Engling for the Win at HITS

By November 6, 2015
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Smooth sailing for Margie Engle and Royce, who blew in for the win from Wellington, FL.
(Photo: ESI Photography)

Margie Engle continued her winning ways at the HITS Desert Horse Park, winning the $65,500 Sunshine Classic with Royce on Nov. 4, just a day after winning the  $50,000 HITS Welcome Stake on Abunola. The journey from Engle’s home town of Wellington, FL, was clearly worth the trip for winter competition at the National Sunshine Series II.

Thirty-seven competitors jumped Thursday’s Classic course of 15 efforts designed by Alan Wade of Tipperary, Ireland. Five were able to advance to the jump-off. Jonathan McCrea and Special Lux were first to attempt the abbreviated course, impressed onlookers as they cruised through problem-free in 37.890 seconds.The first to challenge McCrea’s lead was his wife, Christine McCrea, on Win for Life. They too had an impressive round, clocking 39.360. Both horses are owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables.

Hot off their prior week’s win in the $50,000 Sunshine Series Grand Prix win, Rich Fellers and Flexible chased the clock and McCrea’s top time. All was going in Feller’s favor until a rail at the second-to-last fence resulted in 4 faults to place him in third.

Paris Sellon and Adare were fourth in, completing the course fault free in a time of 37.960, nudging into second place by a tenth of a second.  Anchoring the jump-off, Engle kept her cool and lived up to her reputation as a careful, accurate speedster.

In Wednesday’s $50,000 HITS Welcome Stake, Engle and Abunola were among 12 who made the jump-off (along with both McCreas).

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