Racing

Jerseylicious Captures Weiss Final for Distaff Pacers at Pocono

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

April 23, 2013

Jerseylicious won a showdown with Shebestingin to capture the final of the Bobby Weiss Series for 3-year-old pacing fillies on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $30,000.

Jerseylicious (Western Ideal-Jet Lag N) came into the race unbeaten in seven 2013 races, while Shebestingin had never lost in five career starts. Jerseylicious had a post position edge in the #5 hole, while Shebestingin had to work hard from the outside #9 post to make the early lead. Driver Corey Callahan let Jerseylicious relax in the pocket before sending him outside for the stretch drive and nipping a game Shebestingin by a neck in 1:50:4. O Narutac Rockette finished 3rd.

Owned by Pamela Curran and Legacy Racing of Delaware and trained by Wayne Givens, Jerseylicious now has wins in nine of 15 career starts with lifetime earnings of $248,406.

Kakaley and Burke Sweep Hudson River Series at Pocono

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

April 21, 2013

The combination of driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Ron Burke hooked up to sweep both divisions of the Hudson River Pacing series for four and five-year-old pacers on Sunday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The races, which each held a purse of $18,000, were the second leg of the series which begun last week at the Meadowlands.

In the first division, Take It Back Terry (Western Terror-Second Symphony) used a pocket trip and a strong stretch drive to pick up a win in a career-best 1:50, snapping a string of three straight second-place finishes for his first victory of the season. Holdingallthecards finished second while JJ Shark picked up the show.

Kakaley and Burke were at it again in the second split as Visible Gold led at every pole for the victory in 1:50:2, giving the 5-year-old gelding wins in his last eight races, a stretch which includes the first two legs of the Hudson Series. Ideal Champ trailed him all the way around for the place while Yo Cheyenne Rocky finished third.

Twincreeks Jesse Captures Weiss Final at Pocono

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

April 20, 2013

Twincreeks Jesse put forth a tremendous effort on the front end to capture the final of the Bobby Weiss Series for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the pace on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $30,000.

Twincreeks Jesse (Real Artist-Happy Ginny), who left from post position #3 in a field of eight as the 9-5 second choice, got away well and sat second early behind Deep Sea Hanover. Driver George Napoiltano Jr. wanted to control matters though, so he sent the 3-year-old gelding owned and trained by Ann DePietro to the lead on the front stretch. When the outside pressure wasn’t able to get to him, Twincreeks Jesse had to hold off a late second move from Deep Sea Hanover to win by a neck in 1:51:4. Lets Rock Together picked up the show.

Twincreeks Jesse notched his third consecutive win and fourth in seven tries this year. He now has five lifetime victories and career earnings of $50,440.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

April 13-19, 2013

The first few weeks at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs have featured some exciting young horses competing in the Bobby Weiss Series. The preliminary legs are just about over, and next week in this space we’ll be taking a look at who came out triumphant in the big-money finals. In the meantime, another outstanding week of racing has produced some excellent candidates for the Weekly Awards.

PACER OF THE WEEK: GO BOTH WAYS

Last Saturday night’s racing was typically sharp at Pocono, with race after race featuring fast times by the winners. The fastest of all those winning times came from Go Both Ways, who put up a mile of 1:50:1. Not only was that the fastest of the night and the best in the 9-year-old gelding’s excellent career, but it was also the fastest posted at Pocono all week long.

The interesting thing about the mile by Go Both Ways is that it came in a $20,000 claiming event. While that is a solid grouping with many excellent competitors, there are higher claiming classes at Pocono, not to mention the condition races which are stocked with horses that go blistering times each and every week.

But nobody told Go Both Ways, who hails from the barn of Michael Hall, that he was supposed to be on a middling level. With Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike, he took the early lead, set scorching fractions, and paced away and hid from the field. Considering that the Dover shipper came in winless, it’s safe to say that he loved the Pocono oval and, with a time like that, he can hang with any class of pacers.

Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Star Keeper (Jim Morrill Jr., Doug Berkeley), a mare who won her third straight claiming handicap on Wednesday night in 1:52:4; Naughtytiltheend (Marcus Miller, Erv Miller), who moved up in class to score her second straight condition win on Wednesday night in 1:52; and Passion Starlet (George Napolitano Jr., Peter Pellegrino), who won her second straight $5,000 claimer at Pocono on Wednesday night in a career-best 1:54:2 and now has five victories in her last six races.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MODERN FAMILY

You’ll often hear handicappers using the term “needs a start.” What they mean is that the horse needs one race to get itself acclimated to racing before it can be expected to perform at a top level. This term is generally used to describe a horse coming off a layoff, but it can also refer to a horse who is new to its surroundings.

Modern Family was a powerhouse early in the season, picking up wins at Dover, Harrah’s, and the Meadowlands. In his first start at Pocono on April 6, he rallied late but came up short by two lengths in a Preferred Handicap trot behind Tall Cotton. On Saturday night in the same class, trainer/driver Daryl Bier had a chance for revenge in the same class against Tall Cotton and a stellar field.

Bier had to be patient as Modern Family got shuffled back on the inside as the lead changed hands a few times. The 4-year-old stallion managed to slip to the outside in the stretch and he staged a furious rally to get up to win by a nose in 1:52:2. Not only was it his career-best, it was also the fastest trotting time at Pocono this season. He may have needed a start at Pocono, but with his confidence building after this great win, he just might not stop.

Other top trotters this week include: Permanent Joy (Brandon Simpson, Robert Krivelin), who used a thrilling stretch move to come from behind for a win in Tuesday night’s featured trot in 1:55:3, a new career mark; Bloomfieldcantifly (Jim Morrill Jr., Bill Mullin), who continued her excellent early part of the meet with a condition win on Tuesday in a career-best 1:55:1; and Definitely Mamie (Jim Morrill Jr., Brewer Adams), who overcame the far outside post for a gutsy condition win in the Wednesday night  feature in 1:53:2, which matched the mare’s career-best time.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MIDAS BLUE CHIP

In a claiming handicap pace on Saturday night, Midas Blue Chip got away at 36-1, and driver Tyler Buter rallied the gelding four-wide in the stretch for the win and a $74.60 payout on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: DARYL BIER

Bier had just two drives on Saturday night, but Modern Family won in the week’s fastest trotting time, and St Lads Zoom Zoom scored in the second-fastest pacing time. Bier trains both horses as well.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: MICHAEL HALL

It’s been an excellent start to the season for Hall, a relative newcomer to Pocono. This week he picked up three wins including a training double on Sunday night.

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.

Jerseylicious Still Spotless in 2013 with Weiss Win at Pocono

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

April 16, 2013

Jerseylicious won for the seventh straight time in 2013, conquering a group of three-year-old fillies in a division of the Bobby Weiss Series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Tuesday night. The race carried a purse of $15,000.

Jesreylicious (Western Ideal-Jet Lag N), trained by Wayne Givens and driven by Corey Callahan, dominated her division on the front end for the victory in 1:52 and is poised to be a heavy favorite in next week’s Weiss final for the 3-year-old pacing fillies. Art Ideal finished 2nd and My Sweet Mandy picked up the show.

In the night’s other Weiss division, American In Paris (American Ideal-Sendingforth), with Matt Kakaley in the bike for Ron Burke, went gate to wire for a victory in 1:52:3. O Narutac Rockette was 2nd and Ideal Ginny 3rd