Another Hennessey milestone highlights Wednesday card at Pompano Park

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Ted Black

January 25th, 2019

One night before the 48th annual Eclipse Awards were announced at Gulfstream Park, host of this weekend's Grade I, $9 million Pegasus World Cup and Grade I, $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf, a full slate of trotters and one Hall of Fame driver took center stage at Pompano Park, the five-eighths mile harness racing oval in Florida.

Standardbred tracks often have difficulty filling races for trotters, but last night Pompano Park offered a 10-race card entirely for them. There were few notable performances among the winner trotters, but Hall of Fame driver Wally Hennessey, who arrived with 9,996 wins, eclipsed the 10,000 victory plateau by tallying a grand slam, capped by a score in the finale.

Early on the card, Hennessey steered Majestic Mystic to a two-length score as the 4-5 favorite in a conditioned event for trotters in 1:56.1. The 10-year-old Majestic Son gelding trained by Megan Scran got Hennessey to within three wins of his latest milestone and had onlookers believing it would come sooner than later.

Several races later on the card, Hennessey guided Bucketlist Hanover to a 9-2 upset in a five-eighths dash, once around the oval in 1:10.3. Then several races later on the card Hennessey scored with Joey Pro in a non-winners of $3,501 last four starts conditioned event for trotters in 1:57 flat as the 6-5 favorite. The five-year-old gelding trained by John Hallett sent the Hall of Fame reinsman to one shy of the milestone.

In one sense the only drama heading into the finale of the Wednesday card was whether or not Hennessey would reach the 10,000 win plateau. But the Hall of Fame driver was not about to disappoint on various levels as he steered Price Of Fame to a 3-5 score in 1:57.2 in a non-winners of $1,600 last four starts class for trotters for trainer Mickey McNichol. It was the coveted 10,000th win for Hennessey, one of several active drivers already enshrined in the harness racing Hall of Fame.