The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Week In Review

May 14-20, 2016

It seems like we are in the middle of a stretch at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono where each week features another brand new batch of huge races. This past week we had the chance to witness the Pennsylvania All-Stars, a series for 3-year-olds from the Keystone State which brought out some of the best sophomore racing talent in the entire nation, lured as they were by the solid $30,000 purses available for each division.

We saw a different class on three consecutive nights. Here are some of the highlights of this batch of Pennsylvania All-Stars races.

SUNDAY: 3-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS

The three divisions held on Sunday night proved that there are many different ways to win a race. In the first split, The Catamount Kid, the even-money favorite after a solid 4th-place finish the previous week in the Pennsylvania Classic, used a pocket trip to come up a winner. Simon Allard did the driving for trainer Carl Jamieson, although it wasn’t easy for The Catamount Kid. It took a career-best mile of 1:51:2 to hold off the extremely game Bully Pulpit by a neck.

The next division provided a display of how to win from off the pace. As even-money favorite JJ Flynn started to lose grasp of his lead late, it appeared that Settlemoir, who was sitting the excellent pocket trip, had the edge to come up for the win. Yet it was Voltaire, an 11-1 shot guided by Tim Tetrick, who revved it up on the outside out of nowhere to win by a neck in a career-best 1:52:2. Trained by Brian Malone, it was Voltaire’s first win since March.

In the final split, Another Daily Copy provided a master’s class on how to control a field on the front end. The colt from the Nicholas Devita barn was aided in that effort by driver Jim Morrill Jr., who expertly rated the pace so that even 4-5 favorite Fernando Hanover couldn’t get past in the stretch. At 5-1, Another Daily Copy came home a solid winner by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:51:2, his first win of the season and a new career-best.

MONDAY: 3-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES

Monday night provided a chance for some of the fillies who came up short in the Miss Pennsylvania a few weeks ago to get a bit of redemption. In the first split, Darlinonthebeach, who had been favored in the Miss Pennsylvania after upsetting Pure Country in the elimination but got caught up in blistering fractions and faded to 7th in the final, nearly had bad racing luck doom her chances in the All-Stars race. She had to check while making a brush to the lead around the clubhouse turn. The Nancy Johansson trainee didn’t panic, gathering her wits about her until called on again by David Miller in the stretch. She rolled by as the 4-5 favorite to win by a neck in 1:51:3, pushing her career earnings over $247,000 in the process.

Next up was I Said Diamonds, who had battled to 2nd in the Miss Pennsylvania final despite a #9 post. She was once again on the outside in the All-Stars race, starting furthest out in the field of seven as the 1-2 favorite. By the end of the first turn she had assumed the lead. At the top of the stretch, with competitors starting to loom behind her, she kicked away from her foes with Matt Kakaley in the bike. Trained by Ron Burke, I Said Diamonds continues to impress; she’s hit the board in every one of her nine starts with five victories and earnings topping $245,000.

In the final split, Yankee Moonshine, who was a huge earner as a 2-year-old but missed the Miss Pennsylvania final after finishing fifth in her elimination race, was favored at 7-5. But she never really fired and finished fourth. Instead it was a newcomer to Pocono named Shesasmokinlady who came in from the Meadows and put together an outstanding performance. Fresh off a win in the slop, the filly trained and driven by Ray Paver worked out a pocket trip behind a sizzling pace and came on to win by a neck in the night’s fastest time of 1:50:4 as an 8-5 second choice.

TUESDAY: 3-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES

The action for the distaff trotters started out on Tuesday night with a split featuring a pair of horses, Pink Pistol and Ginny Weasley, coming off wins in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action. Synonymous Hanover, a 5-1 shot making her first start of the season, took the lead from Ginny Weasley at the half. Pink Pistol broke stride in her first-over attempt, and Ginny Weasley couldn’t get there from the pocket. Instead Brett Miller guided Synonymous Hanover, trained by Chris Oakes, to the win by 1 ¼ lengths in a career-best 1:56.

In the second split, Lookin Sharp was coming off a 5th-place finish in her season debut and was saddled with a #9 post, so it was understandable that she went off as a 6-1 shot. But the filly from the John Butenschoen was also the big earner in the field as a 2-year-old, and she regained that fine form on this night. With David Miller in the bike, Lookin Sharp grabbed the lead an eight of a mile into the race and never looked back from there, dominating the field in 1:55:2, a new career-best time.

As it turns out, it wouldn’t be a good night for Pennsylvania All-Stars favorites. Although Abbie’s Celticlass, the 4-5 favorite in the final split, fared better than the favorites in the first two divisions, both of whom went off-stride, her first-over effort wasn’t enough to get more than the show. Meanwhile Modern Mercury, a filly trained and driven by Charlie Norris coming off a win at Harrah’s at Philadelphia, stepped into the breach and scored the victory on the front end in 1:56:1, ending an exciting week of Pennsylvania All-Stars action.

That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com.

Chippendales Break The Rules Tour at Mohegan Sun Pocono

Turning Up the Heat on the “Girls’ Night Out” at the Keystone Grand Ballroom

WILKES-BARRE, PA (May 17, 2016) – Chippendales®, the #1 Male Revue in the World, takes over the Keystone Grand Ballroom on Saturday, July 16th at 7:00pm and 10:00pm with their 2016 Break The Rules Tour!

Tickets start at $39.00 and will go on sale on Friday, May 20th at 10:00am through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster customers may purchase tickets by logging on to ticketmaster.com or calling Ticketmaster’s national toll free Charge By Phone number at 1.800.745.3000. Tickets will also be available for purchase, free of service fees, at the Mohegan Sun Pocono Box Office.

Looking to turn your night into a weekend getaway? Be sure to check out Mohegan Sun Pocono’s exclusive hotel offer that combines an overnight stay with passes to the show. Visit our website to learn more.

Chippendales began driving women wild in Los Angeles in 1979 as the first-ever all-male dance troupe. Quickly, they became a pop culture phenomenon opening a club in New York and producing touring troupes that traveled across the world.  Their act is consistently touted for offering the greatest, most heart-pounding performances cultivated specifically for women. Today, the show’s flagship company plays nightly at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and features celebrity guest stars such as supermodel, Tyson Beckford, who is currently headlining the production.   The touring company travels the world, pleasing the masses, and brining the party to the people.

Over the last 35 years, the men of Chippendales, have performed for more than 100 million women in over 100 countries, they’ve travelled more than 6.7 million miles while touring and on that long, hard journey they have torn off over 1.2 million shirts, worn 56,000 bowties and have been photographed more than 70 million times. The number of women who felt they “melted inside” remains incalculable but it’s definitely a lot.  The famous Chippendales calendar became the first all-male calendar targeted to women and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and has been printed in over nine languages. Thank goodness for 2016 as it marks the publication of a new Chippendales calendar.

About Chippendales:
Named “the most-wanted men in Vegas!” by ET’s, The Insider, Chippendales captures the perfect balance of tasteful teasing and unbridled sex appeal. The high energy, fully choreographed, interactive show features some of the most physically elite men in the world, phrases like “hot damn” only begin to describe the men of Chippendales. They know just how to flirt with and entice birthday girls, bachelorettes and any party girls looking to have fun. In March 2015, for the fourth consecutive year, Chippendales was named the “Best Male Strip Show by the Las Vegas Review Journal’s prestigious “Best of Las Vegas Awards.” Annually, the Men of Chippendales will be seen by almost 2 million people worldwide.

The cast, a very exclusive fraternity with only 20 members, is split across two productions – one based in Las Vegas at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and the other, currently selling out venues around the world. Currently the Vegas cast welcomes celebrity guest host and supermodel Tyson Beckford. This encore performance comes after a sold engagement with Beckford last spring. Beckford is a crowd pleaser; even Mariah Carey couldn’t resist his sultry moves when she was brought on stage. The Chippendales recently celebrated their 35th Anniversary as a brand and as one of pop culture’s sexiest icons. The guys have been featured on numerous national television shows, including the Emmy Award-winning CBS series, The Amazing Race, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, among many others.

Previous celebrity guest hosts featured in the Las Vegas production include “Beverly Hills 90210″ and “Sharknado” star Ian Ziering, as well as Joey Lawrence. The buzz around who will be the next Chippendale is a fan favorite and Chippendales invites them to take to social media to vote for which sexy celeb they want to see next.

Chippendales,  one  of  the  world’s  most  recognized  brand  names,  is  the  premier  provider  of entertainment  for  women.  The  Company  produces  Broadway-style  shows  worldwide  and licenses  its  intellectual  property  for  select  consumer  products  ranging  from  apparel  and accessories    to    slot    machines    and    video    games.        The    company also    operates Chippendales.com,    an    on-line    lifestyle    and    entertainment    destination    for    women.  Chippendales® was established in 1979 and has headquarters in New York, with offices in Las Vegas      and      London. For      additional      information      visit www.Chippendales.com ; find  us  on  Facebook,  Twitter  and  Instagram  @Chippendales #Chippendales.

ABOUT MOHEGAN SUN POCONO:
Mohegan Sun Pocono, owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, is one of the most distinctive and spectacular entertainment, gaming, shopping and dining destinations in Pennsylvania. Situated on 400 acres in Plains, Pennsylvania, Mohegan Sun Pocono features a 238-room hotel with on-site spa and adjacent 20,000 square-foot Convention Center. It is currently home to 82,000 square feet of gaming space including 91 live table games, 2,300 slot machines and electronic table games, a variety of dining and shopping options, nightlife, entertainment and live harness racing. Mohegan Sun Pocono is within easy access of New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. More information is available by calling 1.888.WIN.IN.PA (1.888.946.4672) or visiting our website. Connect with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, download our app and view us on YouTube.

Pennsylvania Classic and Miss Pennsylvania shine on Derby night

Ron Burke trainees finished 1-2-3 in the inaugural $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic Final for state-sired three-year-old pacing colts and geldings Saturday night, May 7th, Kentucky Derby night, at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Check Six going a big mile on the front end to reduce his mark a tick to 1:50.3, while in the companion filly event, the $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania Final, Pure Country bounced back from her first loss in the previous week’s elimination race, going the first-over route and still matching the 1:50.3 clocking of Check Six.

Check Six was three-wide a good part of the first turn, then when The Catamount Kid backed off from between horses, Check Six was sent to the front by driver Yannick Gingras to go around stablemate Big Top Hanover, with the first quarter of 27.2 not too taxing despite the extra real estate. Check Six got a further breather when the half was tripped in 56.1.

The price of pacing went up exponentially down the backstretch when another Burkeite, Check Six’s fellow Classic elim winner JK Will Power, advanced to give a stern first-over challenge. The ¾ was tripped in 1:23.1, and then despite going into a stretch headwind the battling duo still stormed in 27.2, with Check Six holding off JK Will Power, let go at a surprising 12-1, by a neck, with Big Top Hanover another 1¼ lengths back. The Catamount Kid held for fourth, with Lyons Snyder, a slight favorite over the winner with both sent off at 2.10-1, unable to capitalize on second-over position and settling for the last check.

Trainer Ron Burke took home $488,850 of the rich purse in the Classic, while Check Six became the second-largest moneywinner of the year by boosting his 2016 bankroll to $301,250, with his career bankroll for Burke Racing Stables LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, William Switala and James Martin at $416,139.

Yannick Gingras, who drove both elim winners for Burke, picked Check Six for his Classic mount, “but the choice was closer than I would have thought earlier – JK Will Power really showed me a lot last week, and he was big again tonight.” But Check Six came up biggest of all at the finish and took in the glory of winning the first Pennsylvania Classic.

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She’s b-a-a-a-a-a-c-k!

Pure Country, last year’s champion two-year-old filly who suffered her first loss in a Miss Pennsylvania elim in her seasonal debut, looked like a filly who could rank with the greats when she overcame a hard first-over trip to win the Miss PA Final in the same time as Check Six, a new lifetime mark.

Pure Country settled midpack early as Call Me Queen Be went a stinging 25.2 first quarter, then yielded to 4-5 favorite Darlinonthebeach (Pure Country was the 2-1 second choice, the first time she had gone off higher than 3-5 in her career). Darlinonthebeach went on to the half in 53.3, with driver Brett Miller having Pure Country in gear first-over at that point and advancing the length of the backstretch to be right in contention at the 1:21.3 ¾.

Pure Country just kept on advancing the turn, gaining the  lead past the curve’s midpoint, and continued on strongly through the lane, holding off the late rush of second-over I Said Diamonds by 1¼ lengths, with Call Me Queen Be, Newborn Sassy, and I Said Please getting the minor awards in that order; the favored pacesetter Darlinonthebeach tired and finished seventh.

Speaking of her Miss Pennsylvania elim loss, trainer Jimmy Takter noted that “she had been a little sick and I had lost two weeks” of preparation for her 2016 bow. The “real” Pure Country showed up at Pocono Saturday, and the smiles on the faces of Takter and owner Adam Bowden of the Diamond Creek operation were big indeed.

(And yes, both winners were second choices, both won in 1:50.3, and both took new marks. The styles of the two races, though, couldn’t have been more different.)

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In the race before the two Pennsylvania stakes finals, the American Ideal gelding Bigtown Hero, no stranger to extreme speed when at his prime, went the fastest mile in North American harness racing this year, 1:48.1, in an $18,000 pace. Simon drove the Hero like he was the best, and the horse validated his judgement, moving to the lead after a 26.2 opener and then hanging out middle splits of 53.4 and 1:20.3 before holding of the late charge of Aslan to win for Simon’s brother, trainer Rene Allard, and the partnership of Allard Racing Inc and Yves Sarrazin.

Van Rose Memorial highlights Derby Day card

The Van Rose Memorial Pace on Saturday night, Kentucky Derby night, was another terrific addition to the trophy case of the pnenomenal Luck Be Withyou.

Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono resume of Luck Be Withyou:

2013 – Breeders Crown winner at two at the Northeast PA oval.

2014 – Took his lifetime mark of 1:48 here.

2015 – Franklin Final winner despite post nine and Pocono Pacer of the Year.

2016 – Van Rose Invitational winner in 1:48.4 in only his second start of the year.

Luck Be Withyou, a five-year-old son of Western Ideal who LOVES The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, came out of the pocket behind a blistering pace set by JK Endofanera to win the $50,000 Rose invitational by a neck. “Luck” left strongly to get the garden spot behind JK Endofanera, who whistled to the quarter in 25.4, rated the half against the wind to a fairly-moderate 54.3, then tacked on a 26.2 third quarter (52.3 in the odd-numbered quarters) to open a clear lead at and past the 1:21 ¾.

But George Napolitano Jr., the Downs’ all-time leading driver, got “Luck” narrowing the gap into the stretch, with P H Supercam, the only other horse connected to the front, swinging three-wide as the winner vacated the pocket. Luck Be Withyou drove down the center of the track and picked up JK Endofanera late to win by a neck, with P H Supercam just another neck back in third. Rockeyed Optimist, the favorite from post six, was away sixth and had nonflowing cover, and only able to rally for fourth; Levy hero Bit Of A Legend N, stuck with the outside post nine, was also thwarted by the speedburners inside him, took back, raced fourth-over, and could do no better than sixth.

“The two of us get together on this track pretty well,” understated Napolitano, who also noted, “And this was only second start after a long layoff” (before his 2016 debut last week, he had last raced at Balmoral on November 7). Chris Oakes is the horse’s regular conditioner when he is racing in the area, and John Craig saw his veteran raise his lifetime bankroll to $1,138,781 with the fastest mile of the year at Pocono, taken with the mercury in the low 50’s and with a decent stretch headwind.

Three $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for state-bred three-year-old trotting colts and geldings were featured on the afternoon portion of the Pocono doubleheader, with some sophomores who had been flying “just under the radar” at two taking advantages of breaks by the divisional favorites and getting their 2016 stakes seasons off to a fast start.

In the opening cut, Tyson picked a good time to break his maiden, in control of the situation for the last half in a 1:55.4 mile, last quarter 28.3 for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Trond Smedshammer, and the ownership combine of the Purple Haze Stables LLC, American Viking Racing Stable, Anderson Farms, and Marc Goldberg. The altered son of Donato Hanover stayed steady throughout the mile while his main rivals kept knocking themselves out of competition – first 2-5 chalk Love Matters, then quick-leaving Pilgrims Tide (6-1), and finally pocketsitting Hollywood Highway (7-1), who had yielded command to 9-2 second choice Tyson and his move in front of the stands the first time. Tyson went on to an easy 2¼ length win over Edinburgh, with Will Self rallying for a distant third.

Mikkeli Hanover, named after the Finnish countryside oval where Varenne once set the world standard for 5/8-mile tracks, might have a little ways to go to come close to the talent level of that one, but according to driver Yannick Gingras, he’s still a little green, and yet he was able to lower his mark three seconds by winning his division by a length in 1:56.3. The Andover Hall colt, the 7-1 third choice, made a second move to go to the lead past the 5/8, then benefited when favorite Massive Clout, who had followed him down the back and had retucked in the pocket behind him, made a break on the far turn, leaving Mikkeli with a 4 to 5 length lead late on the turn. Second choice Granite State and Marion Gondolier came on with late bids, but they had to settle for minor honors behind Mikkeli Hanover, who is trained by Ron Burke for his Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Crawford Farms LLC, and Panhellenic Stable Corporation.

The third division was also the fastest, and it produced a second All-Stars winner for driver “Captain” Corey Callahan in 14-1 shot Hititoutofthepark, who worked to the lead at the ¼, shook off the first-over challenge of favored Make Or Miss (that colt eventually broke), and then staved off potential rocket rocket Lagerfeld by a head in 1:55, lowering his lifetime best by a tick, with Cloud Nine Hanover third. The Yankee Glide ridgling, a five-time winner at two, is conditioned by John Butenschoen for owners Give It A Shot Stable, Kurt Welling, and VIP Internet Stable LLC.

Keystone Grand Ballroom Features Three Top Performers

2016 brings the hottest talent to Mohegan Sun Pocono

WILKES-BARRE, PA (May 4, 2016) – Mohegan Sun Pocono Keystone Grand Ballroom is the place to be in 2016 with back to back to back headliners! Don’t miss the Elvis Tribute Artist Spectacular Featuring Shawn Klush and The Sweet Inspirations in August, George Thorogood & The Destroyers in September and The Guess Who in November!

Elvis Tribute Artist Spectacular
The Elvis Tribute Artist Spectacular featuring Shawn Klush and The Sweet Inspirations returns once again, bringing their infectious energy to Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Keystone Grand Ballroom on August 26th and 27th.

Tickets start at $29.00 and will go on sale on Friday, June 17th at 10:00am through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster customers may purchase tickets by logging on to ticketmaster.com or calling Ticketmaster’s national toll free Charge By Phone number at 1.800.745.3000. Tickets will also be available for purchase, free of service fees, at the Mohegan Sun Pocono Box Office.

In just a short time after starting his performing career, Shawn Klush was voted the “World’s Greatest Elvis” by 6.5 million international viewers, was named the “First Ever Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist” by Elvis Presley Enterprises in Memphis, TN and was a featured performer on the Late Show with David Letterman. Shawn’s love for music led him to begin imitating his musical idol, Elvis Presley. Shawn has released four CDs and CD singles. He has shared the stage with Elvis’ closest friends and musicians, including Elvis’ very own backup singers, The Sweet Inspirations. Shawn recently sold out a 15 city tour of Australia and has record-breaking performances in the U.S., Australia, Switzerland, Canada, the U.K. and South America. He was named “Worldwide Ambassador of Elvis” at the Las Vegas Hilton where he headlines the annual Las Vegas Elvis Fest, celebrating Elvis’ historic Las Vegas performances. If one thing is fair to say, it is that Shawn Klush is “The Closest Thing to the King in Concert.” Recently, Shawn Klush appeared as Elvis on the HBO original series Vinyl and received rave reviews for his performance from publications such as Rolling Stone Magazine.

George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Rock n’ Roll greats, George Thorogood & The Destroyers bring their electrifying music and bad-to-the-bone performance to Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Keystone Grand Ballroom on Friday, September 23rd. $1.00 from each ticket sale will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Tickets start at $40.00 and will go on sale on Friday, July 15th at 10:00am through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster customers may purchase tickets by logging on to ticketmaster.com or calling Ticketmaster’s national toll free Charge By Phone number at 1.800.745.3000. Tickets will also be available for purchase, free of service fees, at the Mohegan Sun Pocono Box Office.

For George and his longtime band – Jeff Simon (drums, percussion), Bill Blough (bass guitar), Jim Suhler (rhythm guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone) – their Badder Than Ever Tour is indestructible proof that staying true to yourself and the music can still mean something. And with a catalog of classics that includes “Who Do You Love”, “I Drink Alone”, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”, “Move It On Over”, “Bad To The Bone” and more, being able to share it with audiences is what will always matter. Ultimately, the 2016 Badder Than Ever tour is 50% celebration, 50% declaration and 100% Thorogood throwdown.

The Guess Who
Legendary Rock band, The Guess Who, perform live at Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Keystone Grand Ballroom on Saturday, November 19th. This is one show you won’t want to miss!

Tickets start at $29.00 and will go on sale on Friday, September 9th at 10:00am through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster customers may purchase tickets by logging on to ticketmaster.com or calling Ticketmaster’s national toll free Charge By Phone number at 1.800.745.3000. Tickets will also be available for purchase, free of service fees, at the Mohegan Sun Pocono Box Office.

The Guess Who, are a troupe of true musical luminaries who over four decades in show business have been loaded with more hits than members can count, record sales well into the multi-millions and more drama than a VH1 Behind the Music episode and an E! True Hollywood Story documentary combined. The Guess Who are a group that’s connected with the masses throughout an exultant hit parade spanning fourteen Top 40 hits, including: ‘These Eyes,’ ‘Clap For the Wolfman,’ ‘Hand Me Down World,’ and ‘No Time,’ plus their number one Rock anthems ‘American Woman’ and ‘No Sugar Tonight.’ The Canadian bred conquerors are amongst music’s most indelible treasures, and are eternally etched within the very fabric of pop culture history.

ABOUT MOHEGAN SUN POCONO:
Mohegan Sun Pocono, owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, is one of the most distinctive and spectacular entertainment, gaming, shopping and dining destinations in Pennsylvania. Situated on 400 acres in Plains, Pennsylvania, Mohegan Sun Pocono features a 238-room hotel with on-site spa and adjacent 20,000 square-foot Convention Center. It is currently home to 82,000 square feet of gaming space including 91 live table games, 2,300 slot machines and electronic table games, a variety of dining and shopping options, nightlife, entertainment and live harness racing. Mohegan Sun Pocono is within easy access of New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. More information is available by calling 1.888.WIN.IN.PA (1.888.946.4672) or visiting our website. Connect with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, download our app and view us on YouTube.