Escuela scored a repeat win in Pompano Park’s $10,000 Open Handicap Trot on Monday night thanks to her 1:55.2 triumph over a very sloppy oval.
The five-year-old daughter of ABC Garland, driven by Ed Hensley and dead last early on, used her patented devastating closing punch to score by a length over Shes All In and Cashahallic.
As the Hummer wings opened, Shes All In darted out from post five into a quick early lead with Pounce Hanover settling in the garden spot and Highland Yankee third followed by Count Speed, Uriel, Cashahallic, Rainbow Gold and, finally, Escuela, about nine lengths away at the :27.4 opener.
Under the wire the first time, the action heated up as an outer tier developed with Uriel going first up, Cashahallic following the live cover and Escuela wending her way into contention third over (but still sixth) through a half in a softened up :58.2. On the backside, Uriel brushed up to take command with Cashahallic now second at the third station in 1:26.3.
Meanwhile, Escuela was charging into contention and swinging widest of all turning for home with her “Holly Holm” punch (: 28.1) more than enough to score the repeat win.
After the race, driver Ed Hensley said, “last week, it was the ‘Rousey’ punch that did it. This week, it was the ‘Holly Holm kick’ that got us to the winner’s circle.
“She’s really good now so we enjoy the times when she’s good because it’s not always this way in this business. We have ‘ups and downs’ and we’re just thankful for these times!”
Owned by the Hensleys—Ed and Ashleigh—Escuela earned her 10th win of the year in 31 starts to send her seasonal bounty to $79,770 and $157,226 lifetime. She paid $7.00 to win as the second choice in the betting.
Also of note on the card, trainer Mark Friedman and driver Mickey Mc Nichol teamed up for a “daily double” of their own when Mc Nichol piloted both Lugar ($9.60) and Gold Savage ($10.00) home first for the Polo Stables.
In the night’s third race, Lugar, the “Famously” bred Florida product (yes, he is by Famously), scored a repeat gate-to-wire victory in 1:56.3 over Imminent Response and Sailer Eddie, sending his lifetime scorecard to 27-27-27 in 146 career starts.
This consistent seven-year-old has a 4-4-4 record this season in 28 starts, good for $33,472.
The Mc Nichol-Friedman team struck again a few races later when Gold Savage made a sharp quarter move to the front in a driving rainstorm to score in 1:56.4 to send his lifetime bounty within a whisker or two of $100,000--$98,573 to be exact.
This five-year-old son of Keystone Savage earned his fourth win of the year and 18th lifetime in 1:56.4, pinning a handy defeat on the fast closing Elin (Rob Hoffman) with Eagle Scout (Dennis Duford) third.
Yet another highlight on the card was the performance of Back To Peace ($29.60) in the high class claiming trot.
This six-year-old son of Angus Hall took a lifetime mark of 1:55.3 this night and repelled the strong threat of Bambino Hall to score a near wire-to-wire win for Steve Condren, making a rare appearance here in South Florida. Saint Pattys Doll was third, almost six lengths away.
That victory, incidentally, was the final leg of Pompano Park’s Pick-5 with nary a single ticket sold on the 4-1-4-6-1 combo and creating a carryover of $8,320 and a guaranteed pool of $30,000 for the Tuesday night program.
Post time for the Tuesday opener is 7:30 p.m. with that $30,000 guaranteed Pick-5 pool beginning in the first race.