask Me Ifi Care was beginning to feel the heat through a :27.2 third panel by She’sgotitgoingon with Prairie Westerngal sitting chilly in the garden spot and Crisp Mane second over and two lengths away.
In the lane, there was a quintet of mares fanned across the track with Prairie Westerngal finding a seam and knifing on through when given room to roam.
In a post-race interview, trainer Deters remarked about this 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal saying, “You know, she raced very well a week ago in finishing fifth with very strong pace at the end. I was hoping for a bit of class relief because she hadn’t dented the top three in the top class in her last few starts. But the race was written as an Open I-II so she had to stay where she had been racing.
“She got shuffled a bit last week so I was thinking ‘let’s not get stuck and shuffled again.’ I casually mentioned that to Wally — as if I really needed to — and Wally said, ‘I’ll take care of everything!’
“I was very proud of her as this is a highly competitive group of mares and it was a great finish.”
Hennessey also had a word, remarking, “She gave a good hint the week before and she really responded well when we got clear at mid-stretch.
“I’ll tell you who also deserves kudos — the track crew! Danny Roberts and his guys did some amazing work in getting the racetrack ready after that huge storm that hit before the races. It was an absolute miracle what he did. And, by the time we went to the gate, the track was as good as if the sun was shining.”
For Prairie Westerngal, co-owned by Deters along with Laurie Poulin and Fritz Racing, this was her initial win of 2021 and 14th lifetime, sending her lifetime bankroll to $152,653. Off as the 7-2 second choice, Prairie Westerngal paid $9.00 to win.
Racing continues on Wednesday with another guaranteed pool on the popular Pick-4 and a Super Hi-5 carryover of $44,612.