by John Berry, for the FSBOA and Pompano Park
Pompano Beach, Fla. — It would seem highly unlikely that Hall of Fame Driver Wally Hennessey could improve on last week’s unbelievable .861 batting average in the FSBOA’s Sunshine State Stakes but on Saturday (Oct. 13) at Pompano Park, he did just that.
Hennessey won seven of his eight drives to send his UDRS up to .868 on the strength of 13 winning drives in 16 journeys in back of Adam Brownlee’s starting gate.
The ageless Hennessey scored repeat wins with Kerry B, Natasha, Mister Marvalous and I Rhoda Daley, then capped off the festivities driving Krinda to her first win of the season and recent ship-in Gold Star Diablo.
When asked to reflect on the day, Hennessey took a page from the late, great baseball manager Casey Stengel saying, “Casey said ‘ya gotta have the horses’ and no truer statement was made with regards to our sport. I was just lucky enough to have the horses today.”
The only event Hennessey did not win was in the juvenile trot for colts and geldings, won by Prairie Gem for driver Jim Meittinis.
Hennessey now has 9,805 career wins—229 this year.
Here is a recap of the action.
Two-Year-Old Filly Trot
Kerry B, a sharp looking daughter of Muscle Mass, took command around the first turn and led every step thereafter in scoring a handy win for Hennessey in 2:01.3. Trained by Kim Sears for husband Jay, Kerry B wired together panels of :30.1, 1:01.3 and 1:31.4 along the way and now sports a 3-2-1 scorecard in 10 lifetime starts.
Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot
Prairie Gem, a gelded son of Shibboleth Hanover, had an easy time overcoming his outside post in scoring a handy win for Meittinis in 2:06.3. Leading at every pole, Prairie Gem, co-owned by Barbara Jensen along with Laurie Poulin and trainer Mike Deters, put up fractions of :31, 1:03.3 and 1:35.3 before coasting home an easy winner by 2-2/4 lengths for his maiden victory in his first career purse start.
Two-Year-Old Filly Pace
Natasha, a talented daughter of Six Of Diamonds with a mark of 1:54.3 at Vernon Downs, made a bold quarter move after the :29.4 opener and then went on to lead the rest of the journey, posting subsequent panels of :59.4 and 1:28.2 before an effortless :29 finale sealed the deal by 2-1/2 lengths for Hennessey, who was in the bike for trainer Kim Sears and owner Jay Sears. The win was the third straight for Natasha.
Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace
Mister Marvalous, an altered son of Delmarvelous, let the dust settle early as Zaza Boy (Joe Sanzeri) and Prairie Midnight (Meittinis) traded punches early before tilting out around the final bend an on to a handy win in 1:58.3 for Hennessey’s third win. Trained by Kim Sears for owners Jay Sears and Richard Dunmire, Mister Marvalous used a :28.4 finale to reach the winner’s circle for the third time in eight career starts.
Three Year-Old Filly Trot
I Rhoda Daley, last year’s 2-year-old champion in her division, won her second straight in Sunshine State Stakes action by scoring a lifetime equalling best 2:03.2 win in hold off a determined Ms Katie B (Gary Braden) by a half-length. A daughter of Desperado Don, I rhoda Daley gave Hennessey the “grand slam” for trainer John Hallett, who does the conditioning for owner Lee Clarke.
Three Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot
Captain Thomas, with Hennessey again in the bike, let Dangerous Mood (Jim McDonald) do all the heavy lifting during splits of :28.4, :58.4 and 1:28.4 before tilting out of the cozy pocket turning for home and then drawing away late to score in a lifetime best 1:58.4. Trained by Dan Hennessey for owner John Campagnuolo, Captain Thomas is a gelded son of Proud Bushy who came into the action with a lifetime mark of Q2:01h.
Three-Year-Old Filly Pace
Last year’s Super Night champion, Krinda, avenged her narrow loss of a week ago to score a handy 1:56 lifetime best performance. Using her post position (4) to her advantage, the daughter of Six Of Diamonds surged off the wings forcing her main rival, Starcasim (Joe Sanzeri-post 5) to take a seat the back of the pack early. The two hooked up in a duel on backside and around the final bend before Krinda pulled away in the lane, sealing the issue with a :28.2 finale. Krinda is trained by Kim Sears for owner Jay Sears.
Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace
Gold Star Diablo, last year’s juvenile champion in his class, got a picture perfect drive from Hennessey before tilting out turning for home and used a :29.3 closing kick to eave Silver Wings (Bryce Fenn) in his wake, 4-1/2 lengths away in 1:57.1. The gelded son of Mysticism, trained by Mike Deters for owner Dan Clements, earned his first win of the year in eight starts–his last win coming on Super Night last semester at Pompano Park.
Pari-mutuel racing begins at Pompano Park on Sunday (Oct. 21).