Posts Tagged ‘Aracache Hanover’

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, June 13th, 2014

June 7-13, 2014

With a day-night doubleheader on Belmont Stakes day, this past week featured five live racing cards at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Filling up those cards was no problem, as Pocono welcomed a bunch of shippers from other tracks to go up against the holdovers who have already established themselves throughout the first couple months of the meet. This made for a thrilling week of racing, the best performances of which we now honor by handing out the Weekly Awards.

PACER OF THE WEEK: STEELHEAD HANOVER

This 5-year-old stallion from the Joe Pavia Jr. barn came into Saturday night’s condition pace for non-winners of $22,500 in the last five starts with wins in two of the three starts he made at Pocono in 2014. In a victory on May 31, Steelhead Hanover benefitted from a comfortable trip which allowed him to stay on the inside for much of the mile before rallying late for a victory in 1:50:2.

When a horse enjoys a trip like that, it’s natural to be skeptical if it can have the same success without that kind of relaxing journey. Add that to the fact that Steelhead Hanover was moving up in class, and he seemed more likely to struggle this time around. Yet Pavia, who also did the driving, attacked early with his stallion, taking the lead and setting imposing fractions.

There was no help for Steelhead Hanover on this night, and he made it clear by his stellar performance that he didn’t need any. He didn’t let up on the front end until he crossed the finish line a length-and-a-half in front of his nearest foe in 1:48:3. That time not only now stands as the fastest of the stallion’s career, but it was faster than anybody else paced this past week at Pocono.

Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Meirs Hanover (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who moved way up the condition ladder on Saturday night with no sweat, scoring his second straight victory in 1:49:3; Ahead Ofthe Curve (George Napolitano Jr., Paul Holzman), who moved up in class and still managed his third straight claiming victory on Saturday night, beating a field of $20,000 claimers in 1:50:1; and Aracache Hanover (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who won the week’s featured pace, Saturday night’s $25,000 Preferred Handicap, in 1:49.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: LUV YA TYLER

It’s unusual for a horse to win as a significant long shot in consecutive weeks. One of two things usually happens: Either the horse’s performance in his first long shot win is so impressive that it gets a lot more attention at the windows the following week, or, if it is still a long shot the second time around, the law of averages catches up to it and it comes up short.

Somebody should tell that to Luv Ya Tyler, a 7-year-old gelding who had been winless in eight races this year before a claim put him in the barn of trainer Neal Ehrhart. In his first start in the new barn, the gelding went off at 20-1 against a field of $15,000 claimers but rallied for the victory in a career-best 1:54:2.

Once again on Tuesday night, he wasn’t given much of chance at the tote board when he moved up in class to face a $20,000-$25,000 claiming handicap class. All the outside speed in the race eventually wore itself out, leaving room for a closer to steal the race. Luv Ya Tyler, at 19-1 this time around, sat back off the fast fractions early and, with Mike Simons in the bike, came up flying for the victory in 1:54:2, matching that career-best from a week previous. After two straight wins, the odds he’ll need to defy probably won’t be quite so long the next time around.

Other top trotters this week include: Song Of Virtue (Joe Pavia Jr., Jennifer Sabot), a mare who picked up her second straight win over the $7,500 claimers on Saturday morning and did so in a new career-best time of 1:56:2; P L Fantastic (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who burned up the track in a condition win and matched the week’s fastest trotting time on Tuesday night with a victory in 1:53:3; and Revrac Harbour (Scot Zeron, Tony Alagna), who picked up his second straight win at Pocono on Wednesday night, this coming in Stallion Series action in 1:55:4.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ZIP IT LOCK IT

Tyler Buter has been aboard several huge long shots this year, but none was as big a bomber as this pacing mare on Wednesday night at 75-1 for a $158 payout on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: SCOTT ZERON

This newcomer to the Pocono racing wars has been improving as he gets acclimated to his new surroundings, and five combined wins on Tuesday and Wednesday prove he’s becoming a major factor.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: KEVIN CARR

With a win on Sunday and two more victories on Tuesday night, Carr made a significant jump this week in the Pocono training standings.

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

Aracache Hanover Wins Pocono Feature

Friday, June 13th, 2014

June 7, 2014

Aracache Hanover toughed it out on the front end to beat an exceptional group of pacers in the $25,000 featured Preferred pace on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Leaving from post position #7 in a field of eight as the 9-5 favorite, Aracache Hanover (Dragon Again-Armbro Cachet), a 7-year-old stallion from the Ron Burke barn, grabbed the pocket around the first turn behind Golden Receiver and then took over the lead on the front stretch. From there, driver Matt Kakaley and Aracache Hanover had to deal with first-over pressure from Digital Z Tam, who kept coming after the leader right to the very end. Still, Aracache Hanover prevailed by a nose in 1:49. P H Supercam finished third.

Owned by William Switala and James Martin, Aracache Hanover was following up a win at The Meadowlands and now has three wins in 14 races this season. It was his 30th lifetime victory, pushing his career earnings to $1,660,469.

Meirs Hanover Matches Track Record in Open Win at Pocono

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

July 7, 2012

Meirs Hanover matched a track record at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with his victory in 1:48:1 in Saturday night’s featured Open pace. The race carried a purse of $50,000.

Meirs Hanover, a 5-year-old stallion from the Ron Burke barn looking for a bounce back after breaking stride in the Ben Franklin final due to interference, left from post position #2 in the field of eight as a 6-1 shot and found the pocket early behind pacesetting 6-5 favorite Golden Receiver. The leader had to fight off pressure from Rockincam on the front stretch and Dial Or Nodial on the back, leading to sizzling fractions of 26:1, 53:2, and 1:20:1.

In the stretch, driver Matt Kakaley tipped Meirs Hanover into the passing lane and he rallied past the game Golden Receiver to win by a half-length. Special T Rocks came on for 3rd. The winning time of 1:48:1 matched the Pocono record for aged pacing stallions that was set just two weeks ago in the Franklin eliminations by Aracache Hanover.

Meirs Hanover, the offspring of Artsplace and Mary Mattgalane and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Van Dusen, Cimaglio, and Strollin Stable, won for the 4th time in 14 2012 races. It was his 21st career victory, giving him lifetime earnings of $460,207.

In addition to the Open pace, Grand Circuit Week continued at Pocono with three $50,000 divisions each of the 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot and on the pace. On the trotting side, the winners were: Fashion Astral (Broadway Hall-Lindy Lane), owned by Fashion Farms LLC, trained by Jim Campbell, and driven by Matt Kakaley, in 1:54:4; Nothing But Class (Andover Hall-Bold Dreamer), owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Louie Camara, and Jan Hoibye, and trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, in 1:54:2; and Uncle Peter (Cantab Hall-Victory Treasure), owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Falkbolagen Ab, and trained and driver by Jimmy Takter, in 1:52:3.

On the pacing side, the winners were Mcerlean (McArdle-Igottwowordsforyou), owned by Muscara Racing Trust, trained by Trond Smedshammer, and driven by Matt Kakaley, in 1:51:1; Star Recruit (Dragon Again-Remarkable Star), owned by Carter, Carter, Reid, and Grubbs, trained by Bruce Riegle, and driven by Tony Hall, in 1:51:4; and I Like Dreamin (McArdle-I’m Not Dreamin), owned by Lomangino Standardbreds and Leo Lomangino, trained by Sam DePinto, and driven by George Napolitano Jr., in 1:51:4.

Record-setting Night of Stakes at Pocono

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

June 30, 2012

Favorites, long shots, world records: Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs’s inaugural Sun Stakes Saturday had a bit of everything for harness racing fans.

The favorites delivering world records were American Jewel in the $250,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old pacing fillies and Betterthancheddar in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace, which was held at Pocono for the first time. A Rocknroll Dance filled the long shot’s role, winning the $300,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers at odds of 17-1.

In the Lynch, American Jewel was made the 1-9 betting favorite, but the race didn’t turn into the walkover that the odds might have suggested. Leaving from post position #1 in the field of nine, the super filly from the Jimmy Takter barn sat back off the blistering opening quarter of 25:3 set by Shelliscape. Economy Terror took the lead on the front stretch and took the field to the half in 54:1, while driver Tim Tetrick held American Jewel back in 4th.

On the back stretch, the filly by American Ideal began her charge first-over, coming up even with Economy Terror at the three-quarter pole in 1:22:1. American Jewel wore down the leader in the stretch and then held off hard-charging Darena Hanover to win by a length-and-a-half in 1:49:2, matching the world record time for 3-year-old pacing fillies on a 5/8-mile oval that she also managed in last week’s elimination. Economy Terror finished 3rd.

The win gives American Ideal 12 wins and 2 seconds in 14 career starts, an amazing record that has earned her $1,152,193 in her young career. She is owned by Brittany Farms of Kentucky.

Next up was the Hempt, where Hurrkane Kingcole was made the heavy 3-5 favorite off his record-setting mile in last week’s eliminations. A Rocknroll Dance left from post position #8 in the nine-horse field and driver Yannick Gingras aggressively sent the colt from the Jim Mulinix barn early, settling him in the pocket behind early leader Allstar Legend, who tripped the quarter-mile timer in 26:2. The lead changed hands on the front stretch when Bolt The Duer brushed from 3rd to the front, hitting the half in 54:2.

Hurrikane Kingcole made his move first-over on the back, but Bolt The Duer gamely fought him off for the lead, hitting three-quarters in 1:21:1. Gingras’ patient drive paid off on the final turn when the ground-saving A Rocknroll Dance was able to find daylight three-wide. In the stretch, A Rocknroll Dance swept by Bolt The Duer and Allstar Legend to win by a neck in 1:48:3. The two also-rans finished in a dead heat for the second spot.

The win ends a string of bad racing luck for A Rockroll Dance, who earned $863,325 in a stellar 2-year-old campaign but had won just once in five tries in 2012 coming into the Hempt final. The son of Rocknroll Hanover now has 9 victories in 17 lifetime starts and his career earnings jump into seven figures at $1,064,750.

Rounding out the night of big stakes races was the Franklin, where Betterthancheddar left from the #3 post as a 6-5 favorite in a field of nine. The colt sat 3rd early as his rival We Will see gunned to the lead in 26 seconds even. The fireworks began on the front stretch, when George Brennan cut Betterthancheddar loose first-over. The stallion struggled to clear We Will See until finally getting by at the half-mile mark in a scorching 52:4.

Despite receiving outside pressure from Aracache Hanover on the back stretch, Betterthancheddar was able to get the slightest breather, hitting the three-quarter mark at 1:20:4. In the stretch, We Will See came at him again, but the 4-year-old trained by Casie Coleman responded to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:48, matching the fastest time ever paced on a 5/8-mile oval by any age. Aracache Hanover finished a game 3rd.

Sired by Bettor’s Delight, Betterthancheddar has now won five of six in 2012 and 15 of 24 lifetime races. He also broke into the million-dollar club with the high-stakes win, as his career total now sits at $1,132,383.

CHAMPIONS GALORE ON DISPLAY AT POCONO SATURDAY NIGHT

Friday, June 29th, 2012

The Fates of the Post Position Draw certainly smiled kindly on the likely favorites in three stakes races headlining a 16-race card with over $1,200,000 in purse offerings this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

The $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older horses, the $300,000 Max Hempt Pace for three-year-old colts, and the $250,000 James Lynch Pace for three-year-old fillies all saw their elimination races this past Saturday produce world-record performances over the lightning-fast Pocono Downs 5/8-mile strip, and those responsible for most of the recordwriting were drawn to the inside by the shake of the numbered pills at Wednesday morning’s draw.

The Franklin field is among the finest one-race gathering of harness horses ever, with the nine sidewheelers combining for lifetime earnings of $12,961,896, with five millionaires, two more with over a half a million to their credit, and the other pair with “only” a bankroll of $400,000+.

Last week’s world recordsetter in this group was Aracache Hanover. The son of PA stallion Dragon Again, trained by Gregg McNair for owners William Switala and James Martin, went perhaps the most impressive mile to date in North America during 2012, tucking from an outer post, then ranging up first-over, and despite that brutal journey staying clear late in 1:48.1, the world standard for older entires and just 1/5 off of the all-time all-age record for 5/8-mile tracks. Tim Tetrick, who has topped the drivers list in earnings for five consecutive years, is scheduled to handle Aracache from post four…

…which will lead some to say, “Where’s George?”, as it was two-time defending Driver of the Year George Brennan who won with Aracache last Saturday. But Brennan has opted to guide Betterthancheddar for the powerful stable of Casey Coleman from post two, and why not – because Brennan completed the Franklin elim double by giving “Cheddar” a perfect trip, then coming on late to win in 1:48.3 for owners Steve Calhoun and the West Wins Stable, edging out …

…We Will See (tonight post five, driver Ron Pierce), who had to traverse the brutal raw trip and still held gamely to the shadow of the wire. A son of the late PA champion sire Western Hanover who is trained by part-owner Sam DePinto for himself, Smith, and the Silva Stables LLC, We Will See is a co-holder of the all-time world record on 5/8-mile tracks and the outright owner of the all-time Pocono Downs record, a 1:48 victory in 2011.

One would be a fool to turn away from one’s barn (from remaining inside post out) Razzle Dazzle (Brian Sears), Meirs Hanover (David Miller), Clear Vision (Matt Kakaley), Rockincam (Jim Morrill Jr.), Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras), and Bettor Sweet (John Campbell), but it is very likely that the three in the above paragraphs will draw the most attention … and perhaps lower that 1:48 record at race’s end.

Sometimes the three-year-old pacing fillies take a backseat to the male rivals, the sport’s “glamour division,” but in the Lynch this is not the case, due to the #1-ranked horse in North America for this year, American Jewel. Trained by Jimmy Takter, who will be inducted into the sport’s Hall of Fame the next day, for Brittany Farms, the Jewel sparkled brightly in a 1:49.2 divisional record-equaling performance in her elim at the end of last week, boosting her earnings lifetime to $1,027,193, and she has the added advantage of the rail Saturday for driver Tim Tetrick.

On her very best race, and with a good trip, Economy Terror might be able to give a solid challenge to the likely chalk. Second behind American Jewel last week, the daughter of PA sire Western Terror (and practically a millionaire herself with her $998,881 bankroll) was the national champion at two and won last season’s PA championship at this very same Pocono track, and will be carrying the hopes of local trainer Chris Oakes and owners Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor, and Edwin Gold as she starts from the middle of the nine-horse field for driver Brian Sears.

Nine will also face the gate in the Hempt Pace for colts, and the two most likely to be fancied by the gathered will start from posts one and three. The #3 will be Hurricane Kingcole, whose effortless 1:48.1 victory last Saturday set the all-time standard for sophomores over this size oval – and the alert will remember that the all-age all-time record for 5/8’ers is 1:48. Off a roaring 52.4 back half, the “King” is as sharp as can be for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer John McDermott, and the ownership combine of Kuhen, Levy Racing Stable, Klee Cohen Brewer and Gordon, and Hurrikane Racing.

Not far behind on last week’s impressive meter was Bolt The Duer, a lightly-raced colt who has the rail for driver Mark MacDonald, trainer Peter Foley, and All Star Racing Inc. His 1:48.3 time caught the eye of many an onlooker, and he is a colt who seems to have a world of potential.

Sam DePinto, trainer of We Will See in the Franklin, has a major contender in this race as well – I Fought Dalaw, who triumphed in 1:49.3 last time out and retains the services of David Miller as they start from post five.

In all, the sixteen-event extravaganza boasts eight millionaires and 11 others who have topped $500,000 in their careers. Given good weather, the Pocono and world record book may be in for another savaging this Saturday, with the action set to begin at 6:30.

The night has been dubbed “Sun Stakes Saturday,” and only partially because of the brilliance of the horses gathered. While supplies last, Pocono patrons purchasing a program can also pick up a special “Sun Stakes Saturday” beach towel (one per person). And a beach towel isn’t a bad promotional item on a night with this kind of equine star wattage, as the pacer Beach Towel of course was the 1990 Harness Horse of the Year, and would feel right at home amidst the heavyweight horsepower of this card.