Boli, handled by Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, earned the narrow nod in capturing the featured Open II Trot at Pompano Park on Tuesday night.
The game 6-year-old gelded son of Kadabra dug in late to hold off a determined bid of Thudercrest, driven by Dave Ingraham, by a neck in a seasonal best clocking of 1:55.3. Prairie Fortune, with Jim Meittinis in his bike, closed fastest of all to finish third, a length away. Entranced finished fourth while War Cry Hall picked up the nickel in the classy octet. Favored Celebrity Eventsy faltered after challenging much of the way and eventually finished eighth.
As the wings folded, Thundercrest, leaving from the rail, left with alacrity to take command as Celebrity Eventsy (post two) followed with Boli, leaving from the outside post eight, on the prowl and looking for a spot closer up and eventually finding that spot in third with an opening panel clocked in :27.4. Expecting the leader to seek a second quarter breather, Hennessey smartly brushed Boli right to the front three-eighths into the mile and took his charge to the half in :57.2 as Celebrity Eventsy began to apply the tourniquet with half down and half to go.
On the backside, the pace quickened as the war continued between Boli on the inside and Celebrity Eventsy alongside as the pair reached the third station virtually deadlocked in 1:25.4 with Jack Rules on a double-bubble binge and Thundercrest begging for a seam. Straightening away, Boli put away the challenge of Celebrity Eventsy with Thundercrest finally finding that seam and Prairie Fortune, last turning for home, flying. In the final sixteenth, Boli dug in deeply and held off Thundercrest and Prairie Fortune in completing a game performance.
After the race, Hennessey related, "Boli is a very reliable horse that gives everything he's got once he goes behind the gate. He may not win every week, but he sure tries hard. I made that quarter move expecting the leader to seek a bit of a breather so I felt it was a good opportunity to brush him a but during what I thought would be that breather during that quarter. When Dewayne (Minor) came at me on the backside, I wasn't about to let him go because I had already made two moves with Boli, so we went at it pretty good. He dug in with all he had in the final yards. I was proud of his performance."
Trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, the win was number 30 in Boli's career measuring 84 starts and sent his lifetime bounty to $261,484; $26,820 this semester in his eight starts. Sent off as the 9-5 second choice, Boli paid $5.80 to win.
The fastest trotting mile of the night was accomplished by William Star, driven by Jim Meittinis for owner trainer James Quinn. The 6-year-old altered son of Windsong Espoir used different strategy this night as he carved up panels of :26.3, :56.2 and 1:25 before coasting home in :30.1 to hit the wire in 1:55.1, a new lifetime mark.
It was the 20th career win for Windsong Espoir, sending his lifetime earnings to $84,726 of which $25,324 has been banked this year. Off at 5-2 as second choice, William Star paid $7.60 to win. (Pompano Park)