Posts Tagged ‘Bet On The Law’

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

June 14-20, 2013

What an amazing week of racing we all just witnessed at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. In a year that will see the track host The Breeders Crown in October, we’re already getting a taste of the incendiary action to come. This past week offered Stallion Series races, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races, and a world record-matching performance. Let’s take a look at it all by passing out the Weekly Awards.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: GUCCIO

What is it about trainer Jimmy Takter and four-year-old trotting stallions at Pocono? On June 8 in a $25,000 Preferred trot, Takter trainee Uncle Peter delivered a stunning performance in his victory, trotting the mile in 1:51:1. That not only set a track record for the age and gender grouping but it also smashed a world record for the group on a 5/8-mile oval.

Takter was at it again in Saturday night’s Preferred event, only this time he brought in another 4-year-old stallion named Guccio. Guccio had been seasoned against ruggedly tough trotters at The Meadowlands and was made the 2-5 favorite in the race. Takter also did the driving and positioned his horse perfectly behind a speed duel that created unconscious fractions in front of him.

Guccio rolled by his competition in the stretch, ending up 1 ½ lengths out in front of the rest. And what do you think his winning time was? 1:51:1, meaning that he matched the world record that his stablemate just set. I guess the next time you see a Jimmy Takter four-year-old stallion trotting into Pocono, you should watch that timer close to see if another record-breaking performance is in the offing.

Other top trotters this week include: Valley Of Sin (Mike Wilder, John Butenschoen), whose rallying win on Sunday in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old colts and geldings in a career-best 1:54:1 was his second straight victory at Pocono; Quantum Cashman (Jonathan Drury, Carmen Auciello), who moved up in class to win a claiming handicap trot on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54:3, his third straight overall and second in a row at Pocono; and Lady Broadway (Jim Morrill Jr., Chris Oakes), a 3-year-old filly who won her third straight, the last two of which have come at Pocono, with a victory in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition on Wednesday night in 1:55:2.

PACER OF THE WEEK: BET ON THE LAW

Sometimes it takes a change of tactics to get a horse over the hump. In the case of Bet On The Law, a standout performer for trainer/driver Joe Pavia Jr., he had tried gunning out on the lead in his previous two starts in Preferred paces at Pocono, a style that had served him well in lower classes, only to get caught from behind when facing the best pacers on the grounds.

Saturday night’s $25,000 Preferred pace was loaded with big names and lots of up-front speed, so Pavia decided to try something different. He held Bet On The Law back in the field early while others battled for the lead and did all the work. He then wisely caught the cover of Hurrikane Kingcole on the back stretch to get his horse into contention with a minimum of effort.

In the stretch, while others had already used their best strides, Bet On The Law was just finding his. The 4-year-old gelding blew by his cover and everyone else to win by a length. His winning time of 1:48:4 marked a new career-best, but even more important, this talented pacer showed the versatility necessary to win no matter how a race plays out.

Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Best Ears (Jim Morrill Jr., Rene Allard), who followed up a condition win in his previous race with a victory over $25,000 claimers on Saturday night in a scorching career-best time of 1:49:4; Ideal Matters (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who won for the third time in his last four starts with a conquest of a condition pacing field on Saturday in 1:49:3; and Drop The Ball (Corey Callahan, Ross Croghan), who won Sunday night’s Preferred pace for mares in 1:50.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: CAGE FIGHTER

With Andrew McCarthy in the bike, this claiming pacer spiced up the early Daily Double on Wednesday night with a rallying win at 44-1, paying out $91 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MATT KAKALEY

Kakaley has been on fire for much of the season, but he turned it up with double-figures in wins for the week, including a five-bagger on Tuesday night.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RON BURKE

Burke started the week off with three training wins on Friday night and didn’t let up from there, as he has slowly but surely ascended to the top of the Pocono training colony in victories for the meet.

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.

Guccio Matches World Record in Preferred Trot at Pocono

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

June 15, 2013

What is it about trainer Jimmy Takter and 4-year-old trotting stallions at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs?

A week ago, Uncle Peter set a new track and world record for the age group with a win in the featured trot. On Saturday night at Pocono, Takter brought in Guccio and he matched the feat with his own $25,000 Preferred trot victory in the same record time of 1:51:1.

Guccio, a 4-year-old stallion seasoned by tough trots at The Meadowlands, was made the 2-5 favorite in a field of nine. Takter, who also drove the stallion, kept him back in fifth early as lead-shuffling between Lightning Storm and Opening Night created blistering fractions. Takter got Guccio moving first over on the back stretch. At the top of the lane, he had corralled leader Opening Night and wore him down for a 1 ½ length victory in that record-setting time of 1:51:1. Opening Night finished second while Keystone Thomas picked up the show.

It was also a career mark for Guccio, who is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Goran Falk, and Brixton Medical. The win was his second of the season and 7th lifetime, while his career earnings jumped to $899,333.

In Saturday night’s $25,000 Preferred pace at Pocono, Bet On The Law might have been overlooked in a field that included stakes veteran Hurrikane Kingcole, Ron Burke trainee Escape The News, and Aussie invader Erle Dale N. As a 5-1 fourth choice in a field of seven, Bet On The Law stayed back off the early pace, choosing only to move when Hurrikane Kingcole came first-over on the back stretch to give him cover. That was a change of tactics by trainer/driver Joe Pavia Jr., one that paid off when the 4-year-old gelding spun off his cover and rallied to win by a length in a career-best 1:48:4. Hurrikane Kingcole had to settle for second while Musselsfrombrussels picked up the show.

Bet On The Law, owned by Steven Held, Joe Barbera, AGC Stables, and Dijo Racing, won for the sixth time in a dozen 2013 races. It was his  11th career victory and pushed his lifetime earnings to $313,249.

Annieswesterncard Wins Preferred Pace at Pocono

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

May 25, 2013

After a long stretch at the Yonkers half-mile, Annieswesterncard took to the 5/8-mile oval at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs beautifully and scored a victory in Saturday night’s featured Preferred pace. The race carried the night’s top purse of $25,000.

Annieswesterncard (Western Hanover-Annie You’re A Card), a 7-year-old gelding from the Ron Burke barn, had spent the past two months campaigning against the very best pacers on the grounds at Yonkers. His first start at the Pocono oval in 2013 came from the inside post in a field of six and he was made the 7-5 favorite. He sat third at the quarter as Mickey Hanover cut out the opening panel in 26 seconds even.

Driver Matt Kakaley sent Annieswesterncard to the front at the 3/8-mile marker with a front stretch brush, but he just as quickly ceded the lead to Bet On The Law, who came in on a 3-race winning streak and led at the half in 53:3 and at three-quarters in 1:21:1. Annieswesterncard waited until the stretch to uncork his second move, and, in a furious drive with several horses battling for the lead, rallied in time to beat Bet On The Law by a neck in a career-best 1:49. Pence Hanover finished third.

Annieswesterncard, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable, and Panhellenic Stable Corporation, won for the seventh time in 14 starts this season. His victory, the 29th of his career, pushed his lifetime earnings to $1,344,936.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

May 18-24, 2013

We saw a lot of excellent performances at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs this week, so there were plenty of great candidates for Weekly Awards honors. Still, the action in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on Sunday night was so intense and electric that it needed to be retold over the course of a full article rather than just a few lines. So the Weekly Awards will return next week while we take the time this week to relive Sunday night’s outstanding performances, which included a superstar’s triumphant return to racing and an unexpected track record.

The Sire Stakes races on Sunday night, which were for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the pace, were the first of the season at Pocono, and it was a great way to kick things off. There were four divisions held in this glamour group, each carrying a hefty purse of $62,587. With that kind of dough on the line, it was a foregone conclusion that some of the best horses and horsemen in the country would be on the scene.

The action heated up right off the bat with the night’s first Sire Stakes split. In that race, Apprentice Hanover was made the favorite based on his outstanding two-year-old campaign in which he earned over $266,000. But it was his first start of the year, and he got off to a bit of a sluggish start in the race. By contrast, Martini Hanover, a 3-year-old gelding from the Chris Ryder barn, already had one start under his belt in 2013, so he was primed for a big effort.

With Dave Palone, no stranger to big Sire Stakes victories, in the bike, Martini Hanover took over the lead just shy of the half-mile marker and just rolled from there. He ended up with a romping 5 ½ length win over Apprentice Hanover in 1:49:3, which gave an early glimpse of the sizzling times to come.

Palone was at it again in the next Sire Stakes race, which was a bit of an odd one in that there were only six horses in the field and two of them went off-stride before the quarter-pole. Beach Memories had broken stride in his previous race so he knew well about issues with staying flat. But on this night, the 3-year-old gelding from the Brian Brown barn was not only flat but very fast, as Palone guided him to the front early and led him all the way home for an easy win in 1:51:2.

The third split featured the return to racing of Captaintreacherous, who was one of the sport’s transcendent stars as a 2-year-old in 2012 when he won 8 of 10 races and earned a stunning $918,253 for trainer Tony Alagna. Regular driver Tim Tetrick also made the trip to drive Captaintreacherous, who went off as the 1-9 favorite despite the nearly seven months off.

Any questions of rust were answered as Captaintreacherous glided to the lead with an effortless brush on the front stretch. From there, Tetrick let his horse do the rest, never lifting a finger as the star colt kept his competition at a safe distance and secured a 3 ½ length victory. He paced a mile of 1:49:4, including a final quarter of 26:3, without any urging whatsoever. That’s amazing for a first start of the year, and it’s also a good indication that Captaintreacherous is ready to build on his already fantastic resume.

That would have been a great highlight for any night’s racing, but there was still one split to go and Normandy Invasion had big plans for it. Also trained by Brian Brown and driven by Palone, the 3-year-old gelding won two of three starts to start his year at The Meadows. Still, he wasn’t favored in Sunday night’s race; that honor went to Lonewolf Currier, who had won five of his six career starts coming into the night.

Once again Palone played the aggressor, cutting loose Normandy Invasion on the front end. He built up a sizable lead and kept a scorching pace so that the rest of the field never had a chance. The gelding ended up a 2 3/4 length winner, but the eye-popping numbers were reflected in the timer: Normandy Invasion paced the mile in 1:48:4.

That time set a new track record for 3-year-old geldings on the pace, one that was set just last October at Pocono by Bet On The Law. So Captaintreacherous might have been the headliner, but the Grand Finale put forth by Normandy Invasion may have stolen the show. And considering the entire evening, it’s just the opening act for what promises to be an amazing Pennsylvania Sire Stakes season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

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.

Captaintreacherous Shines in 2013 Debut at Pocono

Monday, May 20th, 2013

May 19, 2013

Most horses need a start after a long layoff before they can find their top form. Then again, most horses aren’t Captaintreacherous, who hit the ground pacing in his first start of the year on Sunday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, dominating his division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings.

Captaintreacherous was racing for the first time since a heartbreaking loss at Woodbine in the Breeders Crown in October capped a season in which he won 8 of 10 races and earned $918,253 while captivating the harness racing world with his electric talent. His 2013 debut came against a tough field of seven with an outside post, but the 3-year-old colt from the Tony Alagna barn was still made the 1-9 favorite.

The heavy favorite sat fourth early as several horses vied for the lead, which was held at the quarter by Twincreeks Jesse. Driver Tim Tetrick set Captaintreacherous in motion on the front stretch first-over and he was able to clear Twincreeks Jesse at the half. Although the fractions were taxing to that point, Captaintreacherous got no pressure on the back stretch and powered through the lane without any urging to a 3 ½ length victory in 1:49:4, with a closing kick of 26:3. Dedi’s Dragon rallied for second while Twincreeks Jesse faded to third.

Owned by Captaintreacherous Racing of Kentucky, Captaintreacherous now has nine wins in 11 career races, and his lifetime earnings, with the winner’s share of the $62,587 purse, now stand at $949,547.

Captaintreacherous may have been the headliner, but he had to share the spotlight on this night with driver Dave Palone, who won the other three Sire Stakes divisions on the card, and Normandy Invasion, who set a new track record in his Sire Stakes win.

Normandy Invasion, who came in from the Meadows for trainer Brian Brown, left from post position #5 in his split and quickly gunned to the front end. Palone urged Normandy Invasion around the first turn to rebuff a play for the lead from favored Lonewolf Currier. The 3-year-old gelding did the rest, building a huge lead up front and tripping the line in 1:48:4, 2 ¾ lengths ahead of Twilight Bonfire with Bigrisk picking up the show. That winning time bested the previous Pocono mark for 3-year-old geldings on the pace of 1:49:1, which was set by Bet On The Law in October of last year.

Palone also scored front end victories in the other two splits. He and trainer Brown hooked up for a second win with Beach Memories, who bounced back from a break in his last start to win easily in 1:51:2. Palone was also a winner for trainer Chris Ryder aboard Martini Hanover, whose second start of the year produced a 5 ½ length win in 1:49:3.