Posts Tagged ‘Alexander Hanover’

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Week In Review

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

April 8-14, 2017

Our first full racing week at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with racing on four straight evenings, coincided with the best stretch of weather that we’ve enjoyed in the early part of the meet. As a result, we are practically inundated with possibilities and candidates for this edition of Weekly Awards. Tough choices had to be made, and here are the results.

PACER OF THE WEEK: NEXT SUCCESS

First horse to three wins on the meet? This four-year-old gelding from the Les Givens barn had a shot at it on Saturday night against a field of $25,000 claiming pacers. He came to Pocono fresh off a win at Rosecroft on March 19, then promptly surprised a condition pacing group at 19-1 in his first effort at MSPD. He followed that up with a $25,000 claiming victory on April 1.

The big thing working against him on Saturday night was his #9 post. To overcome that, driver Jim Morrill Jr. had Next Success, who went off as the 8-5 favorite, charging toward the lead right out of the gate. When he broke stride, it seemed like all hope was lost; even though he quickly caught stride, he still had to retreat to the back of the pack in order to heed the breaking rules. It looked like a lost cause when Morrill set him in motion on the back stretch to try and make up ground.

It helped Next Success that there was a logjam at the front of the field, with nobody able to pull out to a big lead. At the top of the stretch, a wall of horses lined up to chase leader Baggage Claim. Lo and behold, there was Next Success winding up with a five-wide move around the final turn, and he exploded past the field to prevail by a length in 1:53:3. With the last-to-first conquest, he now has three straight victories at Pocono and four in a row overall, and his name couldn’t be more apropos, because we can’t wait to see what his next success will be.

Other top pacers this week: Dash Of Danger (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), whose win at Pocono on Sunday night in 1:51:4, which matched his career best time, gave him three straight victories, two of them coming in Bobby Weiss series action; Mariner Seelster (George Napolitano Jr., Mark Ford), who rallied to win a condition pace on Saturday night in 1:51, which was a new career mark and his second straight win; and V I P Bayama (Eric Carlson, Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who moved up in class on Saturday night to pick up his second straight win, this one coming in a career-best 1:51:2.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: WHAT A PEACH

This five-year-old gelding has been razor sharp since arriving at Pocono at the start of the meet following a victory at Miami Valley in Ohio. He picked up a condition win on Opening Night and followed it up with a heartbreaking loss by a nose behind Charles VII. On April 2 in the $15,000 to $20,000 claiming handicap group, What A Peach hooked up in a stretch duel with the mare Dreamsteeler, who needed a break of stride to finish ahead at the line, meaning What A Peach inherited the win via disqualification.

What A Peach faced the same claiming handicap group on Sunday night, including his old friend Dreamsteeler, who lined up just inside of him in the #3 post in a seven-horse field. As the 3-5 betting favorite, What A Peach, making his first start in the Paul Fusco barn following a claim, grabbed the engine with George Napolitano in the bike. He had to deal with a first-over charge from Chipps Lake on the back stretch, meaning that he expended some extra energy before he would need it in the home stretch.

In the stretch, Dreamsteeler, who had worked out the excellent pocket trip, charged up the passing lane to make a play for the lead. What A Peach, undaunted, battled her stride for stride. In an odd instant replay, Dreamsteeler once again went off stride, only this time What A Peach was still able to get ahead at the line. The victory, in 1:55:1, made it four victories out of five for the gelding as he heads to a new barn following yet another claim.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Andy Ray (Marcus Miller, Jim Campbell), who picked up a condition win on Saturday night in a career-best 1:53:2, which was the fastest of any trotter on the grounds this past week; Sunrise Avenue (Eric Carlson, Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who won her second straight Bobby Weiss series race against distaff trotters on Tuesday night in 1:55:4; and Alexander Hanover (Anthony Napolitano, Mike Watson), who moved up in class to score a second consecutive condition win on Tuesday night, this one in 1:56.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK:  ONE TO DRAW TO

The very first race of the night on Saturday brought a huge upset, as this claiming pacer driven by Marcus Miller lit them up at 31-1 for a $65 payoff to win on a $2 ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO

A-Nap had his finest night of the young season on Sunday, scoring four wins, highlighted by a victory aboard 10-1 long shot Itty Bitty in the Bobby Weiss series.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW HARRIS

Harris won the featured pace on Saturday night with Casimir Jitterbug and then followed it up with three training wins on Sunday night, including two in the Bobby Weiss series.

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.

Two score twice in PA Sire Stakes action

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Truemass Volo and Love Matters both became two-time winners in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts with victories within the four divisions of the $251,780 third preliminary leg event on Wednesday night, August 26th, at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

First to record the double was the Muscle Massive-Tresbien Volo colt Truemass Volo, who set the pace then held off Sliding Off to his inside and Milligan’s School to his outside in taking a new mark of 1:56.2 under the guidance of Tim Tetrick. Truemass Volo now has three consecutive wins after making breaks in his first two outings, peaking at a good time for trainer Doug Hamliton and owners John Erdner and Martin Garey.

The Explosive Matter-Lotsa Love colt Love Matters went in the race immediately after Truemass Volo’s, and he is now undefeated in five lifetime starts (and two PaSS races; he skipped a leg), here lowering his mark to 1:55.2 while triumphing for driver Marcus Miller and trainer/father Erv, whose Ervin Miller Stable Inc. is the co-owner along with Paymaq Racing and Harvey Eisman.

The two first-time PaSS winners both paid off at better than 20-1, and one of them put up the fastest clocking of all. That would be the colt Iron Mine Bucky, giving Explosive Matter a siring double (his dam is My Foolish Dream) and lowering his mark to 1:54.4. Driver George Dennis moved the winner, who has now taken half his six lifetime starts, first-over on the second turn, and “Bucky” threw a 28 uncovered third quarter to clear to the lead and win nicely for trainer Colby Hubble and Iron Mine Branch LLC.

The Cantab Hall-Likeavirgin Lindy colt Landjack Hanover did get a little help on the way to his maiden victory, and given the luck he knew what to do and tripped the timer in 1:57.1 under the guidance of Corey Callahan. Landjack Hanover was third-inside at the ¾, but first pocketsitting Alexander Hanover jumped midturn and went to the infield, and then Desert Runner, still with about a 2½-length lead in midstretch, unfortunately lived up to the second half of his name, with Landjack Hanover there to pick up the pieces for trainer John Butenschoen and owners Give It A Shot Stable, Jerry Graham, and VIP Internet Stable LLC.

Freshman Pacers take center stage Tuesday with PA All-Stars

Friday, June 26th, 2015

There will be a tremendous amount of great horses and great racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono between June 27th, Saturday’s,  eliminations and next Saturday’s $1.8M worth of four Championships on Sun Stakes Saturday (July 4). But the stakes spotlight will not go dark in the four cards in between at the mountain oval, as Pennsylvania All-Stars action for two-year-olds will be featured on each of the four cards in between.

The Pennsylvania All-Stars, for state-sired horses, have traditionally been gathered in a 10-day period in proximity to the Fourth of July until this year, when the crowding of the stakes schedule suggested moving the 3YO events to May, to give eligibles some stakes competition before the Grand Circuit events got in high gear. The 2YO races are staying in their usual spot, which has been the introduction of many future stars to the sport in recent years. Trotting colts are featured on Sunday, June 28; pacing fillies two days after that; trotting fillies the next day; and then the pacing colts on Friday, July 3, as Pocono expands to a five-card-a-week schedule during summer’s “prime time.”

On June 28th, the trotting colts are divided into six divisions of a $180,000 event. There are already sixteen “winners” in the races, mostly in qualifiers/non-purse baby races, although one has won a pari-mutuel race and one a Fair Sire Stakes at Bloomsburg. Of these, seven already have winning lines timed in 2:00 or faster.

Two of the youngsters, the Donato Hanover colt Mr Right and the Cantab Hall gelding Alexander Hanover, have already taken a win in 1:57.3f. Mr Right earned his record in a June 12 non-purse baby event at Pocono for trainer Leigh Raymer, and was made the 2-5 favorite in a June 21 local overnight, but his uncovered move in that event was resisted by Alexander Hanover, who went wire-to-wire for trainer Bill Popfinger.

On  June 30th, Tuesday, five divisions of freshman pacing fillies will answer the starter’s call in $150,000 worth of competition. 19 of these babies already have wins, again mostly in 2YO-restricted events, with 16 already having broken the 2:00 barrier.

The fastest of the group to date is the Somebeachsomewhere miss Pure Country, who took a Meadowlands qualifier in 1:54.4 – 26.4 for trainer Jimmy Takter, who is also rumored to be good with the occasional trotter. A daughter of Yankee Cruiser, Danika P, has won in pari-mutuel competition, a Meadows overnight in 1:55.4f for trainer Ron Burke. (Takter and Burke – together again.)