Saturday, December 8, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 8, 2007 . . . Half Heaven showed her class at Turfway Park Saturday, scoring a repeat win in the $50,000 My Charmer Stakes to run her trophy total here to four. Marquee Delivery charged hard to take second, falling 3/4 of a length short. Maneuvering through traffic, the closer April Frost split horses late and gained quickly to finish third, another half length back.
With 1 1/16 miles to run, Half Heaven broke well and settled patiently about mid-pack while Put Away the Halo set unchallenged fractions of :23.71 and :46.76 on a lead that grew to four lengths down the backstretch. Approaching the final turn, jockey Dean Sarvis moved Half Heaven three wide and came to and passed the tiring leader at the top of the turn. From that point to the wire it was up to the closers to catch her. Final time for the race was 1:43.34.
"She loves Polytrack, she's a game mare, and she runs hard every time you lead her over," said winning trainer Dale Romans. "They were going awfully fast up front, and I thought Dean rode a great race. When she gets to the front it's hard for a horse to get by her. She's very competitive. It’s hard to beat an old class mare."
The 5-2 favorite, Half Heaven paid $7.40, $4, and $3 for her work Saturday. This year's running of the My Charmer was the 5-year-old mare's 29th career start and her ninth this year. In addition to her back-to-back My Charmer wins, she also won Turfway's Wintergreen Stakes and the Fairway Fun Stakes this year.
Half Heaven's lifetime stats, compiled almost entirely on turf or all-weather surfaces, stands at nine wins, nine seconds, two thirds, and earnings of $435,526. Bred in New York by David Cassidy, Half Heaven was purchased last year as a broodmare prospect by owners Elfriede and Andrew Stronach but has continued in training.
"Where she goes from here will be up to Mr. Stronach, and I guess we'll talk about it this week. We missed [breeding her] last year but it was worth it, maybe—I don’t see any reason to stop," laughed Romans after Half Heaven's thoroughly professional performance.
Completing the order of finish were Water Gap, Put Away the Halo, Generosity, Dashes N Dots, Now More Than Ever, Le Chateau, and Girls Pearls. Expected starters Cause She's Crafty and Our Dancing Babe scratched. Jill Indy Pulpit and Luna Dorado did not draw in from the also-eligible list and also scratched.
Racing continues at Turfway on Sunday with first post at 1:10 pm.