Posts Tagged ‘Tweet Me’

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Week In Review

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

October 1-7, 2016

Although the calendar flipped to October, the racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono showed no signs of cooling off with the weather. Even sloppy racing conditions couldn’t slow down the action. As a result, there were plenty of performances worthy of consideration for this edition of the Weekly Awards. We present the best of the best from the week that was to you now.

PACER OF THE WEEK: MICHAEL’S VICTORY

This three-year-old gelding from the barn of Mark Silva showed his talent earlier this season when he ripped off a victory at The Meadowlands in a scorching 1:49:1. He entered his race against the non-winners of five on Sunday night on a high note as well, having beaten the same class in his previous race at Pocono in 1:52:3.

Despite all of that, Michael’s Victory went off as a 9-5 second choice. That’s because Tom Hill, a newcomer from the racing wars in Canada, went off as the 1-2 favorite based on some quick times up north. Yet it was Michael’s Victory who proved to be the aggressor, taking the lead away from Settlemoir with a quick brush on the front stretch and opening up a nice advantage on the rest of the field.

Tom Hill took a shot at the leader on the back stretch, but Michael’s Victory was having none of it. He kept up the heat until Tom Hill, struggling to get closer, made a speed break. And Michael’s Victory just kept pouring it on from there. When it was all over, the three-year-old, driven by Simon Allard, was a winner by an impressive 7 ¼ lengths in a zippy time of 1:51. He’ll be graduating from the non-winners of five off this win, and it should be fun to see how he performs at his next step up the racing ladder.

Other top pacers this week include: Keystone Velocity (Simon Allard, Barry Probber), who rolled over an outstanding field in Saturday night’s featured $25,000 handicap pace, matching a career-best of 1:48:2 despite sloppy conditions; Rockin Rambaran (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes), who followed up a claiming handicap at Chester with another at Pocono on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:49:4 in the slop; and Yes You Can (Jim Marohn Jr., Tony Dinges), who arrived from Vernon Downs to capture Tuesday night’s feature pace for mares in a career-best 1:50:4.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: WESTSIDE LINDY

One of the things that seems to be true about harness racing perhaps more than other sports is that it often takes just a single victory to ignite a hot streak. In the case of Westside Lindy, a nine-year-old gelding, that victory came at Chester on August 25, which was his first of the season in twelve tries. He quickly followed that up with another win at Chester, whereupon he was claimed for $15,000 and joined the Chris Oakes barn when he shipped to Pocono.

After a second at a claiming price of $20,000 on September 12, he ripped off a victory against the same class two weeks later. On Sunday night he was once again facing off against the $20,000 claimers. As the even-money favorite, he swooped to the front around the first turn under the guidance of driver George Napolitano Jr. From there he held on to the lead without seeming to exert much effort, even as the fractions he posted were swift.

In the stretch, he widened his lead over the rest of the field until he could finally gear down a bit at the end. The veteran gelding still came home 2 ¾ lengths ahead of his closest competitor in a hasty 1:53:2. That winning time not only set a new career mark by almost a second, but it was also the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono. That one victory at Chester really fired up Westside Lindy, to the point where he’s racing better than he ever has before in his solid racing career.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Tweet Me (Mike Simons, Nicholas Devita) a mare who captured Sunday night’s featured $20,000 condition trot in 1:54:2; Star Photo (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), whose victory in a claiming trot on Monday night in 1:55:3 gave him three consecutive wins; and Eyes Cool (Anthony Napolitano, Ake Svanstedt), a two-year-old gelding who picked up his second straight condition victory on Tuesday and did so in a career-best 1:57:1.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: WINDUP WEST

Windup West, a filly pacer driven by Mike Simons, will never forget her maiden win on Sunday night, and neither will her backers since she went off at 50-1 and paid off $108 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR.

The meet’s leading driver may have picked up his milestone 8,000th career win at Chester last Friday, but George Nap quickly added to that total at Pocono by ripping off five wins on Saturday night.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JOE PAVIA JR.

Now focused on training after an amazing driving career, Pavia oversees a talented barn, as evidenced by wins on Saturday with Pointsman and Monday with Divination, each of whom went off at 7-1.

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.

Designed To Be Matches World Record in Sire Stakes Win at Pocono

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

June 18, 2014

Designed To Be exorcised some demons in a big way by winning a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Tuesday night, matching a world record in the process. The race was one of two $98,100 Sire Stakes divisions held at Pocono for three-year-old trotting fillies.

The last time she was at Pocono, Designed To Be (Donato Hanover-Sheer Soul), trained by Julie Miller, broke stride as the heavy favorite in a Breeders Crown elimination race in October. This time around, in just her second start of the year following a Sire Stakes win at Chester in early May, the filly, an 8-5 second choice, had to face off with defending division champ Shake It Cerry. Driver Brian Sears made the lead with Designed To Be on the front stretch and rebuffed the challenge of Shake It Cerry on the final turn. In the stretch, she trotted away from closing Lifetime Pursuit to win by 2 ¾ lengths with Shake It Cerry fading to 3rd. The winning time of 1:51:3 matched the world record for three-year-old trotting fillies on a 5/8-mile track, previously set by Check Me Out at Pocono in 2012.

Trainer Julie Miller was able to claim a sweep of Sire Stakes action on the night, as her filly Take The Money (Donato Hanover-Repititions) took advantage of some racing luck to win her division in 1:52:4. In that split, Cooler Schooner was the heavy favorite and was in command heading into the final turn, but she spun way out wide and lost too much ground to hit the board. Take The Money, the 7-5 second choice with Dave Palone in the bike, inherited the lead from the pocket and toughed it out in the stretch to win by a length over Cantabs Fortune in 1:52:4. Tweet Me picked up the show.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Monday, September 9th, 2013

September 5-11, 2013

There were only two nights of racing in the past week because of the Oktoberfest celebration at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Those two nights were full of great racing, however, thanks to the finals of the Stallion Series that were held on Friday and Saturday night.

These Stallion Series are a chance for some excellent two-year-old and three-year-old horses to compete for purses that they might not otherwise get the chance to earn. The races take place all summer, with the best performers earning tickets to the finals, which were each worth $40,000 each.

On Friday night, the 2-year-olds took center stage, followed by the 3-year-olds on Saturday night. Here is a look at how those finals went down.

TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS

In a thrilling race, 4-1 third choice Jack Attack, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, led much of the race, but had to deal with the 1-2 favorite So Surreal in the stretch. The two came to the line in a photo finish, and, when the dust settled, Jack Attack was the winner by a nose. Trained by PJ Fraley, the 2-year-old gelding paced the mile in 1:52:2, giving him a perfect record in Stallion Series action.

TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS

When Ron Pierce couldn’t make it to Pocono on Friday night, Tyler Buter got the catch drive aboard Who Wants Soup, who was coming off back-to-back wins in the preliminaries. Buter made the most of his chance, rallying the gelding from the barn of Jim Campbell from off the pace to take the late lead and hang on by a head over Faust for the victory in 1:56:3. It was a new career mark for Who Wants Soup.

TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES

Nitro Nittany, a filly from the Jim Raymer barn, was coming off the first loss of her career after three straight Stallion Series wins. She atoned in the best way possible. Driver Howard Parker sent Nitro Nittany behind the cover of even-money favorite Tweet Me on the outside, and she blew by in the stretch for the victory in a career-best 1:56.

TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES

Considering that she had won her previous start against tougher Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition, it was no surprise that Weeper, from the barn of Kelly O’ Donnell, was the 3-5 favorite in this group. The filly didn’t disappoint, blowing by her competition with a huge first-over brush on the back stretch and pacing away for a 1 ¾ length victory in 1:51:4, giving her three straight wins.

THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES

As part of an entry that went off as a 3-5 favorite, Choose Happy, trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., got off to a slow start and had to make a first-over move to reach the front of the pack. Not only did she get past the leader around the final turn, but she held back closers who had much better trips than she did, prevailing by a head with Brett Miller in the bike for a victory in 1:54:2.

THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES

Trained by Amber Buter, Antigua Hanover came into Saturday night’s final with just two wins in 16 races this season. She found her stride at the right time though, starting fast, finding the pocket, and then blowing by the favorite Mattwestern late to pace away for the victory by 2 ½ lengths. Tyler Buter did the driving for Antigua Hanover, who paced the mile in a career-best 1:50:4.

THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS

The combination of driver Howard Parker and trainer Jim Raymer, who won a Stallion Series final on Friday with Nitro Nittany, were at it again with Rossini. Despite being a 3-1 third choice, Parker sent Rossini to the front end and dared everyone to catch him. The result was an easy 3 ¼ length win in 1:53, which narrowly missed a track record for 3-year-old geldings on the trot.

THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS

The final Stallion Series race of the season was a thriller. Ultimate Beachboy was the 3-5 favorite after back-to-back wins, one of which matched a track record. But he was pressured on all sides throughout the mile in the final, until Shock It To ‘Em, trained by Chris Oakes and driven by Ron Pierce, rallied in the stretch from the pocket for a half-length win in 1:50:1.

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.