Posts Tagged ‘Pilgrims Chuckie’

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, October 5th, 2012

September 28-October 4, 2012

Now that we’ve hit the month of October, both the calendar and the cooler temperatures at night remind us that the racing season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is now rounding the final turn on its way into the home stretch. Still, the racing action hasn’t let up one bit, and this week has been a prime example, giving us a host of excellent candidates for the Weekly Awards.


As recently as July 31, Oyster Bay was battling it out for a claiming price of $7,500. A horse’s fortunes can change in an instant, and so they did for this pacer, who started performing well even as he continuously moved up in class. On August 31, he scored against the $12,500 claimers with a win in a career-best 1:51. He followed that up the next week for trainer Jason Robinson with a victory at a $15,000 claiming handicap.

He was claimed from that race to join the Sarita Mosher barn, and he had several things working against him in Saturday night’s $20,000 to $25,000 claiming handicap pace. Not only was he moving up in class, but it was also his first race in three weeks time. The possibility existed that he would be rusty against this top-notch group.

Those doubts started to fade when driver Andrew McCarthy, returning to Pocono last weekend after missing time with an injury, settled the gelding in a good spot in the pocket late. From there, Oyster Bay did the rest, powering home to match that career-best mile in 1:51 as a 10-1 long shot. Let’s see if he can continue to move up that ladder and have the same kind of success as the season winds down.

Other top pacers this week include: Camille (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who arrived after successful stints in Canada and at The Meadows to dominate the Open Handicap  for mares on Tuesday night in 1:50; Bagel Man (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter), who has owned the $10,000 claimers of late, picking up his third straight win in the class on Friday night in 1:52:1; and Razzle Dazzzle (Joe Pavia Jr., Richard Silverman), who, despite a layoff of more than a month, rallied to win the week’s featured condition pace on Saturday night in 1:49:3, matching both his career-best and the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono.


It’s tough for trotters to maintain consistency in the higher classes, simply because the chance that they will go off stride is realistic at any time. Zooming has not only been consistent; he’s been downright overpowering at times this season, specifically when he went off for a career-best win at Pocono earlier in the meet in 1:52:3.

The 4-year-old gelding from the barn of Julie Miller was at it again in a rugged condition trot with a purse of $18,000 on Saturday night. He came into the race trying to atone for his last start, when he made an incredible rally to finish 3rd despite breaking before the start of the race. It was clear that Zooming, if he could stay flat, would be a really tough customer.

Well, he did indeed stay flat, and driver Tyler Buter, after keeping him back from the early pace, sent him barreling by the competition late for the victory. The winning time was 1:52:3, matching that career-best from earlier in the season. Zooming has a name that fits the way he’s been racing of late, as his consistent excellence continues to impress the Pocono faithful.

Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Zero Boundaries (Mike Simons, William Mullin), who rolled to his third straight win over the $10,000 claimers on Wednesday night in 1:56; M S Heather M (Jim Taggart Jr., Tabitha Teresczuk), a mare who won on Wednesday night, his second straight victory over the $7,500 claimers on an off-track, in 1:57:1; and Pilgrims Chuckie (Matt Romano, Thomas Cancelliere), who surprised the top condition trotters on the grounds on Saturday night at 15-1 in 1:54:1.


Even though he was dropping down in class on Friday night, this claimer got away at 34-1 with Matt Kakaley in the bike and upset a group of claimers to pay off $71.60 on a $2 win ticket.


In an amazing display of hot driving, Kakaley won six consecutive races on Friday night’s card, on his way to a week with double figures in the win column.


Scotty D started the year at Pocono hot and has picked up the pace again recently. Among his two winners this week was Bettors Glass, who matched the fastest pacing time of the week with a 1:49:3.

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

Pilgrims Chuckie equals World Record for Three-year-old Trotting Colts

Monday, June 14th, 2010

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Pilgrims Chuckie equaled the world record of 1:53 for a three-year-old trotting colt on a five-eighths mile oval in winning an $86,245 division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Monday, June 14th at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Trained by Scott Andrews and driven by Mike LaChance, Pilgrims Chuckie finished five and one-quarter lengths over Cassis (Tim Tetrick) with third going to Freedom Ridge (David Miller).

“I could have gone at least a second faster,” said LaChance following the race. “My colt had a big night and he won easily/”

Pilgrims Chuckie, a three-year-old Broadway Hall colt, took the lead just before the half and was really never threatened the rest of the way. This was the first win in four starts this season.

Explosive Matter, with Ron Pierce in the sulky, established the world mark at Harrah’s Chester Downs in 2009. Previous track mark at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was owned by Caviar Crown (1:53.1) and established June 12 of last year with Dave Palone driving.

It was a big sire stakes night for Andy and Julie Miller. The husband-wife team won the first $85,844 division with Mystery Photo. It was a wire to wire victory with a time of 1:54.2.

Leaving from the six hole, Miller went right to the front and took the eight-horse field to the opening quarter in 28, half in 57.3 and three-quarters in 1:25.3 with No. 5 Can’t Lose (Corey Callahan) sitting second and No. 2 Premier Event (David Miller) second and third for the first-half of the mile.

But it was No. 4 Kirty Dream (Eric Goodell) challenging Mystery Photo down the backside but not able to get by the winner, who finished two and one-half lengths ahead of Kirty Dream and two and three-quarter lengths over Can’t Lose with the final time of 1:54.2.

“I was happy with the race,” said Julie Miller. “We got the lead rather easily and I knew from there on we’d be tough to beat. Our colt was solid to the wire.”

Andy Miller also drove Red Light to a sire stakes victory in the final division. Red Light, trained by Erv Miller, just got up at the wire over On The Tab (Marcus Johansson) as the two trotters battled right to the wire in a thrilling photo finish. Time of the mile was 1:54.4.

Third in this race was favorite and 2009 Breeders Crown winner Pilgrims Taj, who had a rough time of it during and prior to the race with LaChance in the bike

Pilgrims Taj was breaking in the post parade and also during the warm-up period. But LaChance got this one to stay flat during the race but took a lot of air in coming first up and never really challenged Red Light.

“It was a real good night, especially for owner Dave Prushnok (Btu Stable),” said Andy following the race. “I thought I had a good shot of winning this race. Pilgrims

Taj took a lot of air and had a rough night.”
About Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, is one of the most distinctive and spectacular entertainment, gaming, shopping and dining destinations in Pennsylvania. Situated on 400 acres in Plains, Pennsylvania, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is currently home to 55,000 square feet of gaming space including 2,500 slot machines and electronic table games, a variety of dining and shopping options, nightlife, entertainment and live harness racing eight months out of the year. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is within easy access of New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware. More information is available by calling 1.888. WIN IN PA (1.888.946.4672) or visiting