Posts Tagged ‘Rockincam’

Sun Stakes Saturday Eliminations a record-breaking night!

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

On a dynamic, star-studded Saturday night of eliminations for the $2,000,000 Sun Stakes Saturday Finals at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs a week hence, they saved the best for last. 

And the oldest. And the richest. And the one who set a world record. 

Foiled Again, the nine-year-old evergreen gelding, boosted his lifetime bankroll to $4,920,444 by winning the third of three eliminations for next week’s $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace Final in 1:48 – a world record for older pacing geldings on a 5/8s, lowering by a tick the mark first established by Bettor Sweet and then equaled three weeks ago at Pocono by Camae’s Fella.

 This was win #69 for Foiled Again – and might have been the first where he used the passing lane to post the victory. Let go at 4-1, Foiled Again let Bolt The Duer bolt off the gate to early command, then made a shake-and-bake move to take command approaching the 26.1 quarter. Favored Pet Rock was moved early and took the lead in front of the stands, with Modern Legend up uncovered at the 54.3 half.

 Down the back Pet Rock and Modern Legend dueled to a 1:21.2 ¾ time, a battle they continued around the turn and into the stretch, where surprisingly it was the favorite who gave way first (though not much). But Yannick Gingras, a four-time winner on the night, had pointed Foiled Again to the Pocono Pike passing lane, and the Pike came through (it did an astounding eight times on the 14-race card) and so did the old man, with a new mark in his 180th lifetime start and the new world standard for his division. Modern Legend and Pet Rock also advanced from this field to the Franklin Final.

 Ron Burke conditions the victorious altered son of Dragon Again for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and JJK Stables.

 One race earlier, Razzle Dazzle scored his first victory since the Levy Final in 1:49, also via the Pocono Pike. Somehow dismissed at 10-1, the Real Desire gelding and driver Brian Sears helped create their own luck early, shutting the pocket behind hardleaving Up The Credit, which left Sweet Lou no hole, after which he soon broke. After splits of 26 and 55, Fred And Ginger took the raw route to challenge by the 1:22.1 3/4s, and five of the field of six were in contention as they turned for home.

 Into the lane, it was Hoosier invader Our Lucky Chip, the longest shot on the board, who swept wide off of cover and into a brief lead—but there were literally only three places from which to win at Pocono Saturday: the pocket (nine times), the lead (four times), and first-over (once), and Razzle Dazzle built quick momentum and scooted up the inside to get the nod for trainer Mark Silva and owner Ira Kristel. Our Lucky Chip and Up The Credit also advanced to the Franklin final.

 The first Franklin elim also saw a pocket rocket the most photogenic, as the Bettor’s Delight 4YO gelding Dynamic Youth wound it up fast late to trip the timer in 1:48.3, equaling the track record for age/sex/gait under the guidance of Andrew McCarthy whiel also posting the best time of the year for his division. Dynamic Youth made Betterthancheddar pay a 25.3 price for quarter command; BTC got a breather to a 54.4 half, then dueled with raw Bettor’s Edge to a 1:21.4 ¾. Clear Vision loomed boldly off cover, but the “Youth” was the most dynamic late, with Clear Vision and “Cheddar” getting advancement to next week’s race behind the Aaron Lambert-trained winner, owned by the Silva Stables, Tucci, and C&G Racing Stable.

 To wrap up the Franklin, these facts: 1) The elim horses who did NOT qualify for the final were Rockincam, Bettor’s Edge, Sapphire City, Golden Receiver, Fred And Ginger, Heston Blue Chip, Sweet Lou, Bolt The Duer, Hurrikane Kingcole, and State Treasurer – winners of $10,000,000+, 2) all three elim winners took lifetime marks; 3) Foiled Again had the largest winning margin, a neck; the other two got the decision by a head; and 4) there are now seven horses who have paced in 1:48 or faster on a 5/8-mile track: recordholder Bolt The Duer at 1:47.4 (he was blocked in the stretch and did not make the final), and six horses at 1:48: four Franklin winners (Artistic Fella, Mister Big, We Will See, and ’12 champ Betterthancheddar, who could still defend his title); Heston Blue Chip (who also missed advancing because of stretch blockage); and now Foiled Again.


 Just when they begin to worry about The Captain, he digs in deep and achieves the victory.

 For the third straight week Captaintreacherous gave his backers some anxious moments, but his 53 back half after a leisurely 55.4 front half was enough for the 1:48.4 front-end triumph. Vegas Vacation, so highly-regarded going into the NA Cup and a little disappointing to some when finishing out of the money, showed that the hype about him was for real – he didn’t pull raw from third until the 5/8, but still he gained into the supersonic last four furlongs to the point that the Captain’s margin of victory was only a neck. Rockin Amadeus was next in line at the wire as Captaintreacherous remained unbeaten after four starts in his 2013 campaign; the Somebeachsomewhere colt is trained by Tony Alagna for Captaintreacherous Racing, and capped a sulky triple for Tim Tetrick.

 The first of the trio of Hempt eliminations saw something no one could recall – a 25.4 third quarter on the board – as Johny Rock (inside) dueled viciously with Word Power (outside) after a 55.2 half to a 1:21.1 three-quarters. Lurking in the pocket was the Rocknroll Hanover colt Emeritus Maximus, and he gave his maximus down the Pike to reduce his mark in 1:48.4 for driver Doug McNair (driving double) and owners Cheap Speed Stable, Alber, Wienick, and Fodera while preceding Captaintreacherous as a Tony Alagna-trained Hempt winner. Johny Rock had enough for second and Word Power enough for third to advance on a week; Lonewolf Currier, who would have been the popular choice if anybody was to pace a sub-26 quarter, proved empty off of cover.

 Also no factor from the “one and one” spot was Wake Up Peter – but the horse in front of him in the outside tier, and raw to boot, Sunfire Blue Chip, was giant in taking the fastest elim in 1:48.3, a ’13 No.Am. best, over Evenin Of Treasure and Martini Hanover. The only winner on the entire Pocono card who was not the pacesetter or pocket horse, the son of American Ideal is owned by Takter, Fielding/Fielding, Brixton Medical AB, and R A W Equine, and gave conditioner Jimmy Takter a pacing victory to add to his two trotting triumphs – as we shall see next.


 This division – the Hambletonian division – had its clarity fuzzied instead of sharpened, as early Hambo chalk Smilin Eli won, but the small but mighty Dontyouforgetit clocked in the fastest.

 Dontyouforgetit was in the first elimination and may have had the advantage of a few degrees of warmness in temperature, but he still was impressive to gain from the (what else) pocket into a 55.3 last half to report home first in 1:52.1, a national season’s best and lowering his mark by two seconds. Possessed Fashion, who was able to delay his first-over bid until after the 5/8s, came up big for second, while pacesetter Celebrity Maserati did well in holding for third and Beal advancement. Jimmy Takter trains the son of Cantab Hall for Solveig’s Racing Partners, with Yannick Gingras sulkyside.

 Smilin Eli had to go 26.3 to obtain the early lead from the outside post eight in his elim, but he was equal to the task while remaining undefeated after four starts, halting the timer in 1:52.3. The 3-5 Muscles Yankee colt fended off railsitters Fico (75-1) and Picture This (65-1) for Tim Tetrick, trainer Deshawn Minor, and owner Nicholas Cimino. Jurgen Hanover, 7-7 in 2013 before the race, had the “undesirable” second-over trip and finished fifth, not advancing.

 Trainer Takter had another Beal elim winner in Corky, never off the board in 13 lifetime starts and never behind at any pole in a 1:52.3 victory, with David Miller in the sulky for owners Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding (owning doubles for all). Giving Muscles Yankee a double siring credit for the Beal, Corky (lowering his mark by over two seconds) defeated Royalty For Life, who made a break quarter-moving, dropped back to last, and was coming fastest of all late (into a 55.2 back half) to save a miracle second, with Crystal Phenom third.


 I Luv The Nitelife, fresh off her Fan Hanover jiggyjog win, snapped into high gear like a veteran campaign when shown racetrack up the prized Pocono Pike to take her Lynch elimination in 1:50.1. Nikki Beach, Charisma Hanover, Somwherovrarainbow (pacesetter in only her second race in 37 days) and Mattie Terror Girl (faster fifth-place finisher) all advanced to the Lynch final behind the victorious Rocknroll Hanover filly driven by Tim Tetrick and trained by Chris Ryder for Richard and Joanne Young.

 Ms Caila J Fra won the other elimination in a national season’s record 1:49.3 in the card’s curtainraiser for driver Simon Allard and trainer Steve Elliott, while also giving the recovering The Fra Stable LLC a boost in sprits. After what you have read before, it will be no surprise to learn that the winning daughter of Western Ideal parlayed a pocket trip to victory – but she was the only winning two-hole tripper to move OUTSIDE for the stretch drive, wearing down Shebestingin late, with Jerseylicious and Authorize also authorized to advance to the Lynch finale.


Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

September 7-13, 2012

Even with only three nights of racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the past week, we still had more than enough candidates to fill out the Weekly Awards. Give credit to the impressive group of pacers and trotters we have on the grounds that have made not just this week at Pocono, but all of 2012, a destination for some of the finest racing in the country.


In Saturday night’s $50,000 Open pace, the seven horses in the field came into the race with earnings of around $12,000,000. Leading that pack of big earners was Foiled Again, an 8-year-old gelding who came into the race with $4.3 million in the bank. Even with that fact, and even considering he won a huge stakes at Mohawk in his last race, the pride of the Ron Burke barn was still the 2-1 third choice behind favorite We Will See and second choice Bettor Sweet, both superstars in their own right.

Leaving from the outside post in the field, driver Matt Kakaley decided to play it conservative with Folied Again, settling him toward the back of the pack as nasty fractions were set on the sloppy track. It wasn’t until the back stretch when horse and driver made their move, and they got a little racing truck when Rockincam stepped out in front of them to give them a bit of cover.

In the stretch, Kakaley had Folied Again out on the wide side with a clear path and only Bettor Sweet standing in his way. The two standouts battled through the lane, but when the dust cleared, Foiled Again was the one who came out in front, just like he had 63 times before in other career victories. His winning time of 1:49:1 was the fastest of the week despite it being achieved in the slop.

Other top pacers this week include: Mr Govianni Fra (Brandon Simpson, Ken Rucker), whose condition win on Friday night in 1:53:1 was his third straight, which is even more notable considering that winning streak immediately followed up 35 straight losses to start his career; Woodmere Ultimate (George Napolitano Jr., PJ Fraley), who rolled to his second straight $25,000 claiming win on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:51:2; and Feeling You (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter), a newcomer to Pocono who captured Tuesday night’s Open pace foe mares in a career-best 1:49:3, just missing a track record in the process.


The winners of over $25,000 lifetime condition is the very best condition grouping at Pocono and often serves as the featured trot for the week, as it did on Saturday night. That means that any horse that conquers that group must not only be pretty talented but it also must be at the top of its game.

Rose Run Hooligan is a 9-year-old stallion who has been at the top of his game for an impressively long amount of time, hence his career earnings which are sneaking up toward the $1 million mark. On Saturday night, the veteran was overlooked at the window at 6-1 despite the fact that we was coming off a win in Canada.

Driver David Miller drove Rose Run Hooligan like he was a prohibitive favorite, however, and the stallion responded. He took the lead early on and was still there at the end to win by 1 ¾ lengths in a slop-defying time of 1:53:1, the fastest trotting time at Pocono this week. At an age when most horses are slowing down or packing it in, this star from the Rene Allard barn seems to be peaking.

Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Spit N Shine (Joe Pavia Jr., Chris Oakes), who romped to his third straight claiming win on Tuesday night, this one coming in 1:56:2; Grace N Charlie (Anthony Napolitano, James Siegelman), a mare who scored her  second straight claiming victory on Tuesday night in 1:57:2; and Speculation (Tom Jackson, Robert Bath), who followed up a win at Harrah’s with an upset victory in a rugged condition group on Saturday night in 1:54:1.


With a swooping late move, this mare driven by David Ingraham upended a group of younger distaff pacers on Friday night at 35-1, paying off $72 on a $2 win ticket.


Miller always makes an impact when he comes around, as he did on Saturday night, topping all drivers on the card with four victories on the evening.


Fraley has been a major player at Pocono all season long at Pocono, and this week was no different thanks to a training double on Saturday night.

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

Foiled Again Wins Star-Studded Open Pace at Pocono

Monday, September 10th, 2012

September 8, 2012

Foiled Again made a furious rally on the outside to nose out Bettor Sweet and win a talent-packed Open pace on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried the night’s top purse of $50,000.

Foiled Again (Dragon Again-In A Safe Place) left from the outside post in a field of seven which had combined lifetime earnings of approximately $12 million. Driver Matt Kakaley settled the eight-year-old gelding in fifth place early as a 2-1 second choice while 8-5 favorite We Will See took the field to the quarter in 26:4 on a sloppy track. Bettor Sweet brushed in the front stretch to take the lead and get the field to the half in a sizzling 54:2.

Kakaley set Foiled Again in motion on the back stretch and got a break when Rockincam headed out in front of him to provide cover. Bettor Sweet was still on top at three-quarters in 1:22, and driver David Miller had the gelding poised for his first win of the season in the stretch. But Foiled Again had other ideas, spinning off his cover and lunging to beat Bettor Sweet by a nose at the line in 1:49:1. Blatantly Good picked up the show.

Fresh off his win in the Canadian Derby, Foiled Again, the pride of the Ron Burke barn and owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, and JJK Stables, pushed his season earnings to $958,439 and his career earnings to $4,376,994 with the win. He now has 6 victories in 18 races this season and 64 lifetime wins.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, August 31st, 2012

August 24-30, 2012

As the summer months come to a close, it means we’re also drawing close to the end of stakes season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. It will end with a flourish with the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships, featuring some of the best young horses around. Before that, however, some outstanding overnight races took center stage this past week, giving us a bevy of great candidates for the Weekly Awards.


It’s hard to say why fortunes change for the better for some horses at certain times in their careers. Take the interesting case of McSocks, a 4-year-old pacer who came into the season with a modest record of four wins in 30 races. His 2012 campaign was even less impressive for a while, as he entered the month of August with just one victory in 20 starts.

On August 4, he raced against the $25,000 claiming pacing 4-year-olds, a group against which he had finished 5th and 7th in his previous two races. That’s when the proverbial light came on and he went gate-to-wire for a victory in a career-best 1:51. He promptly followed that up with two more wins in front-running fashion against the very same class.

On Saturday night, he joined the Peter Pellegrino barn in his quest for four straight wins against the class. With Tyler Buter in the bike, McSocks once again gunned to the front end and dared everyone to play catch-up. As his foes neared him in the stretch, he found another gear and kicked away to win easily by 2 ¼ lengths, re-setting his career mark in the process with a mile of 1:50:2. He was claimed again, and the new owners just have to hope that the light doesn’t go off as August ends.

Other top pacers this week include: Fall Toy (Joe Pavia Jr., Paul Holzman), who moved up into a new class and joined a new barn but still scored his second straight win on Saturday by beating the $20,000 claimers in a new career-mark of 1:50:2; Rockincam (Brandon Simpson, Nifty Norman), who won the week’s featured pace on Saturday night with a late move in 1:49, the fastest pace at Pocono this week; and Mr Govianni Fra (Matt Kakaley, Ken Rucker), who took 35 races to get his first career win but now has two in a row after his victory on Sunday in 1:54:3.


One of the ways that trots differentiate from paces is that it’s much more common for female horses to compete in the same races with male horses on the trotting side. It’s not a matter of trying to beat the boys so much as it is the best opportunity for mares to make solid money once they move out of the period where they can race for big stakes.

As such, it’s not unusual to see mares like Definitely Mamie take a shot in tough condition trots like the non-winners of $13,000 in the last five grouping that she faced on Sunday night. The five-year-old mare from the Brewer Adams barn has been a very consistent trotter no matter whom she has faced over the past several seasons at Pocono, so she was up for Sunday night’s challenge even though she was considered a  relatively long shot at 9-1.

Driver Joe Pavia Jr. did a nice job of getting a pocket trip for the mare behind the pacesetter. As others faltered, Definitely Mamie revved up for the stretch drive and zipped by to win by a head in 1:53:2, a new career-best. In what has been an excellent career, the victory marked a high point for the mare. She is a force no matter what gender her opponents might be.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Imperial Count (Howard Parker, Nifty Norman), who topped the field in the week’s featured condition trot in 1:53:2, a new career mark for the 4-year-old gelding; Talladega Hanover (George Napolitano Jr., Dan Walski), who arrived from The Meadows to capture a tough condition trot on Sunday night in 1:54:1, fastest time of his career; and Ginger Tree Jimmy (George Napolitano Jr., Steve Salerno), who switched from the conditions to the claimers for a Saturday night in 1:54:1.


With Greg Merton in the bike, this gelding surprised a group of claiming pacers on Sunday night at 43-1, paying off $88.40 on a $2 win ticket.


Bartlett only makes occasional stops at Pocono, but he often makes his presence felt, as he did on Sunday night by winning the final four races on the card.


Brown had a monster night on Tuesday night in Stallion Series action, as his horses won four of the eight divisions held for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace.

That will do it for this week, but feel free to e-mail me at

Meirs Hanover Matches Track Record in Open Win at Pocono

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

July 7, 2012

Meirs Hanover matched a track record at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with his victory in 1:48:1 in Saturday night’s featured Open pace. The race carried a purse of $50,000.

Meirs Hanover, a 5-year-old stallion from the Ron Burke barn looking for a bounce back after breaking stride in the Ben Franklin final due to interference, left from post position #2 in the field of eight as a 6-1 shot and found the pocket early behind pacesetting 6-5 favorite Golden Receiver. The leader had to fight off pressure from Rockincam on the front stretch and Dial Or Nodial on the back, leading to sizzling fractions of 26:1, 53:2, and 1:20:1.

In the stretch, driver Matt Kakaley tipped Meirs Hanover into the passing lane and he rallied past the game Golden Receiver to win by a half-length. Special T Rocks came on for 3rd. The winning time of 1:48:1 matched the Pocono record for aged pacing stallions that was set just two weeks ago in the Franklin eliminations by Aracache Hanover.

Meirs Hanover, the offspring of Artsplace and Mary Mattgalane and owned by Burke Racing Stable, Van Dusen, Cimaglio, and Strollin Stable, won for the 4th time in 14 2012 races. It was his 21st career victory, giving him lifetime earnings of $460,207.

In addition to the Open pace, Grand Circuit Week continued at Pocono with three $50,000 divisions each of the 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot and on the pace. On the trotting side, the winners were: Fashion Astral (Broadway Hall-Lindy Lane), owned by Fashion Farms LLC, trained by Jim Campbell, and driven by Matt Kakaley, in 1:54:4; Nothing But Class (Andover Hall-Bold Dreamer), owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Louie Camara, and Jan Hoibye, and trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, in 1:54:2; and Uncle Peter (Cantab Hall-Victory Treasure), owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Falkbolagen Ab, and trained and driver by Jimmy Takter, in 1:52:3.

On the pacing side, the winners were Mcerlean (McArdle-Igottwowordsforyou), owned by Muscara Racing Trust, trained by Trond Smedshammer, and driven by Matt Kakaley, in 1:51:1; Star Recruit (Dragon Again-Remarkable Star), owned by Carter, Carter, Reid, and Grubbs, trained by Bruce Riegle, and driven by Tony Hall, in 1:51:4; and I Like Dreamin (McArdle-I’m Not Dreamin), owned by Lomangino Standardbreds and Leo Lomangino, trained by Sam DePinto, and driven by George Napolitano Jr., in 1:51:4.