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Pompano Beach, FL...Oct. 26, 2019...Amid intermittent sprinkles and strong winds, the outstanding Six of Diamonds filly Natasha extended her winning streak to 11 dating back over the last 13 months with a handy 1:56 win over a Pompano Park track labeled “good” dulled a bit by the aforementioned rain. The win came during the eight race Sunshine State Stakes for Florida eligible two and three year-old sponsored by the FSBOA--Natasha’s win in the division for three year-old pacing fillies. Handled again by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears, Natasha brushed to the lead around the opening bend and carded fractions of :27.4, :58.3 and 1:27 before a final panel of :29 sealed the deal over a game Gold Star Stormie (Corey Braden) with Lime Twist (Mike Micallef) a late charging third. The win pushed Natasha’s career bounty close to $75,000 with the bulk of the lucrative Florida stakes season looming ahead in the next few weeks. In admiring the talent of Natasha, Hennessey related, “She does everything right. She knows how to leave and, when she make the top, she knows how to relax and she knows how to fight when the competition starts to throw their punches.” It was one of four wins for Hennessey on the non-betting stakes program with the Hall of Fame driver also scoring with Prairie Gold Mine in the two year-old trot for the boys, Kerry B in the sophomore filly trot and Damien Hall in the three year-old trot featuring a quartet of geldings. Hennessey’s scorecard reads 13-4-2 in his 20 starts during this early stakes season. Here is a recap of the Saturday third leg action of the Sunshine State Stakes: TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT--PRAIRIE DELIGHT Prairie Delight kept her lifetime record unblemished with her third straight career victory, scoring for trainer-driver Jim McDonald in a lifetime best 2:06.1. The daughter of Shibboleth Hanover survived a skittish moment while making a quarter move to the top and went on to sore a win measuring a neck over the late surging Brasen Bo (Mickey McNichol). Whitney Annette (Dave Ingraham) finished third in her quintet, well back of the top two. After the event, driver McDonald explained, “when I made that move for the lead around Mickey’s filly, my filly shied away from Mickey’s whip and she went way wide. She kept her composure, though, made the lead and dug in late. She gave me all she had and that’s all I expect from my young horses.” Co-owned by McDonald along with wife Dona and Bill Bigler, Prairie Delight is yet another strong youngster bred by Laurie Poulin. TWO YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING TROT--PRAIRIE GOLD MINE Prairie Gold Mine, handled by Wally Hennessey, extended his unbeaten streak to two with a solid 2:04.3 win--his margin two lengths over Prairie Romeo (Dave Ingraham) with Rhinestone Cowboy (Mike Micallef) third after recovering from an early miscue. Prairie Gold Mine, a gelded son of Diamond Goal, took charge early on and carved out fractions of :31.1, 1:03.3 and 1:34.3 before holding off a brief bid from the runner-up with a :30 closer. Prairie Gold Mine is co-owned by breeder Laurie Poulin along with Fred Morosini, Fritz Racing and trainer Mike Deters. TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE--GOLD STAR IGOTDIS Gold Star Igotdis, gave driver Walter Ross, Jr. all he could handle during a vastly improved 2:01 win, featuring an individual :58.2 final half by the winner, including a :28.3 finale. The young lass by Rock On was away third allowing Pocahontas Cam (Mike Micallef) to set the pace of :30, 1:02 and 1:31.4 with Alil Touch of Pink in the garden spot before she tilted out with 5/16ths remaining, wearing down the leader in the final 16th and drawing away late while racing in the center of the track. Trained by Maggie Audley for the Gold Star Farm, it was the first success in three life starts for Gold Star Igotdis prompting trainer Audley to remark, “We absolutely couldn’t have done this without the great horsemanship of Wally Ross, Jr. “He always said this filly had some potential and, after her first two starts, we were beginning to have our doubts but Wally said ‘I’m tellin’ ya, she’s gonna be all right. Let’s just let her get over her growing pains and she’s gonna be a real good filly! “Like I said, ‘we couldn’t have done this without Wally. He is just a great horseman!” Prairie Fashion (Dave Ingraham) finished third in this quartet of fillies. TWO YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING PACE--HURRIKANE KINGJAMES Hurrikanekingjames, driven this time around by Carl Garofalo, controlled the festivities from his rail post position and led every stride of his mile, hitting the wire in 2:00.2. This son of So Surreal, trained by Michile Lorenzo for the Jonathan Klee Stable, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and George Vierno, sawed through panels 30.2, 1:01.1 and 1:30.3 before a :29.4 jaunt home sealed the affair easily over Shuldahadahunemoon (Nick Coblentz) by 10 3/4 lengths. This two year-old races like a seasoned veteran with 4-0-2 scorecard in 12 lifetime starts and earnings approaching $59,000 to go along with a sharp Saratoga mark of 1:55.1. THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT-KERRY B Kerry B proved, once again, that she loves her Florida surroundings as this daughter of Muscle Mass toured Pompano Park’s “good” oval in 2:04.1, dodging raindrops along the way. Handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner-husband Jay Sears, Kerry B had an open lead all the way around while posting panels of :30.3, 1:02.2 and 1:33.1 before coasting home to hit the line in 2:04. Proud Sophie (Dave Ingraham) was second, a nose better than Crown Bushy (Bryce Fenn)--both 7 1/2 lengths away. Kerry B is perfect at Pompano this fall semester with her lifetime earnings around $58,000. THREE YEARA-OLD COLT/GELDING TROT--DAMIAN HALL Damien Hall, handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Jim McDonald and the Pacing Pretty Stable, cruised around the Pompano Park oval in a lifetime best 2:00.1, a new lifetime mark. The altered son of Cash Hall, using the rail post position to perfection, churned through panels of :29.2, 1:01.1 and 1:31.2 before shutting the door on his opposition with a sharp :28.4 finale. McGoldrick (Dave Ingraham) tried to stay with the leader but made a miscue in the lane and finished 10 3/4 lengths away. Savin Park (John Campagnuolo) was third in the quartet. The win kept Daamian Hall’s record unblemished this year at 3-for-3 and left McDonald’s training scorecard during this early stakes season at a perfect 5-for-5. THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE--NATASHA Natasha pushed her winning streak to 11 stretching back to September 15, 2018 with a sharp 1:56 performance for Wally Hennessey, who was in the bike for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears, The outstanding daughter of Six of Diamonds took charge from Gold Star Stormie shortly after the start and put up numbers of :27.4, a well rated :58.2 and a picked up 1:27 before stretching her lead with every stride during a :29 final quarter. Gold Star Stormie (Corey Braden) did finish second while Lime Twist (Mike Micallef) was a very fast closing third. Natasha, last year’s Super Night champion in her juvenile division for pacing fillies, now is undefeated in three starts this year with her lifetime bounty approaching $75,000. Said Hennessey after the win, “What can I say that hasn’t been said already. She does this all on her own...like a guy in the cockpit on automatic pilot.” THREE YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING PACE--JB’S BOOMERANG JB’S Boomerang, a gelded son of Royel Millennium, finally got his first lifetime win with a furious closing kick to win in 1:57 for driver-trainer Bryce Fenn. After just missing last week, JB’s Boomerand rallied way wide at the top of the lane as the field stretched four across the track in the final 16th and just did nose out Mister Marvalous (Wally Hennessey), who found his best stride late while saving ground along the pylons. The official margin was a neck. Gold Star Hefner (Corey Braden) was hung out to dry like wet laundry through panels of : 29.4, :59.3 and 1:28, actually stuck his nose in front just yards from the wire, and finished a very game third. Bryce is part-owner of the winner along with Marah Lee and, after the race, said, “well, we finally got there. He’s been racing so well--as have the others--and today was no different. He always gives his all and, today, that proved to be enough. It’s a very well matched division.” Pompano Park’s pari-mutuel season begins next Sunday, November 3. by John Berry, for the FSBOA and Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...Oct. 19, 2019...Sunshine State Stakes continued at Pompano Park on Saturday with Wally Hennessey winning five of his seven harness racing drives during the eight non-wagering events for two and three year-olds.   The Hall of Famer started his win rampage with the first time starter Prairie Gold Mine in the two year-old trot for colts and geldings and then continued his winning ways with Laurie Lee in the juvenile filly pace, Kerry B in the three year-old filly trot, Damien Hall in the sophomore trot for the three geldings entered and the outstanding Natasha in the three year-old filly pace.    Mike Micallef had a driving double on the card with Hurrikanekingjames in the two year-old event for colts and geldings and Zaza Boy winning a thriller in the pace consisting of a sextet of soph geldings. Jim McDonald kept his winning streak in the bike going with a win back of Prairie Delight in the trot for two year-old fillies.   On the training side of the ledger, Kim Sears had a triple, Jim McDonald and Michile Lorenzo had training doubles and Mike Deters returned to the Pomp with a training win, as well.   Here is a recap of the Saturday action.   TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT--PRAIRIE DELIGHT   Prairie Delight, a two year-old daughter of Shibboleth Hanover, led every stride of her mile from her outside post and scored a handy win for co-owner-trainer-driver Jim McDonald in 2:07.3. Proud Money (Wally Hennessey) was 4 1/2 lengths away in second as the winner built an insurmountable lead through panels of :31.2, 1:03.3 and 1:35.1 before coasting home unscathed. Brasen Bo (Mickey McNichol) rallied to be second. Prairie Delight is undefeated in her two lifetime starts.   McDonald owns in partnership with Dona McDonald and Bill Bigler.   TWO YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING TROT--PRAIRIE GOLD MINE   Prairie Gold Mine, making his first purse start after two qualifying events up north, made a quarter move to the top and went on to score a handy three length win for Wally Hennessey, who was in the bike for owners Laurie Poulin, Fred Morosini, Fritz Racing and trainer Mike Deters.   Carving out panels of 32.3, 1:04.2 and 1:35.3, this gelded son of Diamond Goal sprinted his final quarter in :29.4 to seal the deal over Rhinestone Cowboy (Mike Micallef) with Prairie Romeo (Dave Ingraham) next in the field of six.   After the event, Hennessey remarked, “he’s got a lot of speed alright and he could be a big factor if he minds his manners along the way. He was very sharp, especially once he got to the front!”   TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE--LAURIE LEE   Laurie Lee, with Wally Hennessey in her sulky driving for trainer Kim Sears and owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, scored a two length win over the late charging Pocahontas Cam (Mike Micallef) with Alil Touch of Pink (Marc Major) next, 4 1/4 lengths away.    The daughter of Royel MIllennium showed speed leaving from post four, took the field through a :29.1 opener and loafed to a 1:01.1 half before beginning her half-mile sprint home with a :29.2 third panel and :28.3 final, hitting the wire in 1:59.1.   It was her second consecutive win in Sunshine State Stakes action prompting Hennessey to briefly remark, “Pretty impressive...she might just be the real deal going down the line!”   TWO YEAR-OLD COLT-GELDING PACE--HURRIKANEKINGJAMES   In a similar situation to last week, Hurrikanekingjames, driven by Mike Micallef, coasted around the Pompano Park oval in an effortless 2:00 off of fractions of :31, 1:01 and 1:30.2.   The son of So Surreal, trained by Michile Lorenzo for Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investments and George Vierno, took advantage of rail post position in this “match race” or sorts and led at every pole, scoring a win measuring close to 10 lengths over Shuldahadahunemoon (Nick Cobelntz).   The “seasoned” Hurrikanekingjames now has three wins in 11 starts as a juvenile with earnings of over $56,000.   THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT--KERRY B   Kerry B, confidently handled by Wally Hennessey for trainer Kim Sears and owner -husband Jay, scored a handy win over her only opponent, Crown Bushy (Bryce Fenn) in the three year-old filly trot, stopping the timer in 2:01. The daughter of Muscle Mass, drawing the “outside” post in her event, allowed Crown Bushy to take advantage of the draw early before making a quarter (:30.2) to the top and posting subsequent panels of 1:01 and 1:31.1 before striding home in :29.2, reporting to the wire by 1 1/4 lengths.   Obviously enjoying her Pompano Park surroundings, Kerry B pushed her bankroll to $56,067 mark--$47,095 of that earned in South Florida.   THREE YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING TROT--DAMIEN HALL   Pacing Pretty Stable’s Damien Hall took top honors in the Sunshine State Stake for three year-old trotting geldings with a gate-to-wire win in 2:00.2--a new lifetime mark--for Wally Hennessey, in the bike this week for trainer Jim McDonald.   The sophomore son of Cash Hall out-brushed his rivals from his outside post and posted fractions of :29.3, 1:01.2 and 1:31.4 before a :28.3 final sprint home left him 2 1/4 lengths ahead of the much improved McGoldrick (Dave Ingraham) with Savin Park (John Campagnuolo) completing the order.   It was the second straight win for Damien Hall, who scored with McDonald in the sulky last week. In explaining the switch to Hennessey this time around, McDonald said, “It’s simple logic. Wally cannot beat me if he’s on my horse!”   THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY PAVE--NATASHA   Natasha, described as a “freak” by driver Wally Hennessey, extended her winning streak to 11 stretching back to last season with a very handy 1:56 win for the Kim Sears trainee.   Owned by Jay Sears, the daughter of Six of Diamonds let Gold Star Stormie (Walter Ross, Jr.) take the field through an opener of :28.1 before a sharp and confident quarter move to the top precluded subsequent panels of :57.3 and 1:27.2 before charging home in :28.3 to seal the deal over Gold Star Stormie and Rockin Ellie (Dave Ingraham).   After the opening panel, the only minor challenge came from Lime Twist, who brushed up on the backside to engage the leader around the final bend.   After the event, driver Hennessey remarked, “She s a ‘freak. That’s all there is to it. She just knows and does what she’s supposed to do...and without much effort.”   THREE YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING PACE--ZAZA BOY   Zaza Boy, driven by Mike Micallef, eked out a nostril decision over the late charging JB’s Boomerang (Bryce Fenn) in a lifetime best 1:54.4.   The altered son of Rockincam, trainer by Michile Lorenzo for owners Souren Hovsepian and Rod Lorenzo lowered his mark of 1:56.1 established last week, fending off the :27.4 closing kick of JB’s Boomerang prompting driver Micallef to say, “It was nip and tuck all the way home. Zaza (Boy) kept fighting all the way and, to tell you the truth, I didn’t know if he got there or not...but he fought all the way!”   Mister Marvalous (Wally Hennessey) was third over O’Brockoli and Gold Star Yoder in the talented sextet.   Zaza Boy led gate-to-wire (as he did last week) and carded panels of ;27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.1 and needed every ounce of his :28.3 finale to win it.   Sunshine State Stakes action continues with the third leg next Saturday with post time set for 11:00 a.m. after qualifiers.   by John Berry for the FSBOA and Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...Oct. 12, 2019...Pompano Park kicked off their Florida Stakes season with an eight race non-wagering program sponsored by the FSBOA on Saturday morning and, apropos during the baseball playoffs, a driving “grand slam” and two “doubles” highlighted the card. Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey had the grand slam pushing his lifetime win total to 10,292 while Jim McDonald and Carl Garofalo had the driving doubles. Hennessey reached the winner’s circle with Dave in the two year-old colt/gelding trot, Laurie Lee in the juvenile filly pace, Kerry B in the three year-old filly trot and Natasha in the sophomore filly pace. McDonald kicked off the festivities by Prairie Delight to a win in the filly trot for two yearolds and guided Damian Hall to a handy win in the three year-old trot featuring a trio of geldings. Garofalo guided Hurrikanekingjames to the winner’s circle in the two year-old colt/ gelding pace and then capped off the program with a sharp looking Zaza Boy in the three year-old pace featuring a sextet of geldings. Here is a complete recap of the eight race Sunshine State Stakes program: TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT-PRAIRIE DELIGHT Prairie Delight, perfectly handled by trainer Jim McDonald, led every step of her mile, kicking off her racing career with a 2:07 performance--her margin of victory just short of 20 lengths. The daughter of Shibboleth Hanover, owned in part by McDonald, along with Dona McDonald and Bill Bigler, carved up panels of :32, 1:02.3 and 1:34.3 along the way. Proud Money (Wally Hennessey) was second followed by Whitney Annette (Jay Sears) and Brasen Bo. TWO YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING TROT-DAVE Dave, a son of Proud Bushy, overcame a miscue early and then benefitted from others miscues during the first three-eights of the mile to inherit the lead and went on to score an 18 1/2 length win in 2:11.1 for Wally Hennessey. Trained by Kim Sears for owners Dr. David Fishman and Jay Sears built an insurmountable lead half way through the mile and left YD Dream Machine (Marc Major), Rhinstone Cowboy (Jay Sears) and Lincoln J in his wake to make his racing debut a winning one. Speaking of the win, Hennessey said, “this is one instance where time means nothing as long as you get to the winner’s circle.” TWO YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE-LAURIE LEE Laurie Lee, named after one of Florida’s most successful breeders, made a sharp quarter (:30) move to the top under the guidance of Wally Hennessey and went on to post panels of 1:00.3 and 1:30.4 before romping home in :28.2 to break her maiden in 1:59.1--her margin 3 1/4 lengths over Alil Touch of Pink (Marc Major) and Pocahontas Cam (Bryce Fenn) just another nose back in third. Gold Star Igotdis made a miscue three-eighths from home but did pick up the final check in this quartet. This daughter of Royal Millenium is trained by Kim Sears for Richard Dunmire and Jay Sears and registered her initial win in four career starts. TWO YEAR-OLD COLT/GELDING PACE-HURRIKANEKINGJAMES Hurrikanekingjames, already the author of a 1:55.1 over the Saratoga half-miler, had an easy task for Carl Garofalo, scoring by 15 1/2 lengths over Shuldahadahunemonn (Nick Coblentz). The slick So Surreal colt, owned by Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and George Vierno, repelled a quarter bid (:30) with a :28.1 second panel and then coasted rest of the journey to a 1:58.2 win. Now in the Lorenzo Stable and trained by Michile Lorenzo, Hurrikanekingjames now has a bankroll of over $53,000 in his 10 lifetime starts. THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT-KERRY B Kerry B, handled by Wally Hennessey, stalked her only rival, Crown Bushy (Bryce Fenn), through panels of :30.2, 1:01 and 1:31 before tilting out of her cozy pocket turning for home and went on to score her first win of the year in 2:00.3. The daughter of Muscle Mass, trained by Kim Sears for husband Jay, was clocked in : 29.2 coming home to push her lifetime bounty over $53,000. After the event, Hennessey remarked, “She seems to like her surroundings here at Pompano Park much better than up north. She was relaxed all the way and strong when I asked.” THREE YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS/GELDINGS-DAMIEN HALL With a trio of geldings going post-ward back of the Brownlee Starting Gate, Damien Hall trainer Jim McDonald got in the bike for the Pacing PrettyStable and guided the son of Cash Hall to a wire-to-wire win in a lifetime best 2:00.4--:28.4, eclipsing his former mark set last year by more than four seconds. Carding panels of :30, 1:01.2 and 1:32, Damien Hall left the pocket-sitter, Savin Park (Wally Hennessey) almost four lengths back at the wire. McGoldrick, with Ted Rau making his first purse start in the sulky since 2002, finished third and trotted his fastest career mile in doing so. THREE YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE-NATASHA Last years Super Night Champion, Natasha, driven by Wally Hennessey, made her first start as a sophomore and took charge an eighth into the mile, carded comfortable panels of :29.2, 58.4 and 1:28.2, and then sprinted home in :27.4 to score a handy win for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears in 1:56.1. The daughter of Six Of Diamonds scored by 3 1/2 lengths over the late charging Rockin Ellie (Bryce Fenn) with Gold Star Stormie (Walter Ross, Jr.) edging by Lime Twist for show honors. Natasha now has a lifetime scorecard reading 11-9-0-1, good for $70,675. “I let her do everything herself,” said Hennessey, “She was very, very sharp and I hope that bodes well for the rest of the season for her!” THREE YEAR-OLD COLT-GELDING PACE-ZAZA BOY Zaza Boy, driven by Carl Garofalo for trainer Michile Lorenzo, led every long stride of his mile and stopped the timer in a lifetime best 1:56.1--capped by a :28.2 finale. The gelded son of Rockincam popped off panels of:29, :59 and 1:27.4 before his romp home, defeating the late charging JB’s Boomerang (Bryce Fenn) by 1 1/2 lengths. Mister Marvalous (Wally Hennessey) in the pocket throughout the journey, was another neck back in third. The win gave Garofalo his driving double and provided trainer Michile Lorenzo with a similar accolade. Zaza Boy is owned by Souren Hovsepian along with Rod Lorenzo.  FSBOA’s Sunshine State Stakes resumes next Saturday morning. by John Berry, for Pompano Park and the FSBOA

It is no surprise to find Wally Hennessey winning a high rate of races in upstate New York during the summer. The Hall of Fame driver, who spends the non-summer months at Florida's Pompano Park, has enjoyed countless years of success at Saratoga's harness racing track going back to the late 1980s. This year, though, Hennessey has spent the summer competing at Tioga Downs. He decided the change would benefit the handful of trotters in his stable, the majority of which he thought would perform better on Tioga's five-eighths-mile oval compared to Saratoga's half-mile circuit. As it turned out, Hennessey's horses did not thrive at Tioga. But Hennessey did. With two nights of racing remaining in the 58-day Tioga Downs meet, Hennessey sits comfortably atop the driver standings with 131 wins. The total is a record for the track, which opened in 2006, shattering the previous high of 91 shared by Jim Marohn Jr. (2014) and Howard Parker (2007). Hennessey's win rate at Tioga is nearly 28 percent. "My main reason for going wasn't that I was thinking I was going to be the leading driver," Hennessey said. "My reason was because of my stable. As it turned out, I didn't do as well as I expected to do with my own stable and I did way better than I expected to do driving. So, you never know." Over the past 10 years, Hennessey won nearly 900 races during his summer sojourns in Saratoga, so it was not an easy decision to change his routine. "I love Saratoga, I love the town, I love the people there," said Hennessey, who turns 63 on Oct. 4. "I've seen kids raised and families and I've known people a long time. But this is a business, and this was a business decision. It wasn't something I was doing with my heart. I was doing it with my head. "When you're making a change, especially at my age, the older you get, the harder it is to do. There is always that unknown. But it couldn't have worked any better. I met so many nice people, and I think in life that's quite a thing too, that you're able to meet new people. "The people were so friendly and respectful. That's kind of the way I was raised on Prince Edward Island. They remind me of the same type people. I enjoyed it. I don't know where I'm going next year, but if that's my choice, I wouldn't be second-guessing it." Hennessey, whose decision to race at Tioga was made easier knowing that a number of horsemen from Pompano spent the summer there, graded his experience an "A-plus." He will drive the final two nights at Tioga Downs and then return to Florida and get ready for the Pompano Park meet, which begins Nov. 3. He will use October to get his stable ready for action after turning out his trotters three weeks ago. "My horses were just fair," said Hennessey, who has won the past four driving titles at Pompano. "Good isn't good enough for me, I have high expectations. My horses didn't race that great. I'm not sugar-coating nothing. They were not near as good as I thought they should be. I shut them down to refresh them for Pompano. "I won't be doing any driving (until Pompano resumes), and I need that as well, mentally and physically," he added. "But I'm very happy." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

Pompano Beach, FL...August 10, 2019...Joe Kroll, one of the highly respected and likable horseman in harness racing, passed away on August 8 at the age of 61. Born in Pittsburgh, PA on November 17, 1957, Joe had a long an storied career in harness racing since moving to Florida with his wife, Shawna, in 1983. While he did have success with Florida Stakes winners, including Indigo Swirl, J S Victory and Goucher, Joe played a huge roll in the success of big name stables and trainers such as Continental Farms and Team Nordin. His first notable success was with the world champion Tarport Frenzy, which solidified his reputation as a dedicated trainer with patience, passion and gentle hand that calmed even those horses that could be difficult to train. After his horse, Indigo Swirl, won a Florida Sunshine Stakes event in 2007, he was asked if he felt winning the major share of a lucrative event like that was like winning the lottery. In his typical and humble style, he said, "I won the lottery the day I met my wife!" Joe spent the last eight years working with Jim McDonald with that trainer paying homage to Joe Kroll by lamenting, "Time might be important on the racetrack but, around the barn, time was never important to Joe. In other words, he worked until he was satisfied that every horse in his care was satisfied to his high standards. "A typical example of that was, over the past two winters, he played a big role in the care and training of the great McWicked, last year's Horse of the Year. He, truly, was one of the great ambassadors of harness racing and contributed to the success of many great horses and horsemen. Besides his wife, Shawna, survivors include his sister, Susan Sichko (frank(, his brother, Mike (Denise), nieces and nephews. A memorial will be held at a later date. Anyone wishing to help defray medical costs can do so through Zelle using phone number 561-577-4596. by John Berry for the FSBOA  

Northfield, Ohio--After a successful winter season participating in amateur harness racing events at Pompano Park in Florida Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford made his seasonal Billings debut in late April at Miami Valley Raceway where his charge was an also-ran but tonight, May 13, at Northfield Park, the talented tail-setter scored his seventh seasonal triumph when he guided Mego Moss to a gate to wire 1:59.3 triumph turning back eight others to score 1:59.3 triumph over a track rated good. After starting from the pole position Oldford and Mega Moss were challenged Super Rock, driven by Brian "BJ" Miller, and they were one-two past the first stanza in a swift :28. But Miller found a spot behind Mega Moss which took the pressure off Oldford as he led the was by the halfway point in 1:00.1/ At that point Emanuel "Manny" Miller and Dd's Comet were in hot pursuit. However, Oldford's veteran trotter was up to the task and kept Dd's Comet at bay. When the field rounded the final turn and headed for home Mega Moss put away his challengers and began to open daylight on the field. In mid-stretch , 65-1 shot, Song In My Heart, driven by "Tiny Tim" Miller, took aim at Oldford but ole Mega Moss was up to that challenge and cruised home 3-1/4 length winner. Song In My Heart headed-out Moon Tan and driver "Lightweight Larry" Ferrari for second money. Meanwhile, the 3-10 betting favorite, Annie's Rocketman, with Gregg :Fast Greggy" Keidel aboard, lumbered home in fourth place. "My horse is a grand ole campaigner and loves to race and he's a real pleasure to drive,"said Oldford, who was recently named the Harness Racing Museum's Amateur Driver of the Year. Mega Moss, a 10 year old altered son of Amigo Hall, owned by Oldford Racing, returned $11.60 for win.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Goshen, NY -- The Florida Amateur Driving Association designated April 14 at Pompano Park as the Harness Horse Hall of Fame and Museum night by donating $2,000 to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in the “Cradle of the Trotter” Goshen, NY. On hand in South Florida to receive the “big check” presentation from the amateur drivers club and Pompano’s John Berry was Museum president Larry DeVan and trustee David McDuffee. During the special race card, four divisions were held with two each won by veteran amateur driver and former USHWA and Harness Racing Museum Amateur Driver of the year, Dein Spriggs and successful newcomer reinsman, Roy Dinges. In fact, Dein Spriggs won the first two races on the card, taking the Daily Double with his own Security Guard in the first, a Prayer I Am 5-year-old who posted a :28.2 final quarter off a two-hole trip, winning the mile in 1:57.3f.  The second race featured a gate-to-wire, nose victory by Fire In My Heart, which completed a $36.80 daily double payout. The following two Florida Amateur events were carded as races five and six, which were both won by Roy Dinges.  The first was captured by the heavy favorite Thundercrest who went to the top and never looked back.  The second saw Power And Faith overcome post 6 while being parked to the quarter in :28.2, to cruise home in 1:58.3f for Dinges. These races are part of the Amateur Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame series created by Steve Oldford and Dein Spriggs to raise money and awareness for the Museum.  The series continues on Hambletonian weekend at the Meadowlands, then moves to upstate New York at Goshen Historic Track during Grand Circuit week.  The schedule then continues on to Lexington’s famed Red Mile, with a grand finale at the Delaware (OH) County Fair on Little Brown Jug day for the final.   Chris Tully

Pompano Beach, FL…May 6, 2019…Buoyed by mandatory payouts on several events, Pompano Park closed out its 2018-2019 season with a strong Saturday harness racing finale with wagering topping $1.3 million.   The wagering highlight of the program came in the final race as the Super Hi-5, with its carryover of over $127,000, attracted over $256,000 in new wagers, vaulting that total pool to over $383,000.   While the program was dotted with several long-priced winners, chalk players were rewarded in the Super Hi-5 with favorites finishing one-two, resulting in over 8,700 winning tickets sold on the winning 6-5-2-7-1 combination returning $38.58 for the 20 cent investment.   Wally Hennessey led all drivers in wins with 359 while Mike Simons, Dave Ingraham, Rick Plano and John MacDonald rounded out the top five. Gaston Lareau led all trainers with 60 visits to the winner’s circle, edging Jim McDonald and Kim Sears in that department. Plano and MacDonald finished in a dead-heat for fourth in the trainers standings.   In the “batting average” (UDRS) department, Hennessey finished first at .522, competing in 920 races while achieving that lofty score. Pompano Park, in cooperation with the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association also presented its trainer incentive awards program with Gaston Lareau, John MacDonald, Dan Hennessey and Marie Schaefer taking the top prizes in their respective divisions.   Pari-mutuel racing resumes in early November with Florida bred two and three year-olds beginning their season in October in non-wagering events.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...May 5, 2019...It didn't take long for the aftershock from the Kentucky Derby "earthquake" to travel the 1,050 miles to Pompano Park as the South Florida harness racing track wrapped up its 2018-2019 racing season. While Dave Ingraham was the driving star with a "grand slam" of wins, the first aftershock came in the opening race as the Kelly Case owned and trained Kegler Hanover took the first of three amateur driving events in 1:58.1, as the longest proposition on the tote-board at 27 to 1. John Mungillo was in the bike as this nine year-old altered son of Crazed enjoyed patient handling and got up in the final strides to nail Security Guard (Dein Spriggs) right on the money. Fast Glider (Philippe Trudeau) was another nose back in the photo finish. The win was number 30 in the career of Kegler Hanover, now sporting $233,907 in career earnings. He paid $56.60 to win. About 19 minutes later, Corey Braden was in the bike as Hayden's Little Man, off at 25 to 1, came from last around the final bend to charge by all in the lane and stop the timer in 1:55. Haydens Little Man, the seven year-old gelded son of American Ideal, scored by 1 1/4 lengths over Jay Bees Grin N (Dave ingraham) with Norm At Work (Mike MIcallef) third, returning $53.80 to win, completing the early daily double worth $434.90. Trained by Dan Gassien for the Jemaxpo Racing Stable, Haydens Little Man pushed his 2019 scorecard to 4-2-2in 17 starts, good for $21,924 this semester and $130,031 career-wise. In the very next race, Lugar, now 11 years-of-age, turned the clock a few years as he wired his foes in 1:59.4 in the second Amateur event on the card. The win came at the expense of the late charging Deli-Craze (Ron Cisomano) and Groovey Kid (John Campagnuolo with the winner going off at 33 to 1 and returning $68.80 to his faithful. Said owner-trainer Leon Cable after the event, "Lugar turned the clock back a few years. He loves to get in the action early and this time he raced like he did some years ago. He got his memory back, that's for sure!" Making his 201st career start, Lugar won for the 33rd time, launching his lifetime earnings over the $250,000 mare--$251,057 to be precise. After that event, there were zero dollars still "alive" in the Pick-5, which wound up paying a healthy $511.35 for just three of five winners. The three $11,000 Open co-features went to Northern Dail in the mares open pace, Beer Dad on the trot, Caviart Reagan on the pace--all driven by Dave Ingraham. Northern Dali closed fastest of her five rivals to score in 1:55.2, capping the come-from-behind win with a :28.1 finale. The apcesetting Rock N Roll Rosie (Wally Hennessey) was second with the pocket sitting Goldstar Rockette (Corey Braden) next. Northern Dali, owned by the JP Houle Stables and trained by Gaston Lareau, paid $6.20 to her many faithful. Beer Dad, leaving from the outside eight post, had no trouble gaining the top spot and carved out panels of :27.2, :56 and 1:24.1 before a stroll home stopped the timer in 1:54.3 for Dave Ingraham. Owned and trained by George Coblentz, Beer Dad a five year-old son of Tequila Spur, sent his scorecard to 6-8-1 in 18 starts, sending his seasonal earnings to $50,985. Among his victims were Boli (Wally Hennessey) and the late charging Stache (Alessandro Spano). Beer Dad--4 to 5 on the tote-board--returned $3.80 to win. Minutes later, Ingraham was back in the bike steering Caviart Reagan to a photo finish win over the favored Rubofthegreen N (Wally Hennessey) in 1:52.2. The early leader, Team Captain, handled by Mickey McNichol, was next. In a very game performance, Caviart Reagan a five year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight, made a bid first up move on the backside, denting a picked up pace, and edged by Rubofthegreen N in the final stride or two. Owned and Trained by Jim McDonald, Caviart Reagan won for the fourth time this semester, sending his 2019 earnings to $29,790. As second choice, Caviart Reagan paid $6.20. Ingraham also won with Hairway To Heaven ($13.80) to a sharp win in 1:56.1 in the fourth race pentafecta for owner-trainer Stacey Laviolette. Chalk players did get revenge of sorts in the Super Hi-5 finale as the favored Jimi Wind Ricks, driven by Wally Hennessey, edged out second choice Sea Rocky Roll (Joe Sanzeri setting up a 20 cent Super Hi-5 payoff of $38.35. With a carryover of $127,000 going in, the final pool total was well over $300,000 with over 8,700 tickets on the winning combination. Wally Hennessey, with a pair of wins on the closing program, led all drivers with 359 wins and wound up with a UDRS (batting average) over .500, starting in over 900 races this season. During the final program, Racing Secretary Joe Frasier, along with FSBOA President Dein Spriggs, presented checks to the incentive award winners in four categories with Gaston Lareau taking top honors in the 12+ category with 59 wins, earning $25,000 in the program sponsored by the Isle and the FSBOA. John MacDonald received $16,000 as winner in the 6-11 category. Dan Hennessey received $8,000 in taking top honors in the 2 to 5 class while Marie Schaefer was the beneficiary in the "single" stable category. Peri-mutuel racing continues in early November with Florida bred stakes events scheduled as non-wagering events in October. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...May 3, 2019...Pompano Park will feature a trio of lucrative carryover plus awards to the leading trainers as the South Florida oval closes out its 2018-2019 racing season with a blockbuster 13 race harness racing program. The grand Super Hi-5 Finale features a carryover of $127,976.45 with a field of 10 programmed to start in a wide open affair. Leading driver Wally Hennessey will handle the morning line favorite, Jimi Wind Ricks, listed at 8 to 5. The six year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven will enjoy a steep drop in class as Hennessey tries to add to his record breaking win total of 357 during the first 125 racing programs. "It has been an unbelievable season," said Hennessey, "and I hope to put the finishing touches on it with a win in the finale. That would be the icing on the cake." The Pick-4 has a carryover of $13,219 and change and covers races six through nine. The track has also added a second Pick-4 beginning with race 10. The Pick-6, beginning in race three, also sports a carryover of $3,153. After the third race, Pompano Park will honor four trainers who won in their respective categories in the track's Incentive Program, rewarding those trainers that have competed from "start to finish" during the season. Gaston Lareau, John MacDonald, Dan Hennessey and Jeff Schaefer took top honors in their respective divisions as the track and the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association co-sponsored the lucrative event with prizes totaling over $50,000. Lareau had 59 wins during the meet, edging Jim McDonald (51) and Kim Sears (49) for top honors in the "12 plus" stable category. MacDonald took top honors with 41 wins in the "6-11" category while Dan Hennessey was victorious in the "2-5" list. Said Wally Hennessey about brother Dan's win, "I am so proud of Dan. He found near blindness all season long, showed up every day to take care of the atable and he did a miraculous job." Dan Hennessey had a 31-17-12 scorecard while sending 109 horses behind the starting gate, good for a UTRS of .408. Jeff Schaefer took top honors in the "one-horse-open sleigh" division. Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, as mentioned, was leading driver with 357 wins, far out-distancing Mike Simons (96) and Dave Ingraham (88) and was able to maintain a UDRS of over .500 in spite of driving over 900 races during the season. Pari-mutuel racing resumes in early November with Florida bred stakes action beginning in October with non-wagering legs leading up to the lucrative Super Night. by John Berry for Pompano Park          

Pompano Beach, FL - The curtain will close on the 56th racing season at Pompano Park on Saturday, May 4, with a thirteen race harness racing program getting underway at 7:20 p.m. Racing fans will be able to enjoy a few closing night carryovers: Race 3 - $3,154 50c Pick 6 (Mandatory Payout) Race 6 - $13,129 50c Pick 4 ($30,000G Pool in conjunction with USTA Strategic Wagering Program) Race 13 - $127,976 20c Jackpot Hi Five (Mandatory Payout) A special late Pick 4 has been added to the card covering races 10-13. Live racing is slated to return to the South Florida oval in early November.              

Pompano Beach, FL...May 1, 2019...Fleetwood Hall, perfectly and confidently handled by harness racing driver Ed Hysell, stepped up the ladder to the top class at Pompano Park and promptly disposed of his six worthy foes in a lifetime best 1:54.3 in the $13,000 Open I Trot on Tuesday night. Trained by Miriam Toland, this nine year-old gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe was near the back of the pack early before starting to gnaw away with a lap to go. From that point, he swept widest of all when straightened away and used a :28.4 finale to score by three lengths over the pacesetting Beer Dad, driven by Dave Ingraham. William Star, with Wally Hennessey in his sulky, finished third, almost seven lengths away, while Joey Pro and Thundercrest picked up the final two awards in the classy septet. It was William Star who, first, blasted off the wings into an early lead, yielding to Beer Dad before the :27.4 opener. Beer Dad owned the lead through a :56.4 half and sprinted clear by 2 1/2 lengths through the third station in 1:25.2 with Fleetwood Hall on the prowl. Once they turned for home, all it took was one chirp from Hysell and Fleetwood Hall did the rest all on his own in completing his lifetime best performance. Said Hysell after the event, Miriam (trainer Toland) takes such tender loving care of Fleetwood (Hall) and it sure shows when he's on the racetrack. She jogs him and then, just about every day, gives him the pleasure of going on the aquaciser treadmill and, yes, he's nine, but racing like a young three year-old. What a job she's done! "She has him in such great shape--and I have so much confidence in him--that I told her before the race, 'if I'm within three lengths of them turning for home, I'll have you in the winner's circle!" Fleetwood Hall now has a 4-3-0-0 scorecard this season, good for earnings of $16,600. Lifetime, the gallent gelding has 29 wins and $138,818 in bounty. Off as the third choice in the betting, Fleetwood Hall paid $14.40 to win. By the way In terms of "batting average" among trainers with 10 or more starts, Ms. Toland, with her one-horse stable, is the leader with a UTRS of a lofty .667. Racing continues of Saturday night with a blockbuster 13 race program, highlighted by three carryovers with mandatory payoffs on the Pick-6, Pick-4 and Super Hi-5. The Pick-6 carryover has a carryover of $3,153.58, The Pick-4 is worth $13,219.37 going in to Saturday's finale and the Super Hi-5 carryover is a lofty $127,976.45 with that pool expected to peak at well over $200,000. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...April 30,2019...On the heels of Wally Hennessey's touchdown and extra point on Pompano Park's Sunday night harness racing program, driver Mike Micallef turned the page to the hockey mode as the talented driver score a hat trick--three wins--on the Monday night card. To kick things off, Micallef guided I'm Very Special to a maiden win for the John Mungillo trained daughter of American Ideal. Melvyn Colby owns the three year-old. Unraced at two, I'm Very Special scored in 1:57.3 in her fourth lifetime start, capping the mile with a :28.3 finale after a quarter move to the top. Said Micallef after the win, "John (trainer Mungillo) just got her and I was just fortunate that he asked my to drive her. She's a nice filly. I left with her in her first start for him and found a good early spot, but she was in against a very tough winner (Rock N Zeus). This week, she drew much better and she left alertly and I decided to send her on that early move. She didn't disappoint me, that's for sure!" As third choice in the betting, I'm Very Special paid $7.20 to win, which came at the expense of Uschil Hanover (Walter La Freniere, Jr.) and Worth Considering (Dewayne Minor). Next, Micallif guided the 32 to 1 outsider, Keystone Christa ($67.40) to a half length victory over Goldstar Rockette (Corey Braden) in 1:54.1, a seasonal best performance. Stonebridge Pearl (Dave Ingraham) rounded out the top three as McCovery Cove (N) and the 1 to 5 favorite, Sweet Bet, got in a war that took them half way through the mile in :55. Micallef related, "That was just a case of being in the garden spot, that's all. Sometimes, things work out and sometimes they don't. They worked out great for me as we were just biding our time behind the battle up front." Keystone Christa, a 10 year-old daughter of Mach Three, is conditioned by Mr. Bev Kingston for owner Lee Cullen, with the win being her 28 lifetime, sending her career bankroll to $170,457. About 19 minutes later, Micallef completed his consecutive "hat trick" by steering Ask Me Ifi Care to a handy win in 1:53.4. Owned by Anita MIcallef along with Libby Myers, the four year-old daughter of Manhardt led every long stride of her mile, clocking panels of :28.1, :57 and 1:25.3 with that :28.1 finale sealing the issue over Rock N Roll Rosie (Wally Hennessey) and Gold Star Mysti (John MacDonald). The win extended the mare's winning streak to four, after a throat operation a few weeks ago. Said Micallef, "She wasn't quite finishing her miles and, when we checked on why, we discovered the problem and had it surgically fixed. If they cannot breathe, they can't win. Well, she cane breathe now and she's show that this month!" Ask Me Ifi Care paid $3.20 to her multitude of faithful. Racing continues on Tuesday night with the jackpot Super Hi-5 finale now sporting a carryover of $125,463.31. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Pompano Beach, FL...April 29, 2019... With the 2019 NFL Football Draft in the sports headlines, Hall of Fame harness racing driver Wally Hennessey scored a touchdown of his own on Sunday night at Pompano Park...and added the extra point, as well, as he won seven races on the eight race program--missing the sweep by a neck. Hennessey won with his own Boli ($2.40) in the opener as the Dan Hennessey trainee scored in 1:57.3 to kick off the Hennessey-Ingraham Pro-Am Challenge, an event benefiting three major charities in a four race competition pitting team Hennessey against Team Ingraham, captained by Dave Ingraham. He completed his early daily double sweep by guiding Race Me Rocky ($2.20) to a handy win in 1:55.1. Race Me Rocky is trained by John Mungillo for owner Delmis Esquival. Next, Hennessey guided the Donna Gilson-Eferstein owned and trained Alfredo Dream ($4.80) to a handy near gate-to-wire win in 1:59 in the second leg of the Amateur Challenge. Hennessey's streak was interrupted in the fourth race when "double-digit" Dave Ingraham rallied Team Captain to a 30 to 1 upset win over Hennessey's Harry Terror in a photo finish timed in 1:53.4. Team Captain is trained by Mickey McNichol for owner Joseph Martinelli, Sr. In the fifth race, Hennessey was back in the winner's circle with Don Brainard's FIre In My Heart ($2.80), trained by George Coblentz. with that mile clocked in a lifetime best 1:55.2. About 22 minutes later, Hennessey was back in the winner's circle with the aptly named Golden Tate ($3.60), as pilot Hennessey sent this nine year-old receiver on a sprint that lasted right to the goal line in 1:56.1. Golden Tate is trained by Norman Dessureault, who co-owns with Steve Stabile--Norman celebrating his birthday about 2 1/2 hours early! Hennessey then scored the "TD" with Rub Ofthe Green (N) ($3.40), who scorched the Pompano oval in 1:52, a seasonal best. The eight year-old is trained by Luc Loyer for Ciro Gentile and Larry Tucker. With the "six point" touchdown on the board, Hennessey then went for the extra point and got it with Big Bad Bill ($2.60), who scored for the Pacing Pretty Stable, trained by Jim McDonald. Reflecting on his momentous night, the humble Hennessey said, "Yes, it was a great night but you have to give credit to all the trainers and caretakers that get 'em ready to race and take such great care of them. It all starts with them!" Hennessey's heroics helped his team defeat Team Ingraham (68 to 47) in the 2019 edition of the Hennessey-Ingraham Amateur Challenge, featuring those two captains and the best amateur drivers at Pompano in a four race competition. Following the final race of that event, a large throng was in the winner's circle as presentations and donations were made to the Christian Harness Horsemen's Associaation, Rockin' T Horse Rescue and Tomorrow's Rainbow. The C.H.H.A. has been a driving force in the harness racing industry since 1983 and provides emotional support for those in need. They also have a scholarship program benefitting many young people. Rockin' T Horse Rescue--Ingraham's beneficiary--gives a safe haven to injured and retired horses in need of medical and spiritual support. As Ingraham said, "horses give us everything they've got on the racetrack and it's great to have places like Rockin' T to help restore their spirit in times of need." Tomorrow's Rainbow uses horses to provide emotional support for trauma victims as young as three years-old and, as Hennessey related, "For those that have suffered tragedy in their lives, founder Abby Mosher stepped up to the plate and formed this rainbow to give hope and support to those that really are in need. They are just fantastic!" The donations sent the F.A.D.C. donations well over the $200,000 since their inception. Racing continues Monday and Tuesday with the season winding up on Saturday, May 4. by John Berry for Pompano Park and the Florida Amateur Driving Club

Pompano Beach, FL...April 26, 2019...Wally Hennessey and Dave Ingraham, two of harness racing's super stars with over 17,500 wins between them, will team up with many of the best amateur drivers in the sport as Pompano Park presents the 2019 edition of the Hennessey-Ingraham Challenge benefiting a trio of worthy causes. The four race competition, to be held Sunday, will benefit the Christian Harness Horsemen's Association, Rockin' T Horse Rescue and Tomorrow's Rainbow.   The Christian Harness Horsemen's Association, established in 1983, serves the harness racing industry and provides support for those in need of prayer and healing. They also have a scholarship program that has aided many young people over the years.   Florida Amateur Driving Club's Dein Spriggs said, "The C.H.H.A. has done so much good over the years and Chaplain Lee Alphen is a 'godsend' in her own right. It's an honor to help them continue their work for those participating in our grand sport and in need of their uplifting ways.   Rockin' T Equine Rescue, based in Maine, helps former race horses by creating a "haven of peace, support and security" helping horses heal from even the deepest of wounds.   Said Dave Ingraham, "You know, these horses give us so much in their careers on the racetrack and it's amazing to see the transformation after one is injured getting them back to a healthy status.   "The folks at Rockin' T really do miracles in restoring a horse's health and spirit. It's a great sanctuary and I am sp pleased to be able to lend support to their future success."   Dave Ingraham (with Kelly Case)   Hennessey's charity is Tomorrow's Rainbow, providing free grief support groups for children as young as three years who have suffered emotional wounds, incorporating horse interactions and therapeutic play areas with peer support.   In selecting his beneficiary for Sunday's event, Hennessey related, "I feel so fortunate that I am able to help further the grand work of Tomorrow's Rainbow. Our children are our future and, when trauma occurs, it's places like Tomorrow's Rainbow that help heal wounds and protect that child's future."   The Florida Amateur Driving Club has donations exceeding $200,000 since their inception.   Post time for Sunday's extravaganza at Pompano Park is 7:20 p.m. with the Super Hi-5 carryover ballooning to well over $120,000.   by John Berry for Pompano Park and The Florida Amateur Driving Club  

Hightstown, NJ — McWicked, who was the 2018 Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada, returned to the track Tuesday (April 23) for his first harness racing qualifier of the season. The 8-year-old pacing stallion and driver Wally Hennessey cruised around the five-eighths-mile oval at Pompano Park in 1:51.2, winning by 7-3/4 lengths over 3-year-old filly Prescient Beauty. McWicked, trained during the racing season by Casie Coleman, has spent the off season with Jim McDonald. “It looks like he went well,” said Coleman, who is based in Canada. “He’s leaving Saturday and coming back to me. I’ll probably qualify him again, but I’ll wait until I get him in the barn to decide what’s next.” Honored for last season’s 7-year-old campaign, McWicked became the oldest pacer in history to receive Horse of the Year. He led the sport in earnings last year, with $1.57 million, and became the oldest horse in 43 years to top the money standings. For the season, McWicked won 12 of 19 races, capping his campaign with a five-race win streak, and hit the board a total of 17 times. He is owned by Ed James’ SSG Stables. Prescient Beauty, who closed last season with a win in the Three Diamonds, also was qualifying for the first time, as was her Kentucky Sire Stakes champion stablemate Beautyonthebeach. Prescient Beauty was timed in 1:53 in her qualifier while Beautyonthebeach won her qualifier in 1:54. Both 3-year-old fillies were driven by Doug McNair and are trained by Gregg McNair. Jim Avritt Sr. bred and owns both horses.   by Ken Weingartner USTA Media Relations Manager

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