Posts Tagged ‘Robert Krivelin’

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Week In Review

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

June 11-17, 2016

If you were looking for the unexpected, it was a good week to watch the races at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Long shots seemed to be coming in every time you turned around, and favorites, with some notable exceptions, had a hard time getting the job done. Weeks like this past one remind everyone just how unpredictable this sport can be. Keep that in mind as we take a look at some of the top equine and human performers and hand out the Weekly Awards.


Rules have been put in place this season at Pocono that have changed the claiming ranks to some extent. Without getting into the minutiae of those rules changes, the gist of them are that horses that are claimed or have had a lot of recent success at a certain price generally must move up in the ranks. As a result, winning streaks are much harder to come by among claimers. But apparently nobody told that to Priceless Edition, who’s been carving his way through his claiming brethren of late.

The hot streak for this 12-year-old gelding began on May 15. After coming up empty in his first five starts of the year following an excellent 2015, Priceless Edition handled a group of $7,500 claimers in 1:54:2. He followed that up with a place and a win in his next two races, which triggered a move up to the $10,000 claimers for his next race. And he promptly won in that class on June 4.

On Saturday night, he faced off with the $10,000 claimers once again and went off as an even-money favorite. After sitting fourth early, the veteran pacer, under the guidance of driver Andrew McCarthy, swooped to the lead on the front stretch. He never really extended to a big lead, but he kept the pressure at bay and came home strong to win by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:54:1. That makes four wins out of five for Priceless Edition, and, even though he now has to move up again, don’t be surprised if he keeps it rolling.

Other top pacers this week include: Allbeef N Nobull (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who upset the field at 27-1 in Saturday night’s featured $25,000 condition pace, winning in a career-best 1:49:2 that was also the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono; Mr D’s Dragon (Simon Allard, Staffan Lind) a 3-year-old who ripped off his third straight condition win on Tuesday night, this one coming in career-best 1:52:1; and Cracker Coffee (Eric Carlson, Amber Buter), a mare who followed up consecutive wins at Tioga with a victory on Tuesday night at Pocono in the featured pace for mares in a career-best 1:51:2.


This 3-year-old filly from the barn of trainer Jeff Gregory has been outstanding to this point in 2016. After winning just once in nine tries as a freshman in 2015, she came out of the gate firing this year with wins in three of her first four races. Two of those wins came at Pocono, including a career-best mile of 1:53:4 on May 29, and the other was in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition at The Meadows.

With that kind of record it was no surprise that she went off as a 3-5 favorite in a condition trot at Pocono for non-winners of five on Sunday night. Gregory also did the driving on this night and moved Spicedbourbongirl to the front with a quarter-pole move. Even though she had put up that impressive 1:53:4 in her previous race, the filly needed much less on this night thanks to a nice rating job by Gregory in the first half of the mile.

The slower pace meant that there were other horses close by late, but Spicedbourbongirl had little trouble holding them off. Even though her winning time of 1:56:3 was nearly three seconds off her previous effort, it was easy to see she had plenty left in the tank had she wanted to push it. With four wins in five races so far in 2016, this filly looks like one of the best in her age group on the regional level, and she might just have the stuff to do some damage on a bigger stage should the opportunity arise.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Explosive Man (Robert Krivelin driver and trainer), whose condition win on Sunday in 1:56:1 was his third straight victory, two of which have come at Pocono; Amicus (George Napolitano Jr., William Mullin), who led just about all the way on Monday night to notch his second straight claiming victory, with this one coming in 1:58; and Quick Deal (Ake Svanstedt driver and trainer), who posted the week’s fastest trotting time at Pocono when he won a condition on Saturday night in 1:53.


Sunday night was a night of long shots, but none were more surprising than this gelding driven by David Miller who scored a claiming handicap win at 40-1, paying off $83.80 on a $2 win ticket.


With a Sire Stakes win Sunday night and two Stallion Series scores Monday night, Callahan was the only driver this week to get at least one win in both, and not one of his winners went off at lower than 8-1.


The ever-prolific Burke barn produced three winners on Saturday night, including 27-1 bomber Allbeef N Nobull in the $25,000 featured condition pace.

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

Amateur Driver of the Year brings home a longshot

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Robert Krivelin, three-time Amateur Driver of the Year by voting of the U.S. Harness Writes Association, showed that he could “beat the pros” as well, on Sunday, July 18th, at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, bringing home the trotter Blintz, the longest shot on the board, to her maiden victory and returning a tasty $118 to win.

Krivelin got away second from the rail with his homebred daughter of Credit Winner (he races as the “Hero Stables”), then moved outside to challenge pacesetting Mrvelosity Hanover nearing the ¾. Marion My Way joined these two in the Pocono Pike for the stretch drive, but it was Krivelin and Blintz, winless in 10 previous starts, who had the most late, gaining into the 58.4 back half to win in 1:59.1 by ¾ of a length over Marion My Way, who edged Mrvelosity Hanover for the deuce.

The $118 win payoff was the third-highest of the Pocono meet, and the win for trainer/driver Krivelin made him only the third horseman to control both sides of a $50+ winner (Brandon Simpson and Charlie Norris are the other two).

Krivelin, a resident of “The Cradle of the Trotter,” Goshen NY, has 175 career driving victories, and has posted four seasons where his UDR was .300 or better. Not coincidentally, three of those four years (2001, 2012, and 2014) were the three occasions of his being named Amateur Driver of the Year by USHWA.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

April 13-19, 2013

The first few weeks at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs have featured some exciting young horses competing in the Bobby Weiss Series. The preliminary legs are just about over, and next week in this space we’ll be taking a look at who came out triumphant in the big-money finals. In the meantime, another outstanding week of racing has produced some excellent candidates for the Weekly Awards.


Last Saturday night’s racing was typically sharp at Pocono, with race after race featuring fast times by the winners. The fastest of all those winning times came from Go Both Ways, who put up a mile of 1:50:1. Not only was that the fastest of the night and the best in the 9-year-old gelding’s excellent career, but it was also the fastest posted at Pocono all week long.

The interesting thing about the mile by Go Both Ways is that it came in a $20,000 claiming event. While that is a solid grouping with many excellent competitors, there are higher claiming classes at Pocono, not to mention the condition races which are stocked with horses that go blistering times each and every week.

But nobody told Go Both Ways, who hails from the barn of Michael Hall, that he was supposed to be on a middling level. With Jim Morrill Jr. in the bike, he took the early lead, set scorching fractions, and paced away and hid from the field. Considering that the Dover shipper came in winless, it’s safe to say that he loved the Pocono oval and, with a time like that, he can hang with any class of pacers.

Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Star Keeper (Jim Morrill Jr., Doug Berkeley), a mare who won her third straight claiming handicap on Wednesday night in 1:52:4; Naughtytiltheend (Marcus Miller, Erv Miller), who moved up in class to score her second straight condition win on Wednesday night in 1:52; and Passion Starlet (George Napolitano Jr., Peter Pellegrino), who won her second straight $5,000 claimer at Pocono on Wednesday night in a career-best 1:54:2 and now has five victories in her last six races.


You’ll often hear handicappers using the term “needs a start.” What they mean is that the horse needs one race to get itself acclimated to racing before it can be expected to perform at a top level. This term is generally used to describe a horse coming off a layoff, but it can also refer to a horse who is new to its surroundings.

Modern Family was a powerhouse early in the season, picking up wins at Dover, Harrah’s, and the Meadowlands. In his first start at Pocono on April 6, he rallied late but came up short by two lengths in a Preferred Handicap trot behind Tall Cotton. On Saturday night in the same class, trainer/driver Daryl Bier had a chance for revenge in the same class against Tall Cotton and a stellar field.

Bier had to be patient as Modern Family got shuffled back on the inside as the lead changed hands a few times. The 4-year-old stallion managed to slip to the outside in the stretch and he staged a furious rally to get up to win by a nose in 1:52:2. Not only was it his career-best, it was also the fastest trotting time at Pocono this season. He may have needed a start at Pocono, but with his confidence building after this great win, he just might not stop.

Other top trotters this week include: Permanent Joy (Brandon Simpson, Robert Krivelin), who used a thrilling stretch move to come from behind for a win in Tuesday night’s featured trot in 1:55:3, a new career mark; Bloomfieldcantifly (Jim Morrill Jr., Bill Mullin), who continued her excellent early part of the meet with a condition win on Tuesday in a career-best 1:55:1; and Definitely Mamie (Jim Morrill Jr., Brewer Adams), who overcame the far outside post for a gutsy condition win in the Wednesday night  feature in 1:53:2, which matched the mare’s career-best time.


In a claiming handicap pace on Saturday night, Midas Blue Chip got away at 36-1, and driver Tyler Buter rallied the gelding four-wide in the stretch for the win and a $74.60 payout on a $2 win ticket.


Bier had just two drives on Saturday night, but Modern Family won in the week’s fastest trotting time, and St Lads Zoom Zoom scored in the second-fastest pacing time. Bier trains both horses as well.


It’s been an excellent start to the season for Hall, a relative newcomer to Pocono. This week he picked up three wins including a training double on Sunday night.

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