Isella responded to hand pressure in the stretch to run down favored Dave's Friend in the $25,000-added Terrapin Handicap at Bowie yesterday. Fuzzbuster was a distant third.
Dave's Friend, whose owner-trainer Robert Beall had secured a court injunction against preventing him from running with the drug Lasix, took the early led under Vince Bracciale, speeding the half in :45.
Nearing the stretch, jockey Bill Passmore sent Isella, a 5-year-old son of Peace Corps, up to challenge Dave's Friend. The pair fought it out past the eighth pole where Isella's superior condition, plus the 128-pound impost on the favorite, began to tell. Isella carried 117 pounds.
The running time of 1:09 3-5 for the six furlongs was the fastest for that distance at the current meeting. The winner paid $8.20, the 1-2 exacta $12.60.
Owner Leon Blusiowics said in the winner's circle, "it was a big race for him. We expect to try the Fort McHenry at 1 1-16 miles on July 4."
In the eighth race, multiple stakes winner Jameela toted 124 pounds while scoring a narrow victory over New York invader Smarta Dancer. Jameela was ridden by Passmore, who drove the 4-year-old filly home in 1:45 2-5 for the 1 1-16 miles.
The crowd of 10,996 wagered $1,378,228 on the 10-race card.