Posts Tagged ‘Fateful Choice’

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

June 14-20, 2014

We are in the thick of the most exciting time of the season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Over the next few weekends we’ll be seeing some of the finest standardbreds in the world competing for some huge stakes. We’ve also been blessed with Sire Stakes and Stallion Series races just about every night of late. Through all of that, our overnight races continue to produce outstanding performances. It’s not easy to choose the very best out of such a wealth of talent, but that’s what we’ll try to do as we hand out the Weekly Awards.

PACER OF THE WEEK: FATEFUL CHOICE

When a horse is a part of a barn as successful as that of trainer Chris Oakes and it isn’t winning with regularity, it can almost seem like an underachiever. In the case of 4-year-old gelding Fateful Choice, it may just have been a case early this year of running up against top competition while not quite on his best game. The result was just a single win in ten races to start the 2014 season.

A drop down in class on June 3 to the non-winners of $7,000 in the last five starts did the trick though, as Fateful Choice found his confidence and his stride in a big way, blowing the field away by 4 ¼ lengths in 1:49:2, a new career-best. Bouyed by the victory, he moved up to take on a tougher group of non-winners of $12,500 in the last five starts on Saturday night.

Driver Anthony Napolitano stayed aggressive with Fateful Choice, sending him to the front end, then rated him very well to the half. At that point, the gelding was a powerhouse and scorched the dirt on his way to his second sub-1:50 victory, this one coming in 1:49:4. All of a sudden, Fateful Choice has the look of so many other of his stablemates. In other words, he looks awful tough to beat.

Other top pacers this week include: Bushwacker (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Ryder), who moved to two-for-two on the season with another impressive condition win on Sunday night, this one coming in 1:51; Colossal Cruiser (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who took a huge step up in class Saturday night to the $20,000 claimers and still picked up his second straight victory, doing so in a career-best 1:50; and Bolt The Duer (Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley), who tuned up in anticipation of the Ben Franklin pace at Pocono by dominating a Preferred group on Saturday night in the week’s fastest time of 1:48:2.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: IL MAGO

This 5-year-old stallion from the Mark Harder barn has been exceptional since arriving at Pocono for a condition trot on June 4. That was just his second start following a layoff of two months, but there was no rust evident whatsoever as he took the lead on the front stretch and then gutted out a tough stretch drive to win by a neck in 1:53:3.

On Tuesday night, Il Mago was back at it against the non-winners of $12,500 in the last five starts once again, albeit this time in a slightly tougher post on the outer half of the field. Andrew McCarthy was still able to fire the stallion out of the gate and reach the front end before the quarter-pole. He was also able to slow the pace down with fractions almost identical to Il Mago’s previous win.

In the stretch, a couple horses drew to within striking distance, but McCarthy called on the afterburners and Il Mago responded. The result was a second straight victory with the same time of 1:53:3 from the previous week. That kind of consistent excellence is the stuff of long winning streaks, so watch out for this talented trotted in the weeks to come even if he moves up in class.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Not Afraid (Jim Morrill Jr., Jimmy Takter), who followed up a win at the Meadowlands with a Preferred win on Saturday night at Pocono in a new career mark of 1:51:4, which was also fastest trotting time of the week at MSPD; Bikini So Teeny (Charlie Norris trainer and driver, who won her second straight on Wednesday night, this one coming in Stallion Series company in a career-best 1:55; and Designed To Be (Brian Sears, Julie Miller), whose Sire Stakes win on Wednesday night matched a world record for 3-year-old trotting fillies on a 5/8-mile oval with a winning time of 1:51:3.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT

Despite being laid off since a May 2nd victory in California, this mare with Andrew McCarthy in the bike rallied for a claiming pacing win on Sunday night at 23-1 for a $48.40 payout on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHHON NAPOLITANO

A-Nap looks poised for his best season ever at Pocono, especially after a week in which he had mutilple wins in three of the four racing nights.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JULIE MILLER

Miller had a wonderful night at the Sire Stakes on Wednesday, sweeping both divisions of the 3-year-old trotting fillies with her trainees Take The Money and Designed To Be.

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.

12 Pennsylvania All Stars Races at Pocono on Saturday Night

Monday, July 8th, 2013

July 6, 2013

Grand Circuit Week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs wrapped up with 12 Pennsylanvania All Stars races on a steamy Saturday night. The 3-year-olds took center stage, with four $30,000 divisions of colts and geldings on the pace, three $35,000 divisions of pacing fillies, and five $30,000 divisions of trotting colts and geldings.

3-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS

Brew Master (Glidemaster-Dance Girl Dance), the 8-5 favorite with Dave Palone in the bike for trainer Marcus Marashian, hung on to win by a neck over Maxamillus in the first division in a career-best 1:54:2. Rossini picked up the show. The gate-to-wire victory was the second straight for Brew Master, with his last coming on a sloppy track at The Meadows.

Aperfectyankee (Yankee Glide-Asixpackfromperfect) glided up first-over and won going away by three lengths in a career-best 1:53:1 in the second division. Broadway Prince finished second while pacesetter Major Athens faded to third. 8-5 favorite Tigress’s Legacy went off-stride early. Trained and driven by Jim Oscarsson, Aperfectyankee, the third choice at 7-2, bounced back from a break in his last race for his second win of the season.

A blistering early pace set it up for Bluto (Donato Hanover-Blur) to come from off the pace and rally for a tight victory by a head over 7-5 favorite Smoother Ride in a career-best 1:52:4. Jimmy Takter trains and drives Bluto, who went off as the 7-2 third choice and won for the second time this year in six tries. Classicality picked up the show.

The fourth division produced a performance that matched a Pocono track record and a world record for 3-year-old trotting geldings. It’s Complicated (SJ’s Caviar-Madame Volo), the 5-1 third choice, was a powerhouse on the front end for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Kris Hite, winning by 1 ¼ lengths over even-money favorite High Bridge. Cantab Abs was third. The winning time by It’s Complicated of 1:52:4 matches the Pocono mark and the world record on a 5/8 oval by sophomore geldings, which was set by I’m The Answer in 2011.

All Laid Out (Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall), who was fresh off a big upset win in the Earl Beal Jr. consolation trot in his last start, followed it up with a romping win in All Stars action as the 6-5 favorite in the fifth division. With Dave Palone in the bike for trainer Noel Daley, the colt sat off a hot pace and pounced late to win going away by 5 ¾ lengths in 1:53. Sailer Eddie finished second and Boffin picked up the show.

3-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES

In the first division, Dave Palone gunned Power Pack Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Panned Out), the 5-2 second choice from the Tom Cancelliere barn, to the front end and the filly went all the way for a 2 ½-length victory in a career-best 1:50:2. Handsoffmycupcake was best of the rest in second while Offintothesunset grabbed the show. It was the first win in two tries this year for Power Pack Hanover and just her third lifetime in five career races.

A stretch duel between the top two choices was the highlight of the second split, with 9-5 second choice Icommandmyspirit (Dragon Again-Artists Flower) holiding off 7-5 favorite Carols Desire by a neck in a career-best 1:51:1. Champagne Tonight was third. Jim Morrill did the driving aboard Icommandmyspirit for trainer Ross Croghan, as the filly won for the fifth time in her last six races.

Once she took over on the front stretch, 1-9 favorite Somwherovrarainbow (Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Bloe) fought off all comers in the third division and won by 1 ½ lengths in 1:51, a new career mark. Sweet Lady Jane finished second while South Pacific grabbed third. Driven by Montrell Teague and trained by George Teague Jr., Somwherovrarainbow now has three wins this season, with the other two coming in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action.

3-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS

In the first division of this group, 2-1 second choice Net Ten Eom (Somebeachsomewhere-Glowing Report) set bruising fractions after taking over the lead on the front stretch but held tough late to win by two lengths in 1:49:2, a new career-best. Big Time Promise came up short in second, just his second loss in nine races this season, while The Pan Poobah finished 3rd. George Napolitano Jr. drove Net Ten Eom for trainer Richard Silverman, as the colt picked up his third consecutive win, all at different tracks.

Some Kinda Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Art’s Fantasy) didn’t disappoint as the 1-5 favorite in the second division, leading much of the way and powering home the second half of the mile after a great rate job by driver Marcus Miller in the first half. The colt from the Erv Miller barn ended up winning by 1 ¼ lengths in a career-best 1:51 for his sixth win in ten races this season. Here Comes Swifty finished second while Shock It To Em picked up the show.

 Good Day Mate (Christian Cullen-Stienam’s Place) parlayed an excellent trip behind a speed duel to a late-kicking victory in the third division, as he rallied to win by a neck over 6-5 favorite Dedi’s Dragon in 1:49:3. Varadero Hanover came on for the show. Jim Morrill Jr. drove Good Day Mate for trainer Chris Oakes, as the 3-year-old colt picked up his second win of the season as the 9-5 second choice.

In the final division, Ultimate Beach Boy (Somebeachsomewhere-Ultimate Bet), the 8-5 second choice, powered home from the pocket to win by a length in 1:50:4. George Napolitano Jr. was in the bike for trainer Don Swick, as Ultimate Beach Boy won for the third time this season. John’s Polyview finished second while 4-5 favorite Fateful Choice faded late to third.