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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

Hollywood Jess (Conway Hall) pulled off the mild upset in Monday's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the Dave Dewhurst trainee parlayed her pocket ride to victory. Hollywood Jess was dismissed at odds of 8-1 but wound up getting the perfect trip in Monday's $9,950 feature for New York Sired trotters. The race's frontrunner Stoneridge (Jim Devaux) was pressured every step of the way and once Hollywood Jess found racing room in the passing lane, the four year old mare trotted right by to record her first win on the 2016 campaign. Luck Of Macrea (Frank Coppola Jr) came on for second while Stoneridge held on to finish third in the mile trotted in 1:59.3. Hollywood Jess was piloted to victory on the Memorial Day matinee card by Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with first post time set for 4:00pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Boli (Kadabra) came north to Saratoga Casino Hotel after enjoying a big couple of months at the Pompano Park this spring. The Dan Hennessey-trained trotter finished second in last week's Open Trot while making his local debut. On Sunday afternoon, the four year old Boli went last to first to secure his first local victory in the $15,000 Open. Wally Hennessey sat patiently with the race's 8-5 second choice before making his move in the final quarter. Slugfest, the 3-5 betting favorite in the feature, was first over and took over the lead at the head of the stretch before Boli trotted past to win in 1:54.4. The win time serves as a new lifetime mark for the up-and-coming trotter and was the fastest time of the year for a trotter at the Spa, that was until it was bested the following race when Flyhawk Thriller (Cash Hall) cruised to victory in 1:54.2. Slugfest continued his sensational streak of hitting the board every week in the local Open as he was the runner up on Sunday. Cashahallic (Austin Siegelman) earned the show spot. Live racing continues on Monday afternoon with a Memorial Day matinee beginning at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Godiva Seelster (Camluck) moved her win streak to four on Friday night as she scored a front-running harness racing victory in the $15,000 feature at Saratoga. Wally Hennessey powered the race's 4-5 favorite out to the early lead in the 1 1/16 mile Open Pace for Fillies and Mares and Godiva Seelster would not be denied. It was the fourth consecutive victory for the six year old mare, two at Pompano Park before scoring two straight since after north to Saratoga. Godiva Seelster covered the 1 1/16 miles in 2:00 besting pocket sitter Bettorhaveanother (Frank Coppola Jr) and third place finisher Dilly Dali (Bruce Aldrich Jr). For Godiva Seelster, who paid $3.70 to win, it was victory number 29 in 92 career starts. The exacta in the feature returned $9.70 and the triple came back $33.20. Godiva Seelster is owned by Paul and Patti O'Neil of Saratoga Springs. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

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 www.elitloppplayoff.com/ 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

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