Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village was the host track for the FSBOA sponsored Stallion Stakes on Saturday, Nov. 25 with four walkovers for two-year-olds and a trio of two-horse events and one solo race with a quintet of entries for three-year-olds.
The “stars” on this cloudy and windy day were Wally Hennessey with three wins on the program and Laurie Poulin with a trio of successes on the training side of the ledger..
Here’s a recap of the action:
$11,450 STALLION STAKE TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT WALKOVER
Bellarina Jet (Odino Jet - Reverie Devictoire) strolled around the Sunshine Meadows now mile oval in 2:18.3 off of fractions of :35.2, 1:11 and 1:46.3 to claim the walkover award. The filly, with a mark of 2:05 since her career began earlier this month, is trained by Nick Coblentz for Amante Standardbreds and now shows $20,322 in bounty. Wally Hennessey was in the sulky for the event with trainer Coblentz saying in the winner’s circle, “They don’t put the time down on the cheque!”
$11,450 STALLION STAKE TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE WALKOVER
Prairie Kitten (Royal Millennium - Cat Lady) broke her maiden in this walkover by touring the track in 2:18. Joe Pennacchio, making his first appearance in the sulky in over a year, gave Prairie Kitten a “purr”-fect drive, guiding her through panels of :34.4, 1:10 and 1:44 along the way. The win vaulted the filly’s earnings to $14,014 for the month of November. Said Pennacchio after the race, “It felt really great to be back in the bike — even in a walkover — and I am feeling very confident that I can get a driving double today a little bit later on.” (Pennacchio’s other drive is a walkover, as well!) He was in the bike for trainer Laurie Poulin, who co-owns with Fred Morosini and Patricia Fritz.
$11,450 STALLION STAKE TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING GELDING WALKOVER
Okeechobee Jet (Odino Jet - Hall Of Stars), already the author of a 2:01 mark and undefeated in his three lifetime starts, waltzed around the mile track in 2:17.4 for Wally Hennessey, who was in the sulky for trainer Nick Coblentz and Amante Standardbreds. Now, of course, unblemished in four lifetime starts, Okeechobee Jet pushed his earnings to $18,975 to go along with his sharp record. In a post-race interview, trainer Nick Coblentz lamented, “I liked him from the word ‘go.’ He’s handy and seems to have some strong brushing ability on both ends of a mile. We try and make hay when the sun shines!”
$11,450 STALLION STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING GELDING WALKOVER
Prairie Achiever (Royal Millennium - Taylors Lady), no better than third in his first three lifetime starts, broke his maiden in this walkover with a 2:22 stroll around the oval. Trained by Laurie Poulin, giving her a training double thus far on the stakes program, the winner was driven by Joe Pennacchio, giving him a driving double, as well, and prompting prompting Joe P to say, tongue and cheek, “Wally (Hennessey) couldn’t get it done in his three starts so I guess he needed some ‘real’ hands handling his lines!” Trainer Poulin co-owns with Fred Morosini and Patricia Fritz.
$12,375 STALLION STAKES FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING GELDINGS
After a brief battle leaving the wings, Easy As That (Tarver Hanover - Park Avenue) out-dueled his only rival, The Honkytonk, and led every stride thereafter under the direction of trainer Tony Dinges in a perfectly rated 2:01.1 mile. After the initial skirmish, the winner clocked an opening panel of :30.4 and sealed the issue during a :33.1 second panel, reaching the half in 1:04. The pacer quickened thereafter with The Honkytonk trying to issue a challenge turning for home but a :27.1 finale took care of that. In a post-race interview, Dinges said, “He’s a very nice ‘pony’ and is very handy and can really turn on the afterburners under the right handling.” Dinges trains Easy As That for owner Lee Clarke.
$14,400 STALLION STAKES FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING GELDINGS
Prairie Nugget (Shibboleth Hanover - Dr Good Gold), showing speed off the wings, rallied once they straightened away in thee lane and edged clear to a 1-1/4 length win over Seminole Moon with the early leader Rhinestone Camo, third. Handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Lisa Martin and owners Mary Martin and Laurie Poulin, Prairie Nugget, stalking throughout, used a :29.1 kick home to score in 1:58 for her fourth win of the year in 21 starts. With Rhinestone Camo, handled by Mickey McNichol dictating the terms for the first half mile (:29.1 and :59.4), S Seminole Moon, with Frank Affront handling the lines, forged to the front as the pace quickened through three-quarters in 1:28.2. That’s where Prairie Nugget found his best stride to take charge in the lane and edge clear late. The win sent “Nugget’s” earnings to $64,127.
$13,000 STALLION STAKES FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES
Prairie Lynx (Royal Millennium - Cat Lady) withstood a severe threat the final three-eighths of a mile and scored a one length victory over a stubborn Twowordsmadein USA, stopping the timer in 2:01.4. Handled by Kevin Wallis, Prairie Lynx, blessed with the inside post, out-fought her rival early and carded panels of :30 and 1:00.4 halfway through the mile. Midway around the final bend, Twowordsmadein USA brushed on even terms with the leader and they raced as a team down the lane before Prairie Lynx edged clear late. Trained by Laurie Poulin for owner Lee Clarke, the win gave trainer Poulin a training triple and sent the winner’s earnings to $34,006. This was her first win in 15 starts this semester. A contingent from Argentina made the blanket presentation in the winner’s circle.
$12,400 STALLION STAKES FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES
Atlantic Wave (Odino Jet - Marcella Tomella), winless 11 starts coming into the action, earned her first win of the season and second lifetime and used an impressive :28 kick home to score a three-length win over Prairie Range, driven by Marc Major, in 2:06. Masterfully handled by Alessandro Spano for trainer and owner Sergio Corona, Atlantic Wave left with alacrity thwarting an early challenge and, once the early heat subsided, lolly-gagged through panels of :32.1, 1:06 and 1:38 and, when Prairie Range popped the pocket, it was too late to do any denting in that :28 closing kick home. Atlantic Wave enjoyed her biggest payday — $8,060 — vaulting her earnings to $28,154.
FSBOA stakes action continues next Saturday at Sunshine Meadows with post time set for 11:00 a.m.