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Lil Shorta Cash, Valiant Corona Win at Hialeah

Florida track kicks off closing weekend with two feature races.

February 18, 2012

Rodney Layne Harmon’s Lil Shorta Cash (Panther Mountain-Shakem Ur Cash), trained by Jackie Kirby and ridden by Cody Rodger Smith, made up for a pair of recent disappointments by winning Saturday’s $20,000 South Florida Quarter Horse Invitational Stakes, a consolation event for the fastest 10 runners that did not qualify for Sunday’s rich South Florida Quarter Horse Derby.

The winner hit the finish line two lengths in front of Eyema Little Ten, with El Cartel Del Oro a head back of the runner-up in third. Lil Shorta Cash stopped the timer in :21.695 running the classic distance of 440 yards. After the top trio, the official order of finish was: Dashin Shiner, Mo Zoomo, Gold N Boy, Upgraded, Oceans Potion, Askin Aint Getting and Okey Dokey Diamond.

In Saturday’s earlier co-feature, the $26,319 AQHA Maiden Stakes, Nancy McCoy’s homebred Valiant Corona (Valiant Hero-Corona Three), saddled by leading trainer Charlton Hunt and ridden by leading rider Alex Baldillez Jr., registered a facile three-quarter length victory over First Black Corona. The race, which is not an official stakes, was restricted to Bank of America Racing Challenge-enrolled horses 3-years-old and up that were maidens at the time of nomination.

The winner, one of two non-maidens eligible to run under the race conditions, covered the distance of 300 yards in :15.550.

The total mutuel handle for the 31st day of the 2011-2012 Quarter Horse season was $186,136 with an estimated crowd of 2,500 on hand to witness the day’s events.

“Horse Of The Meeting” honors will be on the line Sunday, closing day, when the iconic South Florida racing palace presents four stakes races, including the Sailfish, the aforementioned South Florida Quarter Horse Derby and the Hialeah Invitational, as part of a 10-race program.

Three-time winner Skyline Lover, a prohibitive choice in the 1000-yard, $25,000 Sailfish, and double winner TF First Pick, a major player in the $100,000 South Florida Quarter Horse Derby, are the two runners that have their eyes on meet-end honors for 2011-2012.

The $75,000 Hialeah Invitational features a rare dozen going 440 yards. The race showcases a field of solid runners including Hialeah Derby winner Tortuga Tony, multiple local stakes winner Chi Ter, the well-traveled and highly accomplished Jess A Runner and Streakin System, a winner of three straight races at the meet.

First post will be at 2:05 p.m. EST, parking and admission are free and “early birds” can enjoy a free Music At Midday concert presented by the Grammy-award winning group Cachao’s Mambo All-Stars.