Posts Tagged ‘John Cabot’

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Week in Review

Monday, April 6th, 2015

March 28-April 3, 2015

We’re two weeks into the 2015 racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and we still haven’t seen too much in the way of ideal racing conditions. The six nights of racing have been characterized by rain, wind, cold, and, would you believe it, even snow. Yet in the midst of the ugly weather we’ve already been witness to some outstanding racing and speedy times that flew in the face of the poor conditions. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Weekly Awards.

PACER OF THE WEEK: HUMILITY

Snow lined the infield as Humility lined up to face a group of non-winners of $10,000 in the last five starts on Tuesday night. The 5-year-old stallion was taking a few steps up in class from his previous race, which was a win at Pocono in a first-over grind in 1:52:2. Trained by Brewer Adams, Humility would need to put together another big mile to hang with the tougher competition.

Early speed in the race came from Always A Diamond, another horse stepping up in class off a big win. Meanwhile China King, the favorite in the race after shipping in from California, had the perfect trip on the pocket. Humility looked like an afterthought when he started a first-over move from fifth on the back stretch, seemingly too far back to compete.

Yet driver Jim Morrill Jr. found a groove on the sloppy track, and when Humility whipped around the final turn three wide, he was in striking distance. Setting his sights on China King, who had taken the lead in the stretch, the stallion hustled by to win by a neck in 1:52:2. Neither a step up in class not a tough trip slowed Humility, who now has wins in each of his first two starts in the meet and might just be ready to move even higher up the Pocono ladder.

Other top pacers this week include: Sparky Mark (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), whose victory in Saturday night’s condition pace came in 1:50:4, the week’s fastest time at Pocono despite freezing temperatures that evening; Majo Just Do It (Simon Allard, Jennifer Sansone), who rolled to a claiming handicap win on Tuesday night, his second straight, in 1:54:4; and Feels Like Magic N (Tom Jackson, Darran Cassar), who rallied for his second straight condition win as a long shot on Saturday night, scoring in a career-best 1:52:3.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SENTRY

One of the things that makes handicapping so hard early in the season is that there are horses shipping in from all over the country to the Pocono oval. It’s difficult to know how a horse will do on the 5/8-mile track, especially when they’re arriving from a track of a different size. In the case of Sentry, that track was Monticello, the half-mile oval in New York where he had won two of his previous three races.

The winning times he posted at Monticello, each over two minutes, might not have looked so hot compared to some of the others in the field. But this 5-year-old stallion from the barn of Jenny Melander once trotted a mile of 1:54 at Pocono, so the precedent was there for a big effort. In a condition trot on Tuesday night, driver Brett Miller sent Sentry behind cover on the outside and then bided his time until the stretch.

When that stretch arrived, Sentry took his shot with a three-wide move and went trotting right on past the leaders. Even on a sloppy track, his winning time of 1:56:2 showed his capability to put up times more in line with the speedy horses at Pocono. And, with three wins in his last four races, this peaking trotter is proving that he’ll be a factor no matter where he chooses to race.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Team Six (Marcus Miller, Erv Miller), who shipped in from the Meadowlands and handled a tough group of condition trotters on Saturday night in 1:55:1; Walk The Walk (David Miller, Chris Ryder), who ripped off his second straight win in the Bobby Weiss series on Tuesday night, conquering a sloppy track in 1:55, a career-best time; and Classic Belisima (David Miller, John Cabot), a mare whose romping victory in the Bobby Weiss series on Wednesday gave her three straight wins and came in the week’s fastest trotting time at Pocono of 1:53:3.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SHADOWS DREAM

This veteran pacer sent the faithful home on Tuesday night scratching their heads, as he rallied out wide late to win a condition at 16-1, paying out $35.60 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: JIM MORRILL JR.

Very few drivers have been as successful for as long a period of time as Morrill, who rolled this week to a double on Saturday and four victories on Tuesday.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: BREWER ADAMS

Three victories by Adams’ horses on Tuesday were impressive enough, but they were even more eye-popping considering that not one of those winners was the favorite.

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.

Trotting Fillies & Mares take Center Stage in Weiss

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Classic Belisima stamped herself as the mare to beat in the trotting female division of the Wednesday, April 1st Bobby Weiss Series at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winning her $15,000 second round division in 1:53.3, while Dress For Success joined “Belisima” as a Weiss repeat winner with a 1:55.1 tally in the other cut.

A daughter of Crazed, Classic Belisima was just overpowering while taking a new lifetime mark, trotting home in 28.1 to extend what was a 1 ¼-length lead at the three-quarters to a 9 3/4-length triumph. A seven-time winner in nine seasonal outings, “Belisima,” which means “most beautiful” in Italian (usually with two “s”’s), certainly looks that way from every angle to trainer John Cabot and owner William Cantrell. (She even has her own “video,” with music by Adele, on YouTube – her yearling footage.)

Dress For Success also kept her record unblemished in Weiss action, and also got a new speed badge with a backstretch brush to the lead to win by 5 ½ lengths. The daughter of Infinitif is conditioned by Christopher Freck for owners Stacey Ruddick and Denise Dennis. (And “Dress For Success” is of course named after the famous John Molloy book that taught “power business dressing” to corporate America.)

Favorites victorious in both Weiss Series Wednesday

Friday, March 27th, 2015

The favorites used different methodologies in their two $15,000 divisions of the first round of the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting females Wednesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but both ended up in the desired positions – home first, and then in the Winners Circle.

Classic Belisima headed right to the front in her division and was never headed, winning by almost 7 lengths in a career best 1:55.2 despite the track being rated only “good.” David Miller was sulkysitting behind the daughter of Crazed, who now has six wins in eight seasonal starts, for trainer John Cabot and owner William Cantrell.

In the other Weiss section, Dress For Success had to travel the difficult two-wide route without cover, but she proved to have enough late to turn back Linda Marie by a half-length in 1:57.1. Matt Kakaley, handling the daughter of Infinitif for the first time, obviously got along well with her by getting the job done for trainer Christopher Freck and owners Stacey Ruddick and Denise Dennis.

Four-time defending Downs dashwinning driver champion George Napolitano Jr. visited Victory Lane six times on Wednesday’s 13-race card. “Georgie Nap” will next get a chance to add to his local totals when the Downs resumes racing on Saturday, with the first race scheduled for 6:30 p.m.