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'Image' Ignites Tote In Golden Girls

Published: July 14, 2018 10:36 pm ET

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Sent at odds of 31-1, Divas Image benefitted from quick fractions on the lead and catapulted from fourth over, sweeping by rivals to take the $189,750 Golden Girls going a mile and an eighth in 2:03.1.

L A Delight led through a :25.2 opening quarter as 1-5 favourite Shartin N brushed for the lead into the first turn. Shartin N carried the speed through the next fractions as she paced unpressured in :53.1 and 1:21.3 approaching the final turn.

Caviart Ally led the wide flow first over, carrying Windsun Glory second over and Pure Country third over while Shartin N clung to command into the stretch. The backfield fanned across the track as Shartin N maintained the lead at the eighth pole but Divas Image, widest of all, rushed past in the final sixteenth to upset.

Inverse Hanover, sent off at over 99-1, closed for second while Pure Country rallied off cover for third and Shartin N held fourth.

Returning $65.60 to win, Divas Image, owned by driver Joe Bongiorno along with partners Howard Taylor, Tom Lazzaro and Jerry and Theresa Silva Stables, won for the seventh time in 16 starts this season and the 18th in 58 overall, earning $505,557. Jennifer Bongiorno trains the five-year-old mare by Bettors Delight from the Rocknroll Hanover mare Rocknroll Diva.

“The fractions were very fast [and] being fourth over the whole mile, I was a little concerned because she’s a small mare,” Joe Bongiorno said after the race. “But she’s just as tough as they come and when I flipped her out she absolutely came out of her harness.”

With long shots completing the ticket, the $2 exactor returned $2,323.80 while the $1 triactor paid $43,691.70.

The Golden Girls was held on the Saturday stakes card at the Meadowlands, with recaps of the other highlighted events available on the 2018 Meadowlands Pace News Centre.

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