Posts Tagged ‘Dejarmbro’

Stakes action for two-year-old PA Sired kicks off

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Stakes action for two-year-old Pennsylvania-sired horses kicked off Sunday, June 28th,  at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with six divisions of a $180,000 event for trotting colts and geldings.

The fastest winner was Trolley, who set the pace and came home in 57.2 to win by a head over pocketsitting Earn And Burn in 1:56.1. Both of the top two finishers were sons of Donato Hanover, and Trolley is out of the Duke Of York-Conch mare Lakeside Bride, so it was a royal pedigree battle to the wire (Earn And Burn is out of a full sister to millionaire Dejambro), with Trolley the winner for conductor Marcus Miller, trainer Erv Miller, and the ownership of Paymaq Racing, Leland Mathias, Greg Gillis, and Louis Willinger.

Longtime prominent Pennsylvania horsemen Bob Key had a pair of homebred winners, including one who was the longest shot on the board in his race and who won under unusual circumstances. Treasure Keys K (Encore Encore) was sitting third behind pacesetting Milligan’s School and pocketsitting Truemass Volo when those two got tangled up on the final turn, inheriting the lead and going on to win for trainer/driver Charlie Norris in 1:59.2.

Key’s other winner was Boyz N Guitars, a Muscle Massive colt who came his own back half in 57.4 uncovered to catch the leader, Dominus Hanover, and tally in 1:58.3 for Hall Of Fame driver John Campbell and trainer Chuck Sylvester.

Donato Hanover had another siring credit in the All-Stars, Sliding Home, who is out of the 2010 Hambo Oaks-winning mare Bar Slide. Sliding Home quarter-moved to command and came home with twin 29.3 quarters to win easily in 2:00 for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Jonas Czernyson, and the Consus Racing Stable – and be the only “chalk” to prevail in the six races.

Corey Callahan had the only driving double in the Sunday stakes, as he also went to Victory Lane with Hititoutofthepark after an eventful trip – away sixth and parked every step until the 5/8, where his 27.4 individual third split powered him off to a three length win in 1:57.3. The impressive son of Yankee Glide, a full brother to All-Stars 3YO winner and Beal finalist Boots N Chains, is trained by John Butenschoen for the Give It A Shot Stable, Kurt Welling, and the VIP Internet Stable LLC.

The other All-Stars section went to Regina and Rick Beinhauer’s homebred Major Matter, who made every pole a winning one in 1:58.3. The altered son of Explosive Matter stepped home in 58.3 with Rick Beinhauer, who also is the trainer, in the sulky.

All-Stars action for babies continues this coming week, with pacing fillies on Tuesday, trotting fillies on Wednesday, and pacing colts on the first Friday night card of the year at Pocono – the day before the $2M Sun Saturday Stakes Championships.


Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Northeast Pennsylvania will undoubtedly be the Center of World Harness Racing this Saturday night, as Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs offers a spectacular card, with the $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial Trot Final for 3YO colts – whose eliminations last week spun off the two fastest trotting miles in global harness racing 2012 – joining up with elimination races for the following Saturday’s Ben Franklin Pace Final (FFA horses), Max Hempt Memorial Pace Final (3YO colts), and Jim Lynch Memorial Pace Final (3YO fillies). 

The Beal Final is marqueed by Googoo Gaagaa, a son of Cam’s Rocket who set a divisional world record of 1:51.3 in his elim while winning by seven lengths, and Stormin Normand, the Broadway Hall colt and defending PA Sire Stakes champion whose 1:51.4 triumph last week would have been a world record had it come 40 minutes earlier (that is, before Googoo Gaagaa hit the track). In Saturday’s rematch, which is race 12 on the 16-race card, Stormin Normand got a bit of an edge in the positional draw for Hall of Fame driver Dave Palone (who won last year’s inaugural Beal with Dejarmbro after the famous private plane ride), trainer Jim Campbell, and breeder/owner Jules Siegel, shaking post four, while Googoo Gaagaa will have to overcome post six (which he did last week, by the way) for driver Corey Callahan and owner/trainer Richard Hans. 

Not to be dismissed is Uncle Peter, the 2011 Breeders Crown winner (ironically, driven by Palone in that race), who thunderbolted home last week to just miss a half-length to Stormin Normand. This Cantab Hall colt, owned by the Fieldings, Christine Takter, and Falkbolagen AB, will begin from post seven for driver Ron Pierce as part of a three-horse entry trained by Jimmy Takter, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame eight days after the Beal, along with stablemates Nothing But Class (post two, Takter up) and Little Brown Fox (post eight, Yannick Gingras). 

The first four finishers and the fastest fifth-place finisher from last week made the Beal final, and the same rules will be used in the Lynch Memorial and Franklin, which also have two elims. The Hempt Final, requiring three elims, will find the top three from each of Saturday’s contests advancing. 

The combined Franklin eliminations may gather the richest collection of pacers ever assembled for one race, with the 17 entrants sporting a total bankroll of $21,962,000 lifetime, including nine millionaires. 

The 9th race second Franklin elim looks to be the tougher of the two, headed as it is by the #1 horse in the North American Top Ten, Foiled Again. The ironsided altered son of Dragon Again, owned by trainer Ron Burke in partnership with Weaver Bruscemi and the JJK Stables, has hit the board in all ten starts this year, and the horse who knows no reverse gear will be guided from post four by Yannick Gingras. (Think we’re kidding about a tough field? Foiled Again, with a lifetime assemblage of $3,843,305, isn’t even the richest horse in the field – heck, he’s not even the richest Burke trainee in the field, with Won The West [$3,939,136] starting from post eight for David Miller.) 

This group also includes We Will See (post three, Hall of Famer Ron Pierce), whose all-age record 1:48 at Pocono last September ties for the fastest mile ever on a 5/8-mile track and who also is the defending Franklin champion, and Golden Receiver (post nine, Brian Sears), who has led the Top Ten polls for most of the campaign. 

In the 7th race Franklin elim cut, much of the attention will focus on two horses who were in the photo for win in the Bettor’s Delight Pace at Tioga Downs on June 10 – Clear Vision (post four, yet another Burkian, driven by PcD regular Matt Kakaley), who nosed out (yes, stablemate) Foiled Again, and Bettor Sweet (post seven, Hall of Famer John Campbell), who set a scorching pace and succumbed only by a neck to the two outside-flow horses.

 A good deal of the industry will have an eye on the 11th race Lynch elimination, a field of seven, topped by the Top Ten’s #2, American Jewel (post four, driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Jim Takter, and owner Brittany Farms), who had established herself as last year’s top distaff pacing freshman before suffering a season-ending injury. But she has roared back in 2012, last week winning the $629,160 Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk in 1:48.2, a divisional world record – enough to encourage her connections to put up $15,000 to supplement her to the Lynch. 

Her archrival, last year’s divisional champion Economy Terror, had a hard trip in the Fan Hanover and finished fifth, but tonight’s post change from nine outside Toronto to one at the track where she won her state’s Sire Stakes Championship last year should position her for a big outing for driver Brian Sears, local trainer Chris Oakes, and the ownership triumvirate of Pompey, Taylor, and Gold. 

The other Lynch elim, race 3, may hinge on which Sarandon Blue Chip shows up at Pocono – the one who was super-impressive winning at The Meadowlands three weeks ago, or the one who was rough-gaited and missed out on the Fan Hanover Final. Sarandon will try to bounce back from post five for driver David Miller, with the major danger looking to come from Major Look (post two, Jeff Gregory) who won in 1:50.1 at Tioga in her last start. 

For the Hempt, the first elim is race 5, where I Fought Dalaw, like Sarandon Blue Chip, will look to bounce back from a subpar Mohawk performance after strong Meadowlands form. David Miller will guide I Fought Dalaw from post two. 

Also trying to shake off bad Mohawk luck will be Hurrikane Kingcole, starting from post three for Tim Tetrick in the 10th race second elimination. The “King” (no relation to George Anthony) miscued at the start of his North America Cup elim, but was officially timed in a mind-blowing 1:18.3 for his final three-quarters after repairing his error. 

The third Hempt group, in race 13, pulls together many horses with great credentials: Bolt The Duer (post two, Mark MacDonald), who has all the potential in the world; A Rocknroll Dance (post four, Yannick Gingras), who was the top-rated colt coming into this season; and Allstar Legend (post seven, Brian Sears), who smoked the last 1320 feet of Philadelphia in 26.2 in posting a 1:48.2 triumph last out. 

FINISHING LINE – That 1:48.2 of Allstar Legend was just 1/5 of a second off the divisional world record of Custard The Dragon – who just happens to be the defending Hempt champion – and who just happens to be in the race which will kick off the card at 6:30, a $25,000 winners-over pace.

Googoo Gaagaa Sets World Record at Pocono

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

June 15, 2012

3-year-old trotting colt Googoo Gaagaa rolled to a victory in world record time in an elimination race for the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot on Friday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000.

In the first of two eliminations, Googoo Gaagaa, who came into the start with nine wins in ten career races, made the lead with a swooping move around the first turn after leaving from post position #6 in the seven-horse field. Driver Corey Callahan never had to ask the 3-year-old son of Cam’s Rocket for anything extra because he sped away from his pursuit all on his own, winning by seven lengths. Little Brown Fox was best of the rest in second, while Frost Bites K and Magic Tonight finished third and fourth to punch their tickets to next week’s final.

The fractional times for the record-setting mile were 27 even, 56 even, and 1:23:3, and the winning time was 1:51:3, nearly a full second better than the track and world record for the age group. That mark of 1:52:2 was set by Break The Bank K in the 2010 Breeders Crown at Pocono and was matched by Dejarmbro in last year’s Beal final. Googoo Gaagaa, who was favored at 3-5, is owned and trained by Richard Hans and has now won 10 of 11 starts with lifetime earnings of 95,945 heading into next week’s final.

In the second elimination, Stormin Normand avenged a loss to Uncle Peter by holding him off late for a victory. With Dave Palone in the bike, Stormin Normand, the 2011 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Champion for the age group, moved from third to first on the front stretch and led from that point on. Uncle Peter, the Breeders Crown champion in 2011 as a 2-year-old who beat Stormin Normand in their first meeting at The Meadows on May 30, got off to a slow start and had to move four-wide on the final turn, but he was motoring at the end and finished just a half-length back for the place. Also headed to the final from this elimination are My MVP, who finished third, Lightning Storm, who finished fourth, and Nothing But Class, who finished fifth with a faster time than Solvato, the fifth-place finisher from the earlier split.

The winning time for Stormin Normand was 1:51:4, denied world-record status only by Googoo Gaagaa’s mile earlier in the night. With wins in seven of his nine lifetime starts, Stormin Normand, who is trained by Jim Campbell and was sired by Broadway Hall, now has career earnings of $305,085.

Next week’s Beal final at Pocono will carry a purse of $500,000.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs 2011 Season Review

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

2011 Season Review

Well, here we are at the conclusion of another season of racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. We got started all the way back on March 22, and we’ll close things out on Saturday night, November 12. It seems like we just got underway, but, instead, it’s time to wrap things up.

As the track announcer at Pocono, I have the best seat in the house for all of the racing action. This was my fourth year in the booth, and I’ve been employed here since 1997 in some capacity or other. The changes that I’ve witnessed have been truly been monumental, but nothing has changed nearly as much, all for the positive, as the quality of racing.

I think that coming into the 2011 season at Pocono, there might have been a sense that a letdown could be in the offing. After all, MSPD hosted the Breeders Crown, harness racing’s night of champions, back in 2010, and there was seemingly nothing on the schedule that could match the brilliance of that event.

It turns out that 2011 at MSPD was a constant series of highlights, with one incendiary performance leading to another. All you need to do is look at the track records page in the program to get confirmation of this. Of the 24 different categories of track records, based on age, gender, and gait, 10 of them were set in 2011. In a few of those cases, the records that fell came from Breeders Crown night.

Among those track records, a few stand out more than most. Economy Terror, a 2-year-old pacing filly, and Sand Violent Blu, a 2-year-old trotting filly, set their track marks while winning state championships as part of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes finals in September. Dejarmbro inaugurated the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot, a new Pocono stakes race featuring 3-year-old trotters, by matching a world record in 1:52:2. And who could forget the dead heat between Macraider N and Bettor Sweet in an Open pace in May, which came in 1:48:4, fastest time ever for two horses hitting the line in a tie?

As great as those miles were, the one that stands out for me was the mile paced by 4-year-old stallion We Will See in an Open pace on September 4. With Ron Pierce in the bike, he tripped the line in 1:48, setting the mark for fastest mile in track history and matching the fastest time ever on a 5/8-mile oval. That one is still jaw-dropping several months after the fact.

Of course, as great as the horses were, we also have to salute the drivers and trainers who conditioned and guided them to such great performances. Congratulations to Matt Kakaley, who came out on top of an outstanding field of drivers in the wins department. Dave Palone took the driving average title, which was all the more impressive considering that the Meadows regular usually only came to Pocono if there were some big stakes races on tap.

On the training side, it was a clean sweep for Lou Pena, who led the trainers in both wins and percentage at Pocono. Those three guys that I just mentioned were at the top of the charts, but the distinguishing characteristic about the MSPD driving and training colony is the balance. So many men and women had outstanding campaigns in 2011. Congratulations to them all.

It has been a pleasure writing these columns, as usual. Thanks to all the publications and web sites that run these articles, and thanks to all the readers. Thanks as well to all of the people who make my job the easiest in the world. Again, too many to mention in this case, and I don’t want to leave anybody out, so a blanket thanks will have to suffice.

Of course, thanks to all the fans who came out to see the action this year at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. It must be especially rewarding for those fans that have been with us even in leaner times. They stuck with us, and now they’re enjoying what truly is the Golden Age of Pocono racing.

I guess it’s natural at the end of one season to look ahead to the next, but it’s hard to say what 2012 will hold. Harness racing is ever-changing, and the stars of one year are often also-rans the next. But while it may be hard to predict who will be in these articles next season, it’s no stretch to say that the upcoming meet will probably top this one.

That is not a reflection in any way on the great, great season ready to be consigned to the history books and the memory banks. It is a reflection instead on what has become the status quo at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs:  Sustained excellence and racing quality that is constantly trending upwards.

That will do it for this season, but we’ll see you, next year, at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at