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Breewood Brier (Amigo Hall) picked a good time to earn her first victory of the harness racing season at Saratoga as the eight year old trotting mare prevailed in the $16,300 Spa Spring Claiming Series Final. The Steve Millard-trained trotter finished second in both legs of the series leading up to Sunday's final and was dismissed at odds of 6-1 in the mile and 1/4 trot. Breewood Brier left early and wound up sitting third before tipping to the far outside in the race's final quarter. As soon as driver Wally Hennessey gave her her cue, Breewood Brier powered out three wide and swooped the group in a matter of strides before winning by three lengths and stopping the timer in 2:30.4 for the mile and ¼. Net Revenue (Jordan Derue), who scored victories in both legs of the series, finished second in Sunday's final while Sir Kensington (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. Breewood Brier returned $14.80 to win and led an exacta and triple that paid $118.50 and $646, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday at Saratoga featuring the New York Sire Stakes for two year old colt and gelding trotters. First post time is set for 4:00pm. Mike Sardella  

Pompano Beach, FL...May 27, 2015...Hall of Fame Driver Wally Hennessey had a Hall of Fame Night at the harness racing meeting at Pompano Park on Wednesday night, winning five of the nine races, including a sweep of the two feature events.   Hennessey kicked off the program with a handy win back of the amazing mare Godiva Seelster in the $8,500 co-featured "Winners Over" pace for mares.   In winning, Godiva Seelster extended her streak of paychecks to 55 covering her every start as a three year-old, four year-old and, thus far, five year-old seasons.   Taking the lead as the gate's wings folded, this daughter of Camluck clocked panels of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:25.3 before an eye-popping :26.3 sprint home left her 5 1/4 lengths clear of Artful Impulse, driven by Andy Santeramo.   Real Nice Girl and Joe Sanzeri teamed up to be third, almost 10 lengths away, with Keystone Christa and Goldstar Rockette next in the quintet.   In a post race interview, Hennessey said, "You can pretty much just copy what I said about her last week.   The fractions were just about the same and she just keeps on doing this all on her own.   It seems like I never ever have to ask her for anything. She might not win every start....but she sure tries hard every start. She's just amazing that she has been so good so long."   Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, " Lady Godiva" now sports a 6-3-0 scorecard in nine starts this year, good for $37,500. She's now banked $146,332 lifetime to go along with her 1:51.1 mark.   Off at 1 to 20 in the betting, Godiva Seelster paid $2.10 to win.   After capping off the early daily double with The Muscler ($5.60) , Hennessey came back in the third race to capture the other co-feature, the $8,500 "Winners Over" trot with Count Speed, also trained by Dan Hennessey for the O'Neil's, in 1:55.4.   Count Speed, a six year-old gelding by Majestic Son, also had an easy time of it, taking the lead at the word "go" and then proceeding through sensible fractions of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:26.4 before using a :29 finale to score an unscathed win measuring 1 1/2 lengths over My Revenuer and Tom Sells.   Gold Savage, handled by Mickey Mc Nichol, finished third followed by On The Tab and Verdi (Count Speed's stablemate), the latter making a rare miscue just past the opening station.   In winning, Count Speed stretched his winning streak to six--he's now 6 for 8 this year--good for 2015 bounty of $25,720 and $224,120 career-wise.   Count Speed was 2 to 5 on the board and paid $2.80 to win.   Win number four for Hennessey came in the conditioned trot with Legend Field ($8.80), this chestnut five year-old son of SJ's Caviar just up in the final stride to win in 1:57.   Hennessey capped off his "Hall of Fame" night by guiding the claiming pacer American Gold to his fourth straight win--this one in 1:54.1 as the 7 to 5 favorite.   Hennessey now has 8,755 lifetime wins.   Racing continues on Saturday night at Pompano Park with a carryover in the Super Hi-5 of $1,783.71.   John Berry for Pompano Park  

Pompano Beach, FL...May 20, 2015...Maybe driver Wally Hennessey had an inkling that the Super Hi-5 mandatory payout event, held Wednesday night at Pompano Park, might just get the headlines over the duet of co-feature "Winners Over" events. Not taking any chances, Wally swept all three! With the "must go" Super Hi-5 jackpot swelling over the past 40 programs going into the mid-week program, an astounding amount well over $1,000,000 pushed the total pool to $1,247,507, sending the Wednesday handle at the track to $1,381,817, an all-time record covering the 51 year history of the track. After Hennessey guided Brianna Bennett's American Gold to victory in that finale, 2,114 astute handicappers were in line to cash in to the tune of $501.86 for each 20 cent investment covering the 6-5-8-9-11 combo featuring the two co-favorites finishing one-two and two of the three other "single digit" performers finishing three-four. It was quite a night for the Hennessey's--driver Wally and trainer Dan--and owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil as the Hennessey-O'Neil connection captured both featured "Winner's Over" events at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (May 20). First, in the $8,500 "Winner's Over" pace for mares, Godiva Seelster, back in action after a week's vacation, stretched her amazing streak of "in the money" starts to 54 with a handy 1:52.2 win measuring 2 3/4 lengths over Senorita Santanna (Kevin Wallis) with Winbak Heavenly (Matt Romano) next. Just Fine and Cheap N Easy picked up minor awards in the sextet. Godiva Seelster has not missed a single purse check covering all of her starts as a three year-old, four year-old and, now, as a five year-old. The daughter of Camluck engaged in a brief early battle lasting all of an eighth of a mile before taking command from Senorita Santanna and then strolling through panels of :27, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before sealing the deal with a :27.1 finale for her fifth win of the year in eight starts. She has been second in her other trio of trips back of the gate. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "I know I have said this before, but, it's true. This mare knows how to take care of herself in the stable area or on the racetrack. She's just such a handy thing. She is amazing the way she has remained this sharp for so long...very rare, especially among mares. I asked her early for some speed and she made the lead around the turn and, when we turned for home, I didn't have to asked her for anything. She just knew what to do on her own!" Trained by Dan Hennessey for the aforementioned owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Godiva Seelster sent her seasonal bounty to $33,250 and $141,092 lifetime. Even money on the tote-board, Godiva Seelster paid $4.20 to her many followers. In the companion, $8,500 "Winner's Over" handicap trot, Verdi, also trained by Dan and driven by brother Wally for the O'Neil's, scored a handy win measuring 2 1/2 lengths in a lifetime best 1:54.3. Gold Savage (Mickey Mc Nichol) finished second with My Revenuer (Robbie Hoffman) next. Dream Lake finished fourth while On The Tab picked up the nickel in the septet. Verdi, a four year-old son of Kadabra, left alertly--but cautiously--from his outside seven post, grinding forward and reaching the lead 3/8s into the mile after a :27.4 opener by Gold Savage. Once on top, Verdi clipped off subsequent fractions of :57 and 1:25.2 and never had an anxious moment thereafter, striding home in :29.1 for his new mark. After that event, Hennessey grinned, "It's been quite a night, especially for the O'Neil's. I'm very happy for them! This horse has really come into his own this season. He can leave...he can brush...he's handy...he's solid...and I love the fact that he digs in every step of the mile. I hope he can keep going!" Verdi now is officially seven-for-nine this year, good for $26,205 in seasonal earnings. He's banked $130,804 lifetime. As the 3 to 5 "chalk," Verdi paid $3.20 to win. Racing continues on Saturday night with a fresh start to the Super Hi-5. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...May 16, 2015...No Bad Dreams, driven by Wally Hennessey, proved to be a nightmare for his harness racing competition on Saturday night as the four year-old son of Dream Away led at every pole in scoring a lifetime equalling best 1:50.3. Johnny Grippa, in the garden spot all the way, finished second for Bruce Ranger while Who's Your Maddy, teaming up with Robbie Hoffman, finished third. Hillybilly was fourth in the mile while Canadian Touch finished fifth, only to be disqualified after causing interference to Cartoonist, eventually awarded the minor award in the sextet. Carding fractions :26.4; :54.4 and 1:22.4 along the way, No Bad Dreams sealed the issue with a :27.4 finale prompting driver Wally Hennessey to say, upon reaching the winner's circle, "Marc (trainer Aubin) has this horse razor sharp right now...I mean RAZOR sharp!" He's very handy, you know, like last week, when he won from off the pace and, this week, on the motor. I decided to leave with him because I didn't want to spot the field six lengths as the start. You never want to do that with a talented field like this. So, I though I'd go looking for a spot...and I found one...on the lead! He raced giant." Trained by 81 year-young Marc Aubin for Jacalyn and Dan Boddie, No Bad Dreams won for the fifth time in only seven starts this semester, good for $19,050, soundly surpassing his earnings for all of the 2014 season consisting of 20 starts. As second choice in the wagering, No Bad Dreams paid $5.80 to his faithful. Pompano Park's mandatory Super Hi-5 payout is all set for Wednesday night as the 2-5-3-4-7 combo on Saturday night returned $377.58 for a 20 cent investment sending the carryover to $202,965 and setting up a mid-week pool that could grow to $400,000 or more. Post time is 7:30 p.m. for the Wednesday program and features an 11 horse field going post-ward in the Super Hi-5 10th race. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Artful Impulse and Count Speed reined supreme in their respective co-featured events at the harness racing meeting at Pompano Park on Wednesday night. Artful Impulse, off at 9 to 1 and patiently handled by Andy Santeramo, kicked things off in the $8,500 "Winners Over Handicap" for pacing mares by shocking the 1 to 20 favorite, Senorita Santanna, driven by Wally Hennessey, in 1:52.4. Winbak Heavenly, with Tom Sells in the bike, finished third while the only other starter in the event, Mach Me Not, finished fourth. Cheap N Easy was a late scratch in the opener, reducing the field to four. As the Hummer wings opened, Artful Impulse and Senorita Santanna left together and engaged in a duel for the first eighth before "Impulse" yielded to the "Senorita," the latter taking the field to an opening quarter in :26.4 with Winbak Heavenly content to stay in third and Mach Me Not already about five lengths away as the trailer. Positions remained stagnant through a half in :56.2 with Senorita Santanna picking up the pace a bit on the backside. reaching the third station in 1:24.4 and with a clear lead turning for home. Once they straightened away, Artful Impulse left the coziness of her pocket and began gnawing away at the leader, drawing on even terms a sixteenth out and edging to the lead near the wire--the winning margin a half length. In a post race interview, driver Andy Santeramo said, "Jimmy (trainer Mc Donald) said she had gate speed and I figured the only way I had a chance of upsetting Wally's (Hennessey) mare (Senorita Santanna) was to leave with mine and try to take a little sting out of her early. " "I thought Wally got away from us a little bit on the far turn but my mare responded very nicely when it counted. She must've come her last quarter under :28--(actually :27.4). Big mile." For Artful Impulse, a four year-old daughter of Artistic Fella owned by Twenty Four Carrot Racing, it was her third win of the year in 17 starts, good for $22,900 this semester. She's banked $113,145 lifetime. As third choice in the betting, Artful Impulse returned $20.20 to win. Count Speed never had an anxious moment as Wally Hennessey guided this six year-old Majestic Son gelding to a handy win--his fifth in a row--over stablemate Verdi, driven by Walter Ross, Jr., in 1:54.4 in the $8,500 "Winners Over" Handicap Trot. My Revenuer, with Tom Sells in the bike, used his typical late rally to finish third while Jailhouse Jessica finished fourth. Adenium picked up the nickel in the sextet. It was Count Speed flashing his usual alacrity as the gate sprung and, after a brief battle with Adenium, took command and led through opening panels of :28 and :57.3. Just short of that second marker, Jailhouse Jessica, fifth early on, began her sprint forward as did Verdi, away last in the early going but now following "Jessica's" live cover. With the pace beginning to pick up three-eighths out, Count Speed maintained a clear lead with Jailhouse Jessica a bit more than a length away, Adenium holding the third spot near the pylons and Verdi fanning widest of all through three-quarters in 1:26.2. In the lane, Hennessey sat confidently as Count Speed gave him a :28.2 sprint to the wire, stopping the clock in that aforementioned 1:54.4. After the race, Hennessey said, "this horse is very sharp right now...super sharp." "He just seems to do what he has to do to get to the wire first." "I was a little surprised to see his stablemate (Verdi) charging into second as he was stepping up to the big time for the first time." Both Count Speed and Verdi are trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil. Count Speed now owns a 5-0-1 scorecard in seven starts with earnings of $21,470. He's won 24 times during his career with a bankroll of $219,870. As the "talk of the tote-board" at 3 to 5, Count Speed returned $3.20 to his many faithful. Finally, in Wednesday's Super Hi-5, the 5-6-8-4-7 winning combo produced 22 winning 20 cent tickets pushing the carryover for Saturday night over $197,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...May 9, 2015...No Bad Dreams, handled by harness racing driver Wally Hennessey, avoided trouble around the final turn and went on to post a two length win over E Z Noah (Matt Romano) in Pompano Park's feature $8,500 "Winner's Over" Pace on Saturday night (May 9). Cartoonist (Walter Ross, Jr.) finished a courageous third after being knocked off his feet momentarily around that final turn while Who's Your Maddy, also suffering the same fate around turn three, re-composed and finished fourth while Johnny Grippa picked up the nickel, this, too, after suffering some interference around the final bend. The mile was clocked in 1:50.3, a new lifetime mark for the winner.   It was Canadian Touch, off at 9 to 2 on the board with Kevin Wallis driving, showing the most alacrity when the gate opened, taking the field to the opener in a red-hot :26 with Johnny Grippa, 4 to 1, (Bruce Ranger) third and E Z Noah, off at 2 to 5 with Matt Romano in the bike, next.   Approaching turn two, E Z Noah was out and beginning to apply some pressure on Canadian Touch with the half clocked in :55.4.   On the backside, things really began heating up again and a :26.3 third panel left Canadian Touch on top in 1:22.2 with E Z Noah still applying the tourniquet with Johnny Grippa still in the garden spot and No Bad Dreams second over and 2 1/2 lengths away.   Just past that third station, Canadian Touch made a nasty break with only E Z Noah and No Bad Dreams escaping the fray.   In the lane, E Z Noah surged to a short-lived lead but No Bad Dreams bursted on by on leaving E Z Noah in his wake.   In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "This was a case of just being in the right place at the right time. I followed some live cover and when the leader made that break, I shifted wide and that was that. I had driven this horse last week and he did have some pace around the final turn and to the wire. They just went a little too much at the end for him to dent any further...but he did have good pace. He probably came home under :28 tonight (he did--:27.4.) so he's turning out to be a good one."   For No Bad Dreams, a four year-old son of Dream Away, it was his fourth win in six starts this season, sending his 2015 bounty to $14,550, surpassing his earnings of last season encompassing 20 starts.   Trained by Mark Aubin for owners Jacalyn and Dan Boddie, No Bad Dreams rewarded his followers with a $21.80 mutuel.   Another noteworthy performance was turned in by the seven year-old Northern Companion as this son of Cambest relished his class relief this night and recorded his 41st lifetime win--this one for Tom Sells, who handled the lines for trainer Howard Klohr and owner Dorothy Zarza.   Known for his ferocious stretch brushes, Sells took no chances with this 1 to 5 favorite, leading at every pole--:27.2, :56.4 and 1:25.1--before a :28 sprint home sealed the issue in 1:53.1.   Northern Companion won for the fourth time this semester, sending his seasonal bounty to $21,580. He's banked $260,915 career-wise.   Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 featured several winners receiving $61.14 for their 20 cent investment on the 1-4-2-3-5 combo on Saturday night, sending the carryover for Wednesday's program to $192,000.   Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Count Speed, off at 4 to 1 and deftly handled by Wally Hennessey, pinned a half-length defeat on the 1 to 10 favorite, Increditable, driven by Kevin Wallis, in Pompano Parks $10,000 Open Handicap Trot at the harness racing meeting on Wednesday night (April 29) in a mile clocked in 1:55. Jailhouse Jessica, with Bruce Ranger in the bike, finished third while the only other starter, Ramzan, pulled up half way through the mile and did not finish. Count Speed, a six year-old gelding by Majestic Son, began from post three and out-maneuvered Increditable, leaving from post four, as the Hummer sprung its wings and took the field to an opener timed in :27.4. At that point, Wallis pulled on Increditable's right line but Hennessey thwarted the idea of the favorite moving to the top and had to settle back behind the leader. Hennessey kept his charge on the lead through a perfectly rate half of :57.3 and, on the backside, let Count Speed change gears, keeping Increditable a length-and-a-half away and Jailhouse Jessica 2 ½ back through 3/4s in 1:26. In the lane, Increditable tried yet another rally and got within a half-length of Count Speed, but no closer as a :29 finale sealed the victory, his third in a row and 22nd lifetime. In a post-race interview, driver Wally Hennessey related, the difference in this race was a few days ago at the draw. "When we drew a spot inside of Increditable, I thought that, if I was on the front end, I could kind of control what was going on." "We timed the gate just right and had things our way." "He got a good rated half and he trotted a bit faster the second half than the opening half." "Lets not take anything away from Increditable, he's really sharp now, too, but, as I said, the draw made all the difference tonight," Wally said. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Count Speed sent his seasonal earnings to $12,220 in five starts and $210,620 lifetime. As second choice on the tote-board, Count Speed paid $10.80 to win in picking up the major portion of the $10,000  Owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil got a second helping of winning¬Ě as their four year-old Verdi took top honors in the $8,000 condition trot, again, for Wally Hennessey. This altered son of Kadabra conquered his seven rivals from the eight post, keeping his unofficial record for 2015 unblemished at seven. Officially, though, he is six-for-seven as his only blemish was the result of a disqualification back five starts ago. Hennessey had Verdi away alertly from his outside post and settled into fifth early as Dream Lake (Matt Romano) and Mc Tiny's Hope (Ben McNeil) played tag through opening panels of :27.1 and :56.4. Heading to the half, Hennessey guided Verdi outside and began grinding towards the leaders, reaching the top spot at the third station in 1:25.2 and coasting home from there in a lifetime best 1:55.1 performance. His winning margin 4 ¼ lengths over the late surging Gold Savage (Dave Ingraham) with On The Tab (Bruce Ranger) third. My Revenuer rallied to finish fourth while Dream Lake held on for the nickel. Verdi now has career earnings of $124,429--$19,830 this semester with his faithful rewarded with a $5.20 mutuel. Also on the card, Sky Crest, making his first start since November of 2013, was an upset winner (14 to 1) in a condition trot for Kevin Wallis, ironically pinning a one length defeat on a 1 to 10 chance handled by Hennessey, Swan Yankee. Trained by Clarence Patterson for the Apollo Racing Stables, Sky Crest, a five year-old son of Crest, stalked Swan Yankee through fractions of :27.3, :57.4 and 1:26.4 before wearing the latter down in the final stages and stopping the tele-timer in 1:56.1, annihilating his former mark of 2:00.4. He paid $30.60 to win. It was also the first training win for Patterson since June of 2013, when Wallis guided Points West to victory in 1:54 over a group that included Doo Wop Hanover. Pompano Park's Pick-4, with a $25,000 guarantee on Wednesday night, featured the aforementioned Verdi and Sky Crest taking the first two legs with Maid Of Silver (Matt Romano) taking the third leg returning $46.40 and Illusionsndreams (Andy Santeramo) sewing things up with a $40.00 mutuel in the Pick-4 finale--the 8-2-6-8 combination returning $28,009.45 for a 50 cent investment. The Super Hi-5 had multiple 20 cent winners on the 2-4-1-3-5 combo sending the carryover to Saturday's program vaulting over the $180,000 mark. Post time for Saturday's card is 8:00 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, Fl...April 20, 2015...Lucy's Pearl, fresh off of a seasonal best 1:51.4 win in conditioned company one week ago and stepping up to the top harness racing class this night, scored a handy win in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares in 1:52.1 on Monday (April 20). Confidently handled by Wally Hennessey, the four year-old daughter of Well Said, owned by Elizabeth Novak along with trainer Ron Gurfein, darted first out of the gate and then yielded--briefly--at the opening station in :27.3. She then retook command just a few long strides later and controlled the proceedings the rest of the journey, clocking fractions of :56.2 and 1:24.2 before a :27.4 sprint home sealed the deal in 1:52.1 over a track dulled by heavy rains prior to post time. All Charged Up, driven by Kevin Wallis, finish second, 1 1/4 lengths back while Limelight and Dave Ingraham teamed up to be third. The early pacesetter, Senorita Santanna, did finish fourth with Mach Me Not rallying from last turning for home to pick up the final award in the field of seven. In a post race interview, driver Hennessey related, "This is the first time I have driven this mare and she raced giant from off the pace for Steve (Condren) last week. Ronnie (trainer Gurfein) said, 'don't be afraid to put her on the lead...she's won half her races that way.' So, I thought, 'let me leave a little with her.' "When Joe's (Pavia) mare (Senorita Santanna) went by, I thought it would be a good idea to re-take and try to control the pace. She went a big mile on this track, which may have been a tick or two off because of the weather." For Lucy's Pearl, it was her second win in only four starts this year--13th win lifetime--and sent the classy mare's career earnings to $191,986. Her step up in class didn't seem to bother the wagering public, who sent sent her off as the 7 to 5 choice providing a $4.80 mutuel. One race later, Fashion Ruffles, driven by Dave Ingraham, pulled off an 18 to 1 upset in the co-featured pace for mares, scoring in a lifetime best 1:52.3. Pacific Date, with Aaron Byron aboard, was second, a half length away, with Cheap N Easy and Joe Pavia, Jr. teaming up for show honors. Sinspirational and Artful Impulse annexed the final two awards in the field of nine. Fashion Ruffles, a seven year-old daughter of Village Jolt, owned by Patricia Connor along with trainer Kelly Case, was biding her time early as there were several lead changes during hot panels of :26.3, :54.1 and 1:22.4 with Fiesta Camcun, Sinspirational, Artful Impulse and, finally, Pacific Date mixing it up big time. Turning for home, Pacific Date, on a three wide binge, stuck her head in front with Sinspirational between horses and Artful Impulse still battling on the inside. But Fashion Ruffles, on a double-bubble surge of her own around the final bend, had the most at the end, scoring the narrow victory--her second of the year in six starts. Her winning time was two full seconds better than her previous mark and sent her lifetime earnings over the century mark--$103,177 to be exact. She rewarded her followers with a $38.20 mutuel and her win was the key component is the Pick-5 payout of $2,446.25 for a 50 cent investment. In Monday night's trotting feature, Renaldo Morales III piloted Ted Berry's Teezer Bree to his first win of the year in 1:56.4, significant inasmuch as the track's Pick-4 was unscathed, setting up a $25,000 guarantee for Wednesday night's Pick-4. Finally, in Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, the winning 20 cent combination of 5-1-7-3-4 produced two winning tickets, each paying $2,684.38, pushing the carryover into the mid-week program into record territory--vaulting over $150,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, Fl...April 13, 2015...About the same time that the sun was setting in Pompano Beach on Monday night--7:43--our version of Lady Godiva, known here as Godiva Seelster, was pacing her way into the sunset with an easy win in the $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for harness racing Mares. This five year-old daughter of Camluck, making two moves early in the mile, secured command for good just after the :27 opening panel and then waltzed over to the half in :56 before picking up the pace during a :28.2 third panel and then cementing the deal with a :26.4 finale--hitting the line in 1:51.1, a lifetime best performance. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, Godiva Seelster was driven to victory by Wally Hennessey, scoring by 4 3/4 lengths over Senorita Santanna (Aaron Byron) with All Charged Up (Kevin Wallis) third, five lengths away. Mach Me Not finished fourth in the quintet with Glow Stick picking up the nickel. Not only did Godiva Seelster win for the third time this semester in five starts, it stretched her streak of starts earning purse money to 51, encompassing her entire seasons as a three, four and, thus far, five year-old. The crowning touch of this mile was the fact that Godiva Seelster's final sprint to the wire marked the first time she has ever paced a final quarter as fast as :26.4. In a post race interview, Hennessey said, "She's an amazing mare...that's all there is to it. She knows how to take care of herself and she's just a well mannered, hard hitting, ultra-consistent and dependable racehorse as you'd ever want to drive...just amazing." Though 1 to 9 on the tote-board, Godiva Seelster, in reality, was 1 to 20 and returned $2.10 to win. Her career scorecard now reads 14-13-14 in 60 lifetime starts, good for $130,342 in career bounty, $125,714 during her "in the money" streak. In Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, there were multiple winning tickets on the 20 cent 4-2-5-7-1 combination, sending the carryover to the Wednesday program to $136,776. Post time for the mid-week card is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...March 30, 2015...Godiva Seelster, the mare that gave Just A Bee all she could handle last week before succumbing in the final few strides, turned the tables on the "Queen Bee" on Monday night at Pompano Park and scored a narrow win in a lifetime best performance of 1:51.2 for harness racing driver Wally Hennessey. The five year-old daughter of Camluck, trained by Wally's brother, Dan, for Paul and Patricia O'Neil, took command just a few steps after the gate opened and carved out fractions of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:23.1 before courageously coming home in :28.1 to score by a neck over Just A Bee and driver Mike Micallef. Mach Me Not, with Bruce Ranger in the bike, was a stout closing third while Mach It a Par, prominent from the get-go, finished fourth. Senorita Santanna pick up the final award in the sextet. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "This mare (Godiva Seelster) is about as consistent as they come. She always gives a good performance. This was her third start back after a couple of months off and she was sharp coming back...didn't lose one step. She dug in tonight and, after that :27.3 backside quarter, I was just hoping for the best. She was a determined winner. But Mike's mare (Just A Bee) went a great trip on her own, too. She's mighty tough!." In defeat, Micallef spoke highly of Godiva Seelster saying, "Just A Bee raced a great mile, no doubt about that, but Wally's mare was extremely sharp and deserves the accolades...she earned them tonight. I look forward to a rematch--and I am sure he does, too!" Godiva Seelster now has a 2-1-0 scorecard in her three starts, good for $13,500 in bounty. She has $122,342 in lifetime earnings. As the 9 to 5 second choice on the tote-board, Godiva Seelster paid $5.60 to win. The $9,500 Open "2" pace for mares went to De Vins Girl, this eight year-old daughter of Red River Hanover, scoring a virtual gate to wire win for Matt Romano in 1:53.2 for owner-trainer Luca Derrico. Fiesta Camcun, with Kevin Wallis handling the mare's lines, finished second with Glow Stick, driven by Dave Ingraham, next, after putting a scare into the winner around the final turn and through mid-stretch. Oceans Motion finished fourth while Jump Start picked up the nickel in the quintet. De Vins Girl tussled--briefly--with Fiesta Camcun, handled by Kevin Wallis, before taking command and carding panels of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25 before sealing the issue with that :28.2 sprint home for her second success of the year in 12 starts, good for 2015 bounty of $23,750. She's now banked close to $300,000 lifetime--$299,785 to be exact. Though known for her explosive closing kick, De Vins Girl, has 11 wins over the past two seasons in 50 starts with eight of those wins in virtual wire-to-wire fashion. As the 4 to 5 favorite, De Vins Girl paid $3.60 to win. Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 created eight winning tickets on the 2-7-8-10-1 combo with the 20 cent ticket worth $692, pushing the carryover to Wednesday night program over $85,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m. for the mid-week card. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...March 18, 2015...Its Payday Friday paid early dividends this Wednesday night with a splendid 1:54.1 harness racing victory for owner-driver Dan Clements in Pompano Park's featured $12,500 Open Handicap Trot. The five year-old gelded son of Kadabra, trained by Renaldo Morales III, was sent away carefully by Clements before brushing up strongly around turn one to take command and control the proceedings off of panels of :28, :57 and 1:25.1 before sealing the issue with a :29 finale, holding off the pocket sitting Winermaster Hanover (Bruce Ranger) and the late surges of Dukester (Rick Plano) and Nothinbutanallstar (Mark O'Mara) to score by three-parts-of-a-length. Flyhawk El Dorado picked up the nickel in the sextet. After the event, driver Dan Clements related, "I wanted to be cautious leaving just to make sure he was solid and, when we got away OK from the gate, I let him trot...and trot he did! He is handy and can do it any way but I thought I'd be better off leaving, especially from this advantageous post here." Its Payday Friday won for the third time this season in eight starts to send his seasonal earnings to $28,750 and $211,388 lifetime. As second choice on the board, Its Payday Friday returned $5.00 to his faithful.. In the $10,000 co-feature trot, Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey guided the five year-old gelding High Blue to the largest payday in his career with a victory in a lifetime best 1:54.4, destroying his former mark of 1:57.4 accomplished over the half mile oval at Saratoga. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, High Blue zipped out of the gate from post five through a seemingly suicidal opening quarter of :26.3 and then proceeded to carve out panels of :56.2 and 1:25.3 before striding home in :29.1 to score by a length over Ramzan (Matt Romano) with Increditable (Kevin Wallis) third--that 2-3 order subsequently reversed as Ramzan went up in the air near the wire. CJ's Rascal was fourth while Majestic Won finished fifth in the field of nine. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "You know, when I qualified him about a month ago, I zipped him out of there and he won wire-to-wire in (1):59 and a piece but he came home pretty well in that one. I raced him off the pace in his first two starts back with the first one against that Dukester, who won in (1):54 and change and the one last week we got shuffled a bit but he still had good trot late in the mile. So, I decided to send him tonight and he was revved up early--that opener was all him. He just didn't want to let anyone by. He kind of surprised me by his staying power at the end. It was a heckuva mile for him!" Sired by Majestic Son, High Blue won for the initial time this season to send his seasonal earnings to $6,550 in four starts and lifetime bounty to $64,307. Not only was this High Blue's largest career payday, as the fourth choice among the punters, High Blue Paid $13.40 to win--the largest win mutuel payout of his 10 lifetime successes. In Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, there were two tickets that had the 2-1-8-3-7 combo, each receiving $2,736.20 for their 20 cent investment. The carryover going into Saturday's program has vaulted over $54,000. Also interesting to note is the fact that, since the inception of the Super Hi-5 at Pompano Park, the average consolation payoff has soared to slightly over $500.00. Post time for the Saturday extravaganza is 7:30 p.m. John Berry reporting for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...February 23, 2015...With the "Queen Bee"- Just A Bee-out of the lineup this Monday night, J. L. Benson Stables' Senorita Santanna did some stinging of her own in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Pace for the mares. The five year-old daughter of Santanna Blue Chip, driven by George Napolitano, Jr. for trainer Paul Holzman, led every step of her mile and stopped the tele-timer in a seasonal best 1:51.1, pinning a defeat measuring seven lengths on the late surging De Vins Girl (Jason Dillander) with Southwind Trini (Bruce Ranger) next in the quintet over Always Dee One and Keystone Christa.Carding panels of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:23 along the way, Senorita Santanna never had an anxious moment as the 1 to 5 choice, opening a 2 ½ length lead at the opening quarter and blitzing away from her foes on the backside, enjoying a six length advantage by the time they reached the final turn. In a post race interview, driver George Napolitano, Jr. said, "She (Senorita Santanna) is a very rugged mare that can brush for the whole mile. She was nice and relaxed once we got to the front and, when I asked her for a bit more on the backside, she kind of exploded with pace and that was that!" Senorita Santanna now has a 4-2-1 scorecard in eight starts this young season and $29,185 to show for it. The classy mare now has five wins since she was claimed for $10,000 by the aforementioned J L Benson Stables back in mid-December with bounty of $32,685 since the claim. She paid $2.40 to win. The co-featured $10,000 pace for mares went to Mach Me Not with Wally Hennessey handling the lines. This nine year-old daughter of Mach Three came from well off the pace to score in 1:53 over the late surging Glow Stick (Dave Ingraham) with Market Dynamics (Peter Wrenn) third. Art Frenzy finished fourth while Winbak Heavenly, the 4 to 5 favorite, finished fifth after taking a clear lead turning for home. Owned by the S S G Stables and trained by Jim McDonald, Mach Me Not won for the second time this season and pushed her lifetime earnings to $309,302 on the strength of her 29 career wins. She paid $10.80 to her $2 backers. McDonald also drove the winner of the second race, steering the four year-old trotting gelding Looney to a 38 to 1 victory-his maiden win in 17 lifetime starts. Also on the Monday card was the first leg of the "Happy Wife, Happy Life" Late Closing Event for claiming pacing mares and Taylor B Good, handled by Rick Plano gutted out a courageous first over victory in 1:54.4. This six year-old daughter of Kilowatt, trained by Bernie Wolin for owner Hilda Wolin, was away fifth early as, first, Flying Topless, then, Hot Latte and, then, Newsmaker, traded places for the lead through hot panels of :27.1 and :56.3 with Taylor Be Good grinding first over the entire last lap, reaching the top turning for home and holding off the late charging A and G Covergirl (Ed Hensley) to score by a length. Moon Is On Fire closed from last turning for home to garner show honors while Hot Latte and Newmaker tied for fourth. For Taylor B Good, it was her initial success of 2015 and sent her lifetime bounty over the $80,000 mark. She paid $4.40 to win as the public choice. Finally, the popular Pompano Park Pick-5 went unscathed on Monday night with management guaranteeing a $15,000 pool for Wednesday night's program. Post time is 7:30 p.m. John Berry  

Pompano Beach, FL...January 25, 2015...Iain'tnomomaluke, driven by Wally Hennessey, bravely fought off the late surge of Barbies Korvette, driven by Ed Hensley, to take top honors in the harness racing $15,000 final of the Interloper Late Closing Trotting Series at Pompano Park on Sunday night. Amen Amen finished third for Peter Wrenn while Wishiniwasfishin was next. Skyway Glider picked up the nickel in the field of nine. Iain'tnomomaluke, a seven year-old gelded son of Dream Vacation, hot property off claims the last two weeks, gave new owners, Beauty In The Bridle Stable, immediate returns on their investment, holding on for a photo finish victory measuring a neck in 1:56.4 for his second victory of the year in three starts, good for $11,850. He's banked $119,284 lifetime. When the gate opened, Iain'tnomomaluke got into a war with Wishiniwasfishin, which he won, taking command just short of the :27.4 opener. A second quarter breather of :30 seemed to help the cause with no serious threats developing until just past the third station, timed in 1:27.1. In the lane, Barbies Korvette, away seventh early, was on a double-bubble binge and third at the top of the lane and gnawing in on the leader. But "Momaluke" was determined late and held on for the score. In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "I had driven this horse before for Marc (trainer Aubin) and Irwin (trainer Lubar) and he seemed to like being in the hunt from the get-go, so I sent him and he was good despite the cool temperatures tonight." Trained by Jake "222" Huff, Iain'tnomomaluke was sent off as the 3 to 2 public choice and returned $5.00 to his faithful followers. Once again, Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 wager produced multiple winners--each receiving over $303 for a 20 cent investment--sending the carry-over for Monday night's programs close to $70,000. Post time for Monday remains at 7:30 p.m. John Berry

Pompano Beach, FL...January 18, 2015...Imahonkyconchman and Iain'tnomomaluke each scored handy victories on Sunday night as Pompano Park presented second round action in the Interloper Late Closing Series for claiming trotters.   Imahonkyconchman, owned and trained by George Napolitano, now a spry 90 years young, got the picture perfect drive from Dan Clements to score a 1:56.4 decision measuring 1 3/4 lengths over Skyway Glider, handled by Norm Dessureault with Nomad, teamed up with Rick Plano, third. The favorite Pilgrims All In finished fourth after cutting all the panels--:28, :57.2 and 1:27.1. What About Brian picked up the final award in the field of seven.   Clements sent Imahonkyconchman, a nine year-old altered son of Conchnito, away alertly when the gate sprang open and neatly settled In The Pocket back of Pilgrims All In until tipping out for the drive home.   "It was a great journey," Clements stated after the race. "He may not be a world champion but he sure gives his all every start. He's been knocking at the door the last three or four starts (actually four) and tonight he just responded perfectly when asked. I'm happy for George--he's quite a guy!"   For Imahonkyconchman, it was his first victory of the new year in three starts--24th lifetime victory--and sent his lifetime earnings edging just shy of $100,000--$99,048 to be exact.   As fifth choice in the win pool, Imahonkyconchman paid $17.40 to win.   Iain'tnomomaluke's victory also measured 1 3/4 lengths with Wally Hennessey handling the lines for 81 year-old trainer Marc Aubin. Owned by Amante Standardbreds, this seven year-old gelded son of Dream Vacation took command shortly after the start and clocked fractions of :28.3; :58.2 and 1:27 before sprinting home virtually unchallenged in :29.3 to stop the clock in 1:56.3 for his 10th lifetime success in 90 lifetime starts. He's banked $111,784 lifetime.   Amen Amen, with Peter Wrenn in the bike, chased the winner the entire route to finish second while Wishin Iwas Fishin driven by Jason Dillander, rallied for third. Dreamnwillie and Soxy's Kid picked up the other rewards in the septet.   In a post race interview, driver Hennessey said, "last week when I drove him, he didn't seem to like the going. The track was fast tonight and he was very sharp."   As 5 to 2 second choice among the punters, Iain'tnomomaluke paid $7.60 to win.   Once again, the Super Hi-5 had multiple winners on Sunday night--the consolation paying a healthy $823.22 for a 20 cent bet--sending the carryover to Monday night's card close to $50,000, an all-time record for the track.   Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park            

Pompano Beach, FL...January 14, 2015...Coco Lindy earned a narrow photo finish decision as Pompano Park presented a highly competitive Open Handicap Trot along with the opening round of the Sea Eagle Late Closer for claiming pacers, which was contested in two divisions. Coco Lindy, an eight year-old altered son of Cantab Hall owned by the Lindy Farms along with Robert Rudolph, just did get up in the final stride to pin the "nose" decision in 1:54.3 over the pacesetting Its Payday Friday with Adenium third, three lengths away, in a virtual repeat of when these three hooked up in their last encounter on December 30. Dukester and Majestic Won earned the final two awards in the field of seven. Driven by Wally Hennessey, Coco Lindy played musical chairs early on with Its Payday Friday, handled by Dan Clements, with "Lindy" taking command as the gate sprung open before yielding to Its Payday Friday at the opening marker, timed in :27.3. Adenium, with Kevin Wallis handling the lines, settled into third at this point with Dukester, M C Felix, Buddy Hally and Majestic Won following. Positions remained stagnant among the first five through a half in :57.2 and, except for a bit of outside flow on the backside, the top two, Its Payday Friday and Coco Lindy, began separating from the remaining competition turning for home. With the three-quarters timed in 1:26, Its Payday Friday dug in desperately to try and protect the lead but Coco Lindy kept gnawing away and just did get by in the very last stride. In a post race interview, driver Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey said, "This is one game trotter. He's just relentless. I know he likes the top spot but, the last two times I drove him, Dan's (Clements) horse (Its Payday Friday) drew outside of us and I had to make a choice of whether to get into an all-out war or yield and get a garden trip. I'm glad I chose the latter--even though it gave me heart palpitations both times." Trained by Frank Antonacci, the lightly raced eight year-old Coco Lindy won for the 30th time in only 77 lifetime starts to push his career bounty to $398,680. Even money on the tote-board, Coco Lindy paid $4.00 to win. The opening round of the Sea Eagle Late Closer--an event named in honor of the first Pompano Park winner on February 4, 1964--was contested in two divisions with the opening rounds going to Oakmont and Rock N Go. Oakmont, a recent purchase by trainer Dan McCartney and driven this night by Ed Hensley, made a quarter (:28.1) move to the front and carved remaining fractions of :56.3 and 1:25 before sealing a decision measuring three lengths on the strength of a :28.2 finale. Orator and Mike Micallef teamed up to be second while Casino Captor, driven by Joe Sanzeri, rallied from last half way through the mile to earn show honors. Four Starz Kyle and Deep Finesse also earned checks in the septet. Oakmont, an eight year-old son of I Am A Fool, earned his 25th lifetime victory to send his lifetime bankroll to $207,700. As 8 to 5 second choice in the betting, Oakmont paid $5.40 to win. Rock N Go, trained and driven by Kevin Wallis for owner Leona Morrissey, stretched his current winning skein to five with the win timed in 1:53--his margin of victory three-parts-of-a-length over Final Curtain (Bruce Ranger) with Who Dey (Mickey McNichol) third. Tivoli Hanover and Fox Valley Christo finished 4-5, respectively, in the field of eight. This five year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover, took command shortly after the :27 opener and rolled on through panels of :55.1 and 1:23.4 before coming home in :29.1 to seal the issue. As the 3 to 5 choice, Rock N Go paid $3.20 to win. Once again, the Super Hi-5 had multiple winners on Wednesday night with the carryover going in to Saturday night's program now approaching $44,000. Post time for Saturday is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry, for the Isle Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...December 30, 2014...Invader Coco Lindy, making his initial start of the season at Pompano Park and only his second lifetime appearance in 75 starts, took top honors in Pompano Park's $13,500 Open Handicap Trot on Tuesday night, stopping the timer in 1:54 for Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey.   The seven year-old son of Cantab Hall overcame the outside eight post in a strong $2 million dollar field to edge by a stubborn Its Payday Friday, handled by Dan Clements, to score by a neck with Adenium third for Kevin Wallis, almost four lengths away.   Raven Victory finished fourth while Rush N Supreme picked up the final award in the octet.   As the Hummer Starting Gate sprung the field loose, Hennessey sent his trotter winging out of the gate into a quick early lead and rocketed to an opening panel in :27.1. Shortly thereafter, Clements had Its Payday Friday on the engine, taking the lead after 3/8ths of a mile and proceeding to the half in :56.3.   On the backside, Dukester was sent up to apply the tourniquet but could get no closer to Its Payday Friday than a length-and-a-half with Coco Lindy patiently biding his time on the inside as the leader broke the third beam in 1:25.2.   Once they straightened away, Coco Lindy left the coziness of his pocket and began gnawing away at Its Payday Friday's lead, catching that one inside the sixteenth pole and then on to the photo finish victory.   In a post race interview, driver Wally Hennessey said, "I knew coming in that this horse like the front end so I took a chance and sent him, hoping he wouldn't get hung out to dry. Not even one step out of the gate, he was going full speed ahead and gained the lead rather easily. I let him relax during the middle stages and, when we found that room turning for home, he responded like a very good trotter does. You know, he's not heavily raced, but, when he does race, he's usually ready...and he was ready tonight."   Owned by the Lindy Farms along with Robert Rudolph and trained by Frank Antonacci, Coco Lindy won for the seventh time in only 11 starts this year. Lifetime, he has won 29 of his 75 starts, good for $392,180--$34,693 this year.   As the 9 to 2 third choice on the tote-board, Coco Lindy returned $11.20 to win.   Also on the Tuesday card, Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 again had multiple winners, sending the carry-over on Saturday night's card over the $20,000 mark.   Post time for the initial 2015 racing program is 7:30 with Prairie Jaguar looking to repeat his winning 1:50 performance of a week ago against the likes of Lyons Johnny, That'll Be The Rei, Cadillac Phil, Duc Dorleans and a quartette of others in the featured Open Handicap Pace.   by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park  

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