by Frank Carulli
December 3, 2019
Natasha extended her winning streak to 15 races with a lifetime-best 1:53.4 performance in Florida’s Super Night of champions for 3-year-old filly pacers Sunday at Pompano Park.
Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey was in the bike as Natasha blasted to the lead from the outside post and never looked back despite setting fast fractions of :26.2 to the quarter, :57 for the half and 1:24.3 through three-quarters of a mile. She finished 2 lengths clear of runner-up Prairie Cougar (Peter Wrenn).
“I have always said this filly is a freak and she really proved her merit tonight after facing tough rivals like this, the outside post and a trying first quarter,” Hennessey said in a post-race interview with Pompano Park publicist John Berry.
But the Super Night joy ride was just beginning for Hennessey and Natasha trainer Kim Sears, who won four stakes races each with an average purse of more than $50,000.
The dynamic duo teamed to win the 2-year-old filly pace with Laurie Lee, a 3-1/2-length winner in 1:56.4.
Hennessey drove back-to-back winners for trainer Jim McDonald as 2-year-old filly Prairie Delight trotted to a 3-1/4-length score in 2:03.4 and sophomore colt trotter Damien Hall wired the field by 5 lengths in 1:58. Damien Hall has led at every call in his six wins this season.
Sears sent out Rhinestone Cowboy (Mike Micaleff) to a 2:01 victory in the 2-year-old colt trot and Proud Sophie (Dave Ingraham) to a 2:00.4 win in the 3-year-old filly trot. Rhinestone Cowboy appeared hopelessly beaten when he broke stride on the backstretch, but he recovered in time, making up 10 lengths to win by 3/4s of a length.
Hurricanekingjames (Carl Garofalo) became the night’s fourth wire-to-wire winner with a 1:53.4 score in the 2-year-old colt pace, but he had to survive a stirring stretch battle with Repeal or Replace (Andy Santeramo) to win by a half length.
In the night’s lone pari-mutuel event, Zaza Boy ($6.20, Micallef) brushed past odds-on favorite Mister Marvalous (Hennessey) and held safe 26-1 longshot Gold Star Yoder (James Yoder) for a 1-1/4-length win in 1:53.4