Pompano Beach, FL – Sea Shadows, handled by Wally Hennessey, took top honors in Pompano Park’s $14,200 Open Pace for Fillies and Mares on Wednesday (Dec. 22), stopping the timer in a season’s best 1:51.2.
The 6-year-old daughter of Shadow Play, a length off the gate at the start and away last in this classy sextet, powered her way forward from there and took the lead after a :27.1 opener by favored Sweet Heaven (John MacDonald). She then went on to saw through panels of :55.1 and 1:22.3 before her :28.3 finale held off the favorite by a length. Image Of A Dream (Rick Plano) was another neck back in third, nosing out Tuapeka Jessie N. Brilliant Beauty, actually closing fastest of all in the lane, picked up the nickel.
After the race, Hennessey related, “Well, the first time I drove her here, she showed she had some gate speed but then she was a bit under the weather so, since then, I have just wanted to be a little more cautious with her in not using her too hard off the wings. She can grind forward pretty good, you know, so I just let her do her own thing once we get started. I went looking for a spot once the gate opened but nothing opened up so I had to keep going forward. I wasn’t sure how much she had left in the tank after being out the first three-eighths and then a half in :55.1. But she sure was up to the task tonight, that’s for sure.”
Trained by Hennessey for Paul and Patricia O’Neil, Sea Shadows won for the eighth time this year in 29 starts, good for $52,520. She now has 31 lifetime wins and $223,461 in career bounty.
Off as the second choice at 2-1, Sea Shadows paid $6.40 to win.
The $12,600 Open II Pace for Fillies and Mares went to Crisp Mane, handled by David Miller, by a nose, in 1:53. The 5-year-old daughter of Sportswriter just got up in the final stride to nail Abuelita Hanover (Rick Plano) with Talk Show Chica (Corey Braden) another head back in third. The favorite, In Lou Of Money, finished fourth, a length away, after cutting the mustard through fractions of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:24.2. Protect Blue Chip got the final award in the septet.
Crisp Mare, trained by Devan Miller for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, earned her sixth win of the year, sending her 2021 bankroll to $98,595. She’s just shy of $300,000 in career earnings–the current being $296,525.
Crisp Man was third choice in the betting and paid $7.20 to win.
The $11,000 Open III Pace for the fillies and mares went to the 3-5 favorite, Bye Bye Felicia, driven by John MacDonald for trainer John Hallett and owners Rick and Geoff Howles.
This 7-year-old daughter of Woodstock led every stride posting fractions of :26.4, :56.2 and 1:24.1 before a :28 finale sealed the deal by 1 1/2 lengths over Roll With Angel (Miller) with Late Night Date (Dave Ingraham) third. La Always AMartini and Bellacache, closing quickest of all, picked up the minor awards in the sextet.
In the “better for the bettor” department, what may have been a handicapping first in pari-mutuel history, the Berry Pickin’s handicapping analysis picked the fourth race pentafecta cold with a 10-1 winning the event and listed program 10-6-3-7-4 combination returning $355.90 for the 20 cent ticket. The trifecta paid $473,60 with thee exacta returning $121.60.
Racing continues of Thursday with a $15,000 guaranteed Pick-4 Pool featuring a 12 percent (industry low) takeout along with a Pick-6 carryover and a Super Hi-5 jackpot now over $45,000.
Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.