Coblentz Trainees Shine In Florida Stakes

Published: November 12, 2023 11:27 am EST

The Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) sponsored Sunshine State Stakes continued on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village with trainer Nick Coblentz reaching the winner’s circle in five of the eight races and Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey scoring a grand slam.

Tony Dinges had a driving double on the card while Joe Sanzeri and Dan Harvey also scored wins on the card.

The festivities kicked off in the early “daily double” — there is no wagering — but the winners of the opening two races, for the second straight week, featured the same owner, trainer, driver and winner’s sire, as Ballerina Jet and Okeechobee Jet, both sired by Odino Jet, scored repeat victories.

Here’s a recap of the action:

$2,825 Two-Year-Old Filly Trot

Bellarina Jet (sired by Odina Jet), again perfectly mannered in, this, her second career start, wired her competition in a lifetime best 2:05, romping to a 10-length win over PS Just Peachy, driven by Marshall Makin. After lolly-gagging to the half in 1:05.4, the filly used a :59.1 half to seal the deal. Wally Hennessey was in the bike for trainer Nick Coblentz and owner Amante Standardbreds.

$3,150 Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot

Okeechobee Jet (sired by Odina Jet) stalked stablemate Legacys Casanova and then used a :29 finale to scoot away to a two-length victory in 2:01.2, keeping his career record perfect at two-for-two. The gelding trotted his final half in :58.1 giving the Hennessey-Coblentz-Amante Standardbreds and sire Odino Jet a complete sweep of that rare early “daily double.” 

Legacys Casanova, handled by Coblentz, himself, was second while Watching The Mets, with Tony Dinges in the bike, was next. Prairie Friendly and Prairie Possession earned the final two awards.

$2,950 Two-Year-Old Filly Pace

Dance With Destiny (sired by A Rocknroll Dance), a solid second in her racing debut one week ago, turned the tables on last week’s winner, Sweet Scarlett, and used a late surge near the wire to score a maiden win in 2:00.1 for owner/driver Joe Sanzeri. Sweet Scarlett, driven by trainer Tony Dinges, did finish second after sawing through panels of :31, :59.4 and 1:31 over the Sunshine Meadows mile oval. Prairie Kitten, handed by Dan Harvey, earned the final award. 

After the race, Sanzeri said, “I was ready to hang up my colours if I didn’t win a race soon. So, I guess I will be back next week!”

Nick Coblentz trains the winner for Sanzeri and picked up his third training win on the program.

$3,175 Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace

Prairie Gorgeous (sired by Dudes The Man), smartly driven by Dan Harvey, led every long stride of a lifetime best 1:58 performance to score a three-length victory over Gator Pledthefifth, with Mickey McNIchol in the sulky. Prairie Rocknroll was third for Tony Dinges while Prairie Achiever and Dont Pet The Gator completed the quintet.

The winner led gate-to-wire while sprinting away to an insurmountable lead during a :28.1 third panel and knocked off two seconds and one-fifth from his lifetime mark. Owned by trainer Laurie Poulin, the gelding Prairie Gorgeous is perfect so far in his two starts.

$3,525 Three-Year-Old Filly Trot

Nick Coblentz picked up his fourth training win of the day as his own Legacys Jailbreak (sired by Dontyouforgetit) stalked Kings Sweetheart before eking by in the last stride to score by a head in 2:01.3. Tony Dinges was in the sulky as this three-year-old filly kept her 2023 perfect at two-for-two, achieving a new lifetime mark in the process. Kings Sweetheart was second for Kevin Wallis while Atlantic Wave closed fastest of all for driver Alessandro Spano to be third. Madaboutchocolate was next with JJ Forgetaboutit picking up the nickel. The winner is six-for-seven lifetime .

$3,550 Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot

The chestnut gelding Prairie Nugget (sired by Shibboleth Hanover) used a :27.1 backside blast for Wally Hennessey to open a long lead and coasted home to a 1:59 four-length win over Seminole Moon, driven by Frank Affront. The early leader, Rhinestone Camo, handled by Mickey McNichol, was third with Prairie Famous and Captain Cam earning the minor awards. Trained by Lisa Martin for Mary Martin and Laurie Poulin, Prairie Nugget earned his second straight triumph over the Sunshine Meadows track and pushed his seasonal earnings to $33,080. 

$3,300 Three-Year-Old Filly Pace

Flo Jo (sired by Keystone Velocity) earned trainer Nick Coblentz his fifth training win on the Sunshine State Stakes program and completed Wally Hennessey’s driving grand slam as she used an “olympic sprint” of :57 the final half-mile to romp away late for a seven-length win. Owned by Mr. Dale Witcher II, the filly kept her unblemished record in tact at four-for-four. Twowordsmadein USA, with Rob Hoffman driving, was second after applying pressure to the winner for the first half-mile while Prairie Lynx was next in this trio.

$3,625 Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace

Easy As That (sired by Tarver Hanover), superbly handled by Tony Dinges, led every stride of his mile and used a :57.1 final half to score a handy three-length win in 1:57.1 over Flying For Trev, with Frank Affrunti in the bike. The Honkytonk was third for Wally Hennessey while Gator Growl and Constant Velocity completed this quintet. Trained by Dinges for Lee Clarke, Easy As That, who earned his first win of the year in 20 starts last week here at Sunshine Meadows, put the issue out of reach during a :28 third quarter sprint. 

In a post-race interview, Dinges succinctly put it in words saying it was “Easy As That!”

FSBOA stakes racing continues at Sunshine Meadows every Saturday through Super Saturday on Dec. 9 with post time set for 11 a..m

(With files from FSBOA)

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