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Count Speed three-peats at Pompano
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 - by John Berry, for Pompano Park

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Pompano Beach, FL --- Count Speed, returning to the Open ranks after a pair of victories in conditioned events, easily handled his competition on Wednesday night (April 2) at Pompano Park for Wally Hennessey to extend his winning streak to three.

Dee Leftwich photo
Count Speed, handled by Wally Hennessey, captured Pompano Park's Open Trot on Wednesday night in 1:55.

The 5-year-old altered son of Majestic Son, trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O’Neil, took command in the sextet shortly after the wings folded and, given superb rating, wired together panels of :28.4, :58 and 1:26.1 to stop the timer in 1:55, his winning margin 1-3/4 lengths over Permanent Joy (Bruce Ranger) with My Revenuer (Bryce Fenn) third, 5-1/2 lengths away. Go Jesse Jo was placed fourth ahead of the 7-5 favorite, Jolene’s Pinehonker, who was disqualified after an extended miscue through the stretch.

The win was Count Speed’s third of the year in five starts and 15th lifetime, sending his career bankroll to $144,398.

In a post-race interview, both trainer and driver gave credit to the other for Count Speed’s recent successes.

Said trainer Dan Hennessey, “This is a very difficult horse to drive. He’s fast, yes, but he has a mind of his own and is hard to handle. He sure doesn’t like to train and it takes a very delicate set of hands -- like Wally’s -- to get him around the racetrack without incident.”

Driver Wally Hennessey put all of the praise on his brother, trainer Dan.

“It’s hard to keep this horse comfortable. Every little thing bothers him. If it’s not this, it’s that. If it’s not that, it’s this. Dan made a few changes over the past few weeks and it’s his wisdom as a trainer that has led to Count Speed’s success. It is Dan that has made this horse as good as he is right now.”

As second choice in the wagering, Count Speed paid $5.20 to win.

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