Hall of Famers Hennessey, Miller dead heat at Pompano
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While Cult Icon took top honors in Pompano Park's Open Handicap Pace for mares, most of the scuttlebutt came in the very next race for the mares as a rare occurrence was witnessed when stablemates Happy Heart and Glenferrie Blade dead-heated in their event with two Hall of Famers--both with 10,000 plus career wins--were in their respective sulkies.
Wally Hennessey and David Miller shared the spotlight as Happy Heart, handled by Hennessey, and Glenferrie Blade. with Miller in her sulky, hit the wire with no separation.
Both mares are trained by Melissa Beckwith with Happy Heart owned by Thomas McTygue and Glenferrie Blade owned by Mark Beckwith.
At the outset, these two were involved in a three-horse duel for the top spot as Evas Sports Czech, handled by Walter La Freniere, Jr., joined Happy Heart and Glenferrie Blade in that early scuffle. At the :27.1 opener, Happy Heart made the top with Glenferrie Blade pressing on to take charge shortly thereafter, taking the field to a half in :56.
On the backside. Odds On Cheddar, outside every step thus far, reached third while Northern Swift was on a double-bubble binge from last, reaching second around the final turn with Glenferrie Blade patiently waiting for some room to roam turning for home after the 1:24.4 three-quarters.
In the lane, Happy Heart fought on gamely but drifted out slightly allowing Glenferrie to shoot on through along the pylons and get up for the tie in the last stride.
Evas Sports Czech did finish third while Northern Swift and Big Bad baby were next in the octet.
Both Hall of Famers had something to say about the rare event with Miller saying, "You know, I thought I might have gotten there but it was too close to call. Mark (Beckwith) said his mare likes the front end so I tried to put her there but when Wally (Hennessey) retook, I thought a two-hole trip wouldn't be so bad, after all. I guess my patience paid off and was happy to share the winner's circle in the win."
Hennessey said, "I didn't know...I was hoping we held on but wasn't sure. Dave's (Miller) mare is a lot bigger than mine, so I didn't know. Happy Heart might be a smaller horse but she has a very big heart!"
Happy Heart is an 8-year-old daughter of Woodstock and achieved her 30th lifetime win, sending her career bounty to $43,889 while Glenferrie Blade, the Aussie bred, is a 10-year-old daughter of Mach Three. She got her 23rd career victory with her career earnings vaulting to $266,296.
In sharing the win pool, both mares paid $2.10 to win.
A few minutes earlier, Cult Icon, with Hennessey at her controls, put in a gritty performance, scoring in 1:51.4 in the $11,000 Open Handicap for Mares after taking charge just after the :27.1 opener and carding subsequent fractions of :56.1 and 1:23.2 along the way.
Casie's Believer (Joe Chindano Jr.) was second, 1 3/4 lengths away, while favored Crisp Mane (Miller) was third. Another Beach Day and Image Of A Dream also picked up checks in the classy sextet.
Cult Icon, a 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight, is trained by Trent Stohler, who trains for the Stable. She now has 20 lifetime wins and earnings of $278,407.
As third choice in the betting, Cult Icon paid $8.80 to win. (Pompano)