Posts Tagged ‘Jim Morrill’

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.

Frau Blucher Stars Once Again at Pocono

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

June 30, 2013

Frau Blucher picked up her fourth victory in as many tries this year, highlighting Pennsylvania All Stars action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday night. The All Stars races are part of Grand Circuit Week at Pocono.

Frau Blucher (Broadway Hall-My Angel), who had already won three Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races to start her 2013 campaign, continued her dominance with a half-length win over Fashion Athena in one of three $35,000 divisions of All Stars races held for 3-year-old trotting fillies. With Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike for trainer Chris Oakes, Frau Blucher won in 1:53:4.

Morrill and Oakes also hooked up for a win in another 3-year-old filly trotting division of the Pennsylvana All Stars, as Classic Martine (Classic Photo-Drinking Days) scored in 1:53:1. In the final division of that group, Promisemethis (Chip Chip Hooray-Promisemespring), driven by Dan Rawlings and trained by Rick Beinhauer, prevailed in 1:54:2.

There were also six $30,000 All Star divisions of the 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace held at Pocono. The winners were: All Star Partner (Four Starzzz Shark-Faithful Ideal), driven by Mike Simons and trained by John Butenschoen, in 1:52:4; Jack Attack (Allamerican Native-Pocket Queens), driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Bill Mullin, in 1:53:4; At Press Time (Western Terror-So Right), driven by David Miller and trained by Sam DePinto, in 1:53:4; Stevensville (Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show), driven by Simons and trained by Ray Schnittker; Let’s Drink On It (Art Official-Letmedowneasy), driven by Pierce and trained by Joe Seekman, in 1:52; and Cabana Boy Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Current Hanover), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Oakes, in 1:52:3.

Morrill and Oakes Sweep Sire Stakes at Pocono

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

June 19, 2013

Jim Morrill Jr. is the leading driver at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Chris Oakes has been the best Pocono-based trainer on the national scene for about a decade now. On Wednesday night at Pocono, they turned the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes into their own personal playground.

The driver/trainer combo swept the three Sire Stakes divisions held for three-year-old trotting fillies behind standout performances from Lady Broadway, Frau Blucher, and Classic Martine. Each of the three divisions carried a purse of $77,790.

In the first split, Lady Broadway (Broadway Hall-Lady SJ) made the front end on the front stretch and survived a tight stretch scare from the fast-closing pair of True Valentine and Drink The Wine, who finished second and third respectively. The filly, owned by Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich, and Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises, won by a half-length in 1:55:2. She now has three straight wins including two in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition.

Frau Blucher (Broadway Hall-My Angel) put on a show in the second Sire Stakes division with a scorching winning time of 1:52:3. Morrill guided her first-over to the lead on the back stretch and she rolled from there for a 1 ¾-length win over Coffeecake Hanover, with Curtsy Hanover picking up the show. Owned by Hauser Brothers, J&T Silva Stables, and Matt Tudisco, Frau Blucher is now a perfect three-for-three in 2013, with all of the victories coming in Sire Stakes competition.

In the final split, Classic Martine (Classic Photo-Drinking Days), who was making her first start for the Oakes barn, won a thrilling stretch battle with the game Royal Assets, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in 1:53:1. Chiptomylou finished further back in third. Owned by Hauser Brothers, Zurich, and Earl Gold, Classic Martine was making her first start at Pocono since winning the Weiss Series back in May. She now has five wins in eight races this season.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

June 14-20, 2013

What an amazing week of racing we all just witnessed at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. In a year that will see the track host The Breeders Crown in October, we’re already getting a taste of the incendiary action to come. This past week offered Stallion Series races, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races, and a world record-matching performance. Let’s take a look at it all by passing out the Weekly Awards.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: GUCCIO

What is it about trainer Jimmy Takter and four-year-old trotting stallions at Pocono? On June 8 in a $25,000 Preferred trot, Takter trainee Uncle Peter delivered a stunning performance in his victory, trotting the mile in 1:51:1. That not only set a track record for the age and gender grouping but it also smashed a world record for the group on a 5/8-mile oval.

Takter was at it again in Saturday night’s Preferred event, only this time he brought in another 4-year-old stallion named Guccio. Guccio had been seasoned against ruggedly tough trotters at The Meadowlands and was made the 2-5 favorite in the race. Takter also did the driving and positioned his horse perfectly behind a speed duel that created unconscious fractions in front of him.

Guccio rolled by his competition in the stretch, ending up 1 ½ lengths out in front of the rest. And what do you think his winning time was? 1:51:1, meaning that he matched the world record that his stablemate just set. I guess the next time you see a Jimmy Takter four-year-old stallion trotting into Pocono, you should watch that timer close to see if another record-breaking performance is in the offing.

Other top trotters this week include: Valley Of Sin (Mike Wilder, John Butenschoen), whose rallying win on Sunday in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old colts and geldings in a career-best 1:54:1 was his second straight victory at Pocono; Quantum Cashman (Jonathan Drury, Carmen Auciello), who moved up in class to win a claiming handicap trot on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54:3, his third straight overall and second in a row at Pocono; and Lady Broadway (Jim Morrill Jr., Chris Oakes), a 3-year-old filly who won her third straight, the last two of which have come at Pocono, with a victory in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition on Wednesday night in 1:55:2.

PACER OF THE WEEK: BET ON THE LAW

Sometimes it takes a change of tactics to get a horse over the hump. In the case of Bet On The Law, a standout performer for trainer/driver Joe Pavia Jr., he had tried gunning out on the lead in his previous two starts in Preferred paces at Pocono, a style that had served him well in lower classes, only to get caught from behind when facing the best pacers on the grounds.

Saturday night’s $25,000 Preferred pace was loaded with big names and lots of up-front speed, so Pavia decided to try something different. He held Bet On The Law back in the field early while others battled for the lead and did all the work. He then wisely caught the cover of Hurrikane Kingcole on the back stretch to get his horse into contention with a minimum of effort.

In the stretch, while others had already used their best strides, Bet On The Law was just finding his. The 4-year-old gelding blew by his cover and everyone else to win by a length. His winning time of 1:48:4 marked a new career-best, but even more important, this talented pacer showed the versatility necessary to win no matter how a race plays out.

Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Best Ears (Jim Morrill Jr., Rene Allard), who followed up a condition win in his previous race with a victory over $25,000 claimers on Saturday night in a scorching career-best time of 1:49:4; Ideal Matters (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who won for the third time in his last four starts with a conquest of a condition pacing field on Saturday in 1:49:3; and Drop The Ball (Corey Callahan, Ross Croghan), who won Sunday night’s Preferred pace for mares in 1:50.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: CAGE FIGHTER

With Andrew McCarthy in the bike, this claiming pacer spiced up the early Daily Double on Wednesday night with a rallying win at 44-1, paying out $91 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MATT KAKALEY

Kakaley has been on fire for much of the season, but he turned it up with double-figures in wins for the week, including a five-bagger on Tuesday night.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RON BURKE

Burke started the week off with three training wins on Friday night and didn’t let up from there, as he has slowly but surely ascended to the top of the Pocono training colony in victories for the meet.

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.

Stallion Series Action at Pocono for the Distaff Trotters

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

June 18, 2013

The combination of trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and driver David Miller scored a pair of wins with the two fastest times in Stallion Series action for three-year-old trotting fillies on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were five divisions held on the night, each with a purse of $20,000.

The Miller-Morgan combo first scored with Choose Happy (Donato Hanover-Tady Strikes Again), whose winning time of 1:54:3 was a more than a second faster than the previous quickest winning time in the Stallion Series splits. A few starts later, the duo did it again even faster with Choose Happy’s half-sister UF Tady’s Donato (Donato Hanover-Tady’s Comer), who rolled in 1:54:2.

The other fillies winning Stallion Series divisions at Pocono on Wednesday night: Changed It All (Yankee Glide-Rhine River), driven by Jim Morrill Jr. and trained by Michael Hall, in 1:56:2; Bethel Hanover (Donato Hanover-Beignet Hanover), driven by Morrill and trained by Staffan Lind, in 1:57:3; and Shouda Cuda Wuda (SJ’s Caviar-Mink Hanover), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Allan Johnson, in 1:56.