Pompano Beach, FL — Casie’s Believer took top honors in Pompano Park’s $14,200 pacing feature for the mares on Monday night (Nov. 8) while mild upsets were posted as the Sunshine State Stakes for the sophomores were contested.
Casie’s Believer, the 6-year-old Betterthencheddar mare, got superb handling from owner-trainer Joe Chindano Jr. and went on to score a handy 1:54.1 win in gate-to-wire fashion, pinning a 2-1/4 length defeat on Gold Star Igotdis (Dave Ingraham) with Talk Show Chica (Corey Braden) next in the quintet. The two favorites, Evas Sports Czech (4-5 on the board) and Sea Shadows (6-5) completed the order in this quintet.
Taking advantage of a miscue by the highly regarded Sea Shadows at the start, Casie’s Believer was sent winging from the get-go and took the the field through an opening panel of :28.2. It was shortly thereafter that the final outcome would become evident as the leader tip-toed to the half with a second quarter in a leisurely :30.1, reaching the half in :58.3 with Talk Show Chica and Gold Star Igotdis next in line with the favored Evas Sports Czech fourth.
On the backside, Chindano let his mare roll through a :27.3 third panel in stretching the lead to almost three lengths with a :28 finale easily sealing the issue.
Said Chindano after the race, “She hadn’t seen a half in :58.3 in quite some time and, on the backside, she just accelerated on her own and never let up after that. When you have a mare like Casie’s Believer and let her get to the half like that, you know she’s going to be tough the rest of the way. You never know, sometimes a horse I drive might follow a horse that gets the same kind of trip and then they have the advantage. Tonight, I was the lucky one!”
For Casie’s Believer, it was her second win in a row after being involved in a dead-heat win the week before, and seventh success of the year in 34 starts, good for $82,550. She’s banked $178,784 lifetime to go along with her 1:51.1 mark set at The Pomp late last season. As third choice in the betting, Casie’s Believer paid $11.80 to win.
In the $12,600 Open II Pace for fillies and mares, the only filly in the race, Brilliant Beauty, made a brilliant quarter move to the front and went on to score a 1:53.4 win for Kevin Wallis. The daughter of JK Endofanera, beginning from her outside six post, churned to the top after the :27.4 opener and went on to post panels of :56.3 and 1:24.4 before a :29 final quarter left her two lengths up over the late closing Primo Extremo (Wally Hennessey) with the early leader, Elm Grove Nellie third. Rock N Roll Rosie was fourth while Goldstar Rockette picked up the nickel.
Trained by Tee Wine for Jemaxpo Racing Stable, Brilliant Beauty sent her scorecard to 5-3-2 in 22 starts, sending her 2021 bounty to $47,725 and $78,374 lifetime. She paid $2.60 to win as the 1-5 favorite.
Sophomores were in the limelight as the Sunshine State Stakes continued with the third leg of that series and there were a couple of minor upsets in the mix.
In the only non-wagering event, for 3-year-old male trotters, Ifnotnowwhen, driven by Hennessey, overcame his stiffest competition yet in managing a 2:02 win — the margin a half-length over a vastly improved Jo Jo Jet (Ingraham) with the early leader, Seeking Matthew (Alessandro Spano) third. Shulda Hada Drink, brushing to the lead at the third station, was fourth in this race, just two lengths away.
A gelded son of Muscle Massive, Ifnotnowwhen earned his third straight Sunshine State Stakes win for Jake Huff, who trains for Herman Brewer.
On the betting card, Prairie Virtue, driven by Mike Simons and off as the 9-2 second choice, found some room to roam turning for home and went on to score the upset win over the 1-5 favorite Ifnotmewho (Hennessey) in 1:59. Prairie Ginger (Braxten Boyd) was next, just a length away, while Prairie Trinket and Ciao Bella were next in the septet for 3-year-old trotting fillies.
Prairie Virtue, a daughter of Shibboleth Hanover trained by Lisa Martin for Mary Martin and Laurie Poulin, rewarded her faithful with a mutuel of $11.20.
In the Sunshine State Stake for 3-year-old pacing males, Hey Don’t Tell Me, handled by Dale Hiteman, out-gamed a brave Theflyingrock (Simons) to score a narrow win in 1:53.2. The son of Tellitlikeitis, leaving from the outside post seven, surged to the front early on and opened the festivities with a :28.4 panel. Yielding to Buddha Beach shortly thereafter, the latter reached the half in :57.1. Hey Don’t Tell Me, sprinting from the pocket on the backside, and Theflyingrock out of third and driving hard, produced a :27.4 backside panel and a breakaway around the final bend. At the third station in 1:25, Theflyingrock stuck his neck in front but Hey Don’t Tell Me fought back to prevail after a stretch long classic duel.
Owned by DTM Stable and trained by Hiteman, Hey Don’t Tell Me won for the second time in these Sunshine State Stakes.
Finally, Dice Dice Baby, handled by Chindano for trainer Marc Major and owner Mike Somerville, used identical tactics as in her win a week ago and was equally game in scoring a half-length win in 1:55.4, a new lifetime mark, in the Sunshine State Stake for the sophomore pacing fillies.
The daughter of Rockincam held Milleniums Girl (Simons), closing fastest of all, safe by a half-length with the favored Prairie Sweetness (Hennessey) third, a length away, after sawing through fractions of :28.2, :57.4 and 1:25.4.
Racing continues on Tuesday night with a $15,000 guarantee in the Pick-4 and a carryover in the Super Hi-5 finale of $7,903.64. Post time is 7:20 p.m.