Posts Tagged ‘Economy Terror’

$1.7 Million PA Sire Stakes Championship Night Saturday 9/5/15

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

The richest Sire Stakes Championship series begins Saturday night, September 5th,  at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will host four $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship for three-year-olds. Each of the four divisions will also have a $60,000 Consolation race; the total program on Saturday at Pocono will distribute purses of $1,770,000.


$350,000 Championship – race 12

$60,000 Consolation – race 5

Championship record: 1:48.4, McWicked, 2014 (fastest Championship in PA history)

Defending champion from 2YO year: Yankee Bounty

Leading pointwinner in four preliminaries: Lost For Words

Most of the attention in the “glamour division” will be focused on Wakizashi Hanover, already a winner of over $840,000 this year, including the North America Cup Final, and regarded as second-best on the North American scene to the amazing Wiggle It Jiggleit. Wakizashi has driven post five for the Championship, and as usual trainer Joann Looney-King has tapped Tim Tetrick to drive the altered son of Dragon Again for the Tri County Stable of Nova Scotia. The sophomore has experience over the track, winning a Hempt elimination and then finished fourth from a difficult draw, and following that outing up with a second to “Wiggle” in the Battle of the Brandywine.

It’s unusual to see a defending champion and a leading prelim pointswinner regarded as “outsiders” in the field, but Yankee Bounty and Lost For Words, respectively, are not only figurative outsiders, but the literal outsiders as well in the field of eight – Yankee Bounty, starting from post seven for all-time Sire Stakes driving champion Dave Palone,does come off a 1:49.3 win in a Sire Stakes prelim, while Lost For Words (post eight, David Miller) was the only three-time winner in the Sires prelims.


$350,000 Championship – race 11

$60,000 Consolation – race 4

Championship record: 1:52.4, Father Patrick, 2014

Defending champion from 2YO year: Billy Flynn (the only 3YO who did not qualify for these finals)

Leading pointwinner in four preliminaries: Wicker Hanover

Wicker Hanover and Uncle Lasse were both three-time Sires prelim winners. Wicker Hanover, an Explosive Matter colt who has done well on or off the pace, will start from post six for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Ross Croghan, and the Christer Haggstorm Racing Stable Inc., while the Donato Hanover colt Uncle Lasse, third in both the Hambletonian Final and the Colonial, drew post two for driver David Miller, trainer Jimmy Takter, and owners Solveig’s Racing Partners and Goran Falk.

A horse conspicuous by his absence is Pinkman, #2 in the prelim pointstandings while achieving three victories, but when he won the Hambletonian trainer Takter chose the Triple Crown road for him, and he goes Saturday night at Yonkers in the Yonkers Trot, the second Crown leg. But even with two recent losses to Crazy Wow, in the Colonial and Yonkers Trot elim, Pinkman likely would have been a big favorite here, and using the “glass is half full” theory, the race is much more competitive this way.


$350,000 Championship – race 10

$60,000 Consolation – race 3

Championship record: 1:49, Economy Terror

Defending champion from 2YO year: Southwind Roulette

Leading pointwinner in four preliminaries: Somewhere Sweet

Perhaps the best testimony to the contentiousness of this division all year, and in theory here Saturday, is the fact that prelim pointleader Somewhere Sweet won only once in the prelims. But the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, trained by Brian Brown for Miller’s Stable, has been a very consistent miss, winning half her ten seasonal starts and never finishing worse than fourth, and she draws the favorable post two for driver David Miller.

There were two two-time prelim winners in this division, but for Saturday they had the misfortune of drawing the two outside spots on the gate: Serious Filly (PP7, also trained by Brown, Tim Tetrick listed) and Safe From Terror (PP8, trainer Ron Burke, also listing Tetrick on the early sheet).


$350,000 Championship – race 9

$60,000 Consolation – race 14

Championship record: 1:51.3, Check Me Out, 2012 (fastest trot Champion ever)

Defending champion from 2YO year: Wild Honey

Leading pointwinner in four preliminaries: Sarcy (not entered), Smokinmombo #2

Last year’s divisional champion Wild Honey has come back sharply in 2015, with a win in the Hambletonian Oaks Final and two Sire Stakes wins. The Cantab Hall filly is likely to be held as the horse to beat despite drawing post eight for driver Dave Palone, trainer Jimmy Takter, and the ownership combine of Takter, Fielding, Liverman, and Fielding.

Jimmy Takter is also the trainer of Sarcy, who was #1 in the prelim points, but that filly has not raced since finishing fifth in the Oaks Final on August 8 and has not won since June 25, so she is not entered in the Championship. But Wild Honey is certainly a fine “backup plan.”

FINISHING LINES – Dave Palone has 38 career wins in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships, and the driver in second needs a telescope to see him even though winning five Championships last year – Yannick Gingras, with a total of 12. We know Yannick will not duplicate that output in 2015, as he will be driving Pinkman at Yonkers on Saturday. Palone, however, has a call in three of the four Championships, and there are two to-be-resolved double calls in the race he currently is not listed.

$1.2 Million PA Sire Stakes Championship Night set for Saturday, September 6

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The cream of the crop of this year’s Pennsylvania-sired two-year-old trotters and pacers will gather together this Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for their $1,240,000 Championships Night program. 

The horses, in both the $260,000 finals and the $50,000 consolations, earned their way into these races by having the highest pointtotals based on finish position in four PaSS preliminaries raced at the state’s tracks over the last two months. 

The four Championship events are slotted for races nine through twelve on Saturday’s 16-race card at Pocono; here’s a look at them in the order they will be conducted: 

TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (stakes record – 1:51.1, Economy Terror, 2007) 

These fillies have been very competitive among themselves, as this is the only of the four divisions that will find no four-time prelim winner looking for a sweep in the Championship. (In fact, there has never been a “sweeper” in the 2PF class since a record of prelim points was started in 2002, a fact which will obviously stay intact in 2014; what’s more, the prelim pointleader has not won the 2PF Championship since Lady Annie in 2007.) 

Aria Hanover (post two, driver Tim Tetrick listed) and Southwind Roulette (post five, Yannick Gingras) figure to be the focal points of attention after showing three wins and a third in their prelims to be tied for the top in this group. Southwind Roulette was third in her first PaSS start, then has taken her last three; among the conquered in her final prelim was … Aria Hanover, who had won three straight going into that event. 

TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (stakes record – 1:54.3, Sand Violent Blu, 2011, and Designed To Be, 2013) 

In contrast to their pacing counterparts, two 2TFs have swept their four prelims and their Championship: Coulantine in 2004, and Fashion Feline in 2009. And the leading pointwinner has won their Championship in each of the last three years (the stake speed setters with Frau Blucher in between).  

Looking to add herself the “sweeper” ranks is Wild Honey (post seven, Yannick Gingras). In keeping her record unblemished in the prelims last time out, Wild Honey defeated Gatka Hanover (post eight, Ron Pierce), who had also won her three prelims heretofore, by a half-length. Neither filly will particularly benefit from their outside post draw, making this shape up as a very tough affair.

 TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS (stakes record – 1:54.3, Stormin Normand, 2011) 

In setting this division’s speed mark, Stormin Normand also completed the “Sire Stakes sweep,” the only 2TC to have accomplished the feat. 

Attempting to emulate the “Storm” will be Billy Flynn (post four, Brett Miller), 6 for 6 in his young career. But there are three two-time Sire Stakes prelim winners in this field – Honor And Serve, Lima Pride, and Piercewave Hanover – plus Walter White, a horse who came within a head of Billy Flynn two starts back, so no one is conceding the honors to the unbeaten horse going in.

 TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS (stakes record – 1:50.2, One More Laugh, 2009) 

Like his colt counterpart on the trotting side, Stormin Normand, One More Laugh became his division’s only sweeper when he set the stakes mark five years back. (The leading prelim pointleader has won the 2PC in three of the last five years, including Allstar Partner last year.)

 Probably set to draw the majority of the focus here is Yankee Bounty (post three, Yannick Gingras), who like Billy Flynn is both 6 for 6 lifetime and unbeaten in the Sires prelims. But also like Billy Flynn, Yankee Bounty had a horse who gave him a scare – Wazikashi Hanover came within a neck of an upset last

time — and again like Billy Flynn, Yankee Bounty faces three opponents with multiple PaSS prelim wins: McArdles Lightning (who had three) along with Dragon Eddy and Lost For Words (two each).


 There will be $50,000 consolations for each of the four Sire Stakes divisions’ horses who came up just shy in trying to earn themselves a place in the final.

 It does seem strange to call a contest an “undercard” event when the field of eight has combined earnings of $12,112,270, especially when the first three horses in the post parade have bankrolled $9,956,663 among them. But this is a special field, for a special race – the $50,000 Modern Family Trot, honoring the recently-deceased free-for-aller who was based with the Daryl Bier stable right at Pocono, and who was competitive with this national group the last two years. Those “first three horses,” by the way, are Wishing Stone, Market Share, and Arch Madness, and when mixed with Sevruga and four other hard-hitters they should give a fit tribute to their fallen fellow competitor.

 There will also be a $50,000 Invitational Pace, the Adieu to the Almost Summer Pace (no doubt if this race were held in the western part of the state, it would be called the Adios to the Almost Summer Pace, but that’s another story). Millionaires Golden Receiver and Bolt The Duer will draw attention here, along with two sharp four-year-olds on three-race winning streaks: Sunfire Blue Chip and Mach It So.

 The first of Saturday’s 16 races is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Sevruga Barrels Into Record Book at Pocono

Monday, July 8th, 2013

July 7, 2013

Sevruga matched the fastest time ever trotted on a 5/8-mile oval with a romping win in a Preferred trot at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday night. The race carried a purse of $25,000.

Sevruga (SJ’s Caviar-Stunning Lindsey), a 5-year-old gelding from the Julie Miller barn, left from post position #6 in a field of seven as the 1-5 favorite. Driver Andy Miller sent him to the front before the quarter, and as he clipped off fractions of 26:4, 55:4, and 1:22:4, the rest of the field faded from view. Sevruga trotted home 5 ½ lengths in front in a stunning 1:50:3. Upfront Billy in second and Traverse Seelster in third picked up the minor awards.

Sevruga’s time of 1:50:3 matched the mark set at Pocono just eight nights ago by Uncle Peter as the fastest ever time trotted on a 5/8-mile oval. It also sets the track and world record for aged geldings trotting on that distance track. The previous world mark was 1:50:4.

Sevruga, owned by KDM Stables Corp, won for the 8th time in 14 races this season. The victory was the 25th of his career and put his lifetime earnings at $635,091.

In other Sunday night action at Pocono, Rock N Soul outfinished Economy Terror in the stretch in a duel between million-dollar mares, winning a Preferred Handicap pace for mares in the process. The race carried a purse of $25,000.

Leaving from post position #6 in a field of seven, Rock N Soul (Rocknroll Hanover-Artchitecture), left early and led at the quarter only to cede the lead to Economy Terror in the front stretch. The two stayed in that order until the stretch, when driver Matt Kakaley guided Rock N Soul, trained by Ron Burke, up the inside passing lane to win by a neck over Economy Terror in a career-best 1:49:4. Bullet Point was right with the top two at the line in third.

Rock N Soul, owned by Weaver Bruscemi, Burke Racing, and Frank Baldachino, won for the fourth time in 13 races this season. It was the 21st career victory for the 6-year-old mare, pushing her lifetime earnings to $1,012,935.

Camille Wins Star-Studded Feature Distaff Pace at Pocono

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

May 12, 2013

Camille outdueled Feeling You in a rematch of the rivalry they recently stoked at Yonkers, winning Sunday night’s featured Preferred pace for mares at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried the night’s top purse of $25,000.

On April 27 at Yonkers, Feeling You rallied in the stretch to knock off pacesetting Camille in the $250,000 Blue Chip final at Yonkers. On Sunday night at Pocono, Camille benefitted from a #3 post position in a field of nine, while Feeling You started from the #7 hole. Camille was made the 4-5 betting favorite, and the 5-year-old mare from the Ron Burke barn took the lead around the first turn from early leader Warrawee Koine.

Driver Matt Kakaley was able to rate the speed well aboard Camille (Camluck-Art Of Design) with a 29-second second panel, and the mare would need every bit of that energy when Feeling You came at her first-over on the back stretch. The two dueled right to the line before Camille prevailed by a nose in 1:51:1. Warrawee Koine picked up the show and Economy Terror, a former Breeders Crown winner and two-time Pennsylvania State champ, was fourth in her first start of the season.

Camille, owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable, and Jack Piatt II, won for the fourth time in six tries this year in what was her first sojourn outside of New York in 2013. It was also her 24th career win and pushed her lifetime earnings to $849,309.

In other action at Pocono on Sunday night, Only In My Dreams (Credit Winner-Invincible Dream), trained by Gail Wrubel and driven by Mike Simons, won a $13,000 condition trot that was run in honor of Bobby Manning. Manning was a longtime Pocono horseman who died a few months ago at the age of 51. The Pocono horsemen gathered en masse in the winner’s circle following the race to honor Manning’s memory.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

2012 Season Review

Well, racing fans, we’ve come to that point in the year where we wrap things up at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The season closes out on Wednesday night, November 21 with the 140th racing night of the campaign. After that, MSPD racing goes on hiatus until March of 2013.

Since we are so near the end, it’s time to put on a bow on this season by looking back at some of the memorable performances that Pocono racing fans have witnessed over the past 7 ½ months. We talked about the horses of the year a week ago in this column. Let’s take a little time now to honor the top drivers and trainers from this outstanding season just about gone by.

On the driving side, it was another stellar season for George Napolitano Jr. who rocketed back to the top of the standings in driving wins. George also was in a battle for the UDRS title, a percentage akin to a baseball batting average measuring driving efficiency, with Jim Morrill Jr., and that race might even come down to the final night.

George Nap was not the only driver to have success this season however, as our balanced racing community at Pocono produced eight men with over 100 wins in the meet. Those eight drivers were mixed evenly between veterans like Napolitano, Morrill, Mike Simons, and Joe Pavia Jr. and younger pilots who have already established themselves as forces like Matt Kakaley, Tyler Buter, Andrew McCarthy, and Eric Carlson. Carlson accomplished the feat in his first ever year at MSPD.

On the training side, Chris Oakes once again dominated the proceedings. He held a huge advantage in training UDRS all season long, and he pulled away from Ron Burke for the training wins crown in the season’s final weeks. In addition to Oakes and Burke, there have been a number of trainers celebrating excellent seasons in 2012. The other trainers rounding out the Top 10 in victories in 2012: Kent Sherman, Erv Miller, Amber Buter, Jason Robinson, Rene Allard, Paul Holzman, Brewer Adams, and Mark Ford.

2012 also was a great year for track records, proving once again that the competition keeps getting better and faster at Pocono. Out of 24 categories which separate horses by age, gait, and gender, 13 records were set in 2012. In other words, more than half of the existing records fell by the wayside.

Our two most prestigious records, fastest pace and fastest trot for all ages and genders, came under assault in 2012, not surprisingly in the two biggest stakes races held all season at Pocono. Betterthancheddar captured the Ben Franklin pace in 1:48, matching the all-time pacing mark set a season ago by We Will See. On that same June day in the Earl Beal Memorial trot, Googoo Gaagaa put together a ridiculous performance for a victory in 1:50:4, the fastest mile ever trotted, not just at Pocono, but on any 5/8-mile oval.

In addition to those two amazing records, Economy Terror managed a feat that will be hard to match. After setting the track mark for two-year-old placing fillies at the Pennsylvania Championships in 2011, she came back as a 3-year-old and defended her state title, once again breaking a track record in the process. That makes Economy Terror, the pride of the Oakes’ barn, the only horse to have two records on the Pocono ledger.

Those were just a few examples of what has been another tremendous season of racing at MSPD. Even as we come to one meet’s completion, it’s hard not to look forward to what’s ahead in 2013. That’s because the Breeders Crown, harness racing’s year-end championship races, will once again be hosted by Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

We hosted the Breeders Crown for the first time back in 2010, and it was such a ringing success that we all hoped that it wouldn’t be too long before it returned. We are honored to be the location for the best of the best in harness racing, who will duke it out for bragging rights and hundreds of thousands of dollars in purse money.

In the meantime, it’s time to put the 2012 season to bed. It has once again been an honor to call the races for the Pocono faithful, and, as always, I’ve enjoyed writing these columns to highlight the very best of the racing at our track. There are too many co-workers to thank for all their efforts in bringing racing to you all; suffice it to say they all have harder jobs than me and they do them splendidly to make sure the racing product at Pocono is the best in the country.

Finally, I’d like to thank our fans, the most loyal and knowledgeable around, for their continued support of MSPD racing. I hope you all have a wonderful winter, and I look forward to seeing you all again for what should be an amazing 2013 meet.

Until then, that will do it for this year, but, after a little time off, we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at