Pompano Beach, FL — Casie’s Believer, brilliantly handled by Joe Chindano Jr., split horses in deep stretch to capture Pompano Park’s $11,000 Open for Mares on Tuesday (April 20), stopping the timer in 1:53.
The 6-year-old daughter of Betterthancheddar eked out the narrow win by stalking the leading Prairie Westerngal (Wally Hennessey) throughout in the garden spot, leaving the cozy pocket when they straightened away for the drive home and finally held off a determined Tempus Seelster (Dave Ingraham) by a length with Prairie Westerngal another half-length away.
It was Prairie Westerngal leaving with her usual alacrity off the wings with her sharp early foot opening enough daylight to allow Casie’s Believer to find the spot in the garden right behind. Through an opening panel of :27.4, positions remained virtually unchanged through the :57.3 half with only Tempus Seelster gaining a spot from fifth into fourth.
As the pace quickened on the backside with a :27.3 split, Prairie Westerngal maintained her lead with Casie’s Believer breathing on Hennessey’s helmet and Tempus Seelster right alongside. During the :27.4 finale, Chindano wended Casie’s Believer out and threaded his way through for the victory.
In a post-race interview, Chindano related, “Casie’s Believer is very handy and very sharp right now. She’s consistently good and seems to be as fresh at the end of a mile as at the beginning. I left out of there figuring I might be able to make the top and then sit second on a retake by Wally’s (Hennessey) mare, who is terrific, as well. When the two spot opened up, I took it, hoping for the best when it counted. She really dug in halfway down the stretch.”
Owned and trained by Chindano, Casie’s Believer won for the fourth time this year, giving her a scorecard reading 4-6-1 in 14 starts, good for $42,390, already eclipsing her 2020 earnings. She’s banked $138,624 lifetime. Off at 4-5 on the board, Casie’s Believer paid $3.80 to win.
The $10,000 Open II Handicap Trot went, in an upset, to Enzio, driven by Jim Meittinis.
The 5-year-old gelded son of Neely Dunn started gnawing away on turn two, brushed up to join the fray around the final bend and wore down The Lionking AS (Kevin Wallis) to score by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54.4. The favored Stick With Me Kid (Hennessey) finished another neck back in third.
Trained by Kelly Paver, who co-owns with Julie Davis, Enzio earned his second win of the year in a dozen starts, building his seasonal bounty to $15,935 and $84,741 lifetime. As fourth choice on the board at 8-1, Enzio paid $18.40 to win.
Racing continues on Sunday with a competitive eight-race program with post time scheduled for 7:20 p.m.