Modern Mercury and Born To Thrive triumphed in their respective $11,000 Open Trots on Wednesday (February 21) at Pompano Park.
Modern Mercury – who was driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Rob Harmon and owner John Campagnuolo – took command at the opening :28.2 stanza and went on to post panels of :57.1 and 1:26.4 before a solid :28.4 finale sealed the deal in 1:55.3 over Shes All In, driven by Rick Plano. Second Sister, with Jim Meittinis handling her lines, was third while Diamond Dagger finished fourth. Vicki All picked up the final minor award in the classy septet.
Said Hennessey after the race, "She (Modern Mercury) is finally getting confidence in herself,” said Hennessey. “Her only other win this year was on the front end so I thought maybe I'd try that again tonight. She's always been right there with them off the pace but never seemed to have the confidence in herself to pass them from off the pace when things get serious.
"Tonight, she really showed me that she has confidence in her game. It was an excellent performance."
The five-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover now has a pair of wins in eight starts, good for $16,500. Her lifetime bounty now stands at $111,375.
As the lukewarm 5-2 favourite, Modern Mercury paid $7.20 to win.
Born To Thrive, a sharp five-year-old gelded son of Swan For All, came from dead last in his field, trotted his final three-quarters in 1:24.2 for catch-driver John MacDonald to pin a two length defeat in 1:54 on Boli, who was making his 2018 debut for Wally Hennessey. Sooo Handsome, fresh off his two world record performance at the shorter five-eighths mile distance at Pompano, was third after having carved the fractions in :28, :57.1 and 1:25.1. Uncle Hanover was fourth while BJ Anthony finished fifth in the field of seven.
At 2-1 when the bell started, Born To Thrive, who is also owned by owner John Campagnuolo, paid $6.80 to win.
There will be a $25,000 guaranteed pool for Pompano’s Saturday night Pick-5, which covers Races 1 through 5. There is also a Pick-6 carryover, as well. The Saturday Super Hi-5 jackpot now stands at a record $237,835.
Post time is set for 7:20 p.m.
(With files from Pompano Park)