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Count Speed Extends Streak At Pompano

Published: May 14, 2015 12:13 am ET

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Ontario-sired Artful Impulse and Count Speed reigned supreme in their respective co-featured events at Pompano Park on Wednesday night.

Artful Impulse, off at 9-1 and patiently handled by Andy Santeramo, kicked things off in the $8,500 Winners Over Handicap for pacing mares by shocking the 1-20 favourite, Senorita Santanna, driven by Wally Hennessey, in 1:52.4. Winbak Heavenly, with Tom Sells in the bike, finished third while the only other starter in the event, Mach Me Not, finished fourth. Cheap N Easy was a late scratch in the opener, reducing the field to four.

As the Hummer wings opened, Artful Impulse and Senorita Santanna left together and engaged in a duel for the first eighth before "Impulse" yielded to the "Senorita," the latter taking the field to an opening quarter in :26.4 with Winbak Heavenly content to stay in third and Mach Me Not already about five lengths away as the trailer.

Positions remained stagnant through a half in :56.2 with Senorita Santanna picking up the pace a bit on the backside, reaching the third station in 1:24.4, and with a clear lead turning for home.

Once they straightened away, Artful Impulse left the coziness of her pocket and began gnawing away at the leader, drawing on even terms a sixteenth out and edging to the lead near the wire -- the winning margin a half length.

In a post race interview, Santeramo said, "Jimmy [trainer Mc Donald] said she had gate speed and I figured the only way I had a chance of upsetting Wally's [Hennessey] mare [Senorita Santanna] was to leave with mine and try to take a little sting out of her early. I thought Wally got away from us a little bit on the far turn but my mare responded very nicely when it counted. She must've come her last quarter under :28. Big mile."

For Artful Impulse, a four-year-old daughter of Artistic Fella owned by Twenty Four Carrot Racing, it was her third win of the year in 17 starts, good for $22,900 this semester. She's banked $121,285 lifetime.

As third choice in the betting, Artful Impulse returned $20.20 to win.

Count Speed never had an anxious moment as Wally Hennessey guided this six year-old Majestic Son gelding to a handy win -- his fifth in a row -- over stablemate Verdi, driven by Walter Ross Jr., in 1:54.4 in the $8,500 Winners Over Handicap Trot. My Revenuer, with Tom Sells in the bike, used his typical late rally to finish third while Jailhouse Jessica finished fourth. Adenium was fifth in the sextet.

It was Count Speed flashing his usual alacrity as the gate sprung and, after a brief battle with Adenium, took command and led through opening panels of :28 and :57.3. Just short of that second marker, Jailhouse Jessica, fifth early on, began her sprint forward as did Verdi, away last in the early going but now following "Jessica's" live cover.

With the pace beginning to pick up three-eighths out, Count Speed maintained a clear lead with Jailhouse Jessica a bit more than a length away, Adenium holding the third spot near the pylons and Verdi fanning widest of all through three-quarters in 1:26.2.

In the lane, Hennessey sat confidently as Count Speed gave him a :28.2 sprint to the wire, stopping the clock in that aforementioned 1:54.4.

After the race, Hennessey said, "This horse is very sharp right now...super sharp. He just seems to do what he has to do to get to the wire first. I was a little surprised to see his stablemate [Verdi] charging into second as he was stepping up to the big time for the first time."

Both Count Speed and Verdi are trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil.

Count Speed now owns a 5-0-1 scorecard in seven seasonal starts with earnings of $21,470. He's won 24 times during his career and has a bankroll of $218,763.

As the "talk of the toteboard" at 3-5, Count Speed returned $3.20 to his many faithful.

Finally, in Wednesday's Super Hi-5, the 5-6-8-4-7 winning combo produced 22 winning 20-cent tickets pushing the carryover for Saturday night over $197,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m.

(With files from Pompano Park)

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