Godiva Seelster, catch-driven by Mickey McNichol, scored a handy win in Monday evening’s $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares at Pompano Park.
The five-year-old daughter of Camluck repeated her victory of a week ago by conquering five rivals in 1:53.2 over a track rated “sloppy,” dulled by heavy rains prior to post time.
The victory, her fourth of the year in six starts, pushed the ultra-consistent mare’s streak of not missing a purse cheque to 52, encompassing her entire seasons as a three-year-old, four-year-old and, thus far, five-year-old.
Assigned post seven off of last start’s winning performance, Godiva Seelster actually started from post six with a scratch in the event and was away sharply and grinding forward as Senorita Santanna, driven by Joe Pavia, Jr., forged to the lead and took the field to the opening panel in :28 before yielding to Godiva just a stride or two later.
Once positions were established after the opener with Fashion Ruffles (Dave Ingraham) third, De Vins Girl fourth, Mach Me Not next and Limelight trailing, they remained that way the rest of the journey with the half in :56.4 and three-quarters clocked in 1:25.2 with no challenger able to dent the leader’s margin on the ‘off’ track. In the lane, Senorita Santanna left her cozy pocket and got within a half length of Godiva, but no closer, with the :28 finale leaving the final margin carded just that way–a half length.
“This is the first time I have driven this mare and she is really something! Wally (regular driver Hennessey) said that she’s been sharp ‘forever’ and that she knows how to take care of herself and rate herself during a mile,” said driver Mickey McNichol. “So, all I did was let her do her own thing. She’s a very determined mare…a pleasure to drive.”
Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O’Neil, Godiva Seelster now has banked $26,500 since resuming her career five weeks ago with career earnings of $135,342 to go along with her 1:51.1 mark in her last start. Godiva Seelster paid $3.40 to win.
In the Open 2 Pace for Mares, Artful Impulse, ditched her ‘on the engine’ strategy of recent starts and took advantage of a fierce early duel between Pacific Date and Cheap N Easy before circling those two on the backstretch three-eighths out and went on to score a win in 1:53.3.
The four-year-old daughter of Artistic Fella, catch-driven this night by Bruce Ranger for trainer Jim Mc Donald and the Twenty Four Carrot Racing, left alertly enough but yielded early and remained off the pace during hot panels of :27.2 and :54.4 before her backstretch blitz put her on top to stay prior to the third station clocked in 1:24. Dreas Good Powow (Dave Ingraham) finished second, a length away, with Real Nice Girl (Matt Romano) third.
Artful Impulse earned only her second win of the season–sixth lifetime–and sent her 2015 bounty to $17,700. She recently went over the $100,000 in lifetime earnings with her total now at $107,945. She returned a $6.40 mutuel to her faithful.
A trio of carryovers add flavour to the Wednesday program at Pompano Park.
The Pick-5–not to be confused with the Super Hi-5–went unscathed on Monday night with a carryover over into the Wednesday mid-week program of $1,733.30. Director of Racing Brett Revington has set a guarantee of $7,500 for the Wednesday night Pick-5.
The Pick-4 also went untouched and the carryover of $4,984 has produced a guarantee of $25,000 for the mid-week extravaganza.
Pompano Park’s Super Hi-5 had a 5-2-1-8-4 combo that produced seven winners on Monday night, each receiving $1,325.36 for their 20 cent investment, sending the carryover to the Wednesday night card vaulting over the $175,000, a new record for the track.
Post time for the Wednesday card is 7:30 p.m.