Posts Tagged ‘Feeling You’

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

November 1-7, 2013

As we have now reached the month of November, it’s time to start looking back on the season that was. While we still have some racing left to go, we would be remiss if out time ran out and we didn’t honor some of the best performers who have graced the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs stage in 2013. This week I’m proud to announce our 2013 Horses of the Year.

Although I had a little bit of input, most of the work in terms of tracking the best performances and making the selections was done by our Racing Marketing Manager Jennifer Starr and Clerk of Course Terri Phalen. It’s a difficult job, because of the sheer amount of great horses we have seen at the Pocono oval this season. These are fine choices though, a quartet of horses who are representative of the exemplary racing product that MSP had to offer in 2013. The envelopes, please.


This 4-year-old gelding from the Aaron Lambert barn has been a standout at Pocono for a while now, but his 2013 season was one to remember. He made just six starts at MSPD this season, all against top-flight competition, and won four of them. All four of his victories, with his regular Pocono driver Andrew McCarthy aboard, came in times of less than 1:50.

Dynamic Youth delivered some especially eye-opening wins this year. In June, he won elimination for the Ben Franklin pace in a field that included superstar pacers Betterthancheddar, Clear Vision, and Golden Receiver. On October 5, his second of back-to-back wins in the Preferred pacing class came in a scorching time of 1:48:1, which matched a world record for 4-year-old geldings on the pace. No other horse had such consistent success at the top levels at Pocono than this one, which is why Dynamic Youth is deserving of this outstanding honor.


A 5-year-old mare trained by Nifty Norman, Beatgoeson Hanover served notice that she would special at Pocono this season with her very first start of the meet, a condition win back in April 27 that came in 1:52:1, matching a track record for aged trotting mares. She followed that up with a Preferred win the next week.

When she returned to the Preferred trotting class at Pocono in August, she outdid herself with a winning mile of 1:51:4 with Tyler Buter in the bike, which broke not just her own track record but a world record for her age group on a 5/8-mile oval. Add in a respectable 5th place performance in the Breeders Crown finals and another easy Preferred win on October 26 and you can see why this mare gets the nod in this very competitive category.


The pride of the Amber Buter barn is without a doubt this gutty 6-year-old mare. Pocono has been just one of her stops this season and she has made the rounds to just about all of the best East Coast tracks. But it was her performance against the best distaff pacers at MSPD that earned her this award.

In five starts in the Preferred Mares pacing class, which is the top of the heap for distaffers at Pocono, Feeling You, with Tyler Buter in the bike, won three times and finished a close second in the other two. Last Friday night may have been her signature victory. Following a disappointing 7th-place finish in the Breeders Crown, she won a Preferred Handicap over a field that included Rocklamation, who finished 2nd in the Breeders Crown, and Drop The Ball, the world record holder in the age group. That victory shows that Feeling You was as good as any pacing mare this season.


This was probably the toughest category to choose, because there were many claimers who had dominant stretches in their respective divisions. St Pete Star gets the nod for the fact that he put together an impressive record and did so when he was either near or at the very top of the claiming ladder.

Although he tailed off at the end of the season, St Pete Star, a 9-year-old stallion, had an awesome stretch from late April to the middle of August where he won eight of thirteen races and raised his claiming price from $15,000 to $25,000 in the process. He won for five different trainers in that span because he was a popular claiming commodity. At one point he won four in a row and six of seven, with a career-best victory of 1:49:2 in that span. All of those statistics tell you what anybody who saw St Pete Star at the peak of his powers this year would know: That he was the best of the best of the claimers at Pocono in 2013.

Next week we’ll wrap up the season with our final article of the year. Until then, we’ll see at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at


Feeling You Wins Distaff Feature at Pocono

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

October 4, 2013

Feeling You outpaced Androvette in a showdown between two of racing’s best aged pacing mares, winning Friday night’s featured Preferred Handicap pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the process. The race carried a purse of $25,000.

Leaving from post position #5 in a field of seven as the 4-5 favorite, Feeling You (Cambest-Ripreza Hanover), a 6-year-old mare who is the pride of the Amber Buter barn, grabbed the lead early for driver Tyler Buter. From the half-mile on she was challenged first-over by top division rival Anndrovette. The two mares staged a mini-preview of the Breeders Crown action coming up at Pocono in the coming weeks, dueling in the stretch with Feeling You prevailing by a head in 1:50. Fashion Mystery finished further back in 3rd.

Feeling You, owned by Stephen Oldford, Oldford Farms LLC, and Tyler Buter, won for the 10th time in 22 races this year. The victory was the 34th of her career and pushed her lifetime earnings to $954,096.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, May 17th, 2013

May 11-May 17, 2013    

We are about to get into the heart of stakes season here at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as Stallion Series and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races take place this weekend. This is the part of the season when things get really intense, with the best horses and horsemen invading the Pocono oval in a quest for the big purses. On the threshold of this exciting time, another exciting week of overnight racing went down. Here is the cream of the crop from those races with the Weekly Awards.


Managing a single mile of under 1:50 is quite an accomplishment. Doing it in two consecutive victories is an extremely impressive feat. And overcoming an outside post in the second of those miles is even more eye-popping. Since he accomplished all of these things, it’s no surprise that Steelhead Hanover earns the honors as this week’s top pacer.

The 4-year-old stallion trained and driven by Joe Pavia Jr. opened up on the front end in a condition for non-winners of $11,000 in the last five on April 27 for a victory in 1:49:1. Pavia gave him a week off and then returned him to action last Saturday night against the same class. Only this time Steelhead Hanover was a 7-1 third choice, likely because he was stuck in an outside post.

Pavia was able to get him into a prime spot into the pocket early, and that’s where he stayed as furious fractions were hung up on the board by the leaders in front of him. In the stretch, Steelhead Hanover found his stride and rallied for a tight win in 1:49:4. Can he get three in a row under 1:50? Only his next race will tell, but the way he’s going now, anything is possible.

Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Mickey Hanover (Joe Pavia Jr., Rene Allard), who followed up a big win at The Meadowlands with a victory in Saturday night’s featured Preferred pace in 1:49:3; Apache Renegade (Andrew McCarthy, Mike Watson), who moved up in class on Saturday night for a win, his second straight overall, over the $12,500 claimers in a career-best 1:51; and Camille (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who won a stretch duel with rival Feeling You in Sunday night’s Preferred pace for mares on 1:51:1.


This mare joined the Amber Buter barn in April and took a shot against the condition trotters in her next two starts, but she could only manage one third-place finish. On May 4 she dropped back into Pocono’s toughest claiming group, the $25,000-$30,000 claiming handicappers, and quickly re-established herself as a force by pouncing late from the pocket for a win in 1:55:1.

In that race she was assigned the outside post because she had the highest claiming price, but, with only six horses in the field, it wasn’t that difficult a proposition. When As Ya’ll Like It took on the same group on Saturday night, her outside post was the #8 hole, meaning that it would be that much tougher to get to the lead in the early going.

Yet the mare made it to the front end quickly, and driver Tyler Buter took advantage of a lack of outside pressure to rate her speed perfectly. As Ya’ll Like It took it from there, getting all the way home in 1:55:4. She was claimed after the race, so we’ll see if the new barn keeps her in the class she’s been dominating or sets her up for even bigger and better things based on her recent outstanding form.

Other top trotters this week include: Berkshire (Jim Morrill Jr., Antonella Galie), who scored his second straight condition trotting victory on Tuesday night in 1:55:2; Celebrity Maserati (Tom Jackson, Susanne Strandqvist), who returned to Pocono following a big stakes win at Freehold and rolled to a condition win on Wednesday night in 1:53; and Tui (Anthony Napolitano, Don Wiest), the standout mare who rolled to her second straight condition trotting win on Wednesday night, this time in 1:53:1.


This mare had been struggling mightily in search of her maiden win, but driver Ron Pierce coaxed a big effort out of her on Tuesday night to upset the field at 28-1 for a $59 payout on a $2 win ticket.


It’s no surprise that Napolitano is among the driving leaders at Pocono yet again, and he improved his standing this week with a four-win explosion on Sunday night.


One of the best young trainers in the business made his mark at Pocono this week by scoring three victories, including a double on Sunday night.

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

Put On A Show Sets Track Record in Open Mares Win at Pocono

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

October 9, 2012

Put On A Show continued her monster 2012 season with a virtuoso performance on Tuesday night, breaking the track record for aged pacing mares en route to an easy win in an Open Handicap distaff pace at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried the night’s top purse of $50,000.

Leaving from the outside post as the even-money favorite, Put On A Show (Rocknroll Hanover-Stienam’s Place) sat back in fifth early as Feeling You cut out the quarter in 26:3. The mare from the Chris Ryder barn was then tipped to the outside by driver Jim Morrill Jr. to effortlessly glide to the lead at the half in 54:1. She was still on top at three-quarters in 1:22, and, with minimal urging from Morrill, coasted away from the pack to win by two lengths in 1:49. Feeling You, whose two-week old track record of 1:49:1 for aged pacing mares was shattered by Put On A Show, finished second, while Camille picked up the show.

Owned by Craig Henderson and Richard and Joanne Young, Put On A Show has now won 11 of 20 races this season as she sets her sights on the Breeders Crown. The victory, the 30th of her career in 45 races, gives her lifetime earnings of $2,355,284.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

September 7-13, 2012

Even with only three nights of racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the past week, we still had more than enough candidates to fill out the Weekly Awards. Give credit to the impressive group of pacers and trotters we have on the grounds that have made not just this week at Pocono, but all of 2012, a destination for some of the finest racing in the country.


In Saturday night’s $50,000 Open pace, the seven horses in the field came into the race with earnings of around $12,000,000. Leading that pack of big earners was Foiled Again, an 8-year-old gelding who came into the race with $4.3 million in the bank. Even with that fact, and even considering he won a huge stakes at Mohawk in his last race, the pride of the Ron Burke barn was still the 2-1 third choice behind favorite We Will See and second choice Bettor Sweet, both superstars in their own right.

Leaving from the outside post in the field, driver Matt Kakaley decided to play it conservative with Folied Again, settling him toward the back of the pack as nasty fractions were set on the sloppy track. It wasn’t until the back stretch when horse and driver made their move, and they got a little racing truck when Rockincam stepped out in front of them to give them a bit of cover.

In the stretch, Kakaley had Folied Again out on the wide side with a clear path and only Bettor Sweet standing in his way. The two standouts battled through the lane, but when the dust cleared, Foiled Again was the one who came out in front, just like he had 63 times before in other career victories. His winning time of 1:49:1 was the fastest of the week despite it being achieved in the slop.

Other top pacers this week include: Mr Govianni Fra (Brandon Simpson, Ken Rucker), whose condition win on Friday night in 1:53:1 was his third straight, which is even more notable considering that winning streak immediately followed up 35 straight losses to start his career; Woodmere Ultimate (George Napolitano Jr., PJ Fraley), who rolled to his second straight $25,000 claiming win on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:51:2; and Feeling You (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter), a newcomer to Pocono who captured Tuesday night’s Open pace foe mares in a career-best 1:49:3, just missing a track record in the process.


The winners of over $25,000 lifetime condition is the very best condition grouping at Pocono and often serves as the featured trot for the week, as it did on Saturday night. That means that any horse that conquers that group must not only be pretty talented but it also must be at the top of its game.

Rose Run Hooligan is a 9-year-old stallion who has been at the top of his game for an impressively long amount of time, hence his career earnings which are sneaking up toward the $1 million mark. On Saturday night, the veteran was overlooked at the window at 6-1 despite the fact that we was coming off a win in Canada.

Driver David Miller drove Rose Run Hooligan like he was a prohibitive favorite, however, and the stallion responded. He took the lead early on and was still there at the end to win by 1 ¾ lengths in a slop-defying time of 1:53:1, the fastest trotting time at Pocono this week. At an age when most horses are slowing down or packing it in, this star from the Rene Allard barn seems to be peaking.

Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Spit N Shine (Joe Pavia Jr., Chris Oakes), who romped to his third straight claiming win on Tuesday night, this one coming in 1:56:2; Grace N Charlie (Anthony Napolitano, James Siegelman), a mare who scored her  second straight claiming victory on Tuesday night in 1:57:2; and Speculation (Tom Jackson, Robert Bath), who followed up a win at Harrah’s with an upset victory in a rugged condition group on Saturday night in 1:54:1.


With a swooping late move, this mare driven by David Ingraham upended a group of younger distaff pacers on Friday night at 35-1, paying off $72 on a $2 win ticket.


Miller always makes an impact when he comes around, as he did on Saturday night, topping all drivers on the card with four victories on the evening.


Fraley has been a major player at Pocono all season long at Pocono, and this week was no different thanks to a training double on Saturday night.

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