Pompano Beach, FL...May 20, 2015...Maybe driver Wally Hennessey had an inkling that the Super Hi-5 mandatory payout event, held Wednesday night at Pompano Park, might just get the headlines over the duet of co-feature "Winners Over" events. Not taking any chances, Wally swept all three! With the "must go" Super Hi-5 jackpot swelling over the past 40 programs going into the mid-week program, an astounding amount well over $1,000,000 pushed the total pool to $1,247,507, sending the Wednesday handle at the track to $1,381,817, an all-time record covering the 51 year history of the track. After Hennessey guided Brianna Bennett's American Gold to victory in that finale, 2,114 astute handicappers were in line to cash in to the tune of $501.86 for each 20 cent investment covering the 6-5-8-9-11 combo featuring the two co-favorites finishing one-two and two of the three other "single digit" performers finishing three-four. It was quite a night for the Hennessey's--driver Wally and trainer Dan--and owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil as the Hennessey-O'Neil connection captured both featured "Winner's Over" events at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (May 20). First, in the $8,500 "Winner's Over" pace for mares, Godiva Seelster, back in action after a week's vacation, stretched her amazing streak of "in the money" starts to 54 with a handy 1:52.2 win measuring 2 3/4 lengths over Senorita Santanna (Kevin Wallis) with Winbak Heavenly (Matt Romano) next. Just Fine and Cheap N Easy picked up minor awards in the sextet. Godiva Seelster has not missed a single purse check covering all of her starts as a three year-old, four year-old and, now, as a five year-old. The daughter of Camluck engaged in a brief early battle lasting all of an eighth of a mile before taking command from Senorita Santanna and then strolling through panels of :27, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before sealing the deal with a :27.1 finale for her fifth win of the year in eight starts. She has been second in her other trio of trips back of the gate. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "I know I have said this before, but, it's true. This mare knows how to take care of herself in the stable area or on the racetrack. She's just such a handy thing. She is amazing the way she has remained this sharp for so long...very rare, especially among mares. I asked her early for some speed and she made the lead around the turn and, when we turned for home, I didn't have to asked her for anything. She just knew what to do on her own!" Trained by Dan Hennessey for the aforementioned owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Godiva Seelster sent her seasonal bounty to $33,250 and $141,092 lifetime. Even money on the tote-board, Godiva Seelster paid $4.20 to her many followers. In the companion, $8,500 "Winner's Over" handicap trot, Verdi, also trained by Dan and driven by brother Wally for the O'Neil's, scored a handy win measuring 2 1/2 lengths in a lifetime best 1:54.3. Gold Savage (Mickey Mc Nichol) finished second with My Revenuer (Robbie Hoffman) next. Dream Lake finished fourth while On The Tab picked up the nickel in the septet. Verdi, a four year-old son of Kadabra, left alertly--but cautiously--from his outside seven post, grinding forward and reaching the lead 3/8s into the mile after a :27.4 opener by Gold Savage. Once on top, Verdi clipped off subsequent fractions of :57 and 1:25.2 and never had an anxious moment thereafter, striding home in :29.1 for his new mark. After that event, Hennessey grinned, "It's been quite a night, especially for the O'Neil's. I'm very happy for them! This horse has really come into his own this season. He can leave...he can brush...he's handy...he's solid...and I love the fact that he digs in every step of the mile. I hope he can keep going!" Verdi now is officially seven-for-nine this year, good for $26,205 in seasonal earnings. He's banked $130,804 lifetime. As the 3 to 5 "chalk," Verdi paid $3.20 to win. Racing continues on Saturday night with a fresh start to the Super Hi-5. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
At last weeks harness racing meetings, our selectors went okay with the exception of the Addington meeting where after the heavy rain, a lot of the races became a bit of a lottery. There were several selections that were well supported but really struggled in the slushy conditions so we have decided to put a line under last week and move on. For the record our selectors picked four winners via Tony Herlihy, John Dunn, Brad Williamson and Jim Curtin while another seven were first three finishers. This week we only have four meetings and we are a bit light at Auckland where a lot of our regulars are not engaged. Forbury Park - Thursday night John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Thinks Blade even from barrier 14 can win race 3 Matthew Williamson - Gives Sage from barrier one a real chance of winning race 5 Nathan Williamson - Thought Sheeza Shark was overdue and could win race 10 Auckland - Friday night Todd Mitchell - Rates Lady J a big chance of clearing maidens in race 1 Tony Herlihy - Likes The Almighty Johnson to go back to back in race 4 Steve Richardson (TAB) - Reckons Paramount Dream can bounce back, also in race 4 Scott Phelan - Thought Happy To Go could leave maidens in race 8 Addington - Friday night Ricky May - Thinks Dalton Bromac will lead and be awfully hard to beat in race 3 Gerard O'Reilly - Reckons Tiger Tara can get a piece of the action, also in race 3 Terry Chimel - Expects improvement with driver change on Little Tess in race 7 Blair Orange - Gives Expresso Martini a good chance of winning race 8 Jim Curtin - Rates Lucky Fortune a big chance of winning race 9 Bob Butt - Waterloo Sunset is my best drive of the week in race 9 Tim Williams - Only drive on the night and will be trying hard in race 10 Sam Ottley - Opting for stable runner Secret Lotion in race 10. Winton - Sunday afternoon Brad Williamson - Thinks River Patrol can go back to back in race 3 Clark Barron - Thought Mass Invasion could go one better this week and win race 4 Brendon McLellan - Forget Leigh Major's last run, she can win race 8 Shane Walkinshaw - Likes Winton and will get the money in race 10 Harnesslink Media
This weeks harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park is one of the best of the season in New Zealand with four Group 1 races on the card. We thought we would do a runner by runner preview of each of the Group 1 races. First up is the $80,000 Breckon Farms Northern Trotting Derby 1) Paramount Dream - Starts: 8 Wins: 3 Secs: 0 Thirds: 1 Life: $13,138 Very nice filly who has won three from just eight starts so ability is there. The draw and Tony Herlihy in the bike are a plus but this race while small in number has huge depth. Outside first four chance for us in this field. 2) Habibti Ivy - Starts: 8 Wins: 3 Secs: 0 Thirds: 4 Life: $44,484 This filly just continues to get better with every run. Has used plenty of petrol off the gate to lead in her last two starts but this week from barrier two it will be a lot easier for her to grab the early lead before handing up to either Speeding Spur or Monbet. A couple here may be half a metre better but it is a fine line and from the draw she is a big chance. Include in everything. 3) Speeding Spur - Starts: 14 Wins: 8 Secs: 2 Thirds: 2 Life: $141,623 Without a doubt the horse to beat in this race. Left a touch fresh last week but still had enough in the tank to hold out a game Monbet. Will be much improved this week and at a distance much more to his liking. Drawn inside his main danger and has gate speed so the one they have to beat. 4) Monbet - Starts: 13 Wins: 6 Secs: 2 Thirds: 1 Life: $99,041 Outstanding young trotter who started the season in great fashion but an injury prior to the Southern Derby meant he went into that race underdone so that run full of merit. Great performance last week to sit parked the whole journey and run Speeding Spur to a nose but yet again he has drawn outside that horse. We think the only way Monbet can beat Speeding Spur over 2700 metres is to beat him out of the gate. He does have high gate speed but debatable weather he has enough to cross Speeding Spur. The main danger to the favourite and a definite winning chance. 5) Prince Fearless - Starts: 12 Wins: 3 Secs: 4 Thirds: 0 Life: $102,974 The enigma of this years field for sure and hard to know what to expect. More than capable of matching it with Speeding Spur and Monbet but his first start right handed last week was not flash with an early gallop. The funny thing is after the early gallop, Prince Fearless trotted beautifully the Auckland way round and made up a huge amount of ground on a hot pace. From barrier five Natalie can let him settle early over the 2700 metres and then work into the race and for us he is a must have for quinella,trifecta and first four players. 6) Arya - Starts: 17 Wins: 10 Secs: 3 Thirds: 1 Life: $161,336 After a handful of starts in Australia this season in which she was unbeaten, Arya disappointed first up back in New Zealand in the Trotting Oaks with an average run for fourth. Much improved last week in the Sires Stakes final where she again ran fourth but in a much stronger field. Did get a lovely run in the one by one the whole way so hard to see her winning this but a trifecta and first four chance for us. 7) Yagunnakissmeornot - Starts: 15 Wins: 7 Secs: 2 Thirds: 4 Life: $55,458 Never out of the money in her first thirteen starts but her last two have been a touch disappointing. Should have finished closer than fifth from a soft run on the inner from barrier one last week and hard to see from this weeks draw how she can turn the tables on a few here. Rough first four player for us at best. 8) Rock Tonight - 14 Wins: 2 Secs: 1 Thirds: 1 Life: $20,666 The ability is not the question here, it is the manners and ringcraft. Broke twice in the score up last week and then once during the race which at this level is terminal. Already handicapped by being on the unruly so hard to see him here as a major player here. Not for us. SELECTIONS Top pick from the draw has to be Speeding Spur who over a distance he loves will be very hard to beat. The clear second pick for us is Monbet who has the all round game to threaten Speeding Spur but needs a touch of luck having drawn outside his main rival. After that Habibti Ivy and Prince Fearless look the main challengers but hard to see either beating both Speeding Spur and Monbet Arya as cover for first four players. Harnesslink Media
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The Meadowlands Racetrack has offered the best bet in harness racing for years and on Meadowlands Pace night, it will be even better. That's because The Late Pick Four will double its guarantee. On Saturday night, that wager, covering races 7 through 10 will carry a $100,000 guaranteed pool.
Ok harness racing fans, after seven weeks I have picked horses in 39 races with only 17 winners, not that good. I had three out of five winners last week which made a $6.00 overall profit. We are in the minus earning column by only (-$1.30) going into this weekend.
TAB's 'Fourtune' promotion is one week down and with three left it's not long until harness racing punters get another crack at some massive First 4 pools at Tabcorp Park Melton.
Congratulations to Blair Orange, Jonny Cox and Matthew and Nathan Williamson who tipped out winners last week.
Congratulations to Joshua Shrimpton who has taken out the Grand Final of the HRNSW tipping competition which has been running for the past three months.
Harness Racing NSW is launching iForm in conjunction with the first night of the Inter Dominion Carnival this Saturday.
Andrea Nash of Elkridge, Md. and Mark Levine from Stratham, N.H., won the weekend's two harness racing USTA World Harness Handicapping Championship Free, Online Qualifiers to earn berths ($1,000 value) to the $100,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship at the Meadowlands on Saturday (April 13).
In the first six weeks of the 2013 Meadowlands harness racing season, the bettors have spoken loud and clear. The fifty-cent pick five and the brand new early pick four are in high demand and the Meadowlands Racetrack is happy to respond to that demand.
Harness racing people are advised that qualifying races for Friday at The Raceway have been cancelled due to the heavy snowfall that is being forecasted for overnight Thursday in London.
Attention all harness racing punters - Want to be part of a great fun night at the Trots and to win a first prize of $4,000 Cash? Then the inaugural Good Form Inter Dominion Punters Challenge on course at Tabcorp Park, Melton on Saturday Night 16 February is for you!
Michael Rosenthal of Las Vegas, Nev., and Ira Schwartz of Sunny Isles, Fla., won the weekend's two harness racing 'USTA World Harness Handicapping Championship' Free, Online Qualifiers to earn berths ($1,000 value) to the $100,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship at the Meadowlands on April 13. Both contests had the maximum 1,000 players entered.
TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion update - Mah Sish has been the most important firmer for the TAB.COM.AU Inter Dominion Grand Final on March 3. Following his win in last week's Ballarat Cup, Mah Sish has firmed from $15 into $7.50 to take harness racing's pinnacle, which places him on the third line of betting.