Goldstar Raider: Florida's Golden Boy

Published: October 23, 2011 12:31 am EDT

With the 2011 Florida Super Night just two weeks away at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park, Goldstar Raider is rounding into form at just the right time for the season ending Breeders Stakes set for November 5

to cap off the 2011 events for the Florida Standardbred Breeders And Owners Association (FSBOA).

After going winless in his first six career starts, the Rock On-Tonys Silveraider gelding has stepped up for three straight wins. In the $18,300 purse October 22 Florida Sale Stake for rookie state-bred colt and gelding pacers, Goldstar Raider edged to the front at the quarter in :29 seconds, posted a half in :57.4 and held off a stern third quarter challenge from Last Chance T, in rein to Fern Paquet Jr., to the final turn in 1:25.3. Down the stretch, Diamond Cowboy was brought out of the pocket by driver Wally Hennessey, but Goldstar Raider amply proved his mettle by refusing to lose and pacing up to the wire in 1:54.4 to increase his lifetime bankroll to $31,630.

"He's still learning and can understandably act a bit green at times, but he's really come into his own to become an exceptionally nice colt," driver Mike Micallef declared after the Sale Stake triumph. "All the credit goes to his owner, trainer and breeder Tom Audley and Maggie Audley. This colt is one of the main reasons I'm really looking forward to the Florida Super Night again this year."

In the $12,000 purse Open Handicap Pace, Dartagnan summoned up a two-move upset victory for co-owner, trainer and driver Veral Bowman. After leading at the :26.3 quarter, Dartagnan surrendered the lead to Rudy Valentino, in rein to Ed Hensley, to the half in :54.4. In the third quarter, race favourite Ricks Sign came with a first over rush for driver Fern Paquet Jr. to the final turn in 1:23.3, and in the stretch, Bowman split horses with Dartagnan to hold off Southwind Go Go Go and Bruce Ranger in 1:53.3, with Ricks Sign a close third.

The winner is a seven-year-old gelding by Mean Mr Mustard-All American Taboo, co-owned by Inge and Frank Smith of Deerfield Beach, Florida, and a career winner of over $293,000.

There was also an Open-2 Handicap Pace for an $8,000 purse on the Saturday night card. Bruce Ranger executed a perfect second over trip to score in 1:52.4 with Real Image over longshots Saulsbrooks Fame, with Andy Santeramo in tow, and Unknown Soldier, partnered by Walter Ross Jr. Peter Pellegrino trains Real Image, a Real Desire-Shy Reflection five-year-old gelding, for the Baron Racing Stable of Horsham, Pennsylvania.

(Pompano Park)