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Godiva Seelster (Camluck) made her harness racing return to the Spa a winning one on Friday night. The Dan Hennessey-trained mare competed at a high level this winter and spring at Pompano Park in Florida and handled the adjustment back to the north with ease as she scored in the $15,000 Open Handicap for Fillies and Mares. Godiva Seelster left quickly and wound up sitting the pocket to the race's favorite in the 1 1/16 mile Friday feature. After three quarters went in a quick 1:25, the leader tired when confronted by longshot My Spring Fling (Jim Devaux). Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey found clearance around the final turn and snuck Godiva Seelster off the pylons and she charged hard to get by My Spring Fling and secure her third victory of the year. My Spring Fling, who was dismissed at odds of 50-1, finished a strong second while Bettorhaveanother (Frank Coppola Jr) came on to earn the show spot. Godiva Seelster, who is owned by Paul and Patti O'neil of Saratoga Springs, stopped the timer in 2:00.2 for the 1 1/16 miles. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Former harness racing Maine champion to make seasonal debut in $150,000 Playoff on Sunday, May 8 at the Meadowlands Trainer Paul Kelley will be the first to admit that his star trotter Obrigado has been "a pleasant surprise." Kelley bought the former Maine-bred champion at the 2013 Harrisburg Sale for $53,000 with the hope that he would develop into a nice open trotter at Saratoga. Instead, the six-year-old gelding by Boy Band - Malimony, by Malabar Man has become a top-class stakes horse who earned $405,535 in 2015 with a signature win in the $200,000 Crawford Farms Trot at Vernon Downs and a runner-up finish to close out the year in the $400,000 TVG Free For All Final. Obrigado is part of an all-star field of nine entered in Sunday's inaugural $150,000 Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff at the Meadowlands. The race winner will receive an invitation to the Elitlopp at Solvalla Racecourse in Sweden on May 29. The Playoff is scheduled for Race 1 on Sunday's matinee program with a post time of 12:40 p.m. It will be broadcast live on national television in Sweden and anchors a six-race trotting block that will make up the V64 wager in Sweden. Obrigado spent his winter in Florida with Kelley and posted two winning qualifiers at Pompano Park before shipping north. He qualified last Saturday at the Meadowlands in 1:54.1 with a final quarter in 27.1 in his final tune-up before Sunday. "He had a really good winter and Wally Hennessey was especially happy with his second qualifier," explained Kelley. "He needed a good stiff training mile last weekend because he can tend to be a lazy horse. That effort was good for him to stretch his legs and open his lungs up. I don't know if I have him 100 percent where I want him to be, but if he's up to it, he will be right there on the wire and if not, then he is not quite ready." Kelley shares ownership of Obrigado with Linwood Higgins, Stable 45, and the SRF Stable of Lennart Agren. Agren bought the ownership share previously held by Bill Weaver, the legendary owner and breeder who passed away this past February at the age of 79. Agren is from Sweden and owns 2015 Elitlopp Champion, Magic Tonight. "Mr. Agren is a great sportsman and horseman and I know he would love nothing more than to have Obrigado race over at Solvalla," said Kelley. "I have been fortunate to attend the Elitlopp and it is truly a tremendous event. I am familiar with the whole setup over there and know how difficult it is for an American horse to win, especially this year where Nuncio looks like he will be a big favorite and have the home course advantage." Fans can learn more about each of the horses entered in the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff by visiting and can join the discussion on social media using #ElitloppPlayoff. Wagering Update With the change to the regular Meadowlands schedule by racing on Sunday afternoon, the regular guarantees in the Pick Five and two Pick Four wagers will not be in place. The jackpot amounts in the Super High Five wagers will remain. Justin Horowitz  

Boli, the four year-old talented son of Kadabra, stepped up to Open company on Tuesday night (April 26) at Pompano Park and scored his fifth consecutive harness racing victory, this one in a seasonal best clocking of 1:55.1. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Boli was driven by Wally Hennessey and pinned a half-length defeat on the late charging Cashahallic, with Matt Romano in the bike. Sailer Eddie finished third for Kevin Wallis after cutting much of the mile while Nothinbutanallstar and Majestic Won earned the minors in the field of six. Using his usual tactics, Boli lolly-gagged a length off the gate at the start but wended his way into fourth by the time Sailer Eddie hit the opener in a sharp :27.1 with Cashahallic second and Nothinbutanallstar, showing a bit of early foot from the outside post, landing in third. Positions remained stagnant through the half in a well rated :57.2 with Boli now out and churning forward on the backside, reaching within a neck of Sailer Eddie through a "picked-up" three-quarters in 1:26.1. In the lane, Boli muscled his way to the front and, given just a couple of reminders late, held off Cashahallic in the drive to the finish. After the race, Hennessey said, "After that unbelievable performance last week, I didn't know what really to expect tonight but he seemed very relaxed leaving and so I went looking for a spot seeing that the inside horses didn't seem all that interested early. "I found that good spot in fourth and sensed a slower pace going over to the half and that's why I pulled around that second turn. "On the backside, the pace 'picked-up' but my horse likes that sort of thing and likes to dig in, so that didn't bother him at all. "In the lane, I just gave him a couple of subtle reminders and that was that. It was another good performance for him." In winning his fifth straight, Boli sent his seasonal bankroll to $19,762 and $79,314 on the strength of his 10th win in only 30 career starts. Off at 2 to 5 on the tote-board, Boli returned $2.80 to win. The $9,500 Open 2 for pacing mares went to Goldstar Rockette, handled by Corey Braden for owner-trainer Lou Ginesi. This Florida bred six year-old daughter of Rock On blasted out from the Hummer Starting Gate into a quick early lead, yielded to Cheap N Easy, driven by John MacDonald, short of the blistering :26.4 opener, reclaimed three-eighths into the mile, and went on to post subsequent panels of :56.3 and 1:24.1 before striding home in :28.1 to record a lifetime best clocking of 1:52.2-her margin just short of three lengths over Cheap N Easy. Artful Impulse was third for Wally Hennessey while De Valeria finished fourth. Limelight picked up the nickel in the septet. Goldstar Rockette won for the fifth time in 16 starts this semester to send her 2016 bounty to $24,187. She now has 17 lifetime wins and career earnings of $88,038. Though her recent miles don't indicate early speed, Goldstar Rockette has won 13 of her 17 lifetime wins on the engine. As the even money favorite, Goldstar Rockette returned $4.00 to win. Racing continues on a two night-a-week schedule-Sundays and Tuesdays-throughout the month on May with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL,  April 12, 2016 - By the slenderest of nostrils, Godiva Seelster scored a repeat victory in Pompano Park's $12,100 Open Handicap Pace for Mares on Tuesday night. The splendid six year-old daughter of Camluck, handled, once again, by Wally Hennessey, withstood a furious challenge by All Charged Up, with John MacDonald driving, to score in 1:52.2 for her second win of the year and 27th success lifetime in this, her 90th career start. While the official margin in distance was a "nose" the difference, in terms of time, was 1/100th of a second with Godiva Seelster officially timed in 1:52.45 and All Charged Up clocked in 1:52.46. Heart Major, with Joe Pavia, Jr. in the bike, was third while Goldstar Rockette and Virginaire picked up the final two awards in the field scratched down to nine. At the outset, both Heart Major and All Charged Up surged off the wings of the Hummer Starting Gate with Godiva floating up on the outside next from her outside post and pressing on to take the lead just a stride or two past the opening panel clocked in :26.3. Godiva Seelster, All Charged and Heart Major continued to be 1-2-3 past the half in a rated :56.1 with the picked up three-quarters timed in 1:24.4. That's when All Charged Up left the coziness of her pocket and began gnawing in the leader's margin. In a classic finish, these two hit the wire virtually together with a blown up photo finish picture necessary to determine the winner. After the race, driver Hennessey said, "Well, Godiva was tested tonight. Both of us - MacDonald's mare and mine - were going all they could go. It was a classic duel all the way home and, to tell you the truth, I didn't know who won it. It was a pretty hot opening quarter to make the front and I was lucky that my mare takes good care of herself and can be rated when she gets the chance. That second quarter probably was the deciding factor, if there was one.” Godiva Seelster not only pushed her 2016 earnings to $33,508 on the strength of her 9-2-5-1 scorecard, she launched her career earnings to $253,275 and ran her streak of getting purse checks to 81 consecutive starts dating back to the start of her 2013 season. As the 2 to 5 favorite, Godiva Seelster returned a $2.80 dividend to those who invested $2 on her nose. In the ever popular "Over The Hill Gang"  trot, featuring nine year-olds & up, Go Jesse Go, driven by John MacDonald, earned landmark lifetime victory number 25 with a gate to wire win in 1:56.2, just a tick off of his lifetime best set two seasons ago. The nine year-old altered son of Jailhouse Jesse, carded panels of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:26.1 while never threatened during his 2 ¼ length victory over the packet-sitting 11 year-old mare Flashy Lady, handled by Mike Micallef. On The Tab, with Wally Hennessey in the bike, finished third while Adenium finished fourth. I'll Tell You What, last during the early stage of the mile, closed fastest of all to pick up the nickel in the septet. Trained by Leon Cable for owner Anthony Chiniara, Go Jesse Go won for the third time this semester in 14 starts, pushing his seasonal bounty to $15,740. He's banked $127,499 lifetime. Off as the slight 5 to 2 favorite, Go Jesse Go returned $6.80 to his faithful followers. Racing continues on Sunday night with the $775,000 winner, Dedi's Dragon, in action against Energy Shakes, St Lads Lotto, Prairie Jaguar, Northern Companion and Alexa's Jackpot in the Open Handicap Pace. Two divisions of the C.K.G. Billings Amateur are also on the card with many of the top amateurs in the country competing in two events, one of these a rare pace for the amateurs. Also, a second Pick-4 wager has been added to the racing programs for the remainder of the season. The additional Pick-4 encompasses races 2 through 5 and compliments the traditional Pick-4 on races 6 through 9. Post time for the Sunday 11 race program is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...April 11, 2016...Despite "missing the train as it left the station," Boli, driven by Wally Hennessey, erupted with a huge rally in the final half mile to score a photo finish victory in Pompano Park's $9,400 feature trot on Monday night, covering the distance in 1:55.3. The four year-old son of Kadabra, stepping up to Open company for the initial time this season, put in a memorable performance in pinning a defeat measuring a neck over Sailer Eddie (Kevin Wallis) with Bambino Hall (Aaron Byron) just another nose away in third. My Revenuer, spotting the field some 10 lengths at the start from the second tier post, rallied for fourth, just a length back of the winner, while Midnite Craze picked up the nickel after being prominent most of the way. At the outset, it was Sailer Eddie on the bullet train early in the bulky field with Midnite Craze protecting his rail position and Bambino Hall finding a spot in third and Count Speed wending his way into fourth. Meanwhile, Boli was dead last and more than 15 lengths out of through an opening panel in :27.3. With Sailer Eddie appearing to get somewhat of a breather during the second panel, positions remained virtually stagnant with only Tater Twister-moving from sixth to fifth-and My Revenuer were out and attempting to close the gap on the leader, who reached the half in :56.4. On the backstretch, Midnite Craze left the coziness of the pocket to engage the Sailer Eddie with Bambino Hall edging a tad closer along with Tater Twister. Meanwhile, Boli, who moved three wide just past the half, was gobbling up ground and, by the time Sailer Eddie reached the third station in 1:26, Boli was then four wide, now sixth, and less five lengths off the lead. His rally continued all the way home, with his :28.3 finale just enough to hit the line first. After the event, Hennessey said, "I still can't believe what just happened. Horses just don't do what he just did. "I've been in this business for 45 years and I've have seen it all-until just now. "This was the most unbelievable mile in my lifetime. I mean it! "He (Boli) got a bit tangled up in the hobbles early and made a slight skip and wasn't really focused on business and, gee, we must've been close to 20 lengths out of it when we started. In other words, the train left the station without me!" "I just can't believe it. Again, horses just don't do what he did tonight!" For Boli, trained by Dan Hennessey for Paul and Patricia O'Neil, it was the gelding's fourth consecutive win and ninth win lifetime sending his career bounty to $74,664--$15,012 this semester. AS the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Boli returned $3.80 to win. Racing continues on Tuesday night with Godiva Seelster seeking her second straight win in the $12,100 Open Pace for Mares. by John Berry, for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL.April 10, 2016.Track record holder Panocchio, forced to change his usual front stepping tactics, overcame a first over journey and went on to score a victory-his 40th lifetime-in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (April 10). The six year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, handled, once again, by Wally Hennessey, hit the wire in 1:51, holding Rockin In Heaven, making his seasonal debut, and driven by Gilles Barrieau, safe by three-parts-of-a-length. Dedi's Dragon, with Ricky Macomber, Jr. handling the lines, was third, 2 ¼ lengths away, while Southwind Amazon (Mike Micallef) finished fourth. Duc Dorleans (Donald Dupont) picked up the nickel in the very talented sextet. When the gate folded, all six of these combatants seemed to go for the lead with only Rockin In Heaven relenting early and dropping to the back of the pack. So, around the opening turn, Duc Dorleans and Dedi's Dragon mixed it up with Southwind Amazon double-bubbled early and Panocchio next on the outside but able to finally land in the fourth spot past a hot opener in :26.3. With Southwind Amazon pressing on, he was able to stick his nose in front past the half in :54.1. That's when Panocchio left his cozy spot and marched up first over and engaged Southwind Amazon in battle, reaching the third station in 1:22.3 with Dedi's Dragon content to sit chilly in third and Rockin In Heaven second over in fourth. In the lane, Panocchio took command with authority as Rockin In Heaven took up the chase but, with just a slight "reminder" from Hennessey, Panocchio was confidently home free in the final stages. In a post-race interview, Hennessey remarked, "You know this horse likes to be in the thick of the battle from the get-go but, tonight, that wasn't a realistic strategy since they were going so much up front. "So, I found that spot in fourth and thought that was the right thing to do at the time. "These horses aren't machines, you know, but, now that I think of it," Hennessey smiled, "this one is pretty close to it! "He's just awesome and, again, you have to give credit to Jim and Vicki (Mattison) because they are the ones who keep him happy and sharp." In getting that 40th win in 90 lifetime starts, Panocchio sent his 2016 scorecard to 4-3-0 in seven starts, good for earnings this semester of $40,910. He's banked $331,677 for trainer Jim Mattison, who co-owns along with Emile Johnson, Jr. As the 2 to 5 talk of the tote-board, Panocchio paid $2.80 to his multitude of followers. The $8,500 Open 2 Pace went to Steelhead Hanover, with Joe Pavia, Jr., in 1:51.2 as this seven year-old son of Bettor's Delight made a sharp quarter (:27.1) move to the top and went on to clock fractions of :55.1 and 1:23 before sealing the issue with a :28.2 finale-his winning margin one length over Alexa's Jackpot (John MacDonald) with Mister Virgin (Ricky Macomber, Jr.) a fast closing third. Northern Companion and Prairie Jaguar were next in the field of six. Both Steelhead Hanover (post four) and Alexa's Jackpot (post five) played a bit of musical chairs early with Steelhead Hanover, first, yielding and, then, retaking, ultimately proving to be the winning strategy. Trained by Pavia for the Dijo Racing, AGC Stables, Pint Size Racing and Joseph Barbera, Steelhead Hanover earned his initial win of the season in three starts-22nd success career-wise-to send his lifetime bounty to $543,320. Off as the 3 to 1 second choice, Steelhead Hanover returned $8.20 to his faithful. Also of note on Sunday night was the performance of the 11 year-old warrior, Rick's Sign, rallying late for Ricky Macomber, Jr. in a conditioned-optional claiming event to win in 1:53 for his fourth consecutive win and 64th lifetime success in 274 career starts. Trained by Paul Holzman for owner Mary Holzman, Rick's Sign now owns a 5-2-1 scorecard in 10 starts this year, good for $19,368. Lifetime, this son of Life Sign has banked $417,589 to go along with a 1:50.3 mark at Pompano Park five seasons ago. Rick's Sign was somewhat neglected in the wagering and returned $15.00 to win. Racing continues at Pompano Park with a Sunday-Monday-Tuesday calendar throughout the remainder of the month. The May calendar features racing on Sundays and Tuesdays. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Godiva Seelster, handled by Wally Hennessey, finally got her initial victory of 2016 when she conquered five other harness racing rivals in Pompano Park's Tuesday night feature, the $11,000 Open Handicap for mares, in 1:52. At the same time, the amazing mare stretched her streak of earning purse checks to 80, encompassing her entire seasons as a three, four, five and, thus far, six year-old seasons. The last time Godiva Seelster missed a purse check was September 9, 2012. The classy six year-old daughter of Camluck, trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, survived a roughed up beginning before taking control shortly after the opening panel and going on to score a two length win over All Charged Up, driven by John MacDonald, with Southwind Trini, with Steve Condren in the bike, next. Goldstar Rockette finished fourth while Limelight, prominent early, held on to earn the final award in the sextet. When the wings folded, Limelight let with alacrity along as did All Charged Up with Godiva Seelster, beginning from the outside post in her field, also getting into the mix while widest of all and with Hennessey needing to make a decision to take a seat in third early or go on vying for the lead. He chose the latter strategy and, after a first quarter in :27.3 charged up strongly to assume command about three-eighths into the mile. The pace quickened even further as Godiva reached the half in :55 and maintained a 1 ½ length advantage over Limelight with All Charged Up now out of third and trying to gnaw into the leader's margin. Passing the final station before home in 1:23.2, Godiva Seelster was more than up to the task as she strolled home in :28.3, never threatened in the final stages of the mile. In a post-race interview, driver Wally Hennessey had high praise for his stable star saying, "She's just an amazing mare that gives her best every step of every mile of every race. "I ask and she answers! It's as simple as that. She does the best she can through thick and thin. She's just a rare racehorse. "This wasn't the easiest of trips for her as she was roughed up a bit leaving but, once we got to the top, she just took me around the oval the rest of the way. "Gotta give the credit to her as all I did was steer!" The win for Godiva Seelster was her 26th during her illustrious career, pushing her lifetime bounty to $247,467--$27,750 so far this semester. As the 2 to 5 tote-board favorite, Godiva Seelster paid $2.80 to her multitude of backers. The popular "Over The Hill Gang" trotting series continued on Tuesday night with Mad Cow Lisa and driver Aaron Byron teaming up for the win clocked in 1:57.4. The 10 year-old daughter of Wenceslaus held off the late surging Go Jesse Go, handled by John MacDonald, by a half-length with On The Tab surging late for Wally Hennessey to pick up the show honors. Rompaway Beau, last throughout much of the mile, closed stoutly to finish fourth while the pacesetter, Adenium, finished fifth in the octet. Indeed, it was Adenium blasting from the wings into an early lead, clocking fractions of :29 and :58.2 for the opening half. On the backside, Imminent Response (Kevin Wallis) sent his charge winging and even stuck a nose in front past the third marker in 1:26.4. In the lane, as these two slugged it out, the cavalry charge of Mad Cow Lisa, Go Jesse Go and On The Tab swarmed in as the hefty early fractions took their toll on the battling leaders. For Mad Cow Lisa, trained by James Kaspar for owner Marshall Makin, it was her milestone 25th lifetime win-third this semester-sending her career bounty to $148,435. Though she had a 2-3-2 scorecard in her last seven starts, Mad Cow Lisa was sent off as the 8 to 1 sixth choice and returned $18.20 to win, keying a 20 cent 8-5-7-9 Superfecta payoff of $3,829.02. Racing continues on Saturday night-the final Saturday program of the season-with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Hall of Fame harness racing driver Wally Hennessey reached the coveted 9,000 win mark on Tuesday night at Pompano Park, securing the milestone with his second grand-slam in as many nights. Hennessey reached the winner's circle with Columbia Lion ($3.60) in the first race, Bodacious Becky ($3.60) in the fourth, De Vin's Girl ($9.00) in the seventh and Winbak Heavenly ($3.20) in the eighth. In guiding the Mike Deters trained, Barbara Jensen owned Winbak Heavenly to victory, Hennessey achieved a plateau that began back in 1976, when he won four races the entire year to begin his career. With over $60,000,000 in purse earnings benefitting owners of horses he has driven, Hennessey started his career in the Maritimes before leaving his "homeland" to compete in the Canadian Ice Racing Classic in Ottawa, Canada. Since spreading his wings and coming to the United States, Hennessey had won many prestigious events, including several Breeders Crown races, the Hambletonian Oaks, the Kentucky Futurity, the Woodrow Wilson and the Nat Ray--the latter three times with the great Moni Maker. Since 1989, he has had 26 seasons with 200 or more wins and 26 seasons with a UDRS (batting average) of over .300. In an interview following his milestone win, Hennessey said, "I owe my success to many, many people, including my dad, who taught me so much, my wife, who has stuck with me all the way down this path, and my brother, Dan, who is an inspiration every day at the barn." On to the racing action, on a track rated surprisingly good after heavy storms pelted South Florida, Totally Rusty, given picture perfect handling by Matt Romano, emerged victorious in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares in a lifetime best performance of 1:50.1. Her winning margin was a length over a stubborn Godiva Seelster, driven by Wally Hennessey with All Charged Up, teamed up with John MacDonald, third. Just A Bee, facing a difficult task from her outside nine post, finished fourth in the field of nine while Goldstar Rockette, in a ground saving mile, picked up the nickel. At the outset, driver Romano sent Totally Rusty blasting out of the gate while taking the early lead with All Charged Up securing a good early spot and Godiva Seelster on the prowl from the outside. Lady Godiva took command just a stride or two shy of the hot opening quarter of :26.2 and continued up top through a :54.2 half. She showed her hooves to her foes past the third station in 1:22.1 but, shortly thereafter, Totally Rusty left the coziness of her pocket and surged along-side Godiva Seelster before pushing her nose in front in mid-stretch and then edging clear to the wire. In a post-race interview, driver Matt Romano had high praise for both horse and trainer saying, "She tried tackling the best ones in the Isle Late Closer and that was just a bit too tough for her, so, Ross (trainer Croghan) gave her a couple of weeks off to forget about that and she came back with a vengeance tonight. "I left with her because, one, she had the five post and, two, it seemed that there were three pretty good ones outside. I thought I'd try and get a jump on them and I did on two of them. "Then, Wally's great mare (Godiva Seelster) gave me some cover and the fractions were lively, so it all worked out great...and Ross (Croghan) had her ready, so it worked out great." In earning her 16th lifetime win in only 29 lifetime starts, the four year-old Rusty's For Ready chestnut, owned by the Let It Ride Stables, sent her career earnings to $318,579. As the 2 to 1 favorite, she returned $6.40 to win. The Open 2 Pace for the ladies went to the aforementioned De Vin's Girl, with Hennessey guiding the nine year-old daughter of Red River Hanover to victory in 1:52.3 for his 8,999th lifetime victory. Drea's Good Powow finished second, two lengths back, for Dave Ingraham while Classic Carpet finished third for Matt Romano after sizzling through fractions of :27, :54.3 and 1:22.2. Heart Major finished fourth while Sinspirational was next in the field of eight. De Vins Girl was sixth in the early going before tilting out prior to the half and wending forward. Hennessey went after De Vins Girl heading into the final turn and gave her a few reminders as they turned for home before hitting the wire with the whip straight up in the air. Trained by Renaldo Morales III for owner Dan Clements, De Vins Girl, a winner last week at odds of 1 to 10 odds, stretched her winning streak to two this night and returned $9.00 to win. De Vins Girl now has 35 lifetime wins and career bounty of $321,830. Finally, the popular "Over The Hill Gang" trot, featuring an octet of nine year-olds and up with combined lifetime earnings of over $3,000,000, went post-ward and, relishing the "slightly off" track, Mandabra emerged victorious for driver Joe Pavia, Jr.. The 10 year-old altered son of Kadabra was away in good order third as Savethelastdanceforme won an early battle with Mad Cow Lisa, driven by Aaron Byron, through an opening panel of :28.3. Shortly after, Mad Cow Lisa brushed to the front but Mandabra surged up prior to the :57 half to take command and opened up daylight on the backside before reaching the third station in 1:26.3. Mandabra finished his one mile tour in 1:57, pinning a defeat measuring a half-length on Mad Cow Lisa. Flashy Lady was third for Mike Micallef while Play Fair, last at the stretch call, finished fourth. On The Tab finished fifth in an event that spanned 2¼ lengths from top to bottom. Trained by Pavia for the Joe Pavia, Jr. Stable, it was victory number 28 in a career measuring 178 starts sending his lifetime bankroll to $336,612. Off at 3 to 2, Mandabra returned a $5.00 dividend to his many $2 investors. Racing continues on Saturday night at Pompano Park with first post scheduled for 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Wind Of The North, with Hall of Fame harness racing driver Wally Hennessey handling the lines, trotted the fastest mile in Pompano Park history on Monday night (March 28) in the $15,000 Open Handicap Trot. The six year-old gelded son of Cantab Hall, owned by Joann Dombeck along with trainer Jenny Bier, stopped the clock in 1:52.2, eclipsing Southwind Vavoom’s time by two-fifths of a second. Striking Ivy, with Kevin Wallis in the bike, was second, four lengths back, while Midnite Craze, driven by Ivan Davies, was third, 7 ½ lengths back. Natural Herbie rallied to finish fourth while Oho Diamond, at the back of the pack for much of the mile, finished fifth in the septet. Wind Of The North led every long stride of his epic mile, hitting the opening station in :27, lolly-gagging over to the half in :56.2, thwarting any thoughts of challengers during a :27.3 third panel, reaching that station in 1:24, and home in an effortless :28.2. In a post-race interview, driver Wally Hennessey gave all the credit to the horse saying, “All I did tonight was grab a hold of his lines and let him take me around for the ride. “I really didn’t think he was going that much—he was doing it so effortlessly. “The conditions were perfect tonight and this trotter proved he can race against the big boys anywhere…he’s that good!” For Wind Of The North, it was his second win of the season in just three starts and 20th triumph career-wise in 75 starts sending his lifetime earnings to $497,308. As the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Wind Of The North paid $2.60 to his multitude of followers. Pompano Park’s $11,000 Open 2 Trot went to Genius At Work, driven by John MacDonald. This five year-old son of Credit Winner led at every junction, punching the timeclock in :28.1, :57.1 and 1:24.4 along the way before coasting home and stopping the timer in 1:55. Jailhouse Jessica, with Ricky Macomber, Jr. handling the mare’s lines, finished second, a length away, with Sailer Eddie and Kevin Wallis teaming up for third. The favorite, Jesse’s Promise, made a miscue early on but recovered and finished fourth while Winding Hill, on a break of his own around the final turn, eventually finished fifth while earning the nickel. For Genius At Work, trained by Robert Bencal for Little E LLC, it was his second success of the year in only four starts, good for $11,125. The win also pushed the gelding’s lifetime bounty over the $100,000 plateau--$102,547 to be precise. As the 5 to 2 second choice, Genius At Work paid $7.20 to those geniuses smart enough to wager $2 on his nose. The $10,000 Open 3 Trot found Buddy Hally in the winner’s circle shortly after the son of Angus Hall toured the South Florida oval in 1:54.2 for Kevin Wallis. The six year-old pinned the defeat measuring  1½  lengths on the late closing El Diablo Rojo, handled by Steve Condren with Tater Twister third for John Cummings, Jr.. Benns Score Keeper and R G Rocket picked up the minors in the octet. Enjoying a double-dip in class, Buddy Hally was sent right to the front and clocked panels of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25.2 before the :29 finale sealed the deal. Trained by Gregg McNair, who co-owns along with Howmac Farms, Reginald Mac Pherson and Wayne Mac Rae, the win was the second of the year for Buddy Hally and his fastest winning performance since a Mohawk win in 1:53 over 18 months ago. Buddy Hally now has 13 lifetime wins and career bounty of $359,601. As the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Buddy Hally paid a dividend of $3.20 on behalf of his $2 investors. Driver Wally Hennessey, leaping towards 9,000 North American wins during his star-studded career, notched a natural “grand slam” on Monday night, winning the fourth with P L Intowin ($23.20), the fifth race with Boli ($4.20), the sixth with the aforementioned Wind Of The North, and the seventh with Bettor On Top ($2.80). His victory total now stands at 8,996. Racing continues on Tuesday night with the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace for mares. A field of nine will face the Hummer Starting Gate with Pertty Music, last week’s winner, looking for her second straight victory against a talented field including Just A Bee, Godiva Seelster, Southwind Trini, Totally Rusty, All Cahrged Up, Jets Are On, Limelight and Goldstar Rockette. Post time at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Panocchio, driven by Hall of Fame harness racing driver Wally Hennessey, overcame the outside nine post, eight worthy opponents and a very tough journey to score a courageous win in Pompano Park's $15,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (March 20). Stopping the timer in 1:49.3, Panocchio held on gamely in the final stages to score by a neck over the late charging Dedi's Dragon, handled by Ricky Macomber, Jr., with Southwind Amazon also in the photo, third for Mike Micallef. Whogoesfirst was fourth in the mile, four lengths away, while Winyard Hanover, smartly saving ground the entire route, picked up the nickel in the field of nine. Panocchio, assigned the outside post this week off of last week's win, left with alacrity but Whogoesfirst (post six, Kevin Wallis) and Dedi's Dragon (post seven) were also on the engine leaving and these three were across the track during a hot opener of :26.3. Right at that opening juncture, Dedi's Dragon stuck his nose in front while Panocchio, still double-bubbled continued to press forward, reaching the half in :55. On the backside, Southwind Amazon began brushing forward--strongly--and, pacing his third quarter in :26.1, sprinted right along side Panocchio, with this pair reaching the third station in 1:22. In the lane, Panocchio was fighting ferociously as Southwind Amazon was grudgingly keepeing pace with Dedi's Dragon finding a seam in mid-stretch and also closing in. But Panocchio completed his final quarter in :27.3 and would not be denied on this night. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey related, "What a mile he went. This was a tough journey from the nine post. Heck, they threw everything but the kitchen sink at him early. He was three deep--and I had no other choice--three-eighths into the mile and paced his last half in :54.3 to get the job done. It doesn't get much more gutsy than that. "Give credit where credit is due. Jim (trainer Mattison) and (wife) Vicki does just an amazing job with him and the whole stable, for that matter. He is one special horse, Panocchio is." Owned by Mattison along with Emile Johnson, Jr., Panocchio, a six year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, won for the third time this year in six starts, good for $32,660 with his lifetime bounty now at $323,427 on the strength of 39 wins in 88 career starts. Despite starting from the nine post in a field with six sub-1:50 performers among the group, Panocchio was sent to the starting gate as the 3 to 5 favorite and returned $3.20 to win. In other news, Prairie Jaguar returned to his winning ways with Hennessey driving as this eight year-old Florida bred Spy Hard gelding made a huge brush forward from fourth and, after pacing his middle half in :54, held on to score a win in 1:50.3 over Rock On Moe (Dan Daley) with Regalanthropist (Aaron Byron) third. Cadillac Phil and Nicholas Ryan were next in the octet. Owned by Laurie Lee Poulin along with trainer Mike Deters, Prairie Jaguar earned his 27 lifetime win to send his earnings just shy of $200,000--$198,857 to be precise. Prairie Jaguar returned $5.40 to his faithful. In the $11,000 co-feature sporting $30,000 claiming pacers, Mister Virgin, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr. scored a narrow win in 1:51 for the J.L. Benson Stables. Trained by Paul Holzman, Mister Virgin, a six year-old altered son of Always A Virgin, earned his initial win of the year in 11 starts to send his career bounty over the $250,000 plateau--now at $255,436. Buddha Blue Chip (Mike Micallef) finished second, a scant nostril back, with Barbarian (John Cummings, Jr.) next. Off at 6 to 5 on the tote-board, Mister Virgin returned $4.60 to win. This was just one of three wins on the Sunday card for the Macomber-Holzman tandem as Officernagentleman ($3.40) scored in 1:52.2 for the J L Benson Stables and Rick's Sign ($3.40) won in 1:53 for owner Mary Holzman. It was this 11 year-olds 61st lifetime victory in 271 career starts. On the Hennessey watch, Wally had four wins on the card, leaving him 17 shy of 9,000 lifetime wins. Racing continues on Monday night with the track's popular Super Hi-5 jackpot carryover now at $93,876.42. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Almost lost in the "fog" of the Isle International Amateur Series at Pompano Park on Sunday night (March 13) were outstanding harness racing performances by Panocchio and Southwind Amazon in their respective pacing features over the South Florida oval. Panocchio took top honors in the $15,000 Open Handicap Pace by scoring a gate-to-wire win for Wally Hennessey in 1:51-his margin one length over the late charging Whogoesfirst (Dave Ingraham) and 1½ lengths over Dede's Dragon (George Napolitano, Jr.), closing fastest of all--:27.3--in the event. Heart Felt finished fourth while Bluehourpower picked up the nickel, despite a miscue at the beginning. Panocchio, the exceptional six year-old gelded son of No Pan Intended, left like a rocket from his outside post six and was safely into the lead just a few long strides after the Hummer Starting Gate left. The gelding then zipped an opening panel in :26.1 before Hennessey gave his charge a breather through a :29.2 second panel, reaching the half in :55.3 with Johnny Grippa in the pocket and Bluehourpower on the move outside. Through a picked up official third panel in :27.1, Bluehourpower reached the saddle pad of the leader as they reached that third station in 1:22.4. In the lane, Panocchio stretched the lead to almost two lengths at mid-stretch before Whogoesfirst and Dede's Dragon put in their late surges to edge closer but Panocchio's :28.1 closer was more than enough to preserve the victory-his second of the year in five starts. After the event, driver Wally Hennessey, quickly approaching win number 9,000 career-wise, had high praise for both horse and trainer. "This is just an honest, trying hard pacer that does everything asked of him-within reason, of course. I felt comfortable when we got to the half kinda cheap (:55.3) because I knew it would take a final half better than that to get to him. He got a great trip tonight and a lot of credit has to go to the trainer, Jimmy Mattison, who keeps him ready to go every time he sees the gate. Owned by trainer Mattison along with Emile Johnson, Jr., Panocchio won for the 38th time career-wise to send his bankroll to $315,927--$25,160 in just five starts this year. As the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Panocchio paid $2.60 to win. The $11,000 Open 2 Pace went to Southwind Amazon, driven by George Napolitano, Jr., scorched the Pompano oval in 1:49.2, a lifetime best effort. The six year-old son of Camluck was away in good order from his post 3 as Thebestofjoel, driven by Aaron Byron, rushed up to take command through an opening quarter in a hot :26.2 with "Amazon" on the move around that opening turn and into the lead a few strides later. Carding subsequent panels of :54.3 and 1:21.4, Southwind Amazon used a :27.3 finale to scorch the field by 5½ lengths. Buddha Blue Chip (Mike Micallef) finished second while Thebestofjoel was safely third. Barbarian and Winyard Hanover also earned checks in the sharp septet. After the event, the always subdued Napolitano merely smiled and said, "He was very good tonight!" Trained by Paul Holzman for Ameer Najor, Southwind Amazon now sports a 4-0-1 scorecard in nine starts, good for $23,764. He's now won 21 times in 75 lifetime starts with a career bankroll of $239,632 to go along with his new lifetime mark-his previous best being 1:50 over the lengthy Mohawk oval. Southwind Amazon paid $3.00 to his multitude of backers. Monday's program features a carryover in the Super Hi-5 finale of $73,926.26 with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park      

Goldstar Classic and Pocket Trip took their respective divisions of Pompano Park's duet of $10,000 harness racing trotting features on Monday night (February 22). Goldstar Classic was superbly handled by Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey as this six year-old gelded son of Classic Photo scored a gate-to-wire win in 1:56.3 measuring three-parts-of-a-length over the late charging Diamond Dagger, driven by Mark O'Mara. McKenzie's Star, prominent throughout the journey, finished third, a length away, while Pointe Of Inquiry edged Highland Yankee for the fourth spot in the closely knit field of seven separated by less than three lengths at the finish. Indeed, Hennessey sent Goldstar Classic bursting out of the gate and into the lead through an opener of :28.1 with Highland Yankee second, Gold Savage next and McKenzie's Star fourth. Pointe of Inquiry was fifth at this juncture followed by Majestic Won with the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Diamond Dagger, lolly-gagging at the back of the pack. Tapping on the brakes during the second panel, Goldstar Classic got a :30.2 second quarter breather, reaching the half in :58.3 with Highland Classic maintaining the garden spot and McKenzie's Star now on a first up jaunt as they entered the backside. The pace began to quicken as McKenzie's Star attempted to apply pressure on the leader and, at the third station in 1:27, Goldstar Classic and McKenzie's Star were heads apart with Highland Yankee searching for room to roam and Diamond Dagger farthest out but closing stoutly--her rally falling short as Goldstar Classic sealed the deal with his :29.3 closer. In a post-race interview, Hennessey relayed, "Once we got to the half softly, I thought we had a chance to go all the way. He tries hard every step of the mile and he hasn't seen a :58.3 half in a long time. It was a fitting way to perform in his 100th lifetime start, wasn't it?" Indeed, Goldstar Classic won for the 18th time during his career spanning a "century" in starts and the win sent his career bounty to $111,556. Trained by Dan Hennessey for Tim Rzepka, Kevin Kelly, Joe Connors and Vince Giorlando, Goldstar Classic returned $8.40 to win as the second choice in the betting. Pocket Trip, under the expert direction of Fern Paquet, Jr., stepped up a couple of notches in class after a 1:54.3 win last week and promptly went right back to the winner's circle, scoring a handy win--one length--in 1:54.4 over the late closing Buddy Hally, driven by Wally Hennessey. Bloodstockshalltab, making his initial start for new owner-trainer Dennis Whittemore, finished third for John MacDonald while Tater Twister and Explosive Muscles picked up the minors in the field of seven. It was Tater Twister sprinting from the gate along with Buddy Hally with Pocket Trip, also showing a bit of early foot, finding a cozy spot in third. Once the early dust settled, positions remained stagnant through panels of :27.1 and :57.2 with Pocket Trip edging to the outside halfway through and brushing strongly on the backside, assuming the lead heading into the final turn with nary a threat developing thereafter. Trained by Allie Berube for J&M Racing, Pocket Trip, a six year-old gelded son of Angus Hall, won for the second time this season and 22nd time career-wise and gave driver Fern Paquet, Jr. "the best birthday present." After the event, Paquet said, "last week, he (Pocket Trip) was very sharp, so I decided I'd try and use the same strategy here as last week's win. When I tilted him out, he just took off--the same as last week. Allie (trainer Berube) has him very sharp. This was 'the best birthday present.' I enjoyed this ride very much!" Pocket Trip now has lifetime earnings of $166,780 with the win. Even with the step up in class, Pocket Trip was the even-money favorite and paid $4.00 to his many followers. Racing at Pompano continues on Tuesday with the headline event being the $15,000 Open Handicap Trot. Royal Max will be gunning for this third straight win in this top company and will be installed as the 4 to 5 morning line favorite with the odds are posted. Joe Pavia, Jr. is expected to be in the bike back of this five year-old son of RC Royalty. Oho Diamond, Dan Clements' powerful five year-old daughter of Ken Warkentin, will be making her season debut after a long vacation and will have Wally Hennessey in the bike. Uriel, Sailer Eddie and She's All In complete the talented quintet. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL.January 31, 2016 - Arthur Blue Chip, driven byharness racing driver Wally Hennessey, led every step of his mile, wiring together halves of :55.3 and :54.3, to win the enriched $15,000 Open Handicap Pace at Pompano Park on Sunday night in 1:50.1. Four Socks, handled by John Cummings, Jr., finished second, one length away, while Johnny Grippa, with Dave Ingraham in the bike, finished third. Rock On Moe was fourth while Brees Creek picked up the nickel in the field of seven. In a confident move, Hennessey sent Arthur Blue Chip winging out of the gate, putting Johnny Grippa in the garden spot with Four Socks, longest shot in the field at nearly 40 to 1. With an opening quarter in :27.1, Arthur Blue Chip strolled over to the half in :55.3 with a :27.2 third panel thwarting any developing threats. In the lane, Johnny Grippa angled out and Arthur Blue Chip drifted out a tad allowing Four Socks clear sailing along the pylons into second but the outcome was never in doubt. In a post-race interview, Hennessey related, "Doc Moore (trainer and co-owner Dr. Ian Moore) has him razor sharp-I mean razor sharp. Out in :27.1 and home in :27.1, why I hardly even spoke to him during the mile. "And this group was no pushover, either, with a few of 'em owning sub-1:50 marks. "I wanted to put my horse on the front end because I know how much Dave's (Ingraham) horse likes the front end and didn't want to give him a chance to get away with soft fractions, especially having confidence that my horse could go a good mile tonight." Dr. Ian Moore shares ownership in Arthur Blue Chip with R G McGroup and Serge Savard, with their five year-old son of Shadow Play equaling his lifetime best mile with the win-his second of the year in four starts and 12th lifetime in only 29 starts. The victory, incidentally vaulted Arthur Blue Chip's lifetime bounty over the $500,000--$503,742 to be precise. As the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Arthur Blue Chip paid $2.40 to his multitude of backers. Bandolito lit up the tele-timer in the $11,000 Open 3 Pace with a near wire-to-wire win for George Napolitano, Jr. in 1:49.4, this after scorching panels of :26, :53.1 and 1:20.3 along the way. Next Thing Smoke'n closed fast to finished second for Rick Plano while Maddysonofagun finished third with John MacDonald in the bike. Danishdujour finished fourth while Southern Winds picked up the minor award in the octet. Bandolito, a six year-old son of Ponder owned and trained by Jenny Bier, won for the 25th time during his splendid career to send his lifetime bounty to $434,535 to go along with a splendid mark of 1:48. As the overwhelming 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Bandolito paid a $2.60 dividend to his many investors. After the race, the soft spoken Napolitano simply said, "He was on his game tonight!" The $12,000 Open 2 Pace went to Northern Companion, with Dave Ingraham in the bike, in 1:51.4 Trained by Howard Klohr for owner Dorothy Zarza, Northern Companion was dead last in his octet around the final turn but swept up widest of all on the strength to a :27.3 final panel to nail the win in the final stride-the official margin being a head. Whogoesfirst, driven by Wally Hennessey, finished second in the photo while Martial Bliss finished third for Aaron Byron, three-parts-of-a-length away. Teranadawn finished fourth while pacesetting Danger Hi Joltage finished fifth. In this action packed mile, there were several lead changes with Whogoesfirst away quickest of all and taking the field through an opening panel of :26.3 before yielding to Danger Hi Joltage, escorting the field half way through in :56.1. On the backside, Heart Felt rushed up from fifth to stick his nose in front past the third station in 1:23.1 with Danger Hi Joltage fighting to reclaim the top spot turning for home before Whogoesfirst rallied to stick his head in front in deep stretch, only to be nailed by Northern Companion on the wire. For Northern Companion, an eight year-old altered son of Cambest, it was his 46th lifetime win-38 of those at Pompano Park-with his career earnings edging closer to $300,000--$297,282 to be exact. Off at 10 to 1, Northern Companion paid $23.00-only the fourth time he's been double-digit odd in winning. In the popular "Over The Hill Gang" Series, featuring nine year-olds and up, a field of seven with combined earnings of well over $2 million and 236 lifetime wins went post-ward and it was the 11 year-old Zorgwijk Impact, driven by George Napolitano, Jr. for owner-trainer Jack Sheehan, home first in a lifetime equaling best effort of 1:54.2. Leading at every pole through panels of :28.2, :58 and 1:26.1, Zorgwijk Impact, a son of Armbro Ricochet, strolled home lengthening his margin to 7½ lengths at the wire over On The Tab (Wally Hennessey) with I'll Tell You What third. Go Jesse Go was fourth over Mad Cow Lisa, picking up the final award in thee septet. Zorgwijk Impact now has 43 lifetime wins in his career stretching 272 starts, good for earnings of $350,409. As the 4 to 5 favorite on the tote-board, Zorgwijk Impact paid $3.80 to win. Other notable performances on the Sunday program in South Florida were carded by Grande Seelster in the $10,000 pace for $20,000 claimers, Officernagentleman in the $8,800 pace for $15,000 claimers, King Royalty in a conditioned event and Thebestofjoel, also in a conditioned event. Grande Seelster ($17.60) brushed up on the backside from fourth to score a photo finish victory over Fall Toy and Buddha Blue Chip in 1:51.1 for Kevin Wallis. Owned by Enos Van Stanhope III along with trainer Tony Dinges, Grande Seelster won for the 26th time career-wise to send his bounty to $232,411. Officernagentleman ($4.80) won his fourth straight, this time for Joe Pavia, Jr., who was in the sulky for trainer Paul Holzman and the J L Benson Stables-the time of 1:50.3 being a new lifetime mark. Fritzie Pic Up Man was next in the mile followed by Hopiesdragininthedo. Officernagentleman pushed his career bounty to $286,349 with the win-his 29th career-wise. King Royalty ($10.80) lowered his mark to 1:51 by getting picture perfect handling from trainer Matt Romano in pinning a photo finish defeat on Real Catch with Aloneinspades next. Owned by C & F Associates, King Royalty now has a career bankroll of $156,601. Finally, Thebestofjoel ($2.60), handled by George Napolitano, Jr., enjoyed his class drop this night and scored a gate to wire win 1:51.1 off of hot panels of :26.3, :54.3 and 1:22.4. Trained by Tim Maier for owner Denise Maier, Thebestofjoel now has $375,416 in lifetime earnings to go along with his 32 career wins. Racing continues on Monday night with post time set at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...December 31, 2015...Just A Bee, exquisitely handled by Mike Micallef, stung her rivals at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (December 30), regaining her status as the Queen Bee with a sterling harness racing performance in 1:50.4. The seven year-old daughter of Mr Feelgood, trained by Micallef for owners Anita Micallef, John McGoff and Greg Heath, led from first long stride to last, clocking panels of :27.2, :55.1 and 1:23.1 before her 27.3 sprint home sealed the issue by 1 3/4 lengths over the 1 to 5 tote-board favorite, Precocious Beauty, handled by Doug McNair. Safe From Terror, with Matt Romano in the bike, finished third while Classic Carpet, prominent early, finished fourth. Jets Are On picked up the minor award in the talented sextet. At the outset, Just A Bee seemed to, literally, push the starting gate out of her way from her outside post seven and immediately too command, stuffing Classic Carper in the pocket with Safe From Terror, Sandysgoldenhour and Jets Are On next with that aforementioned favorite, Precocious Beauty, away sixth and last, some seven lengths back early. With the dust then settled, positions remained the same until turn two when Precocious Beauty began her jaunt forward, sprinting her third quarter in :27 to wend her way into contention about a length away turning for home. In the lane, with both mares sprinting, Just A Bee never relented and was never in danger to the wire. After the event, driver Mike Micallef said, "my mare raced good in her first start back last week and felt very strong warming up on the track--relaxed but ready, I would say. When she grabbed on behind the gate, I thought 'we're going for the gusto tonight' and she burst out of the gate. "That probably was the difference because that put some distance between us and Doug's (McNair) mare (Precocious Beauty). She, too, of course, is one heckuva mare but maybe not seven or eight lengths better so the start I thought might be the key." Since being claimed in September of 2014 for $12,000, Just A Bee has won 19 times for Micallef, good for $153,735--$125,285 this year. As the 5 to 2 second choice, Just A Bee returned $7.60 to her faithful. Also of note, the 10 year-old Park Place mare Shortest Distance used the shortest distance to victory on Wednesday night by skimming the pylons late in the lane to score her 90th career victory--this one in 1:53.3. Trained by Leopold Sawyers for owner Byron Pineda, Shortest Distance was handled by Wally Hennessey and garnered her 12th win of the year in 31 starts. She took her lifetime mark of 1:53 just one week ago. Shortest Distance has lifetime bounty of $457,340--$57.294 of that banked this year as the 2015 season comes to an end. Racing continues on Saturday night with Pompano Park's five night a week schedule--Saturday through Wednesday--currently in effect with a 7:30 post time. John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL…December 20, 2015…Pompano Park hosted a trio of harness racing features on Sunday night with Arthur Blue Chip taking top honors in the $11,500 Open Handicap Pace, Dont Tell Rusty annexing the $10,500 event for $30,000 claiming pacers and Trevor Win For Us scoring in the second leg of the Late Closing Powerline Pace. Arthur Blue Chip went a very game first-over journey to post a new lifetime mark of 1:50.1 with Wally Hennessey handling the lines for trainer Dr. Ian Moore, who co-owns with Serge Savard and the R G McGroup Ltd. The four year-old son of Shadow Play made amends for his rare miscue in his Pompano Park debut a week ago to post the 1 ½ length decision over the late charging Bluehourpower, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., with Alexa’s Jackpot, teaming up with John MacDonald for show honors. Caddillac Phil finished fourth while KR’s Power Surge picked up the minor award in a field scratched down to six. At the outset, the trio of Alexa’s Jackpot, Cadillac Phil and Arthur Blue Chip were all vying for the lead with Next Thing Smoke’n also in the mix with Hennessey deciding to stay out of the early war and find a spot in fourth ahead of Bluehourpower. With Alexa’s Jackpot and Cadillac Phil trading punches early, it was the former leading at the :26.3 quarter for a few strides before Cadillac Phil took over, only to relinquish the lead again to Alexa’s Jackpot past the half in :54.2. Once the dust settled there, Arthur Blue Chip left his cozy pocket in fourth and trudged up first over, reaching the saddle pad of the leader past three quarters in 1:22.2. From there, Arthur Blue Chip forged to the front and easily held off Bluehourpower, in turn, a neck better than Alexa’s Jackpot and a neck and a nose better than Cadillac Phil. After the event, driver Hennessey said, “You know, he’s a very good one. He had been tackling some of the tigers in recent races up north like Always B Miki and Foiled Again. He made that break leaving last week but was smooth as silk tonight. “I left a bit with him tonight but it was pretty hectic up front so I decided to stay out of that fray and take that seat in fourth. You know, when we are out there on the track, we have to make decisions. Some are right and some are not so right. I was fortunate to make the right one here. He’s quite a horse and he proved it this night.” The win was the fourth of the year for Arthur Blue Chip in 14 starts, good for bounty of $92,705 this season and $483,617 lifetime. As the 6 to 5 second choice on the board, Arthur Blue Chip paid $4.60 to win. The $10,000 pace featuring a $30,000 claiming tag for all entrants went to Dont Tell Rusty, handled by Ed Hensley in 1:51.4. The six year-old son of Tell All, trained by Paul Holzman for owner Melvin Fink, won by a half-length over the late charging Johnny Grippa (Kevin Wallis) with Thebestofjoel (Tim Maier) third. King Royalty finished fourth while Dabestleaderever finished fifth to claim the minors in the field of nine. Don’t Tell Rusty was on the engine from the get-go from post eight, grabbing the lead after a hard fought opening quarter in :27. Once on top, though, there was no breather during the next quarter with “Rusty” taking the field through a demanding half in :54.3. On the backside, only mild threats developed as King Royalty made a first over bid but never getting by Thebestofjoel turning for home. In the lane, Don’t Tell Rusty, though drifting out a lane or two, held off the late surge on the inside by Johnny Grippa to prevail. Don’t Tell Rusty, having his best season ever career-wise, posted his 12th success of the year to push his seasonal bounty to $91,690. He’s banked $183,051 lifetime. As the 3 to 5 favorite on the tote-board, Don’t Tell Rusty rewarded his backers with a $3.20 mutuel. The second leg of the Powerline Pace for claiming horses and geldings went to Trevor Win For Us, handled by Rick Plano, in a photo over Oh My Joepa (Aaron Byron) with Aloneinspades (Kevin Wallis) third. Maddyssonofagun was fourth while Dirty Devil picked up the nickel in the sextet. When the Hummer wings folded, Oh My Joepa was urged to the front with Aloneinspades to his inside and Trevor Win For Us using his inside post to close the gap to get the garden journey. After a pair of :28 quarters, Lyons Josephjnr, the favorite, launched his bid but came up empty this night as Oh My Joepa reached station number three in 1:25. Right then, Trevor Win For Us left the pocket and engaged Oh My Joepa in a stretch long battle, prevailing by a neck at the wire in 1:53.1. After the event, driver Plano kidded, “The drive made all the difference in the world tonight! “Actually, the luck of the draw was on our side because, once we closed the hole, we got just a perfect trip back of Byron (Oh My Joepa). Once we left the pocket, it was tooth and nail all the way down the lane. Neither of us really gave an inch and it could have gone either way. OK, the driver AND the draw won it for us—along with the talent of the horse, of course!” Trained by Jake Huff for his wife and owner Rosie Huff, Trevor Win For Us, a recent addition to the stable, won for the third time in 2015, sending his seasonal bounty to $40,700. The eight year-old of Cheyenne Rei now has amassed $222,244 in lifetime bounty to go along with his 1:50.1 mark. As third choice in the win pool, Trevor Win For Us paid $12.60 to his faithful. Racing continues Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on this holiday week with post time at 7:30 on Monday and Tuesday and 7:00 on Wednesday when the track offers 14 pre-holiday races. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...Nov. 30, 2015...Escuela, deftly handled by Ed Hensley, stretched her harness racing winning streak to three with a sharp 1:54.2 win in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Trot on Monday night. The five year-old daughter of ABC Garland, owned by the Hensleys--Ed and trainer Ashleigh--overcame the handicap of the outside seven post and six rivals to score her 11th win of the year and 21st lifetime, sending her seasonal bounty to $85,270. She now has career earnings of $162,726. Rainbow Gold was second for Steve Condren while I'll Tell You What, driven by Brad Kramer, finished third. She's All In was fourth while Uriel picked up the final check in the septet. With five lead changes in the mile, it was She's All In leaving with alacrity and taking command early with Sailer Eddie also showing speed from the get-go, with the latter taking command at the opener in :27.3. Right at that opening marker, Uriel was on the move from third and brushed to the lead around turn two and took the field to the half in :56. On the backside, Rainbow Gold, out and driving into the second turn, brushed by Uriel midway around the final turn with three-quarters on the board in 1:25.4. But Escuela, who wended her way into fifth early on, drafted along with that live cover following Rainbow Gold and exploded by turning for home and drew away to score by 3¾ lengths. In a post race interview, driver Ed Hensley said, "She's got some motor, doesn't she? When I set her down for the drive, she just exploded with another of her knockout punches and that was that! She's feelin' pretty good right now so we have to enjoy this while we got it. Believe me when I tell you that times like this don't last forever, so we gotta be thankful!" As the even money tote-board favorite, Escuela paid $4.20 to win. Also on Monday night, Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey was honored after the third race for achieving a milestone of $60,000,000 in purses for the many owners that have benefitted from his driving skills over the past four decades. Hennessey, once again, is closing in on 200 wins for the year, a plateau he has accomplished in 26 different seasons--his career total now approaching 8,900. He celebrated the occasion by sweeping the early daily double, first, driving Paul and Patricia O'Neil's Verdi to a popular win in the Monday night opener and, following that, a wire-to-wire win with Goldstar Classic, owned by Tim Rzepka, Kevin Kelly, Joseph Connors and Vincent Giorlando--both winners trained by Dan Hennessey. Racing continues Tuesday night with first post for the 11 race program at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park              

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