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Florida Stakes Finals This Weekend

Published: November 22, 2017 12:36 pm ET

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American Thanksgiving is Thursday, but the feast for horsepeople will be this coming Sunday at Pompano Park, as the FSBOA-sponsored Breeders Stakes Finals will take place. Over $420,000 in total purses will up for grabs, as eight championship finals for two and three-year-old Florida-breds will head postward.

The action will begin with five non-wagering events that will get underway at 6:30 p.m. I Rhoda Daley will be looking to continue her dominance in the $49,750 event for juvenile trotting fillies. The daughter of Desperado Don has won six of eight starts this year under the guidance of trainer Jason MacDougall, who co-owns with Lee Clarke. I Rhoda Daley is expected to have the driving services of Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey. Her two opponents in the rich final are Ms Katie B and Jennifer, the latter having beaten I Rhoda Daley on two occasions this fall.

The $53,500 Breeders Stakes Final for two year-old trotting colts and geldings will follow with Jay and Kim Sears' Brian, named after Jay's Hall of Fame son, after his fourth straight win in his class. The gelded son of Proud Bushy will likely have to deal with Prairie Eclipse, still a maiden although he has been second to Brian on several occasions during this fall season.

The $53,000 two-year-old final will feature Gold Star Diablo, a gelded son of Mysticism. Trained by Mike Deters for owner Dan Clements, Gold Star Diablo will be looking to extend his current winning skein to six to go along with a sharp 1:54.3 mark set earlier in the month at Pompano Park. Silver Wings, who has a pair of wins in Florida Stakes action this fall, is expected to provide the main competition in the race, along with Jay Jay, who hasn't been worse than third in his eight career starts.

In the $53,100 final for three-year-old trotting fillies, Atlantic Crest, last year's juvenile champion in her class, will look to repeat this year and has been untouchable in her five starts this year at Pompano Park for owner-trainer-driver Sergio Corona. The daughter of Crest has been a dominant winner in each of her starts and owns a 1:55.2 mark to go along with a bankroll of $102,386 coming into Super Night.

The final non-wagering events will pit last year's champion, Im Done, against Azzaro – the rivalry has turned into a slugfest through a gruelling ‘16 rounds.’ Each has eight wins and eight seconds in their 16 encounters and are, thus far, in a ‘dead-heat’ for Horse of the Year honours. Im Done is trained by Jim McDonald for owner Troy Basista and will have John MacDonald in his bike while Azzaro, trained by Kim Sears, who co-owns with husband Jay, will have Wally Hennessey handling the lines.

The $54,500 Breeders Stakes final for the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings is the first of three events on the pari-mutuel card and will kick off the early daily double. Prairie Panther, the splendid altered son of Royel Millennium, is expected to garner the most attention off of a six-race winning streak at Pompano Park this fall. Trained by Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Panther comes into the race off of a very sharp 1:54.3 performance, which was capped off by a :27 sprint home. Jim Meittinis is expected back in the sulky and will have to contend with Maybe Ned, Fifth Son, Gold Star Bugsy and Gold Star Spider along the way.

The $53,800 race for juvenile pacing fillies, which has been carded as Race 3, is expected to be highly competitive, as Krinda, who had been somewhat dominant until last week, will lock horns with Starcasim and Prairie Easter, who were ‘one-two’ and noses apart last week. Krinda, a daughter of Six Of Diamonds, will have Wally Hennessey in the bike for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears. Starcasim, yet another daughter of Mysticism, is owned by Russ Guardino along with trainer-driver Joe Sanzeri. Prairie Easter will have Corey Braden handling her lines for trainer Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin and John Spindler.

The sophomore pacing fillies will be vying for a share of a $55,400 purse with Tay Tay M, Gold Star Aurora and Prairie Cowgirl seemingly coming in with the best credentials. Tay Tay M made her Pompano Park fall debut a winning one in 1:55.1 for Wally Hennessey. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds, trained by Kim Sears for owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, comes into the action with the fastest mark of the group – 1:53.4 – over Pocono Downs. Gold Star Aurora, a daughter of Rock On, trained by Maggie Audley for her ‘mom,’ Marianne, will look to retain the crown she won last year and has never been off the board in 15 starts – 11 of which are wins. James (J.D.) Yoder will drive. Prairie Cowgirl, a slick daughter of Royel Millennium – who is co-owned by trainer Deters along with Laurie Poulin and John Spindler – has been ‘1-2-3 ‘in 19 of 20 career starts and has drawn the rail in the race for Jim Meittinis.

The Super Night program also features a very classy quintet going postward in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace. Panocchio, Mister Daytona, Bestinthebusiness, Sing For Me George and Drachan Hanover comprise the field, which features the lifetime winners of almost $2,000,000.

Post time for the pari-mutuel card is set for 7:20 p.m., with the non-wagering events pegged to get underway at 6:00 p.m.

(Pompano Park / FSBOA)

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