Posts Tagged ‘Shadow Play’

Saturday features and George Napolitano Jr.’s win streak

Monday, November 9th, 2015

In the $24,000 co-featured events at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, November 7th,  both winners used “pocket rocket” tactics to emerge with victories — Extracurricular on the trot and Arthur Blue Chip on the pace.

Extracurricular, a veteran Revenue S gelding owned by Darren Mahoney, had a tougher time making his rally effective — as befits a 10-1 shot trying to catch a 1-5 pacesetting favorite, Somebody As. But Extracurricular dug in for the stretch battle with gameness and edged his frontstepping rival while taking a new mark of 1:52 at age nine for the brother team of driver Simon and trainer Rene Allard.

Arthur Blue Chip was the 11-10 favorite in his event and collared pacesetting Somethinginthewind with a bit more ease, but then the son of Shadow Play had to stay in high gear to withstand the persistent first-over Ontario Success, whose bid for victory came up a half-length shy. Dr. Ian Moore conditions the winner, who was third in his Breeders Crown elimination last month, for the Shadow One Stable.

George Napolitano Jr., the winningest driver in North American harness racing this season, visited Victory Lane five times on the Saturday card at Pocono

to raise his margin over second-place Aaron Merriman to 22, with the score now Napolitano 743, Merriman 721.

“George Nap” will get a chance to add to his margin Sunday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, but then Merriman will compete on four cards — Northfield Sunday night, The Meadows Monday afternoon and Northfield Monday night, and The Meadows Tuesday afternoon  – before Napolitano resumes sulky action here Tuesday night, concurrent with Merriman racing at Northfield.

There are two more weeks of racing in the 2015 season here at The Downs, with the trotters and pacers going on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings this week and next, with the final night November 21.

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Opens 2015 Season

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

March 21, 2015

Sky McFly dominated on the front end to defeat a group of $25,000 claimers and kick off the 2015 racing season on Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The race, the first of the night and the meet, carried a purse of $16,000.

Driven by Matt Kakaley for the Ron Burke barn, Sky McFly (Jereme’s Jet-N’vincible) took over around the first turn and never faced a serious challenge from that point. The 6-year-old gelding, a 2-5 favorite, scored in 1:52:1 by 2 ¼ lengths over Top Gear in second and To Beach His Own in third.

2015 promises to be a special one at Pocono, as it’s the 50th racing campaign for the venerable track in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The track opened in July of 1965.

In other opening night action at Pocono, three $15,000 divisions of the Bobby Weiss Series for three and four-year-old colts and geldings on the pace were held. The winners were: Shadow Margeaux (Shadow Play-Joyeux), a 37-1 long shot driven by Larry Stalbaum and trained by Steve Salerno, in 1:52:4; Mojito Hanover (Well Said-Mary Mattgalane), driven by Marcus Miller and trained by Jim Campbell, in 1:53:1; and Victory At Last (Quik Pulse Mindale-Bidforakiss), driven by Matt Kakaley and trained by Ron Burke, in 1:52:4. And in the night’s $22,000 featured condition pace, Blatantly Best (Cambest-Garish), driven by Jim Morrill Jr. and trained by Larry Remmen, came on late to win in 1:51:3.

Googoo Gaagaa Sets World Record in Winning Beal at Pocono

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

June 23, 2012

On a night when three track records and two world records had already been established at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Googoo Gaagaa needed to come up with something special to steal the show.

How does the fastest mile ever on a 5/8-mile oval work for you?

Googoo Gaagaa trotted an unreal 1:50:4 to win the $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial Jr. trot on Saturday night. The performance capped off an amazing night of action that saw pacers and trotters scorching the Pocono oval all night long.

Googoo Gaagaa came into the night having set a world record for 3-year-old colts on the trot of 1:51:3 in last week’s Beal elimination. In the final, the colt who is owned and trained by Richard Hans of Maryland, made his move on the front stretch to take the lead from Stormin Normand.

Nobody else made a serious threat to the top two, and Stormin Normand made a charge in the stretch, pulling up to about a half-length away. But driver Corey Callahan, who’s been aboard for all of Googoo Gaagaa’s 2012 victories, urged him home to win by 1 ¼ lengths. Little Brown Fox finished a distant 3rd. The fractional times were 27:1, 55:2, and 1:22:3, leading to the amazing winning time of 1:50:4, which shattered the world record for trotters of all ages on the 5/8-mile oval, which was the 1:51 mile posted by Arch Madness at Pocono in 2010.

In the winner’s circle, Callahan described Googoo Gaagaa’s legendary performance by saying, “He’s just a machine. He’s a professional in every sense of the word.” Callahan also had encouraging words for Hans, who was unsure how he fit in on the big stage, telling him, “You belong here, and he proved tonight that he does.”

Googoo Gaagaa now has an amazing record of 11 wins in 12 races, with his only loss coming earlier this season when he went off-stride at Harrah’s. Sired by Cam’s Rocket, a pacer, the colt pushed his career earnings to $345,945 as he heads to the Yonkers Trot.

The record-setting began at Pocono in the first elimination for the Ben Franklin, a free-for-all pace which Pocono will host for the first time next week. George Brennan drove Aracache Hanover, trained by Gregg McNair, to the Pocono all-time mark for aged pacing stallions with a victory in 1:48:1. The previous mark of 1:48:2 was set by Vlos in 2010 and matched by Transcending this May. From that elimination, Meirs Hanover (2nd), Bettor Sweet (3rd), Clear Vision (4th), and Razzle Dazzle (5th) also made the Franklin final.

In the second elimination, Bettarthancheddar, with Brennan in the bike again, this time for Casie Coleman, chased down We Will See late for a victory in 1:48:3. Along with Bettarthancheddar and We Will See, 3rd-place Foiled Again and 4th-place Rockincam are headed to the Franklin final.

In the second elimination for the Max C. Hempt Memorial, a 3-year-old open pace, Hurrikane Kingcole powered to a romping win in 1:48:1, breaking Shadow Play’s track record of 1:48:2 and matching the world record for 3-year-old colts on a 5/8-mile oval. From that split, I Like Dreamin and Hillbilly Hanover, who finished 2nd and 3rd, will race in next week’s final.

The first Hempt split was captured by I Fought Dalaw, with David Miller in the bike for Sam DePinto, in 1:49:3. One Through Ten and Mc Attaboy made the final by finishing second and third in that split. Bolt The Duer, with Mark MacDonald driving for Peter Foley, won the final Hempt split in 1:48:3. All Star Legend, who finished second in that split, and A Rocknroll Dance, who finished 3rd, are headed to the Hempt final next week.

The night’s final record came courtesy of American Jewel,  the star 3-year-old filly trained by Jimmy Takter. With Tetrick in the bike, she captured her elimination for the James M. Lynch Memorial stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies in 1:49:2. That’s a new Pocono mark for the age group, breaking the 1:49:3 staandard set by the great Southwind Tempo, and matches the world record on a 5/8-mile oval. Joining her in next week’s Lynch final from her split are Economy Terror, Marty Party, Lightning Paige, and Destiny’s Chance, who finished 2nd through 5th, respectively, in the race.

In the night’s other Lynch elimination, Darena Hanover, with Yannick Gingras in the bike for Ron Burke, scored in 1:50:2. Her fellow finalists are Sarandon Blue Chip (2nd), Shelliscape (3rd), and Major Look (4th.)

The finals for the Ben Franklin, Hempt, and Lynch will all take place in a mega-card on Saturday night, June 30 at Pocono, with approximately $1.6 million on the line during the night.