Posts Tagged ‘Classic Martine’

Live split card on Belmont day yields standouts

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

A specially-formatted 16-race card was featured on Belmont Day, June 6th,  at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with four races held before the historic doings in Elmont NY and then the remainder starting after the big race.

The race attracting the most attention was the tenth race (held in the evening portion), a $30,000 Open pace, and there was “dancin’ in the moonlight” as 2014 Pennsylvania Pacer of the Year Dancin Yankee never looked back in a 1:48.3 victory, going out in 26 and coming home in 26.4 firmly in control. George Napolitano Jr., king of the local driving colony again this year, was named on four horses in the race, and he picked the right one as the son of Yankee Cruiser raised his lifetime earnings harvest over $1.2M for trainer Josh Green and owners Baron Racing Stable and Richard Lombardo.

In the other $30,000 Open pace, Big Boy Dreams marked himself as a 4-year-old to watch as he reduced his mark to 1:49.4 in taking another $30,000 Open pacing contest. The son of If I Can Dream made the front just past the ¼ for driver Simon Allard, set the pace, then rocketed home in 26.4 for his second straight victory after a third-place finish in the Confederation Cup Final. Trainer Rene Allard shares ownership of the winner of over half a million dollars with Robert Hamather and Mary Lou Poliseno.

The ladies were in the spotlight in the last race of the “early” card and the first race of the “later” card.

In the last race held before the Belmont, Blue Chip Matchmaker winner Venus Delight asserted a claim to be the leader of the older female division with a 1:50.2 decision in a $30,000 mares handicap pace, despite not having started since her victory in the Yonkers series final on April 25. But the daughter of Bettor’s Delight and driver Jason Bartlett had to work hard for the top money, rallying out of the pocket to catch perhaps the most-improved horse of 2015, Ooh Bad Shark, to tally by a head after grabbing the lead with about 100 feet to go. The winner, who set a personal mark, is trained by Jeff Bamond Jr. for owners Bamond Racing LLC – who might get a fifth straight older pacing mares yearly title, with Anndrovette having won in the last four seasons.

After American Pharoah won the Belmont and the first thoroughbred Triple Crown in 37 years, the Broadway Hall mare Frau Blucher went 34 4/5 seconds faster in winning, capturing a $30,000 open trot while defeating six males and two females in 1:51.4, 2/5 of a second off her mark and the 4TM world record she set at The Downs last year. Frau Blucher, driven by George Napolitano Jr. for trainer Chris Oakes, made every pole a winning one while raising her career bankroll to $976,932 for owners Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises LLC and Susan Oakes. (And she’d be over $1M right now but for an inch, as she was deadheated for the win by stablemate Classic Martine in the world record-DH PA Sire Stakes 3TF Championship race in 2013.)

–On this 16-race card, two drivers won ten of the races, and only five drivers in all won: George Napolitano Jr. and Simon Allard both had five victories (four of Allard’s were trained by brother Rene); Jason Bartlett had 3, Anthony Napolitano had 2, and Marcus Miller had 1.

There were a total of seven miles in 1:50 or better on the card, topped by Dancin Yankee’s 1:48.3; among the drivers, George Nap had three, and Allard two.

Wind Of The North and Aslan Win Saturday Night Features at Pocono

Monday, September 29th, 2014

September 27, 2014

Trotter Wind Of The North and Pacer Aslan won the $25,000 featured Preferred races on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

The Preferred Trot was named the Fred Yaggi Memorial Trot in honor of a longtime Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission who recently passed away. In that race Wind Of The North (Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind), a 4-year-old gelding from the Clifton Green barn, used a second-over trip and a strong closing kick to upend favored Classic Martine by a head for the win in 1:52:2 at 10-1. Simon Allard did the driving. Arch Madness finished third.

In the Preferred pace, Aslan (Mach Three-Skyview) was overpowering on the front end with Andrew McCarthy in the bike for trainer Tony O’Sullivan. The 5-year-old gelding and 7-5 favorite won by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:50:1. Musselsfrombrussels was best of the rest in second while Golden Receiver picked up the show.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

August 15-21, 2014

This week’s racing was filled with the thrilling action we’ve come to expect of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. And, to spice things up even further, the Pocono faithful witnessed the matching of a track and world record this week. That record-setting performance kicks off our attempt to sum up all of the action at Pocono this week by handing out the Weekly Awards.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: FRAU BLUCHER

This four-year-old mare named after Cloris Leachman’s character in Young Frankenstein had scared up a lot of success in the first two years, earning over $900,000 combined in her two and three-year-old seasons. Yet this standout from the Chris Oakes barn went winless in her first five starts this year, including a second against the non-winners of over $10,000 in the last five starts condition at Pocono on August 12 when she was heavily favored.

On Tuesday night, she went up against that same condition group, once again as a solid favorite at 4-5. Only this time around, the mare was ready to show her class and then some. Driver George Napolitano Jr. sent her to the lead with a brush on the front stretch. From there, Frau Blucher kept extending her lead until the rest of the field was a distant memory. She was 8 ¼ lengths in front at the line, with the only suspense at that point being how fast she actually went in the victory.

The timer showed a ridiculous 1:51:2, which matched the world record on a 5/8-mile oval for four-year-old trotting mares. The horse who set that record back in May at Pocono, Classic Martine, is also trained by Chris Oakes. So that proves that the Oakes barn has a whole lot of talent. But it also proves that Frau Blucher is back on top of her game, so elite trotters all over the country best take heed.

Other top trotters this week include: Mistery Woman (Ron Pierce, Jonas Czernyson), a Meadowlands shipper who captured Saturday night’s featured condition pace in a career-best 1:52; DC’s Piggy Bank (Matt Kakaley, Peter Pellegrino), who picked up his second straight claiming win on Sunday night in 1:56:2; and Inside Broadway (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who powered his way to his second straight claiming victory on Wednesday night, this one in a career-best 1:54:2.

PACER OF THE WEEK: LYONS JOHNNY

While there were no track records coming from this 6-year-old gelding, he certainly has impressed since August dawned. Considering that he had slumped to back-to-back seventh-place finishes in his last two starts of July, such rejuvenation seemed extremely unlikely at the time. It took a drop down the condition ladder and a barn change to get him in gear again.

On August 3, his first start in the Amber Buter barn, Lyons Johnny dominated that lower condition group by 4 ¼ lengths in a career-best 1:50:1. Buoyed by that fine effort, he moved back up in class to face the non-winners of $7,000 in the last five races on Tuesday night. Faced with the prospect of an outside post and a tougher field with several horses sporting solid back class, it seemed like a tough test.

With George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, Lyons Johnny aggressively took over the lead with a front stretch move. Although the fractions were quick, he stayed strong up front and sped clear of some late pressure for his second straight win, this one coming in 1:50:3. Another move up in class could be in the near future for this suddenly red-hot pacer.

Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Victorydazewillwin (Simon Allard, Daniel Munson), who notched his second straight win over the $15,000 claimers on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:50:4; It’s That Time (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), whose victory in a claiming handicap on Saturday night came in 1:49:2, a new career-best and the fastest pacing time of the week at MSPD; and All Fired Up (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who sprung from the pocket for his second straight claiming handicap victory on Wednesday night, doing it in a career-best time of 1:51:3.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: GUANTANAMO BAY

2-year-olds are some of the most unpredictable horses, as this freshman pacer with Kevin Wallis in the bike showed on Sunday, winning at 30-1 for a $62.80 payout on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: KEVIN WALLIS

The veteran driver has been finding his rhythm of late at Pocono, as evidenced by four wins this week, two of which came with horses at odds of longer than 15-1.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: TONY ALAGNA

Alagna has won a high percentage of his races this season at Pocono, and Sunday night he picked up wins with two of the three horses he sent to the gate.

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.

Frau Blucher Matches World Record in Win at Pocono

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

August 19, 2014

Frau Blucher made her first win of the 2014 season a memorable one by matching a world record for her age group on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

A huge earner at age two and three for trainer Chris Oakes, Frau Blucher (Broadway Hall-My Angel) was winless in her first five starts as a four-year-old heading into Tuesday night’s condition trot for non-winners of $10,001 in the past five races, which carried a purse of $13,000. Leaving from post position #2 in a field of nine as the 4-5 favorite, Frau Blucher, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, took over the lead on the front stretch and opened up from there. The mare ended up 8 ¼ lengths in front of the field in a winning time of 1:51:4, which matched the world record for 4-year-old trotting mares on a 5/8-mile oval, set back in May at Pocono by Classic Martine, another Oakes trainee.

Frau Blucher, owned by Hauser Brothers Racing, Susan Oakes, and Matt Tudisco, won for the 14th time in 34 career races, pushing her lifetime earnings to $924,117 in the process.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, May 30th, 2014

May 10-16, 2014

For the past few years, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has been the place to be if you wanted to witness world records being set. The combination of top-notch racing and a speedy track surface has torn the record books to shreds. It usually takes nice weather conditions for world records to fall, however, which is probably why the chilly first month-and-a-half of the meet didn’t produce any. But conditions were ripe on Saturday night, and, lo and behold, our first world record of the season fell. That stellar performance highlights the Weekly Awards.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: CLASSIC MARTINE

Trainer Chris Oakes is one of Pocono’s biggest success stories over the years, a local trainer whose horses compete on a national level in some of the biggest races of the country. Classic Martine, a four-year-old mare, is certainly one of those superstar performers. After a stellar 3-year-old season which included a dead heat win the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship with fellow Oakes trainee Frau Blucher, she started 2014 hot as well with a win at The Meadows in Preferred company on April 30.

On Saturday night, she took to the stage in a Preferred trot at Pocono, only this time she was facing the stallions and geldings instead of other mares. Still, she was made the 3-5 favorite based on her impressive history, and driver Brett Miller drove her aggressively and sent her to the lead on the front stretch. From there, she had to deal with relentless first-over pressure from Coraggioso.

That pressure led to sizzling fractions throughout the race, but Classic Martine rose to the challenge, speeding home three-quarters of a length in front of Coraggioso in an unbelievably fast 1:51:2. Not only did that break the world record for 4-year-old trotting mares of 1:51:4, it also set the mark for the fastest trotting time ever achieved by a female trotter on a 5/8-mile oval. That’s not bad for just her second start of the year. Who else wants to see what she can do the rest of the season?

Other top trotters this week include: DWs Jasmine (Jim Morrill Jr., Peter Pellegrino), a mare who moved up in class to the $10,000 claimers on Sunday night and came away with her second straight win in 1:56, matching her career-best time; Ibanez (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who shipped in from The Meadows and captured Tuesday night’s featured claiming handicap in 1:54:2, a new career mark; and Skyline Road (Jim Morrill Jr., Bill Mullin), who moved up in class but still reeled off his third straight condition win on Wednesday night in a career-best time of 1:52:4.

PACER OF THE WEEK: NITRO SEELSTER

Sunday night’s featured condition pace for colts, stallions, and geldings who were non-winners of four races was stacked with shippers from other tracks who had been impressive in their previous starts. When that occurs, sometimes the horses who had already been racing at Pocono are overlooked. Sometimes it’s justified, but other times, as in the case of Nitro Seelster, it’s a mistake.

Despite having won in the same class in his previous start in 1:51:3, the 4-year-old gelding from the barn of trainer Douglas Hamilton was let go at 10-1 odds. But driver Brett Miller drove him with confidence, sending him to the lead around the first turn and burning it up with imposing fractions. All of the talented shippers took their shots, but none could get by.

In the stretch, Nitro Seelster faced a determined bid from Rock Out but held up strong for the victory by three-quarters of a length. Tripping the line in 1:49 was extremely impressive, especially considering that the gelding didn’t start racing until this season, skipping his two and three-year-old campaigns. The bottom line is that this young pacer needs to be considered a force no matter where his composition originates.

Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Emeritus Maximus (Andrew McCarthy, Thomas Cancelliere), who fired up a late rally to win the week’s featured Preferred pace on Saturday night in 1:49:4; South Pacific (Andrew McCarthy, Thomas Cancelliere), who moved up in class on Tuesday night and scored his second straight victory in 1:51:1, which was the fastest in his career; and Ring Leda (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena),who survived an outside post to score his second straight claiming win on Wednesday night, matching his career-best of 1:51 in the process.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: PAINKILLER

This 3-year-old gelding with Tyler Buter in the bike snuck up the passing lane late on Tuesday night in a condition pace as a 24-1 shot and came home a winner, paying off $51.40 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW MCCARTHY

It seems like McCarthy becomes more of a force every year at Pocono, and he stepped it up this week with driving triples on Saturday and Tuesday.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CHRIS OAKES

We mentioned Chris’ success with Classic Martine earlier in the article, but it was an all-around outstanding week for his barn, as he scored five training wins at Pocono.

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.