Posts Tagged ‘DW’s NY Yank’

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Week In Review

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

March 25-31, 2017

After some weather-related delays, we finally enjoyed our first semi-full week of racing for the 2017 season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. This means we’re finally ready to hand out our first edition of the Weekly Awards. And it’s only fitting that our first horses of the week are the ones that made it to multiple wins on the meet before anybody else. Here are the best of the best for the week that was.


If you had to pick a horse beforehand that you thought would be our first Pacer of the Week, it probably wouldn’t have been this 11-year-old gelding. In 36 tries a year ago, Majo Just Do It won just four races and earned only a little over $16,000 for those efforts. He had shown some life in recent starts at Monticello, however, picking up a win and a show before coming to Pocono for Opening Night.

As a 7-2 shot that night, the gelding came from way back in the pack to score a win in 1:56. Trained by Jennifer Sansone, Majo Just Do It had George Napolitano Jr. in the bike for his race Sunday night against a field of $7,500 claimers. As the 2-1 second choice, he was shuffled to the end of the line once again. He was still last at the half-mile marker when he began steadily improving as part of the outer flow.

At the top of the lane he was still fifth, but Napolitano found a clear lane for him for the stretch drive. He once again found his best stride in the lane, blowing by the horses in front of him and prevailing by a half-length in 1:54:1. Suddenly Majo Just Do It has three-quarters as many wins as he did a year ago and things are looking up, especially if he can keep uncorking that lethal late kick on his unsuspecting foes.

Other top pacers this week include: City Hall (George Napolitano Jr., Amber Buter), who captured the Saturday night featured pace in 1:52:1, giving him wins in three of his last four races after a recent hot streak at The Meadowlands; Ronny Bugatti (Austin Siegelman, Nicholas Devita), who picked up a condition win in 1:51 on Tuesday night, the fastest time of the week at Pocono despite sloppy conditions; and Arielle Lynn (Eric Goodell, Kevin McDermott), who captured Tuesday night’s featured condition pace for mares in the slop in 1:53:4.


Like Majo Just Do It, Mister Photogenic wasn’t exactly a name on everyone’s lips coming into the season. But hot streaks can arrive out of anywhere, and this 3-year-old gelding trained by Jim McGettigan definitely is on one right now. It began on opening night, when he surprised a field of maiden condition trotters with a come-from behind win at 7-1 in 1:58:3.

He was back at it again facing the same class on Sunday night. Because he had a win under his belt, he was forced to draw for an outside post, which left him in the tough #8 post position in field of nine. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. was able to guide Mister Photogenic to the lead with a steady move, taking over on the front stretch. The gelding received a lot of pressure, however, and as they rounded the final turn there were horses close behind and all around the 8-5 favorite.

It turns out that the gelding was playing a little possum, because once Morrill asked him for a little bit of speed, he left the pursuit far behind. Mister Photogenic ended up winning by a comfortable 5 ¼ lengths, a margin that seemed unlikely at the top of the stretch. His winning time of 1:58 reset his career best, although, if he continues to progress like he has early in the meet, it’s likely that mark will fall again very soon.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Muscle Diamond (John Campbell, Brett Bittle), a Meadowlands invader who scored a win in Sunday night’s featured trot in 1:53:3; DW’s NY Yank (Eric Goodell, Ron Burke), who overcame an outside post to deliver a condition victory on Saturday night in 1:53:3, matching Muscle Diamond for the fastest of the week at Pocono; and Swishnflick (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who handled a tough condition group on Saturday night in 1:54:3.


Even off a win in his last start at Rosecroft, this condition pacer driven by Jim Morrill Jr. went off at 19-1 on Sunday night and scored a victory to pay off $41.20 on a $2 ticket.


All signs point to a big season for Simon, as he followed up three wins on Opening night with three more victories in Saturday night’s action.


One of the top trainers for many seasons now at Pocono, Ford picked up a win on Saturday night and then backed it up with a training double on Tuesday.

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

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, September 6th, 2013

August 30-September 5, 2013

August may be in the rear-view mirror, but it went out with a bang at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. A track record fell on Friday night and a world record went by the books on Saturday night. It was quite a week of racing, and it’s no surprise that those two record-setters end up with the most honored positions in this edition of the Weekly Awards.


If anyone seemed poised to break a record in Friday night’s $21,000 featured pace for mares who were non-winners of $24,000 in the last five races, Southwind Jazmin was the one. In the very same class a week earlier, the 5-year-old mare completely dominated with a two-length win in 1:49:3, and the margin and time could have been more impressive had she been kept to task. It’s no wonder that she was the 2-5 favorite at race time.

One of the horses that she beat the previous start was Lightning Paige, a 4-year-old mare from the Steve Elliott barn. She was a non-threatening third in that race, and she found herself in the pocket chasing the heavy favorite throughout the race. Even with fast fractions, it seemed like the only thing up for debate was whether or not Southwind Jazmin would challenge a track record.

Yet Lightning Paige had other ideas. Driver Andrew McCarthy urged her on through the stretch as she blitzed by the favorite to win by a neck. To add insult to injury, Lightning Paige’s winning time of 1:49 even broke the track record for 4-year-old pacing mares. The previous mark of 1:49:2 was held by, you guessed it, Southwind Jazmin, who set it a year ago. That’s what you call a double whammy. Here’s hoping these two star distaffers face off again in an exciting budding rivalry.

Other top pacers this week include: Caviart Spencer (George Napolitano Jr., Eddie Sager), whose victory on Friday night over the $7,500 claimers gave him three straight victories and came in a career-best 1:52; Light Up The Sky (George Napolitano Jr., Marty Fine), who switched barns and still came up with his second straight win against the toughest claimers on the grounds Saturday night, this one in a career mark of 1:49; and Mustang Art (Kevin Wallis, James McGuire), a veteran pacer who put on a show on the front end on Saturday night with a mile of 1:48:3, best of his career and fastest this week at Pocono.


One of my little rules for writing this column is that I try to spread the wealth around in giving these awards. When a horse wins Pacer or Trotter of the Week once during a season, I usually disqualify them from winning it again. For Beatgoeson Hanover, I broke the rules, simply because it’s unusual for a horse to crash the record books twice in the same season.

Back in April, Beatgoeson Hanover, a five-year-old mare trained by Nifty Norman, matched a track record for aged trotting mares with a scintillating victory in 1:52:1. Yet on Saturday night in a Preferred trot with a $25,000 purse, Beatgoeson Hanover could only go off as a 3-1 second choice, because DW’s NY Yank, who also set a track record at Pocono earlier this season as a 4-year-old gelding, was the heavy favorite. Beatgoeson Hanover sat the pocket trip behind the favorite, who surprisingly caved in at the top of the stretch under pressure from the first-over move from Real Babe.

Driver Tyler Buter made a nifty move by swinging Beatgoeson Hanover out wide to elude her tiring cover and gather momentum for a rally. The mare did the rest, zipping by Real Babe to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:51:4. Not only did that reset her track mark, but it also set the world record for aged mares trotting on a five-eighths-mile oval. Maybe we bent the rules a little bit by handing out this award, but that performance was worth it.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Must Be Psychic (Anthony Napolitano, Scott Osterhout), who won his second straight claimer on Tuesday night, this one coming in a career-best 1:55:1 despite a move up in class; Hoorayforvacation (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who scored a victory in Tuesday night’s featured claiming handicap trot in a career-best 1:53:4; and Raven De Vie (Matt Kakaley, Chris Ryder), who followed up his maiden win with another condition victory on Wednesday night in 1:56:1.


On Tuesday night with Mike Simons doing the driving, this trotter utilized a pcoket trip to rally for a victory over a $12,500 claiming class at 17-1 for a $37 win payout on a $2 win ticket.


McCarthy gets a lot of acclaim at Pocono for his ability to bring in long shots, but this week he was winning with every kind of horse, as evidenced by multiple driving victories on all four racing nights.


Part of the Canadian invasion of horsemen who have really made their mark on the 2013 season at Pocono, Fine stayed hot with a three-win week, including a double on Saturday.

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


Beatgoeson Hanover Breaks World Record in Win at Pocono

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

August 31, 2013

Beatgoeson Hanover rallied in the final strides to win the featured Preferred trot on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and set a world record for her age group in the process. The race carried a purse of $25,000.

Beatgoeson Hanover, a five-year-old mare from the barn of Nifty Norman, left from post position #5 in a field of six as the 3-1 second choice. She led at the quarter, then ceded the lead to 1-2 favorite DW’s NY Yank in the front stretch and worked the pocket. Real Babe made a powerful first-over move on the back stretch and cleared DW’s NY Yank in the stretch, but driver Tyler Buter alertly swung Beatgoeson Hanover wide in the stretch to beat Real Babe by three-quarters of a length. DW’s NY Yank faded to third.

With a winning time of 1:51:4, Beatgoeson Hanover, owned by Neven Botica, not only shattered her own track record for aged trotting mares of 1:52:1, a mark she shared with Brighten Up, but she also smashed the world record for that age group of 1:52, which was set by Premiere Steed in Finland in 2009. Beatgoeson Hanover, winner of six races this season and 25 lifetime, pushed her career earnings of $1,073,080.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, July 19th, 2013

July 12-18, 2013

For the past few weeks in this column, we’ve largely concentrated on some of the outstanding stakes races that have been held recently at the track and the exploits of some of the horses who excelled in those races. With a little break in the stakes schedule at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, it seems like as good a time as any to get back to primarily profiling the overnight horses who battle it out week in and week out at MSPD. That means a return to handing out the Weekly Awards.


Being an effective claiming horse usually means that you’re going to be putting your suitcase down in a new barn practically every week. The best claiming horses can overcome this peripatetic lifestyle and find ways to win regardless of which barn they’re representing, and St Pete Star is one of those horses who have proven recently he can do just that.

St Pete Star, a 9-year-old stallion, started a winning streak on June 23 with a career-best win in 1:49:3 in a $20,000 claimer for the Paul Holzman. He followed that up six nights later by handling that same class once again, this time for the PJ Fraley barn in 1:50:2. He joined the Rene Allard barn in his effort to win his third straight in the same class on Saturday night.

Allard gave the reins to George Napolitano Jr., who sent St Pete Star to the early lead and let him do the rest. He hustled home for the victory as a 3-5 favorite in 1:51, and, for his trouble, he was claimed once again. The new barn knows it has a real commodity on its hands: A horse on such a hot streak that it might not know where he’ll next call home, but it can still find comfort in the familiarity of the Winner’s Circle.

Other top pacers this week include: Keystone Neptune (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), whose victory over the $15,000 claimers on Saturday night in a career-best 1:50:1 was his second straight and his fourth in his last five; Reckless Ric (Anthony Napolitano, Aaron Lambert), whose victory in a condition pace on Saturday night came in 1:49:1, the fastest time of the week at Pocono; and Western Guy (George Napolitano Jr., Peter Pellegrino), who moved up in class on Sunday night and still won his third straight claimer, two of which came at Pocono, this time scoring in 1:51:3.


This mare started a hot streak in chilly spring temperatures in Canada and it hasn’t abated even in the stifling heat of the Northeastern Pennsylvania summer. She came into Pocono off a win at Saratoga on May 17 and promptly won the first three races she started at MSPD to cultivate a four-race winning streak overall.

Her toughest test figured to be on Tuesday night, as she took on a claiming handicap field with claiming prices ranging from $15,000 to $20,000. Considering that she started her streak at Pocono at a claiming price of $7,500, it was evident how far she had moved up in the world during this span of racing. She joined the Lou Pena barn for the race on Tuesday night.

Driver George Napolitano Jr. sent the mare to the front end early, and she was pressured throughout by several competitors. In the stretch, she dug in deep and found a way to sustain for the victory in 1:54:1. That marked the fifth consecutive win for Prismatica and it came in a career-best time. It will be interesting to see if she can move up even further and push that winning streak to new heights in the near future.

Honorable mention on the trotting side includes: DW’s NY Yank (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who burned his way to a condition trotting win on Saturday night in a new career mark of 1:51:3, which was also the fastest time at Pocono this week; C-O To Bluegrass (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who churned his way to his second straight claiming win on Tuesday night, this one in a career-best 1:54:3; and Sarah’s Hall (Matt Romano, Steven Bartholomew), a filly whose upset win in a condition trot on Friday night at 11-1 in a career-best 1:56:1 was her second straight victory.


In a wild finish to a claiming handicap trot on Sunday night, this gelding with Marcus Miller in the bike came flying up on the far outside to win at 28-1, paying off $59.60 for a $2 win ticket.


One of the newer faces in the Pocono driving community, Allard made his biggest impact yet at Pocono this week by picking up driving doubles on Saturday and Tuesday night.


Pena has been a big winner in the past at Pocono, and he’s been at it again of late. This past week he won on four straight racing nights, scoring five training wins in all.

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