The five-year-old altered son of, trained by for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, took command in the sextet shortly after the wings folded and, given superb rating, wired together panels of :28.4, :58 and 1:26.1 to stop the tele-timer in 1:55, his winning margin 1 Â¾ lengths over Permanent Joy ( ) with My Revenuer (Bryce Fenn) third and 5 ½ lengths away. Go Jesse Jo was placed fourth ahead of the 7 to 5 favorite, Jolene's Pinehonker, who was disqualified after an extended miscue through the stretch.
The win was Count Speed's third of the year in five starts and 15th lifetime, sending his career bankroll to $144,398.
In a post-race interview, both trainer and driver gave credit to the other for the Count Speed's recent successes.
Said trainer, "This is a very difficult horse to drive. He's fast, yes, but he has a mind of his own and is hard to handle. He sure doesn't like to train and it takes a very delicate set of hands--like Wally's--to get him around the racetrack without incident.
Driverput all of the praise on his brother, trainer Dan. "It's hard to keep this horse comfortable. Every little thing bothers him. If it's not this, it's that. If it's not that, it's this. Dan made a few changes over the past few weeks and it's his wisdom as a trainer that has led to Count Speed's success. It is Dan that has made this horse as good as he is right now."
As second choice in the wagering, Count Speed paid $5.20 to win.
by John Berry, for the Isle Pompano Park