by Steve Wolf, senior director of racing operations, Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL — Four divisions of the Florida Sunshine Stakes for 2- and 3-year-old state-bred trotters headline the Wednesday (September 19) program at the isle casino & racing at Pompano Park. The majority of the racing card belongs to the trotters as ten of the 13 total races are for highsteppers.
The toughest match-up takes place in the second race $8,978 division for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings as Southern Rain takes on arch-rival Trot Monster.
Southern Rain is the 9-5 morning line favorite from post three for driver Bruce Ranger. The gelded son of Wewering is trained by Mike Deters for owner Mark Rorabeck of Nutrioso, Arizona. Southern Rain sports an impressive four wins in six lifetime starts and his only two losses came from Trot Monster.
In the battle of post position draws, Trot Monster won out, drawing the rail for driver Wally Hennessey. Also sired by Wewering, Trot Monster is trained by Kim Sears and bred and owned by John Campagnuolo of Loxahatchee. He sports two wins this year, both in 2:01.3. But last week Trot Monster could not stay onstride, breaking at the start and finishing last.
There are two divisions of the Sunshine Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies. The $5,124 first division features two return winners in Strut and Discreet Encounter. Strut starts from the rail for driver James Gluhm. The daughter of Anything Goes has three wins this year for trainer Julie Working and co-owner/breeders the Sunbird Stable, James Gluhm and Doug Kistler.
Discreet Encounter starts from post four for trainer and co-owner Mike Deters, who owns the Wewering daughter with James Armstrong. She has two wins this year. Bruce Ranger will drive Discreet Encounter.
The second division, racing for a purse of $5,199, is spotlighted by Famous Valentine, a homebred daughter of Famously, trained by Dan Hennessey for the Amante Standardbreds of Delray Beach. She has finished first, second and third in her last three starts for driver Wally Hennessey.
Last year’s 2-year-old champion, Blake Island, heads the $5,169 division for 3-year-old colts and geldings. Starting from post three for driver Wally Hennessey, Blake Island has won two of his four starts this year for breeder/owner John Campagnuolo and trainer Kim Sears.
In the third race $14,000 Open Handicap Trot, Guy Gets Girl goes for his eighth win this year. The 8-year-old gelding by Keystone Nordic closed out the Pompano summer meet with a 1:56 victory for the Bruce Ranger Stable. Guy Gets Girl starts from the outside in post eight, but is still the 5-2 morning line favorite.
Other contenders in the field include C Le Noir from post four, Rovasreadytorumble (post five) and newcomer HZ Easy from post seven.