Posts Tagged ‘Hurrikane Kingcole’

Sun Stakes Saturday Eliminations a record-breaking night!

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

On a dynamic, star-studded Saturday night of eliminations for the $2,000,000 Sun Stakes Saturday Finals at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs a week hence, they saved the best for last. 

And the oldest. And the richest. And the one who set a world record. 

Foiled Again, the nine-year-old evergreen gelding, boosted his lifetime bankroll to $4,920,444 by winning the third of three eliminations for next week’s $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace Final in 1:48 – a world record for older pacing geldings on a 5/8s, lowering by a tick the mark first established by Bettor Sweet and then equaled three weeks ago at Pocono by Camae’s Fella.

 This was win #69 for Foiled Again – and might have been the first where he used the passing lane to post the victory. Let go at 4-1, Foiled Again let Bolt The Duer bolt off the gate to early command, then made a shake-and-bake move to take command approaching the 26.1 quarter. Favored Pet Rock was moved early and took the lead in front of the stands, with Modern Legend up uncovered at the 54.3 half.

 Down the back Pet Rock and Modern Legend dueled to a 1:21.2 ¾ time, a battle they continued around the turn and into the stretch, where surprisingly it was the favorite who gave way first (though not much). But Yannick Gingras, a four-time winner on the night, had pointed Foiled Again to the Pocono Pike passing lane, and the Pike came through (it did an astounding eight times on the 14-race card) and so did the old man, with a new mark in his 180th lifetime start and the new world standard for his division. Modern Legend and Pet Rock also advanced from this field to the Franklin Final.

 Ron Burke conditions the victorious altered son of Dragon Again for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and JJK Stables.

 One race earlier, Razzle Dazzle scored his first victory since the Levy Final in 1:49, also via the Pocono Pike. Somehow dismissed at 10-1, the Real Desire gelding and driver Brian Sears helped create their own luck early, shutting the pocket behind hardleaving Up The Credit, which left Sweet Lou no hole, after which he soon broke. After splits of 26 and 55, Fred And Ginger took the raw route to challenge by the 1:22.1 3/4s, and five of the field of six were in contention as they turned for home.

 Into the lane, it was Hoosier invader Our Lucky Chip, the longest shot on the board, who swept wide off of cover and into a brief lead—but there were literally only three places from which to win at Pocono Saturday: the pocket (nine times), the lead (four times), and first-over (once), and Razzle Dazzle built quick momentum and scooted up the inside to get the nod for trainer Mark Silva and owner Ira Kristel. Our Lucky Chip and Up The Credit also advanced to the Franklin final.

 The first Franklin elim also saw a pocket rocket the most photogenic, as the Bettor’s Delight 4YO gelding Dynamic Youth wound it up fast late to trip the timer in 1:48.3, equaling the track record for age/sex/gait under the guidance of Andrew McCarthy whiel also posting the best time of the year for his division. Dynamic Youth made Betterthancheddar pay a 25.3 price for quarter command; BTC got a breather to a 54.4 half, then dueled with raw Bettor’s Edge to a 1:21.4 ¾. Clear Vision loomed boldly off cover, but the “Youth” was the most dynamic late, with Clear Vision and “Cheddar” getting advancement to next week’s race behind the Aaron Lambert-trained winner, owned by the Silva Stables, Tucci, and C&G Racing Stable.

 To wrap up the Franklin, these facts: 1) The elim horses who did NOT qualify for the final were Rockincam, Bettor’s Edge, Sapphire City, Golden Receiver, Fred And Ginger, Heston Blue Chip, Sweet Lou, Bolt The Duer, Hurrikane Kingcole, and State Treasurer – winners of $10,000,000+, 2) all three elim winners took lifetime marks; 3) Foiled Again had the largest winning margin, a neck; the other two got the decision by a head; and 4) there are now seven horses who have paced in 1:48 or faster on a 5/8-mile track: recordholder Bolt The Duer at 1:47.4 (he was blocked in the stretch and did not make the final), and six horses at 1:48: four Franklin winners (Artistic Fella, Mister Big, We Will See, and ’12 champ Betterthancheddar, who could still defend his title); Heston Blue Chip (who also missed advancing because of stretch blockage); and now Foiled Again.

 MAX HEMPT (3PC) ELIMINATIONS

 Just when they begin to worry about The Captain, he digs in deep and achieves the victory.

 For the third straight week Captaintreacherous gave his backers some anxious moments, but his 53 back half after a leisurely 55.4 front half was enough for the 1:48.4 front-end triumph. Vegas Vacation, so highly-regarded going into the NA Cup and a little disappointing to some when finishing out of the money, showed that the hype about him was for real – he didn’t pull raw from third until the 5/8, but still he gained into the supersonic last four furlongs to the point that the Captain’s margin of victory was only a neck. Rockin Amadeus was next in line at the wire as Captaintreacherous remained unbeaten after four starts in his 2013 campaign; the Somebeachsomewhere colt is trained by Tony Alagna for Captaintreacherous Racing, and capped a sulky triple for Tim Tetrick.

 The first of the trio of Hempt eliminations saw something no one could recall – a 25.4 third quarter on the board – as Johny Rock (inside) dueled viciously with Word Power (outside) after a 55.2 half to a 1:21.1 three-quarters. Lurking in the pocket was the Rocknroll Hanover colt Emeritus Maximus, and he gave his maximus down the Pike to reduce his mark in 1:48.4 for driver Doug McNair (driving double) and owners Cheap Speed Stable, Alber, Wienick, and Fodera while preceding Captaintreacherous as a Tony Alagna-trained Hempt winner. Johny Rock had enough for second and Word Power enough for third to advance on a week; Lonewolf Currier, who would have been the popular choice if anybody was to pace a sub-26 quarter, proved empty off of cover.

 Also no factor from the “one and one” spot was Wake Up Peter – but the horse in front of him in the outside tier, and raw to boot, Sunfire Blue Chip, was giant in taking the fastest elim in 1:48.3, a ’13 No.Am. best, over Evenin Of Treasure and Martini Hanover. The only winner on the entire Pocono card who was not the pacesetter or pocket horse, the son of American Ideal is owned by Takter, Fielding/Fielding, Brixton Medical AB, and R A W Equine, and gave conditioner Jimmy Takter a pacing victory to add to his two trotting triumphs – as we shall see next.

 EARL BEAL (3TC) ELIMINATIONS

 This division – the Hambletonian division – had its clarity fuzzied instead of sharpened, as early Hambo chalk Smilin Eli won, but the small but mighty Dontyouforgetit clocked in the fastest.

 Dontyouforgetit was in the first elimination and may have had the advantage of a few degrees of warmness in temperature, but he still was impressive to gain from the (what else) pocket into a 55.3 last half to report home first in 1:52.1, a national season’s best and lowering his mark by two seconds. Possessed Fashion, who was able to delay his first-over bid until after the 5/8s, came up big for second, while pacesetter Celebrity Maserati did well in holding for third and Beal advancement. Jimmy Takter trains the son of Cantab Hall for Solveig’s Racing Partners, with Yannick Gingras sulkyside.

 Smilin Eli had to go 26.3 to obtain the early lead from the outside post eight in his elim, but he was equal to the task while remaining undefeated after four starts, halting the timer in 1:52.3. The 3-5 Muscles Yankee colt fended off railsitters Fico (75-1) and Picture This (65-1) for Tim Tetrick, trainer Deshawn Minor, and owner Nicholas Cimino. Jurgen Hanover, 7-7 in 2013 before the race, had the “undesirable” second-over trip and finished fifth, not advancing.

 Trainer Takter had another Beal elim winner in Corky, never off the board in 13 lifetime starts and never behind at any pole in a 1:52.3 victory, with David Miller in the sulky for owners Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding (owning doubles for all). Giving Muscles Yankee a double siring credit for the Beal, Corky (lowering his mark by over two seconds) defeated Royalty For Life, who made a break quarter-moving, dropped back to last, and was coming fastest of all late (into a 55.2 back half) to save a miracle second, with Crystal Phenom third.

 JAMES LYNCH (3PF) ELIMINATIONS

 I Luv The Nitelife, fresh off her Fan Hanover jiggyjog win, snapped into high gear like a veteran campaign when shown racetrack up the prized Pocono Pike to take her Lynch elimination in 1:50.1. Nikki Beach, Charisma Hanover, Somwherovrarainbow (pacesetter in only her second race in 37 days) and Mattie Terror Girl (faster fifth-place finisher) all advanced to the Lynch final behind the victorious Rocknroll Hanover filly driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Chris Ryder for Richard and Joanne Young.

 Ms Caila J Fra won the other elimination in a national season’s record 1:49.3 in the card’s curtainraiser for driver Simon Allard and trainer Steve Elliott, while also giving the recovering The Fra Stable LLC a boost in sprits. After what you have read before, it will be no surprise to learn that the winning daughter of Western Ideal parlayed a pocket trip to victory – but she was the only winning two-hole tripper to move OUTSIDE for the stretch drive, wearing down Shebestingin late, with Jerseylicious and Authorize also authorized to advance to the Lynch finale.

 

Guccio Matches World Record in Preferred Trot at Pocono

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

June 15, 2013

What is it about trainer Jimmy Takter and 4-year-old trotting stallions at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs?

A week ago, Uncle Peter set a new track and world record for the age group with a win in the featured trot. On Saturday night at Pocono, Takter brought in Guccio and he matched the feat with his own $25,000 Preferred trot victory in the same record time of 1:51:1.

Guccio, a 4-year-old stallion seasoned by tough trots at The Meadowlands, was made the 2-5 favorite in a field of nine. Takter, who also drove the stallion, kept him back in fifth early as lead-shuffling between Lightning Storm and Opening Night created blistering fractions. Takter got Guccio moving first over on the back stretch. At the top of the lane, he had corralled leader Opening Night and wore him down for a 1 ½ length victory in that record-setting time of 1:51:1. Opening Night finished second while Keystone Thomas picked up the show.

It was also a career mark for Guccio, who is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Goran Falk, and Brixton Medical. The win was his second of the season and 7th lifetime, while his career earnings jumped to $899,333.

In Saturday night’s $25,000 Preferred pace at Pocono, Bet On The Law might have been overlooked in a field that included stakes veteran Hurrikane Kingcole, Ron Burke trainee Escape The News, and Aussie invader Erle Dale N. As a 5-1 fourth choice in a field of seven, Bet On The Law stayed back off the early pace, choosing only to move when Hurrikane Kingcole came first-over on the back stretch to give him cover. That was a change of tactics by trainer/driver Joe Pavia Jr., one that paid off when the 4-year-old gelding spun off his cover and rallied to win by a length in a career-best 1:48:4. Hurrikane Kingcole had to settle for second while Musselsfrombrussels picked up the show.

Bet On The Law, owned by Steven Held, Joe Barbera, AGC Stables, and Dijo Racing, won for the sixth time in a dozen 2013 races. It was his  11th career victory and pushed his lifetime earnings to $313,249.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, October 19th, 2012

October 12-18, 2012

It’s getting to the point of the season where we here at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs start to think about handing out year-end awards to the horsemen and horses who have performed the best over the course of the 2012 season. I can’t seem to remember a time when it’s been so competitive in all the major categories. This past racing week, a few more competitors stepped up to stake their claims, and several of these can be found in this edition of the Weekly Awards.

PACER OF THE WEEK: DIAMOND STICK PIN

 There are a lot of things that handicappers like to key on when looking at a race. Among these, two of the most important are class and post position. If you’ve got a horse who is moving to a better inside post and is dropping down in class, chances are it’s getting a lot of attention at the windows.

By contrast, consider the situation facing Diamond Stick Pin at Pocono on Saturday night. He was moving up in class following career-best mile of 1:50:3 in a win on October 5. He was also moving to the far outside #9 post after having a spot on the inner half in his previous start. Basically, he was moving in the opposite direction from what the handicappers like, but nobody bothered to tell the 6-year-old stallion the odds were against him.

He did have the combination of George Napolitano Jr. and Chris Oakes, Pocono’s leading driver and trainer respectively, in his corner, so that was a big boost. Diamond Stick Pin did the rest, making a huge first-over move on the back stretch to zip by his competition. He romped from there, beating the rest by 4 ¼ lengths and resetting his career mark with a 1:50:2 mile. When a horse is that sharp, class, post position, and the rest don’t really matter too much.

Other top pacers this week include: Hurrikane Kingcole (Daniel Dube, Kevin McDermott), the superstar sophomore pacer who returned to Pocono with a thrilling condition win on Saturday night in 1:49, the fastest pacing time of the week; Sonic Raider (George Napolitano Jr., Ken Rucker), who reeled off his second straight win over the $12,500 claimers on Saturday night, matching a career-best in the process in 1:52:2; and Billmar Scooter (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter), who beat the toughest mares on the grounds for the second straight week on Tuesday night, this time in 1:51:3.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: JUST LIKE LLOYD

It’s not a rule that’s set in stone, but, in the sport of harness racing, claimers don’t usually advance out of the claiming ranks into condition and Open races with much success. At best, they might be able to hang around with the lower condition groups, but owners and trainers hoping for anything much more than that are often brought back to reality.

Just Like Lloyd seemed to be one of this trotters who was bound to be at his best against the claimers, at least at Pocono. The 4-year-old gelding did have a win in Open II company at Tioga, but his victories at MSPD had been limited to the claiming ranks. That didn’t stop him from moving up into our toughest condition group on Saturday night, the winners of over $25,000 lifetime.

Just Like Lloyd, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike for trainer Rene Allard, put together a great mile as he gunned to an early lead, yielded the lead on the front stretch, then made a second move in the deep stretch to get up for a hard-fought victory in 1:53:2. That makes wins in four of his last seven races, and this last one proves that he can beat even the highest levels of competition with which most claimers couldn’t hope to compete.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: All About Justice (Mike Simons, Gail Wrubel), who found his old form and handled a tough condition class on Saturday night on the front end in 1:54:1; Lindy McDreamy (Tyler Buter, Scott Di Domenico), whose condition win on Wednesday night was his third win in his last four races, with this one matching a career-best in 1:55:2; and Ice Machine (George Napolitano Jr., Walter Carroll), who romped in a condition trot on Wednesday night in 1:53, a new career-best and the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ARTSBRED CAMOTION

Long shots were running wild this week, and the biggest bomber of them all was this claiming pacer driven by Matt Kakaley who scored on Saturday night at 47-1 for a $96 win payout on a $2 ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR.

The meet’s leading driver dominated again this week, as exemplified by a seven-win explosion on Saturday night that included wins in both the featured pace and the featured trot.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: GAIL WRUBEL

It was a good week for one of Pocono’s most consistent trainers for the past several years, as Gail scored a double on Saturday and then won with 19-1 shot Thomas John N on Tuesday.

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.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

June 29-July 5, 2012

When I first heard that we at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs were going to be hosting not one, not two, but three major stakes races in a single day, I immediately thought back to the last time we had that kind of star-packed card, the 2010 Breeders Crown. While 3 stakes races can’t quite match up to the 12 we had that October night two years ago, the excitement and star power at the track was comparable.

It also helped that the conditions for Sun Stakes Saturday on June 30 were ideal for racing. There was even a track record matched before we got to all the six-figure races, as 5-year-old claimer Hrubys N Luck, trained by Cad Gregory and driven by George Napolitano Jr., paced to a victory in 1:48:2, matching the mark set by Pilgrims Toner for aged pacing geldings back in 2010.

With that sizzling mile as the appetizer, the three-part main course began in Race 8 with the James M. Lynch Memorial, a $250,000 stakes race for 3-year-old pacing fillies. The star attraction in that race was a filly named American Jewel, who came into the race with wins in 11 of her 13 lifetime races. One of those wins came in the Lynch elimination in a world-record matching time of 1:49:2, so it wasn’t too surprising that the gem of the Jimmy Takter barn was made the heaviest kind of favorite at 1-9.

Her foes were out to derail what the bettors thought was inevitable, and, as a result, American Jewel was forced to make a first-over move from the middle of the back on the back stretch. Such moves are treacherous, but this filly is special for a reason. Despite a good fight from pacesetter Economy Terror and a late challenge from Darena Hanover, driver Tim Tetrick was able to coax home American Ideal in 1:49:2, matching her world record time for 3-year-old pacing fillies on a 5/8 oval. I’ve been lucky enough to see some great fillies come through Pocono, including Southwind Tempo and See You At Peelers; American Ideal can go toe to toe with them all.

Remember how I said that a first-over journey can be perilous? 3-5 favorite Hurrikane Kingcole found that out the hard way in the $300,000 Max C. Hempt memorial for 3-year-old pacers. After matching a world record in winning his Hempt elimination the previous week, Hurrikane Kingcole tried to sweep by pacesetter Bolt The Duer on the back stretch in the final, but the leader wasn’t having any of it.

Meanwhile, sitting patiently about two lengths off the lead on the inside was A Rocknroll Dance. After a spectacular 2-year-old season which saw him earn a big chunk of change, this colt from the Jim Mullinix barn struggled early in 2012, winning just one of his first five races. As a result, he was somewhat overlooked at the betting windows and got away at 17-1.

On the final turn, driver Yannick Gingras saw a crack of daylight and wheeled A Rocknroll Dance to the outside. After saving ground the whole mile, he was full of pace and zipped by the tiring leaders to score a thrilling victory in 1:48:3. Some of the racing luck that had frowned on this colt in his earlier starts smiled on him on Saturday, but give him credit for being good enough to take advantage of it.

All that was left after that was the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace, one of the nation’s premier showcases for older pacing talent being held for the first time ever at Pocono. Talk about a loaded field: Out of nine horses in the field, five had already earned at least a million dollars in their career.

Yet the 6-5 favorite was the youngest of them all, 4-year-old stallion Betterthancheddar. Pocono fans remember him from his win in the Cane Pace last year. His 2012 season heading into the Franklin final was just as impressive, as he had posted wins in four of five against superb competition for trainer Casie Coleman.

Driver George Brennan rolled the dice with Betterthancheddar, sending him on a first-over journey on the front stretch in an attempt to get the lead. We Will See was reluctant to give up his lead, and, as a result, the favorite was used hard before clearing for the lead. In the stretch, We Will See came back at him in the passing lane, but Betterthancheddar showed his mettle by holding off his rival by three-quarters of a length.

When the dust settled and the timer stopped, all in attendance saw what a special mile this was. Betterthancheddar paced the mile in an incredible time of 1:48, which matched the fastest time ever paced on a 5/8-mile oval in the history of the sport.

Such a command performance was truly extraordinary, and yet it was the only fitting way to close out such a memorable night of racing. Maybe it wasn’t 12 stakes races, but Sun Stakes Saturday was pretty spectacular in its own right, and, hopefully, a tradition in the making.

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.

Record-setting Night of Stakes at Pocono

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

June 30, 2012

Favorites, long shots, world records: Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs’s inaugural Sun Stakes Saturday had a bit of everything for harness racing fans.

The favorites delivering world records were American Jewel in the $250,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old pacing fillies and Betterthancheddar in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace, which was held at Pocono for the first time. A Rocknroll Dance filled the long shot’s role, winning the $300,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers at odds of 17-1.

In the Lynch, American Jewel was made the 1-9 betting favorite, but the race didn’t turn into the walkover that the odds might have suggested. Leaving from post position #1 in the field of nine, the super filly from the Jimmy Takter barn sat back off the blistering opening quarter of 25:3 set by Shelliscape. Economy Terror took the lead on the front stretch and took the field to the half in 54:1, while driver Tim Tetrick held American Jewel back in 4th.

On the back stretch, the filly by American Ideal began her charge first-over, coming up even with Economy Terror at the three-quarter pole in 1:22:1. American Jewel wore down the leader in the stretch and then held off hard-charging Darena Hanover to win by a length-and-a-half in 1:49:2, matching the world record time for 3-year-old pacing fillies on a 5/8-mile oval that she also managed in last week’s elimination. Economy Terror finished 3rd.

The win gives American Ideal 12 wins and 2 seconds in 14 career starts, an amazing record that has earned her $1,152,193 in her young career. She is owned by Brittany Farms of Kentucky.

Next up was the Hempt, where Hurrkane Kingcole was made the heavy 3-5 favorite off his record-setting mile in last week’s eliminations. A Rocknroll Dance left from post position #8 in the nine-horse field and driver Yannick Gingras aggressively sent the colt from the Jim Mulinix barn early, settling him in the pocket behind early leader Allstar Legend, who tripped the quarter-mile timer in 26:2. The lead changed hands on the front stretch when Bolt The Duer brushed from 3rd to the front, hitting the half in 54:2.

Hurrikane Kingcole made his move first-over on the back, but Bolt The Duer gamely fought him off for the lead, hitting three-quarters in 1:21:1. Gingras’ patient drive paid off on the final turn when the ground-saving A Rocknroll Dance was able to find daylight three-wide. In the stretch, A Rocknroll Dance swept by Bolt The Duer and Allstar Legend to win by a neck in 1:48:3. The two also-rans finished in a dead heat for the second spot.

The win ends a string of bad racing luck for A Rockroll Dance, who earned $863,325 in a stellar 2-year-old campaign but had won just once in five tries in 2012 coming into the Hempt final. The son of Rocknroll Hanover now has 9 victories in 17 lifetime starts and his career earnings jump into seven figures at $1,064,750.

Rounding out the night of big stakes races was the Franklin, where Betterthancheddar left from the #3 post as a 6-5 favorite in a field of nine. The colt sat 3rd early as his rival We Will see gunned to the lead in 26 seconds even. The fireworks began on the front stretch, when George Brennan cut Betterthancheddar loose first-over. The stallion struggled to clear We Will See until finally getting by at the half-mile mark in a scorching 52:4.

Despite receiving outside pressure from Aracache Hanover on the back stretch, Betterthancheddar was able to get the slightest breather, hitting the three-quarter mark at 1:20:4. In the stretch, We Will See came at him again, but the 4-year-old trained by Casie Coleman responded to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:48, matching the fastest time ever paced on a 5/8-mile oval by any age. Aracache Hanover finished a game 3rd.

Sired by Bettor’s Delight, Betterthancheddar has now won five of six in 2012 and 15 of 24 lifetime races. He also broke into the million-dollar club with the high-stakes win, as his career total now sits at $1,132,383.