Hennessey wins 8 on rain-soaked night at PPk
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Despite a "trifecta" of hurdles, including heavy rains, a 40 minute delay because of a fire alarm, and a bank of lights going out on turn one, Pompano Park presented an excellent racing program that, when all was said and done, was dominated by Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey.
Hennessey won eight of the 10 races on the Tuesday night card, including both feature events and, for the first time in track history, a sweep of the track's Pick-6.
Hennessey won the $9,500 Open Handicap Pace for Mares with Mike Sweeney's Sue's Night Out and, a little more than an hour later, took top honors back of Paul and Patricia O'Neil's Boli.
Sandwiched around and between these events were wins with Andro Madi ($6.80) to kick off the early daily double, All Star Fame ($5.80), to start the Pick-6, Majestic Won ($3.40), Nomad ($7.20), the appropriatly named One Tough Nut, a ridgeling, ($2.20) to complete the Pick-6, and Brown Titan ($3.80), to cap the late daily double.
Sue's Night Out, a five year-old daughter of A Stud Named Sue, was a game 2 1/4 length winner over the pace-setting Goldstar Rockette (Jim Meittinis) in 1:54.3 over a track rated sloppy as heavy rains continued throughout the night.
Spilling The Beans (Kevin Wallis), last for the first three-quarters of the mile, rallied for third while Miss Dollar Man finished fourth and Machin Marley picked up the minor award in the octet.
Sue's Night Out was away sixth in her field early and, as Hennessey sensed the pace slowing during the second quarter, moved his mare into contention half-way through the mile and then engaged the leader Goldstar Rockette in war on the backside after opening panels of :27.2 and :57.4.
As the pace picked up on the backside, Sue's Night Out dug in and pulled on even terms with the leader at the third station timed in 1:26.1.
Once they straightened away, Sue's Night Out took command with authority and cruised on home through a :28.2 finale to seal the deal prompting Hennessey to say, "I could sense the pace was slowing during the second quarter so I decided to make the move to try and draw closer.
"On the backside, we were rolling pretty good and she was still digging in around the final turn.
"To tell the truth, it may have been a blessing to be on the outside because the train was draining inward.
"Once we straightened away, she went straight and true to the wire. It was a very sharp performance."
Owned and trained by Mike Sweeney, Sue's Night Out won for the fifth time this semester, sending her earnings to $27,242 and $132,874 lifetime to go along with her mark of 1:51.3 at Pompano Park earlier this year.
As second choice in the betting at 3 to 1, Sue's Night Out paid $8.60 to win.
Boli, on the other hand, had to perform yet another one of his miracle miles to capture the $10,000 Open Trot.
The five year-old gelded son of Kadabra, assigned the outside nine post, had to use an eye-opening final 16th of the journey to score by a head in 1:55.4--nailing Keystone Bodacious (Kevin Wallis) on the money.
McKenzie's Star (Fern Paquet, Jr.) was third, 2 1/2 lengths away and a nose better than Commentary. Sailer Eddie picked up the nickel in the field of nine.
Hennessey marveled at Boli's performance saying, "I know I said this before, but horses just don't do what he did tonight in the final stages of the mile.
"Last year, he made a break at the start one race, spotted the field 25 lengths or so, and did the same thing to win.
"Tonight, he reminded me of that mile, although he didn't make a break this time, he sure motored up the last 16th.
"Horses just don't do that!"
In extending his winning streak to three, Boli won for the fifth time in nine starts this year, sending his earnings vaulting over the $30,000 mark--$30,010 to be precise. Lifetime, Boli has 20 wins in only 57 starts, good for $167,474.
Off at 4 to 5 on the tote-board, Boli returned $3.80 to win.
Though the odds are astronomical that one driver win all legs of a Pick-6, The "Hennessey Pick-6" returned $45.50 for the 50 cent ticket.
The win, incidentally, left trainer Dan Hennessey with 999 career training wins as he battles for the training crown at Pompano Park this year with only eight programs remaining.
The fire alarm caused a delay of approximately 40 minutes between races eight and nine and the response from the Pompano Fire and Rescue team consisting of several trucks was quick, indeed, about the same time as Boli's winning mile--1:55.4.
Racing continues on Sunday night with a Sunday and Wednesday schedule in tact for the remainder of the season. Post time remains at 7:20 p.m.--By John Berry/Pompano Park