LA Always Amartini Upsets In Open

LA Always Amartini winning at Pompano Park
Published: February 3, 2022 11:06 am EST

LA Always Amartini, driven by Joe Chindano Jr., pulled off a 17-1 stunning upset in Pompano Park's featured $14,200 Open Handicap Pace for mares on Wednesday night (Feb. 2), stopping the timer in 1:52.3.

The seven-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin got picture perfect handling this night by working out a second-over journey and closed fastest of all (:27.4) to nail the photo finish win a couple of strides from the wire. Image Of A Dream (Rick Plano) was second with Crisp Mane (David Miller) third over Sea Shadows and Brilliant Beauty in the classy sextet.

At the outset, LA Always A Martini pressed the issue a bit as Image Of A Dream left alertly only to yield to Crisp Mane at the :27.2 opener while Sea Shadows worked her way forward to take charge three-eighths in and reaching the half in :56.

LA Always A Martini was a relaxed fourth at this point and, when Image Of A Dream left her cozy pocket on the backside to engage the leader, LA Always Amartini followed and had a perfect second-over journey.

Around the final bend, the timer read 1:24.2 with Sea Shadows in a war with Image Of A Dream, Crisp Mane third looking for a seam and LA Always Amartini fourth and ready to pounce widest of all.

Halfway through the lane, Image Of A Dream finally got by Sea Shadows but couldn't hold off the fastest closing winner, LA Always Amartini.

"It was a dream trip as the pace was real and my mare second-over," said Chindano after the race. "Once we straightened away, I chirped once or twice and she responded. Angie [trainer Angela Coleman] said she had a good week training and was getting better and better and I knew she could go [1]:52 and a piece because she does that every week. She's been right there with 'em every week no matter the class. She's just a tough rugged mare -- as are all the others in there-- and it's a pretty evenly matched group from one week to the next."

Trained by Coleman for Fox Racing Inc., LA Always Amartini has already banked $18,680 this year a 2-1-2 scorecard in five starts. Lifetime, she has banked more than $300,000.

LA Always Amartini paid $37.60 to win and keyed a Pick-6 carryover for Sunday night's program.

The win, incidentally, was just one of a grand-slam night for Chindano, who also won with Lucky Sevens ($8.20) for owner/trainer Leopold Sawyers, Powered By Mach ($5.40), trained by Chindano also for Fox Racing Inc., and Dudelookslikelindy ($9.60) for Mike Simons, who conditions for Albert Abdala III.

The $12,600 Open II for pacing mares went to Bye Bye Felicia for Braxten Boyd in 1:52.3.

The seven-year-old daughter of American Ideal was supposed to have closed the books last week to begin a new career as a broodmare but, with one win away from the prestigious $500,000 lifetime earnings plateau, trainer John Hallett decided to give her one last opportunity to reach that goal...and she did not disappoint.

Bye Bye Felicia went out a winner with a courageous first-over journey on the backstretch to score by a half-length with a :27.4 rally to compete her racing career with 36 wins and $500,613 in bounty.

Owned by Rick and Geoff Howles, Bye Bye Felicia paid $5.40 to win as second choice in the betting.

Racing continues on Sunday with the aforementioned Pick-6 carryover, a Pick 4 with a guaranteed pool of $15,000 bolstered by an industry low 12 per cent takeout and a Super Hi-5 finale featuring a carryover of $90,742. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.

(With files from Pompano Park)