Posts Tagged ‘Macho Lindy’

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, July 12th, 2013

July 5-11, 2013

I had originally intended this week’s article to only recap the Pennsylvania All Stars races that highlighted Grand Circuit at the week. Yet sometimes things happen at the track that demand attention, and I would say that four consecutive nights of track and world records at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs would definitely qualify as one of those special events that merit a change of plans.

Fans of racing at Pocono know that the track boasts perhaps the fastest racing surface in the country. Just a few weeks ago on Sun Stakes Saturday, the proof of that speed came from the fact that the fastest trot and fastest pace in the history of racing on 5/8-mile ovals both took place at MSPD. That momentum carried over into this week, leaving us all agape at the blistering action that we witnessed.

The explosive action began last Wednesday night, July 3, which was only fitting since a giant fireworks display was scheduled for immediately after the completion of racing. There were five Pennsylvania All Stars races that evening for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Perhaps the most vulnerable record in the Pocono book coming into the week was the 1:56:3 mark of Sand Violent Blu for 2-year-old geldings on the trot. Sure enough, in the very first race of the night, gelding Amped Up Hanover, with Marcus Miller in the bike for John Butenschoen, shattered that mark with a 1:55:4 mile in a win. Later on that same night, Yannick Gingras drove the Steve Schoeffel-trained gelding Ravenclaw to a win in that same record time of 1:55:4.

On Friday night, much of the racing attention was paid to the eight divisions of 2-year-old All Stars races for 2-year-old trotting fillies. While there were some excellent performances in that class, none were able to break into the record book. In a condition trot, however, Summer Indian, driven by Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke, put on a show with a win in 1:51:1. That blasted the 5-year-old Pocono record for 4-year-old trotting geldings of 1:52, set by Macho Lindy back in 2008, which was also the world mark for that age group on a 5/8-mile oval.

Saturday night was our biggest night of Pennsylvania All-Stars action, with 12 straight races featuring 3-year-olds kicking off the card. In a division of the All Stars for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings, Its Complicated, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike for trainer Kris Hite, was a powerhouse on the front end and won in 1:52:4. That matched the track and world record for 3-year-old geldings on the trot.

When the All Stars races ended that night, things really started to heat up. First up was Live On, driven by Eric Carlson for trainer Tom Fanning, who matched a world record for 4-year-old geldings on the pace with a mile of 1:48:1 in a romping condition victory. Just a race later, the track record for trotting geldings five years and up was matched, as Zooming, with Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike for trainer Amber Buter, came on for a condition win in 1:51.

On Sunday night, many of the overnight races that got pushed back by all of the Pennsylvania All Stars races were scheduled, which meant that some of our older horses would have their chances to assault the record books. In a $25,000 Preferred trot, Sevruga took his opportunity and did something really special.

The 5-year-old gelding from the Julie Miller barn came into the race with wins in 7 of his 13 races this season, despite the fact that he was up against some of the top trotters on the grounds of each of the different tracks where he competed. Driver Andy Miller pretty much cut Sevruga loose to see what he what he could do, and the results were staggering. The gelding won the race by 5 ½ lengths over an excellent field and tripped the timer in 1:50:3. That matched the world record for fastest mile ever trotted on a 5/8 oval that had been set just eight days previous at Pocono by Uncle Peter. It also established the world mark for aged geldings on the trot.

Those are a lot of broken records in a four-night span. When you count all the marks that fell on Sun Stakes Saturday, almost half of the Pocono record book has changed around in a stretch of a little more than a week. So what gives? Well, you have a perfect storm of incredible talent, in terms of horses and horsemen, making MSPD a destination instead of a stopover, hot weather, and a perfectly manicured track. Suddenly Pocono is like the Bonneville Salt Flats of the harness racing world. Don’t blink or you literally might miss another record being set.

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

Summer Indian sets World Record Friday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

Monday, July 8th, 2013

July 5, 2013

Summer Indian undoubtedly enjoyed the warm summer temperature on Friday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The 4-year-old gelding, from the Ron Burke barn and driven by Matt Kakaley, broke a world trotting record that was already established on the red dirt speedway in the Pocono Mountains.  Leaving from post five, Summer Indian took control just past a :27.1 first quarter and sped through quarter times of :54.3, 1:22 and stopped the teletimer in 1:51.1. The previous 1:52 world mark was held by Macho Lindy set in 2008.

 Eight divisions of two-year-old filly trotter Pennsylvania All Stars races were also on the card. The races each carried a purse of $30,000. 

The Friday night started out with the following winners of the Pennsylvania All Stars races: Struck By Lindy (Explosive Matter-Lindy Of My Dreams), driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Nifty Norman, in 1:56.4; Juniata Hanover (Cantab Hall-Justgotafeeling), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Ron Burke, in 1:58:3; and Designed To Be (Donato Hanover-Sheer Soul), driven by Tyler Buter and trained by Julie Miller, in 1:57.3. It was then clinic time, as in putting on a clinic, as the duo of driver Ron Pierce and trainer Jimmy Takter won with  Honor thy Daughter (Donato Hanover-Honorable Daughter) in 1:57; Shake It Cerry (Donato Hanover-Solveig) in 1:54.4. That mark came close to equaling the track mark of 1:54.3; and Lifetime Pursuit (Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace) in 1:57.1.

  The final two divisions of the evening for the freshman filly trotters went to: Vanity Matters (Explosive Matter-Vanity Plates), driven by Andrew McCarthy and trained by Jonas Czernyson, in 1:57.2; and Global Magic (Broadway Hall-Global Glamour), driven by Andrew McCarthy and trained by Peter Foley, in 1:56.2.     

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review, September 29 – October 5, 2011

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

October arrived with wet weather and cold temperatures across much of the Northeast, and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs wasn’t spared from the dreary stuff. Luckily, that weather didn’t put a damper on any of the great action, as some standout performances were to be found across the five racing programs last week. Here are some of the best of those efforts, honored, as always, by our Weekly Awards.

There were several excellent candidates for this award this week, but we’re going with this gelding from the Ken Rucker barn for his excellent performance among the highest levels of the pacing ranks. Cinderella Guy was having a solid season heading into the fall, but he has really picked up the pace as the leaves have begun changing. On September 24, he knocked off a front-running victory over the non-winners of $22,000 pacers, scoring in 1:50:2.

On Saturday night, like the rest of the competition, he had to deal with a relentless rain and a sloppy track at Pocono. In addition, he was stepping up in class to the winners of over $25,000 grouping, a class that is just a notch below the Open pacers. Yet there he was once again on the front end, spurred on by driver Tyler Buter, daring the field to try and catch him.

Well, they couldn’t catch him. Cinderella Guy was just too powerful, hustling home to win by 1 ½ lengths. The winning time of 1:51:3 was hard-earned, especially considering the track conditions. The gelding has earned over $132,000 this year along, and Saturday night’s victory was the 25th of his outstanding career.

Other top pacers this week include: Wahine (Tyler Buter, Tony Alagna), who starred in the Equinox series for 2-year-olds on Thursday afternoon with a win over the pacing colts and geldings in 1:54, his second straight win in the series and his 5th victory in 7 lifetime races; Forever Ivy (Matt Kakaley, Charlie Norris), who ripped off her third straight win by taking the featured fillies and mares pace on Wednesday night in 1:51:4; and Stonebridge Tonic (Anthony Napolitano, Mark Ford), whose Open win on Saturday night in 1:50:3 gave him five straight wins at four different tracks.

Back in 2008, before the era of blistering times at Pocono, Macho Lindy came out one afternoon in a condition trot and blew the field away to the tune of 1:52, which at the time was the fastest mile ever trotted on a 5/8-mile oval in North America. Even now, three years later, only a few miles faster have ever been trotted at Pocono, and Macho Lindy’s time still stands as a track record for 4-year-old geldings.

He has continued to have success in the interim, and a few weeks back he returned to MSPD after spending much of the summer at Chester. His first start back on September 23 was over before it began when he made a rare break. On Friday night, Macho Lindy, now in the Ron Coyne Jr. barn, found himself in the featured winners of over $25,000 lifetime trot.

Leaving from post position #7, the 7-year-old veteran gunned to the front end under the guidance of driver George Napolitano Jr. Once there, the old Pocono muscle memory kicked in, and he held up against intense pressure. Macho Lindy came out on top by a neck in 1:54:3 over a top-flight field. No records broken this time around, but it was, nonetheless, a scintillating return.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Pembroke Prayer (George Napolitano Jr., Mark Ford), a shipper from New York who scored in Friday night’s other division of the winners of over $25,000 lifetime class, doing so in 1:54:4; Groom Hanover (Joe Pavia Jr., Fred Grant), who followed up a win at The Meadows with a condition win at Pocono on Friday night in 1:57:2; and Ashcroft (Mike Simons, Gail Wrubel), whose claiming win on Wednesday was his second straight upset victory and came in a career-best time of 1:56:1.

The shipper came into a condition trot on Friday night with 4 wins in 9 starts in 2011, yet he was still a 35-1 shot when he rallied for the victory, paying out $73.20 on a $2 win ticket.

George has been keeping a particularly hot pace of late, as he ripped off multiple wins in several cards this week, highlighted by a five-bagger on Friday.

Year in and year out, Linda does an excellent job with the trotters. She scored two trotting wins on Thursday, including an Equinox series victory with Keystone Tempo.

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