Audley & Ross Jr. Sweep Florida Stakes

Owner-trainer Tom Audley and driver Walter Ross Jr. had a great night at Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park on Saturday winning the Florida Stallion Stakes for both two-year-old and three-year-old pacing colts.

Goldstar Thumper went gate-to-wire in the freshman event to pull a mild 1:54.2 upset over Hillybilly (Kevin Wallis) and Diamond Master (Dave Ingraham). The winner's share of the $19,725 purse pushed the Audley homebred's bankroll over $30,000 in just seven state-restricted trips to post. The son of Rock On has five triumphs and two place finishes thus far in his promising career.

The three-year-old colts raced prior to the betting card for a $19,525 pot. Ross Jr. made a quarter-move to the lead with Audley's Goldstar Raider after watching his highly-regarded foe Keemosabe (Bruce Ranger) make an uncharacteristic break behind the gate. The pair then held off a late challenge by Gold Star Spike (Tom Sells) and Diamond Cowboy (Wallis) to score in 1:54.1.

The weekly $8500 Open Handicap Pace also went postward Saturday night with a very familiar result. For the seventh time in the last eight Opens presented over Pompano's five-eighths mile oval the exacta included Neptune Blue Chip and Northern Companion. For the second straight week and fifth time over that span Neptune Blue Chip, with Wally Hennessey aboard for the first time this season, got the best of Northern Companion, with regular pilot Rob Hoffman in tow. The mile was clocked in 1:52.1 with a last half-mile of :55.1 on a windy south Florida evening. The winner is owned by Twenty Four Carrot Racing and Ciro Gentile and trained by Jim McDonald.

Racing resumes Monday night at Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park with a 7:05 p.m. post time.

(Pompano Park)

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