Duc Dorleans, smartly handled by Wally Hennessey, won Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Pace on Sunday night (December 4), stopping the timer in a season's best 1:50.1. (He also had a 1:50.1 win over the larger Mohawk seven-eighths oval.) The six year-old son of Shanghai Phil scored by 1 1/4 lengths over the late charging Sing For Me George (Kevin Wallis) with Rockntouch (Mickey McNichol) third, 2 1/4 lengths away. Abreathofreshart was fourth while Pop Cop, prominent much of the way, earned the minor award in the septet. At the outset, Pop Cop, leaving from the rail, and Here Come William, post five, got into a very heated war ear;y with Pop Cop refusing to yield through an opener in :25.4. At this stage, Duc Dorleans (post six) was also on the prowl as the Hummer Starting Gate sped away but smartly took a seat in third, three lengths off the sizzling pace. With a half in :53.4, positions remained unchanged but, on the backside, Hennessey sent Duc Dorleans sprinting forward and to a short lead around the final turn and past the third station in 1:21.3. In the lane, Duc Dorleans edged past the stubborn Pop Cop, drew clear at mid-stretch and then held off the five wide surge of Sing For Me George, who was dead last turning for home. In the winner's circle, Hennessey said, "being outside of those two that were in a dig-fight early was a blessing because they opened up some daylight, allowing me to tuck in third. "Yes, he does like the front end, but I wasn't about to get into a war that I wasn't going to be able to win. When I asked him on the backstretch, he responded like the good horse he is. It was a good team effort this time around." Trained by Jacques Dupont for Gestion Levesque 2005, Inc. and Les Ecuries Dorleans, Duc Dorleans now boasts $616,270 in career earnings--$66,168 this year. As the even money proposition on the tote-board, Duc Dorleans returned a mutuel of $4.00. In the $10,000 Open 2 Pace, Whogoesfirst, with Wally Hennessey in the bike, survived some early sizzling fraction on the front end--:26.1, :54.2 and 1:23--to take top honors in 1:51.2, holding off the late surge along the pylons by Legal Spike (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) to hit the line a half-length to the good. No Bad Dreams (Dave Ingraham) used a menacing brush on the backside during the third quarter--moving from seventh to second--to finish third, a length away. Major Deagan, far back early, paced the fastest final panel of all--:27.2--to finish a fast closing fourth while Winyard Hanover, prominent most of the way, picked up the nickel in the field of nine. In a post-race interview, Hennessey said, "I really didn't want to go :54 and a piece to the half...but the horse sure did. Then I thought that he might not have that much left in the tank late, so this was a surprisingly good mile." Whogoesfirst, an eight year-old gelded son of Cambest, won for the third time this year and 27th time career-wise to send his lifetime bounty to $446,478--$56,458 this year. The winner, owned by the S&P Racing Stable along with trainer Luanne Case, was second choice on the tote-board and returned $9.20 to win. In the $8,500 Condition/Claiming ($20,000) pace, Blue Hour Power, driven by Ricky Macomber, survived a rugged beginning before taking command after a :27.2 opener, and posted subsequent panels of :55.4 and 1:23.4 before sealing the issue with a :27.2 sprint home to score in 1:51.1. Trained by Jamie Macomber for Wilber Eash, Blue Hour Power, a five year-old son of Sand Shooter, pinned a 3½ length defeat on Respectable Dream (John Mac Donald) with The Best of Joel (Kevin Wallis) a ground saving third, 5¼ lengths away. Grande Seelster, prominent early while looping the field for the early lead form post nine, was fourth while Owosso Flash finished fifth in the field of nine. Blue Hour Power won for the 10th time this semester, pushing his seasonal bounty to $94,980 and $606,111 lifetime. Off as the 2 to 5 favorite on a drop down in class, Blue Hour Power paid $2.80 to win. In the better for the bettor department, one fortunate player cashed in on a 20 cent Pentafecta ticket worth $6,303.92 when amateur driver Billy Muggleston steered B Cor Thomas ($18.80) to upset victory in the second of two events for the Florida Amateur Driving Club. The nine year-old altered son of Mutineer scored in a lifetime best 1:56.2 for his fourth win of the year. Rush N Supreme (Mitchell Walker), off at 5 to 1, finished second, favored Czech It Out (Fred Cohen) 3 to 2 on the tote-board, was third and JLs Too Hot Taj, 64 to 1, was fourth and Holiday Spirit, 19 to 1, completed the Pentafecta bonanza order of finish. The winner is owned and trained by Fannie Saul-Beaulieu and the win pushed his seasonal bounty to $23,219, his best season ever. The other amateur event went to Total Freedom with Dein Spriggs in the bike. This six year-old daughter of Crazed, owned and trained by Leopold Sawyers, used a :28.2 kick home to get by a stubborn Global Power (Mitchell Walker) by three-parts-of-a-length in 2:00 for her fourth win of the year. New Scent (Dennis Whittemore) overcame the outside nine post to finish third while Blueridge Empire and Act Of Valor picked up the final two awards. Pompano Park's leading driver, Wally Hennessey, had another huge night, scoring five wins on the 10 race program. Racing continues of Monday night with post time set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...November 22, 2016...Bad Angel got picture perfect handling from Hall of Fame haqrness racing driver Wally Hennessey to capture the first open trot strictly mares on Tuesday night (November 22) at Pompano Park. The seven year-old daughter of Valley Victor enjoyed a cozy garden journey, tilting out once they straightened away in the lane, and collared the leading Driving Miss Crazy (John Mac Donald) in the final 16th to win by a length in a lifetime best 1:54.4. Driving Miss Crazy was second followed by McKenzie's Star (Fern Paquet, Jr.), she 3½ lengths away. Social Delight was fourth while Jailhouse Jessica picked up the nickel in the field of nine. The even money favorite, She's All In, made a miscue prior to the start to lose all chance. At the outset, Hennessey sent Bad Angel, leaving from post six, blasting off the wings of the Hummer Starting Gate, assuming control around the first turn with Driving Miss Crazy, starting from post eight, on the prowl early and taking command just short of the :28.1 opener. Once on top, Driving Miss Crazy posted subsequent panels of :57 and 1:25.3 with Bad Angel's nose breathing down Mac Donald's helmet. Hennessey continued to sit chilly with Bad Angel throughout the final bend and only left the cozy pocket once they straightened away completely, wearing down the leader late. In a post-race interview, Hennessey remarked, "well, being in with the mares and no boys helped and, when Rick's trotter (She's All In) made a break early, well, that changed the complexion of the race right there. "I really wasn't planning on leaving with her but, like I said, Rick's mare made that break so I thought I'd take a chance. "Once we got cover, I was pretty confident that we'd be, at least, close at the end but she really felt like she wanted to go tonight as her nose was right on the helmet around the final turn. "I didn't have to ask her for much in the lane. She did it all on her own." Owned and trained by George Coblentz, Bad Angel won for the eighth time this semester, sending her seasonal bounty to $47,615, clearly her best season on the racetrack. Prior to 2016, Bad Angel's best season earnings-wise was in 2013, when she won $12,740, establishing a "Q" mark of 1:59. Off of a very fast closing third place finish in a conditioned event last week, Bad Angel was sent off as the 7 to 1 fourth choice in the betting, returning $17.80 to win. In the "better for the bettor" department, Pompano Park's Thanksgiving eve racing program features a carryover in the Pentaafecta fourth $4,666 going in. There is also a $564 carryover in the Pick-6, as well. Post time for the Wednesday program--the first mid-week program of the season--is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...November 7, 2016...Despite having been "saddled" with the outside post, Boli, handled by Wally Hennessey, took top harness racing honors for the second consecutive week in Pompano Park's Open Handicap Trot on Monday night (November 7). The four year-old son of Kadabra, trained by Dan Hennessey for Paul and Patricia O'Neil, grinded his way to the front right at the opening station in :29 and continued on un-threatened through subsequent panels of :57.4 and 1:27.1 before completing his mile as he pleased in :30.1 to hit the wire in 1:57.2. Seeking Steven, also trained by Dan Hennessey, in the garden spot the entire route, finished second 1½ lengths away for John Mac Donald while D C Flashback, teamed up with Aaron Byron was third after trotting the fastest final panel in the race. The late charging She's All In was fourth while Sailer Eddie picked up the nickel in a field shortened to eight with a scratch. After the event, Hennessey related, "Boli has done some amazing things here at Pompano, so nothing really surprises me about his performances. Tonight, with the outside post, I wasn't about to take back and spot the field seven or eight lengths because these are all worthy opponents and you just can't do that when we're all matched up like this. So, I sent him on the prowl early either looking for the lead or a close up spot if anything opened up. "Once he made the front, he kind of put a damper on the others with a quicker second quarter and he really was never threatened after that. He did it all on his own tonight." The win was number 10 of the year for Boli sending his 2016 bounty to $73,842 and $133,494 lifetime in only 46 starts--15 of which are wins. As the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Boli returned $3.40 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with two outstanding distaff pacers seeking to extend their respective winning streaks. In the $29,825 Stallion Stake for Florida bred three year-old pacing fillies, Prairie Sweetheart, undefeated in her career measuring 12 starts, seeks her sixth straight win of this semester by taking on a talented field including Gold Star Mysti, who is four-for-five this season. A recent purchase of the Let It Ride Stables, Prairie Sweetheart has returned to trainer Mike Deters for this engagement and will have the driving services of Matt Kakaley. Prairie Sweetheart has been installed as the 1 to 2 morning line favorite. In Pompano Park's Open Handicap Pace for mares, Godiva Seelster, trained by Dan Hennessey for Paul and Patricia O'Neil, looks to extend her winning skein to five and has been assigned the outside post six. This daughter of Camluck has a career scorecard of 35-27-18 in 104 starts and has missed but one check in her last four seasons on the racetrack. Wally Hennessey will be back in the bike back of Godiva Seelster, who has been made the 7 to 5 morning line favorite. Tuesday's program features a Pick-6 carryover and a Super Hi-5 carryover--the latter ballooning to over $8,000. Post time is set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...November 2, 2016...Rick Plano won half of the races on Pompano Park's 12 race harness racing program and Wally Hennessey hit yet another "grand slam" with four wins, including both feature events on Tuesday night (November 1), That left only the "scraps" left on the table for drivers Brad Kramer and Sean McAleese with the win by the latter responsible for a rare superfecta carryover and a slew of other carryovers for the upcoming Sunday night program. Plano's "touchdown" also included a "grand slam" of his own on the training side as trainers Dan Hennessey and Dale Gilmour also had multiples. Plano's first win was with the Maryann Plano and Michael Guest owned Stache ($2.60), that four year-old son of Andover Hall stopping the timer in 1:56.2 in a condition trot. His second win came in the pentafecta fourth when Dale Gilmour's Sweet Bet ($4.20) scored in a lifetime best 1:53.3--her 36th lifetime victory. Win number three was with Karma Racing's Metro Glide ($5.00), trained by Gilmour. This four year-old daughter of Metropolitan used a backside blitz from fourth to sweep into the lead and on to victory in 1:54.2. Plano then earned his fourth win of the night with his own Sooo Handsome ($3.80), sooo very game in scoring his win from the nine post in 1:58.3. His fifth win came in the first half of the late daily double when Colene Lameyer's Ex King ($10.60), trained by Plano, came from far back to score in a condition trotting event in 1:58.1. Plano completed his "touchdown" run by sweeping the late double with Lookharryimwinning ($4.80), owned by Ms. Plano and Ethan Schlau, in 1:56. Hennessey, meanwhile, got his initial win of the night with Arthur Mergenhagen's Seeking Steven ($4.60), that four year-old son of Muscle Mass stepping up to Open 2 class and winning his second straight in 1:56.1. The first of Pompano Park's dual features was next on the Hennessey agenda and, despite having the outside post, it was the grand mare Godiva Seelster ($2.80) that led at every pole through panels of :27.1,:56.4 and 1:24 to score an undisturbed win in 1:52.2 for her fourth straight fall win in Pompano Park's top pace for mares. Goldstar Rockette (Kevin Wallis) leaving from post six and in the garden spot all the way after an early yield, finished second while Safe From Terror (Bryce Fenn) was next. Southwind Trini and Memumsnotnice were four-five, respectively, in the octet. In a post race interview, Hennessey had high praise for the six year-old daughter of Camluck saying, "Nothing bothers this mare. She takes care of herself, she trains the way she wants to train and, when she goes behind the gate, she's all business. She's a rare commodity. You hardly know she's in the barn!" Owned by Paul and Patricia O'Neil and trained by Dan Hennessey, Godiva earned her 10th win of the year and 35th lifetime in 104 starts. She has banked $95,058 this year and $315,775 career-wise. One race later, Boli ($8.60), also owned by the O'Neil's and trained by Dan Hennessey, overcame the second tier 10 post to score a narrow victory in the Open trot over She's All In (Plano) with Prairie Fortune (John Mac Donald) third. McKenzie's Star and Sailer Eddie earned the minors in that one. Boli followed Sailer Eddie (post one) and wound up fifth early on as Swishnflick blasted off the wings to take on She's All In (post five) early and taake the field through lively early panels of :27.1 and :55.3 with Sailer Eddie third and Prairie Fortune (post nine) wending his way into fourth. Just short of the second station, Prairie Fortune was out and rolling, surging to the front past the next marker in 1:24.4 with Boli now on the attack and She's All In also on the prowl after a brief shuffle. In the lane, Boli wore down Prairie Fortune and appeared to think his work was done at the sixteenth pole as She's All In cam surging late. "With Plano screaming, "I think I gotcha" and Hennessey retorting "I don't think so," the two hit the wire together as both broke out in laughter at the wire, a scenario captured to perfection by track photographer Skip Smith. After the judges looked at the photo, it was found that, indeed, Boli had his neck up at the wire. Afterwards, Hennessey said, "Boli can get a little lazy once he gets the lead. He thinks his work is done. He'll keep digging and digging until he gets to the lead but, once he's there, he thinks he's done. Rick (Plano) thought he had me and we laughed about it at the wire." Boli, a four year-old son of Kadabra, sent his 2016 scorecard to 9-6-2 in 22 starts, good for $68,842 this semester and $128,494 lifetime. Hennessey completed his "grand slam" a race later by guiding Byron Pineda's Ontheclock Hanover ($10.20) to a win in 1:54.1--the Rita Polese trained seven year-old son of American Ideal sending his career bankroll close to $250,000. A rare superfecta carryover occurred in the third race as Yagot Class, superbly handled by Sean McAleese, overcame the nine post with a wire-to-wire win in a condition trot--lighting up the tote-board with a $71.60 mutuel. That win was the first of the year in 10 starts for Yagot Class and provided bettors with a number of carryovers leading to next Sunday's program. The Sunday night card has a scheduled post time of 7:20 p.m. and features carryovers in the Pentafecta 4th, the Pick-5 (covering races one through five) and the Pick-6 (encompassing races three through eight). The program concludes with the Super Hi-5 finale with a carryover of $5,090.49. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...October 31, 2016...Panocchio, handled by Wally Hennessey, repelled the onslaught of No Bad Dreams (Dave Ingraham) and Sing For Me George (Kevin Wallis) to score a repeat win in Pompano Park's top harness racing pace on Sunday night (October 30), stopping the tele-timer in 1:51.3. The splendid six year-old son of No Pan Intended, owned by Emile Johnson, Jr. along with trainer Jim Mattison, won by a neck with a repelling :27.3 finale for his eighth win of the year and 44th lifetime in 103 career starts. Though Panocchio holds the track record here at Pompano--1:48.3--and this win was no where near that clocking, this win--his 23rd at the South Florida oval--was not an easy one. At the outset, Panocchio, assigned the outside post in his sextet, was in a war with both Sing For Me George (post five) and Winyard Hanover (post one) for early supremacy with Panocchio only able to achieve the top spot from Sing For Me George after a rugged opener of :26.2 with Winyard Hanover next. At this point, Here Comes William, Secretsoftheknight and No Bad Dreams were next early on with positions remaining that way through a half in :54.4. Once they straightened away for their journey up the backside, No Bad Dreams began a serious sprint from the back of the pack about six lengths away and charged up along side Panocchio around the final bend with that third station timed in 1:24. With Sing For Me George locked and loaded turning for home, Wallis had to make a decision of whether to be patient and hope for a seam or swing widest of all and he chose the latter and this trio of pacers fanned across the track and began their sprint to the wire. With an official final panel in :27.3, the photo finish camera had Pinocchio's nose on the line first prompting Hennessey to say, in a post race interview, "this was no cakewalk. I had no choice but to leave and get into the fray early. You just can't spot horses like this six lengths at the start because then your horse has to be six lengths and a nose better the rest of the mile. "He's (Panocchio) just a gallant pacer that gives his all every start and, even though we were roughed up a bit during the opening quarter, this horse just digs in when he's asked. "He beat some very good horses tonight. Sing For Me George is top flight here and No Bad Dreams went a huge trip and stayed straight right to the wire. "I've said this before, Jimmy (trainer Mattison) and his wife (Vicki) do just an outstanding job with their horses and their performance on the racetrack speaks volumes for their hard work." For Panocchio, the win pushed his 2016 scorecard to 8--7-2 in 21 starts, good for $83,161 and $373,928 lifetime. As the 3 to 5 favorite, Panocchio paid $3.20 to win. Also starring on the Sunday night card was John Mac Donald, who hit a grand slam while scoring with Beach Blast ($2.80), Layer Cake ($4.00), Shootin Time ($3.00) and Hurricane Howard ($3.00). Racing continues on Tuesday night with a Super Hi-5 carryover ballooning to $3,201 awaiting. Post time is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, Florida, October 26, 2016...The first game of baseball's World Series was held on Tuesday night (October 25) but it was Hall of Fame harness racing driver Wally Hennessey who hit the "grand slam" at Pompano Park with four winners. One of the wins was with the grand mare Godiva Seelster as this now six year-old daughter of Camluck recorded her third straight win in Open competition for mares since arriving at South Florida's Winter Capital of Harness Racing. Godiva Seelster led for every long stride of her mile and scored a handy win measuring 3 1/4 lengths over South Wind Trini (Brad Kramer) in 1:52.3, sealing the issue with a :27.2 finale off of panels of :28, :56.3 and 1:25.1. De Valeria (Aaron Byron), recovering from a brief miscue at the start, was third while Safe From Terror and Asset Management completed the quintet. The win was the ninth this semester for Godiva Seelster in 22 starts--34th lifetime--and sent her seasonal bounty to $90,558 and $310,275 career-wise. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Godiva Seelster now has missed only one check in her last 94 starts over the past four seasons, prompting Hennessey to say after the the event, "Ya know, she may have been 1 to 5 on the tote-board but you cannot take anything for granted in this game. "She's just a great mare that knows how to take care of herself--both in the barn and on the racetrack. She was very sharp again and you just cherish the moment as they can become very sparse on occasion." Godiva Seelster paid $2.60 to win. In the Open Trot, the Florida bred Prairie Fortune, owned by Laurie Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, second in his previous two outings since his South Florida arrival, got the job done on Tuesday night, grinding out a brave 1:55.1 win for John Mac Donald. The four year-old altered son of Arapa Victory, came from 10 lengths out of it early on, trotted his final three-quarters in 1:24.4 to roll on by his foes in the lane to score by 1 3/4 lengths over She's All In (Rick Plano) with Boli (Wally Hennessey) third after cutting the mustard from the outside post and clocking panels of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:26.1. McKenzie's Star and Sailer Eddie picked up the minors in the octet. After the event, driver John Mac Donald related, "all this horse seems to do is draw outside but he can grind a long way and that's what he did tonight--grind forward. I was lucky enough to follow some live cover the last lap and, when I tilted him three wide, he responded. He was very sharp here. Prairie Fortune now has two dozen win in 44 lifetime starts and sports a 22-9-7-2 scorecard this year, good for earnings of $69,965. He's banked $183,245 during his career. Prairie Fortune returned $3.60 to his faithful as the 4 to 5 favorite. Four F.S.B.O.A. sponsored Sunshine State Stakes events,. each worth $12,000 were held on Tuesday night, as well, and Gold Star Aurora, Prairie Panther and Diamond Lily won their non-wagering events and Conman's Dream took top honors in the second half of the early daily double. Gold Star Aurora, driven by red-hot Walter Ross, Jr., sporting a UDRS close to .500 this early fall season, guided the two year-old daughter of Rock On to a hard earned 1:58.1 win in the Sunshine State Stake for juvenile pacing fillies. Tay Tay M (Wally Hennessey) with Prairie Cowgirl (John Mac Donald) were next with the latter cutting through panels of :28.2, :58.3 and 1:29.1. PF Silver Classic was fourth while Golden Diamond earned the minor award in the quintet. For Gold Star Aurora, it was her fourth win in five lifetime starts and she left the winner's circle with a new lifetime mark for owner Marianne Audley and trainer Maggie Audley. Prairie Panther, a gelded two year-old son of Royal Millennium driven by co-owner trainer Mike Deters, took his Sunshine State Stake final in 1:57, using an explosive :28.2 finale to pin a 4 1/4 length defeat on Gold Star Bugsy (Wally Hennessey) with Maybe Ned (Bryce Fenn) next after leading through fractional times of :28.3, :58.3 and 1:28. Gold Star Spider and Kingwiththeaxe were four-five in the sextet. Prairie Panther is co-owned by Laurie Poulin, prompting her to say, in a post race interview, "Since Mike was in the bike back of the Panther, now you know that I own the half that hits the wire first! "Seriously, since he came to Pompano, he hasn't been beaten and we are all hopeful that things stay the same as we get closer to our Super Night in late November." Diamond Lily, a bridesmaid to Gold Star Mysti in her last trio of starts, led every step of her mile for Wally Hennessey in score a 1:58 score off of fractions of :29.3, 1:00 and 1:30.2, capping her effort with a :27.3 that let Gold Star Lovebug (Joe Sanzeri) 4 1/4 lengths away. Caitlin's Romance (Fenn) was next while Jaycie Jaycie finished fourth. Yule Love It picked up the final award as Gold Star Mysti, undefeated in Sunshine State Stakes action coming in, made a miscue at the start to finish sixth in her field of sophomore pacing fillies. On the card, Conman's Dream, driven by Corey Braden for owner-trainer Jason Mac Dougall, took his Sunshine State Stake division for three year-old pacing colts and geldings, exploding in the lane to score a five length win over favored Gleneagles (Hennessey) with R Chism (Fern Paquet, Jr.) third. ICU Diamond T was fourth with Danza picked up the nickel in the sextet. Indeed, there was a war early on as Conman's Dream and Gleneagles sought supremacy early with the Conman's Dream arriving at the initial quarter on the outside in a hot :27.1. Shortly thereafter, Gleneagles reclaimed the top-spot and clocked mid-mile panels of :55.3 and 1:24.3 with R Chism on the attack and pulling on even terms with Gleneagles at that third station. That's when Conman's Dream, patiently biding his time on the inside, shifted widest of all and blew by the competition to earn his new lifetime mark--1:54.4. After the event, trainer Jason Mac Dougall said, "I have had this horse for two years now and he seemed to be chasing Gleneagles every single time they met. Didn't matter whether he was cutting of chasing, he just didn't want to beat that horse. "I guess you could say that we don't get along too well. We don't see eye-to-eye, so I asked by good friend, Corey (Braden) to drive him. Last week, he was real good and just did get caught at the wire (by R Chism) but this week he was very sharp. "Corey said he was stronger at the end of the mile than he was at the beginning. I am a very happy person right now!" As 4 to 1 third choice, Conman's Dream paid $10.40 to win. Hennessey's other wins came with Arthur Mergenhagen's Seeking Steven ($5.80), trained by Dan Hennessey, in 1:56.1 and Amante Standardbreds' Best of Ribera ($25.60), trained by Marc Aubin. Racing continues on Sunday night with three carryovers awaiting--in the Pick-5, Pick-6 and Super Hi-5 finale. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...October 17, 2016...On an evening where the track condition at Pompano Park shifted from fast to good to sloppy to good to sloppy during the harness racing program, Kevin Kelly's grand filly, Gold Star Brianna remained perfect for her career--now 12-for-12--highlighting the Sunday 14 race program. Gold Star Brianna, a sophomore filly by Basil trained by Dan Hennessey, was driven by brother Wally Hennessey and toured the sloppy oval in a lifetime best 1:57.3, scoring by 6 1/4 lengths over Trotting Missmissy (Marc Major) and All Star Fame Sergio Corona with Trottime Fool and I'm For Sale completing the roster in this fifth leg of the Sunshine State Stake for three year-old trotting fillies. Away carefully in her event, "Brianna" stormed to the front from five lengths back once they straightened away after the :29.1 opener and proceeded to clock panels of :58.3 and 1:28.2, sealing the deal with a :29.1 finale. The filly now has career bounty of close to $75,000 with about six weeks of the lucrative stakes season ahead. Said Hennessey after the race, "You know, this is the first time she has faced conditions like this so I thought I'd be careful early and wait 'til we straightened away to send her. She had to have trotted :28 and a piece" (actually :28.2) to make the lead and was a perfect lady all the way. I am proud of the way she performed in those conditions!" For the second straight week, Gold Star Brianna was 1 to 20 and returned $2.10 to win. Also on the card was the Sunshine State Stake for three year-old trotting colts and geldings and it was Thundercrest, a son of Crest, who scored in 2:03.4 after very crafty handling by Dustin Ingraham. Thundercrest pinned a 1 3/4 length defeat on the late charging Fifty Fifty Ninety (Jason Mac Dougall) with Savin Rock (John Campagnuolo) next. Last Chance Fame and Rexamillion were four-five in the sextet. At the outset, Thundercrest was in a brief war with Rexamilion but put the latter in the pocket before putting on the brakes and waltzing over to the opener in :32.2 and half in 1:04. On the backside, Rexamillion left his cozy pocket but made a miscue three-eighths out and Thundercrest sprinted clear by six with a :29.3 third panel with Fifty Fifty Ninety in pursuit. Thundercrest coasted home from there prompting Dustin Ingraham to say, "I really didn't want to be on the front end but he (Thundercrest) was a bit headstrong leaving and I didn't want to shut him down early. He's still very green--he didn't race as a two year-old--and he's learning but, once I got over to the half in "4," I felt confident that he could go all the way. He not only battled the competition, he handled the elements, which just may have been the biggest competition." Thundercrest paid $3.00 as the 1 to 2 favorite. Two other Sunshine State Stakes events were held off the betting card highlighting two year-old trotters with Azzaro and Atlantic Crest reaching the winner's circle. Azzaro, driven this night by Wally Hennessey for Jay and Kim Sears, led every step of his mile, pinning a half length defeat on I'm Done (Tom Lehmann) by a half length in 2:04--:29 off fractions of :30.3, 1:02.4 and 1:35. The Proud Bushy colt now has a 5-3-2-0 career scorecard against "arch-rival" I'm Done, whose record is 5-2-3-0. After the event, Hennessey said, "I guess it's become quite a rivalry between these two and both seem to have equal talent." The second non-wagering event was contested in a driving rainstorm and, despite the demanding conditions, Sergio Corona's Atlantic Crest was a gate to wire winner in a lifetime best 2:01.1--her victory margin almost 10 lengths over Prairie Pixie (Mike Deters) with Bonnie Blue Banker (Rob Hoffman) third in the trio of juvenile fillies. The daughter of Crest completed her journey off of fractions of :29.3, 1:00 and 1:30.3 as she notched her second straight win, improving on her previous best winning mile of 2:01.4. In Pompano Park's Open I Handicap Pace, Sing For Me George picked up his third straight win--this one in 1:52.4--after exploding in the final sixteenth to score by 3 1/4 lengths over All Steinam (John Mac Donald). Winyard Hanover (Brad Kramer) was next after a rugged first over journey where he stuck his head in front at mid-stretch. Team Captain and Safe Harbor earned the minors in the sextet. Trained by Paul Bernardo for owner Joseph Martinelli, Sr., Sing For Me George was driven by Kevin Wallis and left with alacrity to take an early lead before yielding to All Steinam prior to the :28 opening panel. After a :57.1 half, Winyard Hanover went first up on the backside to engage All Steinam in war, reaching the third station in a picked up 1:25, leaving Sing For Me George bottled up in third. In the lane, Wallis found a seam, swung widest of all and blew by with a :27.3 finale of his own. Sing For Me George, a seven year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight, was winless in 16 starts before coming to Pompano Park but won an Open 3 event--handily--in 1:53.1 and then an Open 2 event in 1:53.2 before stepping up to the top rung of the ladder. Sing For Me George now has a lifetime bankroll of $396,086. As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Sing For Me George paid $3.80 to win. Finally, in the Super Hi-5 finale, one lucky patron had the 7-4-1-8-5 winning combo, which paid $10,286.62 for the 20 cent investment. Racing continues on Tuesday night with Open trotters in the spotlight. Post time is set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park.
Pompano Beach, FL...October 12, 2016...Once again, as he did last week, harness racing's Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey swept both Open events at Pompano Park on Tuesday night (October 11), scoring in the Mares Open 1 Pace with Godiva Seelster and the Open 1 Trot with Boli. Both are trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil. Godiva Seelster, the splendid six year-old daughter of Camluck, scored her 33rd lifetime victory--eighth the year--this one a 1:54.1 cakewalk in gate-to-wire fashion off panels of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:26.3 before a :27.3 sprint home sealed the deal. Her margin of victory this night was four lengths over Goldstar Rockette (Kevin Wallis) and Leavveumlady (Tim Maier) with De Valeria fourth in the quintet--the exact order of finish in last week's event. Keystone Christa picked up the final award. Godiva Seelster now has missed only one check over the past four seasons--"my fault," driver Hennessey said--and now has a career bankroll of $305,775 to go along with her mark of 1:50.4f. She, again as she was last week, a nickel of a dollar in the betting and paid $2.10. Boli an altered four year-old son of Kadabra, led every long stride of his mile and held off the furious late surge of Prairie Fortune (Mike Deters) to eke out a photo finish victory measuring a neck in 1:55.3. Driving Miss Crazy (John Mac Donald), in the garden spot most of the journey, was third, four lengths away with McKenzie's Star and Sailer Eddie next in the sextet. In that event, Boli, perfectly mannered this night, darted out of the gate from post five while Prairie Fortune, starting from the outside post, was unhurried early, dawdling more than six lengths back through opening panels of :28.2, :57.3. On the backside, Prairie Fortune took up the chase, putting a three length dent through an official third quarter of :29.1 and gnawing away with a :28.1 closer of his own to miss by a stride or two. Boli returned a $4.80 mutuel as second choice. After these events, Hennessey said, "Well, what can I say that hasn't been said about Godiva. She's just a grand mare that knows how to take care of herself and gives a superior effort every time she steps on the track. "Boli, on the other hand, can be a brat on occasion but I will say he was a perfect gentleman tonight and he dug in nicely late to preserve the win. "Prairie Fortune is quite a trotter, you know, so the difference tonight was the fact that he was several lengths back early on." For Boli, it was win number eight in 20 starts with his 2016 bounty now registering $62,962 and $122,614 lifetime. While he owns a 1:54.4 mark here at Pompano, his official mark is 1:54.4 over the Saratoga half miler. Also on Tuesday night, the fourth leg of the Sunshine State Stakes was held in four classes with Gold Star Mysti, Chism taking their respective sophomore divisions and Prairie Cowgirl and Prairie Panther emerging victorious in their respective juvenile races. Gold Star Mysti, a three year-old pacing daughter of Mysticism, kept her 2016 season unblemished--now three-for-three--with a very game 1:56.2 performance for Walter Ross, Jr. to eventually score a four plus length win over Diamond Lily (Hennessey) with Goldstar Lovebug (Joe Sanzeri) next. Caitlin's Romance was fourth in the mile while Jaycie Jaycie picked up the nickel in the sextet. At the outset of that one, "Mysti" played musical chairs with Gold Star Lovebug with Jaycie Jaycie third early on before making a miscue past a :28.4 opener--Diamond Lily then inheriting the third spot. On the backside, Diamond Lily then engaged in a war with Gold Star Mysti with Lily sticking her head in front at the third station in 1:28.2. But Gold Star Mysti's :28 finale sealed the win as she pulled away for a win measuring 4 1/4 lengths. Trained by Maggie Audley for her owner-mom Marianne, Gold Star Mysti paid $3.80 as the second choice. There was a mild upset in the three year-old division for pacing colts and geldings as R Chism ($16.20), handled by Fern Paquet, Jr., put away the 1 to 10 favorite, Gleneagles (Hennessey) with a sprint home from the garden spot to score in 1:55 for his maiden win 11 starts--though he did have a qualifying record of 2:03.4 last semester. Chism,starting from post five in his quintet, darted out to the top spot before yielding just past the :28.1 opening panel to Gleneagles. These two remained one-two through fractions of:56.3 and 1:25.4 before Chism wore down his worthy opponent just outside the sixteenth pole. Danza (Aaron Byron) was third while I C U Diamond T was next. Conman's Dream completed the order of finish after making an uncharacteristic break leaving. The two year-old events were contested off the betting card and driver-trainer Mike Deters swept both of these non-wagering events, scoring with Prairie Cowgirl winning the event for pacing fillies and Prairie Panther taking the division for the boys. Prairie Cowgirl, a full sister to Prairie Sweetheart, broke her maiden in just her second lifetime start with a 2:00 performance--wire-to-wire--off of fractions of :29.1, 1:00.1 and 1:30.2 before jogging home in :29.3 for a win measuring 2 1/2 lengths over the late charging Tay Tay M (Hennessey) with Gold StarAurora next after recovering from an early miscue and spotting the field some 15 lengths. Golden Diamond and PF Silver Classic completed that rundown. Owned by Laurie Poulin along with John Spindler and trainer-driver Deters, Prairie Cowgirl now sports a 2-1-1-0 scorecard as her career begins. Prairie Panther, a gelded son of Royal Millennium and a half brother of the fast Prairie Jaguar, also won in wire-to-wire fashion, covering his mile with fractions of :29, :58.2 and 1:28.2 before a :28.2 closer stopped the tele-timer in 1:56.4 and left him almost eight lengths to the good of Gold Star Bugsy (Hennessey) and Gold Star Spider (Ross, Jr.) third. Maybe Ned and fifth son completer the roster in that one. Prairie Panther is owned by Laurie Poulin along with Deters. Racing continues on Sunday night with a scheduled start time of 7:20 highlighted by a Super Hi-5 carryover of more than $6,800. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...October 10, 2016...The fourth legs of the FSBOA Sunshine State Stakes were contested at Pompano Park on Sunday night (October 9) and, in the sophomore division for trotting fillies, Gold Star Brianna extended her lifetime unblemished harness racing record to 11 with a handy 12 1/4 length trouncing of her four foes. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owner Kevin Kelly, Wally Hennessey was in the bike for the filly's win--her fourth straight this semester after a perfect seven-for-seven as a 2015 two year-old. The daughter of Basil was away in good order from her four post while out-brushed for the top spot by Trotting Missmissy (Marc Major) as the gate sprung but made a quick and decisive quarter move past the :30 second opener. From there, she went on to post fractions of :59.3 and 1:29.1 before a :29.4 stroll-in-the-park home put the icing on the cake in 1:59. Trotting Missmissy was second while Trottime Fool (John MacDonald) finished third. All Star Fame and I'm For Sale completed the roster of fillies. After the event, Hennessey related, "She's just a very handy filly. She does anything asked of her and tonight was no exception." The win sent Gold Star Brianna's earnings to $72,134 lifetime with the bulk of the lucrative Florida stakes season just ahead. Off at a nickel to a dollar, Gold Star Brianna paid $2.20 to win. In the Sunshsine State Stakes division for three year-old colts and geldings, Mike Richards' Thundercrest, given a picture perfect journey by Dustin Ingraham, scored a handy win in a lifetime best 2:00.1. The son of Crest, unraced at two, earned his second win in 12 lifetime starts, scoring by 2 3/4 lengths over Rexamillion (Wally Hennessey) with Fifty Fifty Ninety (Jason MacDougall) next. The 1 to 2 betting favorite, Proud Joe T, finished fourth while Last Chance Fame picked up the minor award in the octet. Thundercrest showed good speed from the gate and found a spot in third early as Proud Jo T left with alacrity for the lead before yielding to Rexamillion at the opening station in :30. The latter clocked reasonable panels of 1:00.2 and 1:30.1 as Thundercrest left his cozy spot to engage the leader turning for home and waltzed on by handily and with authority. In the winner's circle after the race, a modest Ingraham said, "We got a good trip. That's about it. He's got some talent and he seems to be improving every week." As second choice in the win pool, Thundercrest paid $5.60 to his faithful. Two Sunshine State Stakes were held off the betting card and I'm Done and Atlantic Crest were victorious in their respective divisions. In a budding rivalry in the two year-old event for colts and geldings where only two combatants showed up, I'm Done, handled by Tom Lehmann, just did get by Azzaro (Jay Sears) in 2:04.2, knocking five full seconds off his former lifetime mark. Driver Lehmann stalked Sears' colt through panels of :29.4, 1:01.2 and 1:33.4 before tilting out turning for home and just eking by at the wire. The winner, a son of Toro Bravo, is owned and trained by Troy Basista. I'm Done and Azzaro now have met on four occasions--each now showing scorecards of 4-2-2-0. In the Sunshine State Stake for juvenile trotting fillies, Atlantic Crest, owned, trained and driven by Sergio Corona, took command immediately from her outside four post and clocked fractions of :30, 1:00.3 and 1:31.2 before stopping the clock in 2:01.4 for her maiden win in her fourth start. Also by Crest, Atlantic Crest won by 7 1/4 over Prairie Pixie (Mike Deters) with Bonnie Blue Banker (Rob Hoffman) third. Famous C finished fourth in the quartet after a miscue at the start. Pompano Park's Open I Pace went, for the second straight week, to All Steinam ($3.20) for John Mac Donald in 1:53.3--a gate-to-wire effort off of fractions of :27.4, :57 and 1:25.2. The seven year-old gelded son of Tell All pinned a defeat measuring three-parts-of-a-length over the late charging Team Captain (Aaron Byron) with Safe Harvor (Kevin Wallis) third. Dee's Rocketman was a fast closing fourth while Hillybilly completed the run-down. For All Steinam, it was his 11th win off the year--28th lifetime--to send his career bounty to $320,259. He's banked $56,903 this year. The win was one of three for Mac Donald, who also scored with Sing For Me George ($2.60), his second straight win--in 1:53.2--and Beach Blast ($3.20) in 1:52.4. Wally Hennessey also had three wins for the night, sweeping the early daily double with Highland Yankee ($2.80), the aforementioned Gold Star Brianna and completing the "hat track" with Cartoonist (4.00) for the S S G Stables and trainer Jim McDonald. The win for the six year-old Cartoonist was his first in 23 starts this year and first since May 2, 2015. Aaron Byron and Kevin Wallis had driving doubles on the card and trainers Mac Donald and Dale Gilmour each sent out a pair of winners on the Sunday card. Racing continues on Tuesday night with the Super Hi-5 finale now sporting a carryover jackpot of $6,853.98. Scheduled post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, FL...October 5, 2016...Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey swept Pompano Park's two Open harness racing events on Tuesday night as the grand mare Godiva Seelster took top honors in the elite event for pacing mares and a somewhat raucous Boli won the top race for trotters. Godiva Seelster, the splendid six year-old daughter of Camluck, got picture perfect rating through early panels of :27.1, :57 and 1:26.1 before sprinting home in :27 to score a handy win measuring three lengths in 1:53.1 over the pocket sitting Goldstar Rockette (Kevin Wallis) with Leaveum Lady (Tim Maier) next in the parade. De Valeria and Asset Management completed the roster in the quintet. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Godiva Seelster won for the seventh time this semester and 32nd lifetime, sending her career bounty over the $300,000 mark--$301,275 to be precise. Godiva Seelster, the 1 to 20 favorite, paid $2.10 to win. Boli, seemingly a bit unruly during the post parade and eventually causing a recall while refusing the gate, had the benefit of the magic Hall of Fame hands of Hennessey to help him compose and took the top trot in 1:56--his margin three-parts-of-a-length over Driving Miss Crazy (John MacDonald) and McKenzie's Star (Fern Paquet, Jr.). Tymal Recap and JJ Alex, the early leader, completed that roster. After the event, Hennessey related, "He (Boli) was just in a bad mood during the post parade. He gets that way sometimes. Once I got 'reasoned' with him and told him 'he' wasn't the boss, he was fine. But he can be a bit moody and, last night, he was a little brat during the post parade." Off as the 1 to 2 favorite, Boli returned $3.00 to win. Hennessey had two other wins on the program, completing a "grand slam" with the trotter Sakima ($8.20) and Gleneagles ($2.10), in the third leg of the F.S.B.O.A. sponsored Sunshine State Stakes. The latter, a sophomore colt by Mysticism, equalled his lifetime best performance of 1:54.3 while holding off the desperate late surge of the 30 to 1 chance Danza (Aaron Byron), closing quickest along the inside. The early leader, Conman's Dream (Jason MacDougall) finished third while ICU Diamond T and R Chism were next in the sextet of sophomores. Gleneagles, "O-for 10" prior to the Florida Stakes season, is now three-for 13, as the Dan Hennessey trainee took the first two legs of the Sunshine State Stake at Sunshine Meadows before the Tuesday night Pompano win. Now owned by the J L Benson Stables, Gleneagles pushed his lifetime bounty over the $84,000 with the bulk of the lucrative Florida Stakes season in competition over the next two months. That win, incidentally, completed a Pick-5 $1 payoff of $6,086.70, helped by a win from Imahonkyconchman (Walter Ross., Jr.) the race prior--by disqualification--at odds of 86-1. Owned and trained by 92 year-old George Napolitano, Imahonkyconchman had not won since May 20, 2015 covering 55 starts but benefitted when the unofficial winner, Highland Yankee, was "dq'd" for a pylon violation and placed fifth. The official winner paid $175.20 to win and keyed a $.20 cent Pentafecta payout of $3,679.84. Imahonkyconchman wasn't the only one that blew up the toteboard on Tuesday as Keystone Christa and Aaron Byron teamed up to score a 1:53.3 win in the Open 2 event for pacing mares at odds of 54 to 1. Owned by Lee Cullen and trained by Mr. Bev Kingston, Keystone Christa, a seven year-old daughter of Mach Three, was away fourth and took full advantage of very hot fractions of :26.4, :54.4 and 1:23.4 before roaring by late for the win--her third of the year in 29 starts. She paid $111.00 to win with Sweet Bet (Hennessey) and Carlota Blue Chip (Kevin Wallis) completing the top trio. In other Sunshine State Stakes events, Gold StarAurora, Prairie Panther and Gold Star Mysti were winners. Gold StarAurora, a daughter of Rock On, owned by Marianne Audley and trained by daughter Maggie, kept her record perfect at three-for-three in the juvenile filly pace with a win in a lifetime best 2:00 for Walter Ross, Jr. Getting picture perfect rating, Ross took the two year-old filly through panels of :28.4, 1:01 and 1:31.3 before a :28.2 sprint home sealed the deal over the first time starter Prairie Cowgirl (Mike Deters) with Tay Tay M (Hennessey) next. PF Silver Classic and Golden Diamond completed the order of finish. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote-board, Gold Star Aurora paid $3.40 to win. Prairie Panther, an altered two year-old son of Royal Millenium, unleashed a potent brush turning for home and scored a 1:57.1 win in only his second lifetime start. Owned by Laurie Poulin along with drainer Mike Deters, Mike was in the bike for the handy win measuring 3 1/2 lengths over Gold Star Bugsy (Hennessey) with Maybe Ned (Bryce Fenn) next. Gold StarSpider and Fifth Son also earned checks in the field of six. Second choice at 7 to 5, Prairie Panther paid $4.80 to win. Gold Star Mysti, a three year-old daughter of Mysticism winless and off the board last semester, used a :27.3 sprint home to score in a lifetime best 1:57.4 for Walter Ross, Jr., her second straight lifetime mark after a 1:59 win at Sunshine Meadows. "Mysti" let the favored Diamond Lily cut all the panels--:30, 1:00 and 1:30--before tilting out turning for home and strolling on by in the lane to keep her record for 2016 a perfect two-for-two. Dismissed at 8 to 1, Gold Star Mysti paid $18.80 to win. Racing resumes Sunday night with a Super Hi-5 carryover of $5,011.24 awaiting. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Delray Beach, FL...September 10, 2016...The Sunshine State Stakes season for Florida bred trotters and pacers kicked off over the beautifully manicured one mile harness racing oval at Sunshine Meadows on Saturday with Famous C, I'm Done, Gold StarAurora and Maybe Ned beginning their two year-old careers with victories. Fittingly enough, Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey began the festivities with the "Famously" bred Famous C (yes, he is by Famously) eking out a narrow decision over Atlantic Crest (Sergio Corona) in 2:05.3--:29.3 in his racing debut in the juvenile trot for the fillies. Trained by Marc Aubin for Amante Standardbreds, Famous C made a quarter move to the front and then held off the furious late rush of Atlantic Crest to win by a scant nostril. Charming Gator and Bonnie Blue Banker were next, respectively, in the quartet. Next, in the two year-old colt-gelding trot, I'm Done, a gelded son of Toro Bravo owned and trained by Troy Basista, used the rail to perfection in scoring a gate to sire win measuring five lengths for Tom Lehmann over Azzaro (Jay Sears) in 2:09.2. Gator Glide was next after an early miscue. Two year-old pacing fillies were in the limelight next and Maryann Audley's Gold Star Aurora, a daughter of Rock On, crushed her four other rivals, scoring by 16 1/2 lengths for Walter Ross, Jr. in 2:04.2. Tay Tay M (Wally Hennessey) recovered after some misfortune around the opening turn to finish second while Golden Diamond (Bill Owens) rallied for third. Millerlands Anna and Gold Dust Darling completed the order of finish. The win for Gold StarAurora not only kicked off her racing career, it was the very first training win for young Maggie Audley In the two year-old Sunshine State Stake for pacing colts and geldings, Maybe Ned, driven by Bryce Fenn showed true grit and determination in scoring a hard-fought 2:01.2-:59.2 win. Trained by Bob Barker, who co-owns with Marah Lee, Maybe Ned, a son of Royal Millennium held off the pocket-sitting Gold Star Bugsy (Walter Ross, Jr.) by a half length, prompting trainer Barker to lament, "now I'm thinking of changing his name from Maybe Ned to 'Definitely' Ned. "He had been training well right along and my confidence in his ability was justified today." Kingwiththeaxe was next with Moon Doggie and Fabiano also earning checks in the field of six. Florida bred three year-olds were in the spotlight next All Star Fame, Gold Star Mysti, Proud Joe T and Gleneagles notching the victories. All Star Fame, yet another son of Famously, gave Amante Standardbreds a second win on the program as trainer Sergio Corona steered the sophomore filly to a very narrow decision over the fast closing first time starter I'm For Sale (Tom Lehmann) by a neck in 2:03.3. It appeared the "race was over" midway through the mile as All Star Fame took advantage of the rail in the two horse field and cut serious panels of :30.1., 1:00.2 and 1:31 en route to a long lead. But I'm For Sale kept gnawing away and it was a photo finish that decided the outcome at the wire. In the filly pace for the three year-olds, Gold Star Mysti earned Maggie Audley a training double as this Mysticism filly broke her maiden with a sharp 1:59 ground saving journey, courtesy of Walter Ross, Jr. Owned by Marianne Audley, "Mysti" came into the action with a 7-0-0-0 scorecard during her two year-old campaign but sliced through along the inside to go on to a 3 3/4 length win in 1:59 over Gold Star Lovebug (Joe Sanzeri). Caitlin's Romance was third for Bruce Fenn with Yule Love It completed the order after a miscue around the first turn. In the three year-old trot for the colts and geldings, it was Proud Joe T, deftly handled by Rob Hoffman for lessee and trainer Dave Myrick, making his 2016 debut with a lifetime best performance in 2:02.3--his margin three lengths over Rexamillion (Wally Hennessey) with Famous Crown next. Famous Crown (Mickey McNichol) was third over Last Chance Fame and Pacific Nitro in the sextet. The usually headstrong Proud Joe T, did show his usual gate speed but elected to take the pocket and then rallied half way down the long Sunshine Meadows stretch to collar Rexamillion and sprint on by as the latter made a miscue. Finally, the two year-old champion of 2015, Gleneagles, trained by Dan Hennessey for the J L Benson Stables, earned his initial victory of his sophomore season, scoring in 1:59.4 by 4 1/4 lengths over R Chism (Jay Sears) in an event which featured only two starters. The F.S.B.O.A. Sunshine State Stakes action continues next Saturday at Sunshine Meadows with post time set at 11:00 a.m. by John Berry for the F.S.B.O.A.
Idealbeach Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere) prevailed in the local harness racing Open at Saratoga Casino Hotel for the first time on Saturday night as the Rene Allard-trained pacer toughed out a first over journey. Hall of Fame reinsman Wally Hennessey piloted the five year old in the $15,000 Open Pace and after leaving for position moved Idealbeach Hanover first over on longshot leader Spinarama (Austin Siegelman). Idealbeach Hanover wore that one down but the backfield was in motion late as the race's favorite Givenupdreaming (Stephane Bouchard) and longshot Mc Rusty (Mark Beckwith) came charging at him in the final strides. Idealbeach Hanover held on to win in 1:52.4 while Givenupdreaming came up second best and Mc Rusty earned the show spot. Idealbeach Hanover, whose victory was his seventh of the season, paid $8.20 to win in the Saturday feature. The exacta returned $19 while the triple came back $132.50. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. Mike Sardella
EJ's Last Dance (Conway Hall) went coast to coast on Wednesday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel to prevail in her half of the harness racing co-features. Wally Hennessey piloted the Norm Dessureault-trained trotter and moved her out to the early lead in the $9,300 event for New York Sired trotters. The four year old mare never faced an anxious moment before trotting away to win in a career best 1:56.4. The race's morning line favorite returned a fairly generous $7.90 to win while besting the favored Elusive Action (Bruce Aldrich Jr) and Kinda Naughty (Frank Coppola Jr) who finished second and third, respectively. For EJ's Last Dance, it was the fourth win in seven starts since joining the Dessureault stable back in June. The other division of the $9,300 co-feature was won in upset fashion by DW's Sparticus (Dilbert Hanover). The Gary Levine trainee moved first over on his race's favorite at the half and ground that one into submission late in the mile before stopping the timer in 1:59.2. DW's Sparticus, who set a new career mark with the win, was dismissed at odds of 17-1. DW's Sparticus was piloted to the win by Billy Dobson. Live racing continues on Thursday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 7:05pm. Mike Sardella
Straight A Student (Credit Winner) cruised to a harness racing victory on Monday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The three year old trotting filly was making her first start since competing in the $225,000 Empire Breeders Classic Final at Vernon Downs last month. The Paul Kelley-trained sophomore came into the race with four second place finishes in five starts in 2016 but shook her bridesmaid status on Monday as she dominated with Wally Hennessey in the sulky. Straight A Student, who secured two of her second place finishes this year while competing in New York Sire Stakes races, was the public's 1-9 betting favorite on Monday and marched out to the early lead in the $8,000 race for New York Sired trotters. Straight A Student scampered away from her rivals for a dominant win in 1:58. It served as one of two victories on the day for Hennessey on an afternoon when Frank Coppola Jr. was the sulky star. Coppola piloted four winners on the holiday matinee card. Live racing resumes on Thursday at Saratoga with live racing starting at 4:00pm. Mike Sardella
Artful Way (Artistic Fella) won his fourth Open Pace of the year on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Jackie Rousse-trained four year old not only set a lifetime mark but also paced the fastest mile of the year thus far at the Spa when he stopped the timer in 1:51. Frank Coppola Jr. pointed Artful Way out to the early lead in a sizzling 26.3 before yielding to rival JK Panache (Wally Hennessey) past the quarter. JK Panache flew through a half in 54.1 and three quarters 1:22.1 and still had something left in the stretch. Artful Way tracked him down in the final strides to record the mild upset at odds of 6-1. JK Panache held second while Caution Signs (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Artful Way, who won ten times in 25 starts last year en route to over $100,000 in earnings, is on almost that exact pace again in 2016 as he never owns five wins and more than $50,000 in his first thirteen starts of the season. The winner returned $15.80 while the race's exacta and triple paid $60.50 and $380, respectively. Live racing takes place on Sunday and Monday afternoons with matinees beginning at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
Pompano Beach, FL...June 1, 2016...Pompano Park closed out its highly successful 2015-2016 harness racing meeting on Tuesday night (May 31) as the 20 cent Super Hi-5, with a carryover of $28,537 going in, attracted over $271,000 in new wagers, sending that final pool total over the $300,000 mark. With Sweet Bet, the even-money tote-board favorite taking the finale, and the only other "single digit" odds horses finishing "2-3-4," the 20 cent payoff amounted to $122.20 with over 2,000 winning tickets in line to collect. On the racing front, Goldstar Rockette and Sailer Eddie took top honors in their respective $10,000 feature pacing and trotting events. Goldstar Rockette, given picture perfect rating by Kevin Wallis, led first long stride to last in the pace, scoring a handy 1:55.1 win measuring 1 1/4 lengths over Della Bea, handled by Dave Ingraham, Real Nice Girl, in the garden spot all the way, finished third for Joe Sanzeri while Sue's Night Out and Shortest Distance complete the order of finish in the quintet. The fractions were :27.4, :57.2 and 1:26.4 before a :28.2 finale sealed the deal, prompting driver Kevin Wallis to relate, "With the scratch in there, instead of post six, we moved into that coveted post five and she made the lead very easily and the middle half mile was rather soft with no one coming. "Louie (trainer Ginesi) has her very sharp these days, so that made my job that much easier. She's tough right now, no doubt about it!" The six year-old Florida bred daughter of Rock On won for the third consecutive week and eighth time for the year, sending her seasonal bounty to $41,062, her most lucrative season ever. The win also vaulted her lifetime bounty over the $100,000 plateau--$104,913 to be precise--for owner-trainer Lou Ginesi. As the 1 to 20 favorite, Goldstar Rockette returned $2.10. About 23 minutes later, Wallis guided his own Sailer Eddie to a similar wire-to-wire win in the trot, hitting the wire first off of fractions of :27.2, :57.2 and 1:26.3 before a :29 final panel closed out that event in 1:55.3 with 1 1/2 lengths to spare over the late-charging Pittsburgh Hanover, driven by Wally Ross, Jr.. Political Foe, with Joe Sanzeri handling the lines, finished third after putting in a mild threat around the final bend. Caviart Griffin finished fourth while Gold Savage picked up the nickel in the field after a difficult journey early. In a post-race interview, Wallis said, "he's pretty tough when the fractions go his way. That second quarter breather helped his cause and I was pretty confident when we got to the half in :57 and a piece. Sailer Eddie, a consistent six year-old altered son of Cantab Hall, sent his 2016 scorecard to 4-4-3 in 19 starts, good for earnings of 37,236 this semester and $324,481 career-wise. Off at 3 to 5 on the tote-board, Sailer Eddie returned $3.40 to his multitude of followers. Wally Hennessey wound up as the leading driver of the 126 night meeting with 224 wins while Kevin Wallis finished next with 151 trips to the charmed circle. Aaron Byron, John MacDonald and Rick Plano rounded out the top five in the standings based on wins. The leading driver, based on winning percentage of wins with 100 drives or more, was George Napolitano, Jr., who had 43 wins in 120 starts, a rate over 35%. The training title went to Paul Holzman, with 49 winners in 168 starts. Mike Deters and Dale Gilmour finished in a "dead-heat" for second with 43 victories while Dan Hennessey and Jim McDonald completed the top five. Holzman also won the percentage title with trainers competing in 100 or more races, finishing with a winning percentage of 29. The 2016-2017 126 night meeting begins October 2. by John Berry for Pompano Park