April 27-May 3, 2013
We start every year at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with a fresh Track Records page at the back of the program showing off some of the finest performances ever at the track. And every year, by the end of the season, that page looks drastically different after a fresh batch of competitors hits the track and breaks or matches a bunch of those records. Our first interloper on the Track Records page for 2013 highlights this week’s edition of the Weekly Awards
TROTTER OF THE WEEK: BEATGOESON HANOVER
This mare from the barn of Nifty Norman has had a distinguished career, earning close to $1 million in her lifetime, so she was certainly capable of a big effort. The down side was that she came into Saturday night’s condition pace for non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races without a win in her first four tries this season, although that was excusable considering the tough foes she had been facing at the Meadowlands.
On Saturday night, she had Ron Pierce in the bike, and Pierce decided he would be aggressive with the mare, sending her first over on the front stretch to take the lead by the half-mile marker. The fractions Beatgoeson Hanover laid down were unforgiving, which prevented any outside pressure from getting by her.
That kind of up-front speed often leaves a horse vulnerable in the stretch, but this mare was not to be denied. Pierce urged her home 1 ¼ lengths in front of Dontgetinhisway in a stunning time of 1:52:1. That matched the track record for trotting mares aged four years old and up, a mark originally set by Brighten Up in 2010. It won’t be the first time we see a track record in jeopardy this season, but it was still a thrilling effort by this marvelous mare.
Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Defiant Donato (Matt Kakaley, Jim Campbell), an impressive young filly with three straight wins to start her career after a rallying victory in a condition trot on Wednesday in a career-best 1:55:1; Fool’s Revenue (Jim Morrill Jr., William Mullin), who moved up in class to beat the $12,500 claimers on Tuesday night in 1:55:3, his second straight victory; and In Your Room (Mike Simons, Gail Wrubel), a mare who stepped up in class on Tuesday night but still rolled to her second straight condition win in 1:54:2.
PACER OF THE WEEK: ST LADS ZOOM ZOOM
Trainer and driver Daryl Bier only makes cameo appearances at MSPD, and he usually only makes the trip if he has a serious contender who can do some damage on the Pocono oval. As a result, he usually has a pretty excellent percentage of winners, and St Lads Zoom has been particularly tough to stop in the early parts of the meet.
The 4-year-old gelding was saddled with tough outside post positions in his first two starts at Pocono, but he acquitted himself well with a third and a win in those races. On Saturday night, he got a much better look at it with a #3 post position in a field of eight, but he also was moving up in class into a rugged non-winners of $24,000 the last five starts condition pace.
The good post allowed Bier to get St Lads Zoom Zoom in solid position in the pocket. In the stretch, the gelding did the rest, powering home for the victory in a thrilling stretch drive over favored Meirs Hanover in 1:51:2. St Lads Zoom Zoom has now won six of his nine races this season, just another efficient and effective performer from the Bier barn.
Other top pacers this week include: Pence Hanover (Andrew McCarthy, Aaron Lambert), who won the season’s first Preferred pace on Saturday night with front-end speed in a career-best 1:49:4; Mr Perseverance (Ron Pierce, Rene Allard), who moved up his claiming price to $25,000 yet still captured his second straight victory on Saturday night, this time in a career-best 1:50:3; and Lorrie Please (Eric Carlson, Michael Hall), a mare who captured the featured distaff pace on Sunday night with a gutsy effort in the stretch in 1:50:2, a new career-best.
LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: WESTERN CHURCHILL
The #9 post position didn’t scare away this gelding driven by John Campbell in a condition pace on Saturday night, as he won at 35-1 for a win payout of $72.80.
DRIVER OF THE WEEK: RON PIERCE
Pierce has been making more frequent appearances at Pocono and has been lethal. Consider the monster night he had on Saturday night when he notched seven wins.
TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RENE ALLARD
Allard has been one of the hottest trainers on the grounds early in the season, and this week was no different, as he scored three wins including a double on Saturday night.
That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.