Posts Tagged ‘Ross Croghan’

Powerhouse Pacing Fillies dominate PA Sire Stakes

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Pure Country put an exclamation point on trainer Jimmy Takter’s Hambletonian/Oaks-winning weekend as she remained undefeated with the easiest of 1:53.2 victories in one of four divisions of the $253,980 third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday, August 9th,  at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

The fabulous filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of Western Montana was directed to the front early by Brett Miller, reaching that station in 28 and then getting a walk to the park with a 58 half. Up came Shesasmokinlady on a big first-over move, and out came the earplugs as Pure Country got to the 3/4 in 1:26, and she then finished in 27.2 under a stretchlong hold by Miller in winning by 2 1/4 lengths. Heelsonthebeach, who had sat second behind the winner through much of the mile but was past by Shesasmokinlady nearing the 3/4, came back in the lane for second, with Shesasmokinlady settling for third.

Pure Country is the only filly to have won in each of the first three Sire Stakes legs, and she is 4-for-4 in purse competition, having started her career here with a PA All-Stars win. She was bred and is owned by Diamond Creek.

Fastest of the four miles was the 1:52.1 hung up by Yankee Moonshine (Yankee Cruiser-Bootleg Yankee), moved early to command by driver Matt Kakaley and then holding off the late charge of Princess Fabulosa by 3/4 of a length while taking a new mark. Ron Burke trains the fast baby for the ownership of Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr, and JT45.

In this victory, Yankee Moonshine was the only non-previous Sires winner to tally (she was 2-3 in her earlier prelims), and she was the only winner to have raced for a purse since the July 17 Meadows Sires leg, having won an Arden Downs event on Adios Day. She was the 6-5 second choice behind 4-5 chalk Ivy League (Somebeachsomewhere – See You At Peelers), who was in perfect second-over position when she lost her momentum in the final turn and finished back.

The Well Said-Silkandidamonds filly I Said Diamonds moved to second-place in the divisional pointstandings behind Pure Country by becoming a “pocket rocket” under the handling of David Miller and earning a new speed badge of 1:52.3. The winner now has two triumphs and a second in the Sire Stakes, with Paul Holzman doing the conditioning for owner Omar Beiler, Susan Oakes, and Dennis Coons.

Another two-time Sires winner, and giving Somebeachsomewhere a siring double, is Call Me Queen Be, out of the mare Preppy Party Girl, who also came out of the two-hole, just nipping pacesetting Shezarealideal by a head in 1:52.4. Scott Zeron handled sulky duty for trainer Ross Croghan and owners Dana Parham and the Let It Ride Stables Inc.

Drop The Ball Coasts in Distaff Feature at Pocono

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

June 15, 2014

Drop The Ball coasted to an easy win Sunday Night in the featured Preferred Handicap pace for mares at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000.

Leaving from post position #4 in a field of seven as the 3-5 favorite, Drop The Ball (Western Terror-Mattcheck Girl) grabbed the pocket around the first turn behind American In Paris. With one quick brush, the 6-year-old mare from the barn of Ross Croghan took the lead on the front stretch and extended it to a huge margin at the top of the stretch. Driver Simon Allard geared Drop The Ball down from there and she coasted home a two-length winner in an effortless 1:50:1. Strings finished second while Jinglejanglejingle picked up the show.

Drop The Ball won for the second time in six 2014 races. It was her 23rd career win, pushing her lifetime earnings to $1,330,616.

12 Pennsylvania All Stars Races at Pocono on Saturday Night

Monday, July 8th, 2013

July 6, 2013

Grand Circuit Week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs wrapped up with 12 Pennsylanvania All Stars races on a steamy Saturday night. The 3-year-olds took center stage, with four $30,000 divisions of colts and geldings on the pace, three $35,000 divisions of pacing fillies, and five $30,000 divisions of trotting colts and geldings.

3-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS

Brew Master (Glidemaster-Dance Girl Dance), the 8-5 favorite with Dave Palone in the bike for trainer Marcus Marashian, hung on to win by a neck over Maxamillus in the first division in a career-best 1:54:2. Rossini picked up the show. The gate-to-wire victory was the second straight for Brew Master, with his last coming on a sloppy track at The Meadows.

Aperfectyankee (Yankee Glide-Asixpackfromperfect) glided up first-over and won going away by three lengths in a career-best 1:53:1 in the second division. Broadway Prince finished second while pacesetter Major Athens faded to third. 8-5 favorite Tigress’s Legacy went off-stride early. Trained and driven by Jim Oscarsson, Aperfectyankee, the third choice at 7-2, bounced back from a break in his last race for his second win of the season.

A blistering early pace set it up for Bluto (Donato Hanover-Blur) to come from off the pace and rally for a tight victory by a head over 7-5 favorite Smoother Ride in a career-best 1:52:4. Jimmy Takter trains and drives Bluto, who went off as the 7-2 third choice and won for the second time this year in six tries. Classicality picked up the show.

The fourth division produced a performance that matched a Pocono track record and a world record for 3-year-old trotting geldings. It’s Complicated (SJ’s Caviar-Madame Volo), the 5-1 third choice, was a powerhouse on the front end for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Kris Hite, winning by 1 ¼ lengths over even-money favorite High Bridge. Cantab Abs was third. The winning time by It’s Complicated of 1:52:4 matches the Pocono mark and the world record on a 5/8 oval by sophomore geldings, which was set by I’m The Answer in 2011.

All Laid Out (Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall), who was fresh off a big upset win in the Earl Beal Jr. consolation trot in his last start, followed it up with a romping win in All Stars action as the 6-5 favorite in the fifth division. With Dave Palone in the bike for trainer Noel Daley, the colt sat off a hot pace and pounced late to win going away by 5 ¾ lengths in 1:53. Sailer Eddie finished second and Boffin picked up the show.

3-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES

In the first division, Dave Palone gunned Power Pack Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Panned Out), the 5-2 second choice from the Tom Cancelliere barn, to the front end and the filly went all the way for a 2 ½-length victory in a career-best 1:50:2. Handsoffmycupcake was best of the rest in second while Offintothesunset grabbed the show. It was the first win in two tries this year for Power Pack Hanover and just her third lifetime in five career races.

A stretch duel between the top two choices was the highlight of the second split, with 9-5 second choice Icommandmyspirit (Dragon Again-Artists Flower) holiding off 7-5 favorite Carols Desire by a neck in a career-best 1:51:1. Champagne Tonight was third. Jim Morrill did the driving aboard Icommandmyspirit for trainer Ross Croghan, as the filly won for the fifth time in her last six races.

Once she took over on the front stretch, 1-9 favorite Somwherovrarainbow (Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Bloe) fought off all comers in the third division and won by 1 ½ lengths in 1:51, a new career mark. Sweet Lady Jane finished second while South Pacific grabbed third. Driven by Montrell Teague and trained by George Teague Jr., Somwherovrarainbow now has three wins this season, with the other two coming in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action.

3-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS

In the first division of this group, 2-1 second choice Net Ten Eom (Somebeachsomewhere-Glowing Report) set bruising fractions after taking over the lead on the front stretch but held tough late to win by two lengths in 1:49:2, a new career-best. Big Time Promise came up short in second, just his second loss in nine races this season, while The Pan Poobah finished 3rd. George Napolitano Jr. drove Net Ten Eom for trainer Richard Silverman, as the colt picked up his third consecutive win, all at different tracks.

Some Kinda Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Art’s Fantasy) didn’t disappoint as the 1-5 favorite in the second division, leading much of the way and powering home the second half of the mile after a great rate job by driver Marcus Miller in the first half. The colt from the Erv Miller barn ended up winning by 1 ¼ lengths in a career-best 1:51 for his sixth win in ten races this season. Here Comes Swifty finished second while Shock It To Em picked up the show.

 Good Day Mate (Christian Cullen-Stienam’s Place) parlayed an excellent trip behind a speed duel to a late-kicking victory in the third division, as he rallied to win by a neck over 6-5 favorite Dedi’s Dragon in 1:49:3. Varadero Hanover came on for the show. Jim Morrill Jr. drove Good Day Mate for trainer Chris Oakes, as the 3-year-old colt picked up his second win of the season as the 9-5 second choice.

In the final division, Ultimate Beach Boy (Somebeachsomewhere-Ultimate Bet), the 8-5 second choice, powered home from the pocket to win by a length in 1:50:4. George Napolitano Jr. was in the bike for trainer Don Swick, as Ultimate Beach Boy won for the third time this season. John’s Polyview finished second while 4-5 favorite Fateful Choice faded late to third.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

June 14-20, 2013

What an amazing week of racing we all just witnessed at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. In a year that will see the track host The Breeders Crown in October, we’re already getting a taste of the incendiary action to come. This past week offered Stallion Series races, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races, and a world record-matching performance. Let’s take a look at it all by passing out the Weekly Awards.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: GUCCIO

What is it about trainer Jimmy Takter and four-year-old trotting stallions at Pocono? On June 8 in a $25,000 Preferred trot, Takter trainee Uncle Peter delivered a stunning performance in his victory, trotting the mile in 1:51:1. That not only set a track record for the age and gender grouping but it also smashed a world record for the group on a 5/8-mile oval.

Takter was at it again in Saturday night’s Preferred event, only this time he brought in another 4-year-old stallion named Guccio. Guccio had been seasoned against ruggedly tough trotters at The Meadowlands and was made the 2-5 favorite in the race. Takter also did the driving and positioned his horse perfectly behind a speed duel that created unconscious fractions in front of him.

Guccio rolled by his competition in the stretch, ending up 1 ½ lengths out in front of the rest. And what do you think his winning time was? 1:51:1, meaning that he matched the world record that his stablemate just set. I guess the next time you see a Jimmy Takter four-year-old stallion trotting into Pocono, you should watch that timer close to see if another record-breaking performance is in the offing.

Other top trotters this week include: Valley Of Sin (Mike Wilder, John Butenschoen), whose rallying win on Sunday in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old colts and geldings in a career-best 1:54:1 was his second straight victory at Pocono; Quantum Cashman (Jonathan Drury, Carmen Auciello), who moved up in class to win a claiming handicap trot on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:54:3, his third straight overall and second in a row at Pocono; and Lady Broadway (Jim Morrill Jr., Chris Oakes), a 3-year-old filly who won her third straight, the last two of which have come at Pocono, with a victory in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition on Wednesday night in 1:55:2.

PACER OF THE WEEK: BET ON THE LAW

Sometimes it takes a change of tactics to get a horse over the hump. In the case of Bet On The Law, a standout performer for trainer/driver Joe Pavia Jr., he had tried gunning out on the lead in his previous two starts in Preferred paces at Pocono, a style that had served him well in lower classes, only to get caught from behind when facing the best pacers on the grounds.

Saturday night’s $25,000 Preferred pace was loaded with big names and lots of up-front speed, so Pavia decided to try something different. He held Bet On The Law back in the field early while others battled for the lead and did all the work. He then wisely caught the cover of Hurrikane Kingcole on the back stretch to get his horse into contention with a minimum of effort.

In the stretch, while others had already used their best strides, Bet On The Law was just finding his. The 4-year-old gelding blew by his cover and everyone else to win by a length. His winning time of 1:48:4 marked a new career-best, but even more important, this talented pacer showed the versatility necessary to win no matter how a race plays out.

Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Best Ears (Jim Morrill Jr., Rene Allard), who followed up a condition win in his previous race with a victory over $25,000 claimers on Saturday night in a scorching career-best time of 1:49:4; Ideal Matters (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who won for the third time in his last four starts with a conquest of a condition pacing field on Saturday in 1:49:3; and Drop The Ball (Corey Callahan, Ross Croghan), who won Sunday night’s Preferred pace for mares in 1:50.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: CAGE FIGHTER

With Andrew McCarthy in the bike, this claiming pacer spiced up the early Daily Double on Wednesday night with a rallying win at 44-1, paying out $91 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MATT KAKALEY

Kakaley has been on fire for much of the season, but he turned it up with double-figures in wins for the week, including a five-bagger on Tuesday night.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RON BURKE

Burke started the week off with three training wins on Friday night and didn’t let up from there, as he has slowly but surely ascended to the top of the Pocono training colony in victories for the meet.

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.

Sophomore Trotters Star in Sire Stakes at Pocono

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

June 16, 2013

It wasn’t a good night for the favorites in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday night. All three divisions, each of which carried a purse of $79,816, for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot were won by horses who weren’t the top betting choice.

In the first division, Valley Of Sin, the 4-1 second choice, made a big-3-wide move on the back stretch to get to the front and then held off favorite High Bridge in the stretch for the victory in 1:54:1. Mike Wilder was in the bike for trainer John Butenschoen. High Bridge had to settle for second while All Laid Out picked up the show. Valley Of Sin won his second straight at Pocono.

Dontyouforgetit was the 9-2 third choice in the second Sire Stakes division, but he blew by favorite Smoother Ride in the stretch after a pocket trip for the win in 1:54:1. Yannick Gingras drove for trainer Jimmy Takter. Smoother Ride was second and Spider Blue Chip third. Dontyouforgetuit now has wins in back-to-back races after a win at The Meadows in his previous start.

In the final Sire Stakes split. 9-2 shot Celebrity Maserati overcame the outside post thanks to a furious stretch rally to victory in 1:54:4. Tom Jackson was in the bike for trainer Susanne Strandqvist. Aperfectyankee finished second while Picture This got the show. Celebrity Maserati bounced back from his first loss of the season and now has won four of five in 2013.

Form held in Sunday night’s other featured race at Pocono, as 7-5 favorite Drop The Ball grinded first over and wore down Radar Contact to win by a neck in 1:50:1 in a $25,000 Preferred pace for mares. Corey Callahan did the driving for trainer Ross Croghan. Romantic Moment finished third. It was the first win of the year for Drop The Ball, who had been in three rugged stakes races in a row prior to her journey to Pocono.