Posts Tagged ‘Trond Smedshammer’

Van Rose Memorial highlights Derby Day card

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The Van Rose Memorial Pace on Saturday night, Kentucky Derby night, was another terrific addition to the trophy case of the pnenomenal Luck Be Withyou.

Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono resume of Luck Be Withyou:

2013 – Breeders Crown winner at two at the Northeast PA oval.

2014 – Took his lifetime mark of 1:48 here.

2015 – Franklin Final winner despite post nine and Pocono Pacer of the Year.

2016 – Van Rose Invitational winner in 1:48.4 in only his second start of the year.

Luck Be Withyou, a five-year-old son of Western Ideal who LOVES The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, came out of the pocket behind a blistering pace set by JK Endofanera to win the $50,000 Rose invitational by a neck. “Luck” left strongly to get the garden spot behind JK Endofanera, who whistled to the quarter in 25.4, rated the half against the wind to a fairly-moderate 54.3, then tacked on a 26.2 third quarter (52.3 in the odd-numbered quarters) to open a clear lead at and past the 1:21 ¾.

But George Napolitano Jr., the Downs’ all-time leading driver, got “Luck” narrowing the gap into the stretch, with P H Supercam, the only other horse connected to the front, swinging three-wide as the winner vacated the pocket. Luck Be Withyou drove down the center of the track and picked up JK Endofanera late to win by a neck, with P H Supercam just another neck back in third. Rockeyed Optimist, the favorite from post six, was away sixth and had nonflowing cover, and only able to rally for fourth; Levy hero Bit Of A Legend N, stuck with the outside post nine, was also thwarted by the speedburners inside him, took back, raced fourth-over, and could do no better than sixth.

“The two of us get together on this track pretty well,” understated Napolitano, who also noted, “And this was only second start after a long layoff” (before his 2016 debut last week, he had last raced at Balmoral on November 7). Chris Oakes is the horse’s regular conditioner when he is racing in the area, and John Craig saw his veteran raise his lifetime bankroll to $1,138,781 with the fastest mile of the year at Pocono, taken with the mercury in the low 50’s and with a decent stretch headwind.

Three $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for state-bred three-year-old trotting colts and geldings were featured on the afternoon portion of the Pocono doubleheader, with some sophomores who had been flying “just under the radar” at two taking advantages of breaks by the divisional favorites and getting their 2016 stakes seasons off to a fast start.

In the opening cut, Tyson picked a good time to break his maiden, in control of the situation for the last half in a 1:55.4 mile, last quarter 28.3 for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Trond Smedshammer, and the ownership combine of the Purple Haze Stables LLC, American Viking Racing Stable, Anderson Farms, and Marc Goldberg. The altered son of Donato Hanover stayed steady throughout the mile while his main rivals kept knocking themselves out of competition – first 2-5 chalk Love Matters, then quick-leaving Pilgrims Tide (6-1), and finally pocketsitting Hollywood Highway (7-1), who had yielded command to 9-2 second choice Tyson and his move in front of the stands the first time. Tyson went on to an easy 2¼ length win over Edinburgh, with Will Self rallying for a distant third.

Mikkeli Hanover, named after the Finnish countryside oval where Varenne once set the world standard for 5/8-mile tracks, might have a little ways to go to come close to the talent level of that one, but according to driver Yannick Gingras, he’s still a little green, and yet he was able to lower his mark three seconds by winning his division by a length in 1:56.3. The Andover Hall colt, the 7-1 third choice, made a second move to go to the lead past the 5/8, then benefited when favorite Massive Clout, who had followed him down the back and had retucked in the pocket behind him, made a break on the far turn, leaving Mikkeli with a 4 to 5 length lead late on the turn. Second choice Granite State and Marion Gondolier came on with late bids, but they had to settle for minor honors behind Mikkeli Hanover, who is trained by Ron Burke for his Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Crawford Farms LLC, and Panhellenic Stable Corporation.

The third division was also the fastest, and it produced a second All-Stars winner for driver “Captain” Corey Callahan in 14-1 shot Hititoutofthepark, who worked to the lead at the ¼, shook off the first-over challenge of favored Make Or Miss (that colt eventually broke), and then staved off potential rocket rocket Lagerfeld by a head in 1:55, lowering his lifetime best by a tick, with Cloud Nine Hanover third. The Yankee Glide ridgling, a five-time winner at two, is conditioned by John Butenschoen for owners Give It A Shot Stable, Kurt Welling, and VIP Internet Stable LLC.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

August 22-28, 2014

On Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, we were lucky enough to have two $25,000 Preferred races on the card, one each for the trotters and pacers. As if often the case, those Preferred races, gathering such brilliant talent as they tend to do, produced thrilling outcomes and our three major award-winners for the week. That’s right, I said three. Read on and see how this is possible as we hand out the Weekly Awards.

PACERS OF THE WEEK: MACH IT SO and GOLDEN RECEIVER

There are a lot of close finishes in harness racing, but relatively few dead heats. After all, the chances of two horses travelling the distance of a mile and arriving at the finish line at exactly the same time so that they inseparable when the finish line is viewed in a photo, is pretty rare. It’s always a kick when it happens, but, when it happens between two horses the caliber of Mach It So and Golden Receiver, it’s a special treat.

On Saturday night, those two star pacers were lined up alongside each other in the Preferred pace. Golden Receiver, a former Pacer of the Year at Pocono, came in slumping a bit, but with career earnings of over $2.1 million, he’s always a major threat. Mach It So came in at the top of his game, having won two straight, including a Preferred at Pocono on August 2.

It looked as though it would be the hot horse’s night when Mach It So, driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer PJ Fraley, took over the lead in the stretch with a huge first-over move. But Golden Receiver, with Simon Allard driving for trainer Jake Huff, suddenly surged on the inside. The two hit the line together and the photo couldn’t separate them, so they shared the victory in 1:49:4. In a bizarre twist, two other horses in the race, Word Power and Big Time Promise, finished in their own dead heat for fifth place. Wacky, wonderful stuff in the week’s featured race.

Other top pacers this week include: Bolt The Duer (Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley), the standout veteran who won his second straight condition pace on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:50; Giveittoemstaight (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who rolled to her second straight condition win on Friday night and matched her career mark of 1:50:4 in the process; and Flying Cowboy (Andrew McCarthy, Matias Ruiz), whose career-best win in 1:50:4 in a claiming handicap on Wednesday night was his third consecutive victory.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MAVEN

In the trotting game, fillies of ages two and three usually get the chance to compete against each other a large majority of the time. Once they hit age four though and officially become mares, the opportunities to face their own gender exclusively start to dry out. Some stakes races still dot the schedule, but most tracks don’t offer overnight races for only distaff trotters over age four. That means they have to go up against the boys every once in a while.

For a trotter as talented as Maven, a 5-year-old mare from the Jonas Czernyson barn who has pretty much conquered all comers to this point in her career, such a prospect isn’t all that daunting. Even in a race like Saturday night’s Preferred Handicap trot, which featured some tough veteran male trotters like Not Afraid and Sevruga, the mare raced with extreme confidence.

With Mark MacDonald in the bike, Maven made a huge move on the outside late to take over the lead, holding off Waiting On A Woman by a length for the win. It was just her second victory of the year, coming in a scorching 1:52:3, but it pushed her career earnings up near $1.5 million. There’s a lot more money to be earned by this standout, probably some of it at the expense of her male counterparts.

Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Amigo Ranger (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), whose condition victory on Tuesday night in 1:52:3 was a career-best and matched the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; Donatomite (Trond Smedshammer trainer and driver), who stayed unbeaten after three career starts as a 2-year-old with a Stallion Series win on Tuesday night in 1:54:4; and Billy Flynn ( Brett Miller, Staffan Lind), a two-year-old who now has six wins in six tries after a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes win on Wednesday night in a career-best 1:55:4.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: G NOTE

This 2-year-old filly made quite an auspicious debut with Andrew McCarthy in the bike, upsetting the field in Tuesday night’s final race at 30-1 to pay off $62.60 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO

With driving doubles on Sunday and Tuesday highlighting another fine week at the races, A-Nap became the latest driver to earn 100 victories in the 2014 meet at Pocono.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: NEAL EHRHART

Ehrhart pulled off quite the training double on Tuesday night, scoring first with 14-1 shot Guilford and then adding Fool’s Revenue later in the night at 15-1.

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.

 

Donatomite Explodes in Stallion Series

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

August 26, 2014

Donatomite rolled to the fastest winning time in Stallion Series action on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were six $20,000 divisions of the Stallion series held for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the trot.

Donatomite (Donato Hanover-Malvictorian), driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer, stayed unbeaten after three career races by winning his division by 6 ¼ lengths in an impressive 1:54:4. Other Stallion Series winners on the night: Tommy Bar (Cantab Hall-Spellyuptothebar), driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Bill Popfinger, in 1:58:2; Handover The Money (Andover Hall-CR Sister Suzie), driven and trained by Francisco Del Cid, in 1:59:1; Don’t Mind Me (Andover Hall-Peace Of Mind), driven and trained by Jim Raymer, in 1:56:2; Wimborne Hanover (Muscle Massive-Wherley), driven by George Napolitano Jr. and trained by William Daugherty Jr., in 1:57:1; and Finish Line (Yankee Glide-Calchips Finisher), driven and trained by Trond Smedshammer, in 1:57:4.

Arch Madness and Golden Receiver Shine at Pocono

Monday, September 24th, 2012

September 22, 2012

Trotter Arch Madness and pacer Golden Receiver won their respective Opens in the featured races on a sloppy Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Both the Open trot and the Open handicap pace carried a purse of $50,000.

Arch Madness (Balanced Image-Armbro-Archer), an 8-year-old gelding owned by Marc Goldberg and Willow Pond LLC, was sent to the front by trainer and driver Trond Smedshammer and got away with easy fractions on his way to the Open trot win. Anders Bluestone made a brief charge at the 3-5 favorite in the stretch, but Arch Madness, who pushed his career earnings up to $3,641,585 with the win, put him away by three-quarters of a length in 1:53:2 in the slop. Tober finished 3rd.

In the Open Handicap pace, Golden Receiver (Village Jove-Royal Gold), the pride of the Mark Harder barn who is owned by Taylor, Simmonds, Springer, and Stable 45, made the lead a few steps into the race despite the outside post and was till there at the end, holding off fast-closing Bettor Sweet to win by a half-length. The 7-year-old gelding, driven to victory by George Napolitano Jr., won for the 13th time in 21 starts this season and paced the mile in 1:50:1. Silent Swing finished 3rd.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, July 13th, 2012

July 6-12, 2012

One of the most fun parts of any racing season occurs when the younger horses take center stage. These stars of tomorrow are often green in terms of experience but great in terms of talent. From July 3-8, Grand Circuit Week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs featured some outstanding 2 and 3-year-old trotters and pacers in the Pennsylvania All-Stars races. Let’s take a look at each of the eight classes that were held over those five nights of racing, an exciting week that showcased potential for the future and thrilling racing in the present.

2-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS & GELDINGS

Santa Fe Beachboy kicked off Grand Circuit Week with a bang last Tuesday, winning in a blistering time of 1:52 in his first start ever, a time that would hold up as the fastest in the class. That set the tone for six $25,000 divisions of this class in which several heavy favorites dominated their splits. Trainer Ray Schnittker had two of those heavy favorites, Red Rock and Cowboy Terrier, who each won in their debut races. Both of those winners were driven by Tim Tetrick, who added a third winner in the class with Lone Wolf Currier, who followed up a win at Harrah’s with a convincing win in 1:53:1.

2-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS & GELDINGS

As you might expect, this grouping, which held six $25,000 divisions last Tuesday, was dominated by a guy who always has a barn full of superb young trotters: Trainer Jimmy Takter. Jimmy also did the driving and picked up three victories with High Bridge, Atlas Peak, and Dontyouforgetit, all of whom won their debuts with relative ease. Takter wasn’t the only trainer with something to smile about in this class. David Wade looks like he has a star on his hands with easy winner Tigress’s Legacy, and Rich Gillock sent out Major Athens, who rolled with David Miller in the bike to the group’s fastest winning time of 1:56.

2-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES

Seven divisions of freshman fillies hit the track last Wednesday for their $25,000 All-Stars races. A couple of horses moved to 2-for-2 in their young careers with wins, as Somstreetsomwhere and Banner Beach Day turned the trick. It was a first-time starter who turned in the fastest time of the night, however, as Antigua Hanover, trained by Mark Harder and piloted by Jim Morrill Jr., scored in 1:53:3. Morrill also played a part in the grouping’s biggest upset, driving Binding Desire to a surprising win at odds of 11-1.

2-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES

The most impressive performance in this class, which held four $35,000 divisions on Friday night, belonged to Fashion Athena. Despite it being her debut race, this filly with Andrew McCarthy driving for Jim Campbell rallied to win her split in a sizzling 1:55:1, less than a second off the track record for her age and gender. Driver Matt Kakaley had two of the other winners, scoring with Good Intentions and Frau Blucher.

3-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS

A late rain storm on Saturday night meant that two of the three $50,000 divisions of this class were held in the slop. That didn’t slow down either Star Recruit or I Like Dreamin, who each won in the off-going in identical times of 1:51:4. Mcerlean, driven my Matt Kakaley for trainer Trond Smedshammer, scored in the one split on a fast track in 1:51:1.

3-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS

The big star in the three $50,000 divisions held Saturday night was Uncle Peter, who couldn’t get by Googoo Gaagaa in the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial but atoned for it with a sizzling win in the All-Stars in 1:52:3 for Jimmy Takter. Takter also scored with Nothing But Class early in the night, a notable win because it was the colt’s maiden victory.

3-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES

Driver Dave Palone, making his first appearance at Pocono since breaking North America’s all-time record for driving wins, picked up victories in two of the five $32,000 divisions of this class on Sunday night, winning with Lady Andi and On The Bright Side. Tim Tetrick also scored twice in this class, once aboard Can’t Have My Moni, and once aboard Oasis Dream, a 16-1 shot whose mile of 1:54 was just one-fifth of a second off the track record for the age group.

3-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES

Of the three $50,000 divisions held in this class Sunday night, Moonlit Dragon, driven by Eric Carlson and trained by Bruce Saunders, went the fastest, winning her split in a sizzling career-best time of 1:50:4. The other winners were Kiss Dont Bite, with Andy Miller in the bike for Noel Daley, and Podges Lady, who won despite a month layoff for trainer Joe Seekman and driver Eric Ledford.

All in all, it was another fantastic Grand Circuit Week at Pocono. Next week, we’ll get back to our Weekly Awards for the overnight races. Until then, we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com.