Posts Tagged ‘Pat Berry’

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Week In Review

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

July 16-22, 2016

It’s hard to believe, but we’re nearly at the midway point of the 2016 racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. There’s a lot of great racing from this year already in our rear view, yet we’re entering an extremely busy portion of the season, highlighted by the mega-card on Super Stakes Saturday in August. We’ll be talking about all of that soon enough, but for now let’s put the spotlight on the best of the best from the week that was and hand out our Weekly Awards.

PACER OF THE WEEK: B R FLYING DALI

This four-year-old stallion entered Pocono on a high note with a victory at The Meadows against $5,000 claimers on May 11. After finishing third against $7,500 claimers in his first try at MSPD, he quickly followed that up with a win in that class on May 29. B R Flying Dali was claimed from that race, switching trainers from Mike Palone to Dan Altman in the process, and he promptly moved up for the Altman barn for back-to-back wins against the $10,000 and $12,500 claimers in his next two races.

That meant he was riding a three-race winning streak when he took to the track on Saturday night to once again face off with the $12,500 claimers. Leaving from the #4 post in a field of nine as an even money favorite, B R Flying Dali sat second at the quarter behind a hot pace. Driver Simon Allard guided him to the lead with a quick move on the front stretch and hustled him through a quick third quarter of 27:2 to try to keep the pressure at bay.

In the stretch, B R Flying Dali had to deal with the charges of pocket horse Teranadawn and outside closer Special Terror. But he was up to the challenge, topping Special Terror at the line by a length in 1:52, which matched the career mark he had set in his previous start. That makes four wins in a row, five out of six, and ten overall for the season for B R Flying Dali. Those are impressive stats, and they stand to get even better if this stallion continues his hot streak.

Other top pacers this week include: Dreams Beachboy (Eric Goodell, Chris Oakes), who ripped off his second consecutive condition victory on Sunday night, this one coming in 1:50:3; Bandolito (Sean Bier, Daryl Bier), who scorched a condition group on Saturday for a win in a time of 1:49:2, the fastest pacing mark of the week at Pocono; and Highview Conall (Pat Berry, Scott DiDomenico) who followed up back to back wins at Harrah’s with a victory in a claiming handicap on Saturday night at Pocono in a career-best 1:49:3.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: WILBERFORCE

No two races are ever the same, so it’s a good thing when a horse has the versatility to roll with whatever comes its way on a particular night. It’s also a bonus when a horse’s driver can adjust his game plan depending on the circumstances. Those factors came into play when Wilberforce, a 4-year-old gelding from the Kris Rickert barn, took the track on Sunday night in search of his second consecutive victory over the non-winners of seven condition grouping.

In his previous start on July 10, driver George Napolitano Jr. kept Wilberforce off the pace on the inside, then guided him home when an opening appeared late. The gelding won in a career-best 1:53 by 3 ¾ lengths over Tuscanellie, who was the race favorite but wore down on the front end. On Sunday night, Tuscanellie was again favored at 1-2 with an improved post position, but he watched as Wilberforce changed up tactics and took charge early.

Napolitano took advantage of a small six-horse field by setting tepid fractions on the lead. That meant that Tuscanellie, even though she had the trip, still couldn’t get past Wilberforce in the late going. The gelding held tight to win by 1 ¼ lengths. The winning time of 1:54:4 wasn’t as quick as the previous week, but the bottom line is what mattered. That’s two in a row for Wilberforce, who has proven he can win a couple different ways, a handy talent in this sport.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Tac’s Delight (Jim Marohn Jr., Rene Allard), who moved up in class to win a claiming handicap trot on Sunday night in 1:54:1, earning his second straight victory in the process; J L Cruze (John Campbell, Eric Ell), who coasted to victory in Sunday night’s $25,000 featured condition trot, sharing the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono in the process with a 1:53; and Pounce Hanover (Jim Marohn Jr., Greg White), who rolled to a condition win on Tuesday night in 1:53, a new career mark which matched the week’s fastest trotting time at Pocono.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ARMOR HANOVER

After breaking stride in his previous two starts, this trotter driven by Tom Jackson stayed flat and then some on Saturday night, beating a condition field at 17-1 for a $36.20 payout on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: SCOTT ZERON

As Zeron has become more of a regular presence at Pocono this year, he’s doing more damage, as was the case on Sunday night when he picked up four driving victories.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JIMMY TAKTER

When there are stakes races, you can count on Takter to do some damage, and the results this week at Pocono for him included three Stallion Series wins on Monday and a Sire Stakes victory.

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

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

October 26-November 1, 2012

There were only three nights of racing this past week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs due to Hurricane Sandy. Even with the smaller slate of racing, there were still plenty of fine performances, including a track record. That means that we have plenty of excellent choices for this edition of the Weekly Awards, and the horse that set the track record leads it off.

PACER OF THE WEEK: BET ON THE LAW

Track records are a great achievement at any point, but the ones that are set usually come in the warmer months of summer. That’s why the effort put forth by Bet On The Law was so exceptional on Saturday night. Not only did he have to overcome some outstanding condition pacers to set his record, but he also had to overcome the chilly temperatures.

The three-year-old gelding is the pride of the Joe Pavia Jr. barn, and Joe also drives him on a regular basis. As with most track records, it required some blistering early fractions, and Bet On The Law was in a perfect position to take advantage of those fractions when the time came. In the stretch, the gelding made a second move and surged past the competition.

When he rolled to the line in front of the rest of condition pacers in the field, the timer read 1:49:1. That bested the previous Pocono mark for 3-year-old geldings on the pace of 1:49:2, which was set earlier this season by Dynamic Youth. That’s quite the achievement for a horse that is in his first year of racing, as the gelding didn’t even race as a 2-year-old. Maybe that’s why the October weather didn’t bother him a bit, because he’s just getting in his groove with a very bright future ahead.

Other top pacers this week include: Special Dark (Matt Kakaley, Kent Sherman), who continued her domination of the $5,000 claiming mares on Friday night with her third straight win, this time coming in a career-best time of 1:53; Mustang Art (Tyler Buter, James McGuire), who rallied for a win on Saturday night in a condition pace in 1:49:1, which was a career-best time and matched the fastest of the week; and Miss Behave (Jim Morrill Jr., Ted Wing), a mare who rolled to her third straight claiming handicap win on Wednesday night in 1:54.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SEVRUGA

The winners of over $25,000 condition trotting group has been one of the most fun to watch all season long at Pocono. It seems like no horse has been able to really dominate from week to week. We’ve seen horses step up in class for big wins in this group, and we’ve also seen other horses that are dropping down from higher groupings finding a home in the class.

Sevruga fits firmly into the latter category. The 4-year-old gelding from the Julie Miller barn has had an excellent season, but it was interrupted by a two month hiatus following a 4th place finish in stakes competition at Harrah’s in August. His first start back on October 20 at Pocono ended in a third-place finish in an Open Handicap trot on October 20, finishing behind superstar trotters Anders Bluestone and Arch Madness, which is no great shame.

On Saturday night, he was ready for a peak performance. Driver Pat Berry sent him to the front end early on from an outside post, and nobody was able to even threaten him from the point. Sevruga rolled to an easy win in 1:52:2, the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono, and he seems fresh enough to move back up into even higher echelons of the trotting world.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Crystal Sizzler (Andrew McCarthy, Norman Morford), who beat a field of $7,500 claimers on Friday night in 1:56:4 for his second straight win and third in his last four; Tui (Anthony Napolitano, Donald Wiest), the mare who chalked up a big condition win on Saturday night in a season that’s been full of them for her, as she scored in 1:52:4; and Bloomfieldcantifly (Jim Morrill Jr., Bill Mullin), a filly who won Wednesday night’s featured condition trot in 1:56, a new career mark.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SATIN SPIDER

Racing on Halloween, this spider spun his web with John Kakaley at 43-1 in a claiming pace, paying off $89.60 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW MCCARTHY

No driver has been more adept at bringing in long shots at Pocono, and McCarthy’s driving double on Friday night included a 15-1 winner in My Cinnamon Girl.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: LINDA KAKALEY

There was a lot of balance in the training colony this week, with a lot of different trainers picking up single wins. That means that Linda’s 2-for-2 training double on Friday night really stands out.

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

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

May 4-10, 2012

It was a mighty busy week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. So busy, in fact, that we needed five racing cards to get it all in, as we held a racing double-header on Kentucky Derby day. This week also witnessed our first two track records of the 2012 meet. Those record-setting horses are the obvious choices to highlight this edition of the Weekly Awards.

PACER OF THE WEEK: SPECIAL T ROCKS

Saturday night’s feature race was the Van Rose Memorial, a $50,000 Open event in honor of a local sportswriter whose dedication to the sport of harness racing made him a very special part of the Pocono racing scene. Van would have been extra proud to see the race held in his name, because it produced a new world record mile.

The field was packed to the gills with talent, including million-dollar earner Dial Or Nodial, top Pocono pacers Drop Red and Fred And Ginger, and a pair of dangerous shippers from Yonkers in Melvyn and Flipper J. In the end, it was Special T Rocks, who proved his mettle with back-to-back wins in his previous starts at Harrah’s at Philly, that had the answer when they came to the line.

After following cover on the outside, the gelding trained and driven by Daryl Bier went sweeping by the competition to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:48:3. That smashed the track record for 4-year-old pacing geldings, which was previously set by Tivoli Hanover in 1:49:2 all the way back in 2008. It was also a new World Record for the age group on a 5/8-mile oval.

Other top pacers this week include: Honky Tonk Woman (Andrew McCarthy, Jeffrey Webster), a mare who is now 2-for-2 on the season after zipping to a condition win on Friday in 1:52; Dynamic Youth (Andrew McCarthy, Aaron Lambert), who won her second consecutive distaff condition pace on Friday night, overcoming a tough post for a win in 1:52:1; and Medoland Big Cam (Pat Berry, Scott DiDomenico), who stepped up in class to beat the $25,000 claimers on Tuesday night, his second straight win, in 1:52:1.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: FOX VALLEY ILIAD

All of us who read it in high school know that The Iliad was a tale of heroes and courageous deeds. Fox Valley Iliad lived up to his moniker on Friday night with a performance that will have the poets singing at least as long as his new track record holds up.

Fox Valley Iliad, a 4-year-old stallion from the barn of Kimberly Asher, faced off against a tough condition trotting group after just missing in the same class with a furious late move for 2nd on April 27. This time around, driver Tom Jackson sent the stallion to the front to dictate the pace, and by the stretch he had shaken just about everyone in the field.

Pocket horse Pembroke Heat Wave put up a serious challenge in the stretch, but Fox Valley Iliad responded to win by a head, stopping the timer in 1:52:3. The previous track record for 4-year-old stallions on the trot was 1:52:4 by Flex The Muscle, set in 2011. The time also matched a world record for the age and gait on a 5/8-mile oval.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Opinion Hanover (Mike Simons, Clarence Martin Jr.), winner of three consecutive condition trots after his win Wednesday night in 1:55:4; Man About Town (Howard Parker, Jim Raymer), who took a big step up the condition ladder and still handled a tough group on Friday night in 1:54:1 for his second consecutive victory; and Anders Bluestone (George Napolitano Jr., Eric Ell), who shipped in to beat the best trotters on the grounds on Saturday night in 1:53:1, giving the stallion seven wins in eleven races this year.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: BOND BLUE CHIP

It didn’t take long for a Friday night wake-up call for the patrons, as driver Eric Carlson led Bond Blue Chip to a claiming pace win in the first race at 37-1, paying off $77.20 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MATT KAKALEY

Pocono’s leading driver in 2011 has been heating up once again of late. He followed up four wins on the Saturday double card with a driving double on Tuesday night.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RON BURKE

Burke once again finds himself at the top of the Pocono trainers’ standings. This week was a typically productive one for his barn at MSPD, highlighted by back-to-back winners on Saturday night’s card.

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.