Posts Tagged ‘Uncle Peter’

Sevruga Barrels Into Record Book at Pocono

Monday, July 8th, 2013

July 7, 2013

Sevruga matched the fastest time ever trotted on a 5/8-mile oval with a romping win in a Preferred trot at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday night. The race carried a purse of $25,000.

Sevruga (SJ’s Caviar-Stunning Lindsey), a 5-year-old gelding from the Julie Miller barn, left from post position #6 in a field of seven as the 1-5 favorite. Driver Andy Miller sent him to the front before the quarter, and as he clipped off fractions of 26:4, 55:4, and 1:22:4, the rest of the field faded from view. Sevruga trotted home 5 ½ lengths in front in a stunning 1:50:3. Upfront Billy in second and Traverse Seelster in third picked up the minor awards.

Sevruga’s time of 1:50:3 matched the mark set at Pocono just eight nights ago by Uncle Peter as the fastest ever time trotted on a 5/8-mile oval. It also sets the track and world record for aged geldings trotting on that distance track. The previous world mark was 1:50:4.

Sevruga, owned by KDM Stables Corp, won for the 8th time in 14 races this season. The victory was the 25th of his career and put his lifetime earnings at $635,091.

In other Sunday night action at Pocono, Rock N Soul outfinished Economy Terror in the stretch in a duel between million-dollar mares, winning a Preferred Handicap pace for mares in the process. The race carried a purse of $25,000.

Leaving from post position #6 in a field of seven, Rock N Soul (Rocknroll Hanover-Artchitecture), left early and led at the quarter only to cede the lead to Economy Terror in the front stretch. The two stayed in that order until the stretch, when driver Matt Kakaley guided Rock N Soul, trained by Ron Burke, up the inside passing lane to win by a neck over Economy Terror in a career-best 1:49:4. Bullet Point was right with the top two at the line in third.

Rock N Soul, owned by Weaver Bruscemi, Burke Racing, and Frank Baldachino, won for the fourth time in 13 races this season. It was the 21st career victory for the 6-year-old mare, pushing her lifetime earnings to $1,012,935.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

June 28-July 4, 2013

All of us on the racing side at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs had been looking forward all season long to Sun Stakes Saturday, an extravaganza of racing featuring four huge stakes races with combined purses of $1.8 million. When it finally arrived last weekend, it was everything we possibly could have hoped for and a ton more.

It featured some surprising results, crazy weather, and incredible, record-smashing performances by horses long before we even got to the stakes portion of the evening. Once those stakes races came around, the fans on hand and watching at home got to witness some of the sport’s finest stars showing just why they’re considered so special.

The stakes races weren’t scheduled until races 9 through 12, but the transcendent performances got underway long before that. In the very first race of the night, a $25,000 Preferred Trot, 4-year-old superstar Uncle Peter out-trotted veteran Arch Madness in a thrilling stretch battle for a win in 1:50:3, the fastest time ever trotted not only at Pocono but at any 5/8-mile oval in the world. Just a few races down the road in the consolation for the Ben Franklin pace, Bolt The Duer became the first pacer in Pocono history to break the 1:48 barrier, winning in an unreal 1:47:4.

In the Max C. Hempt elimination, Beach Memories’ winning time of 1:48:3 set a new Pocono record for 3-year-old geldings on the pace. Perhaps the wildest of the night’s races was the $25,000 Preferred pace. In the midst of the race, the threatening skies finally opened up, drenching a huge crowd watching outside on the track apron and the patio as well as the horses competing in the race. Yet, in the midst of the downpour, Abelard Hanover managed to match a world record for aged pacing geldings on a 5/8-mile oval with a victory in 1:48.

The soaking rain ensured that the track and world records were done for the evening, but, even in the slop, the stakes races proved that the best horses rise to the occasion no matter what the circumstances or obstacles. First came the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old fillies, a race which featured I Luv The Nitelife, who came in with four wins in five races on the year including a pair of six-figure stakes conquests. The #8 post didn’t scare the filly off from flashing her early speed. She managed to settle in the pocket and power home with a second move in the stretch with Tim Tetrick in the bike. The pride of the Chris Ryder barn picked up the win in 1:50.

The $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial pace is a 3-year-old Open event, which meant that it fell within the province of the sport’s preeminent superstar at this time, Captaintreacherous. The Tony Alagna-trained standout had already won 12 of 14 races in his career, including all four starts in 2013, heading into the race, yet the outside post he drew was a definite headache. Tetrick managed to find Captaintreacherous some cover on the outside though, and he survived a thrilling stretch battle with fast-closing Vegas Vacation. It was the kind of win where a horse just finds a way, like all winners do. Captaintreacherous paced the mile in 1:49:2.

Foiled Again came into the $500,000 Ben Franklin Free-For-All pace sitting at the precipice of a milestone no pacer in history had ever reached: $5 million earned in a career. The 9-year-old vet from the Rob Burke barn was coming off a record-setting win in the Franklin elimination, but his journey to the front in Saturday’s final was a tough first-over jaunt. No matter. Driver Yannick Gingras urged him home in a bang-bang finish to nose out Pet Rock in 1:49:2. Not only did it put him over that $5 million mark in style, it gave him 70 lifetime victories. And the scary thing is that he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

The way the night was going, with all of the biggest names coming up aces in the finals, it seemed like a good omen for Smiling Eli, the even-money favorite in the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial trot who was unbeaten after four career races. Yet the #9 post proved a little too much for him; the effort he expended to get to the front caught up with him in the stretch. That’s when Corky, a 7-1 shot with David Miller in the bike for trainer Jimmy Takter, came rolling by first-over for the win in 1:54:3. That marks three straight wins for Corky, who may be rounding into shape as the top 3-year-old trotter on the planet.

What a night it was. We’ve got much more to come at Pocono in 2013, of course. There’s another jam-packed stakes Saturday coming up in August and The Breeders Crown awaits in October. They’ll be hard-pressed to top Sun Stakes Saturday though, a day when the Pocono faithful saw a little bit of everything and a whole lot of excitement.

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.

Sun Stakes Saturday wows with record-breaking racing

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Captaintreacherous might be known as Captain Courageous after the way he won Saturday’s (June 29) $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Starting from the outermost spot on the gate, Captaintreacherous and driver Tim Tetrick were on the outside for the entire mile — three wide at points — but managed to win by a neck over Vegas Vacation in 1:49.2 over a track turned sloppy by heavy rain roughly an hour before the Hempt.

Captaintreacherous, the defending Pacer of the Year, improved to 5-for-5 this year for trainer Tony Alagna and the ownership group known as Captaintreacherous Racing. The colt has won $808,293 this season and $1.72 million in his career thanks to 13 victories in 15 lifetime starts.

“He was tremendous,” Alagna said. “To do what he did over this track the way it is after the downpour, if that’s not a mile in (1):47 then I don’t know what is on a good track. To be out as far as he was over this, it’s a monster mile.

“I had confidence. When he landed second over I knew this horse fitness wise was in great shape. I told Timmy he’s never been better tonight warming up. I told him he was going to be out the whole way, but I still think he’ll get the job done.”

Captaintreacherous’ performance was part of a $2 million card dubbed Sun Stakes Saturday at Pocono Downs. Foiled Again won the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers, becoming the first pacer to surpass $5 million in lifetime earnings, while Corky won the $500,000 Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters and I Luv The Nitelife won the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers.

In the Hempt, Captaintreacherous raced outside behind the cover of Sunfire Blue Chip and then Word Power before battling through the stretch to pull out the win. Vegas Vacation was a fast-closing second and Sunfire Blue Chip finished third.

“I knew we’d never seen this horse’s bottom,” Alagna said. “Tonight off the last turn, here he comes again. I thought Sunfire Blue Chip had a pretty good jump on him up the backside, but this horse does not want to quit. He has the will to win. That’s what it takes.

“That’s part of being a champion. That’s part of what great horses do; they find a way to win. They win.”

I Luv The Nitelife also started from an outside post with Tetrick in the sulky in the Lynch, but was able to get favorable position behind pacesetter Shebestingin before rallying in the stretch for a 1:50 win. Shebestingin finished second and Jerseylicious was third.

“I had a feeling that one way or another she was going to get where she needed to go,” trainer Chris Ryder said. “She got the right spot and it worked out. He drove her perfect and she’s a special horse.”

I Luv The Nitelife has won five of six races this year, including the $384,044 Fan Hanover Stakes on June 15, and nine of 16 starts in her career. The Lynch victory pushed her lifetime earnings to more than $1 million for owners Richard and Joanne Young.

“I saw (Shebestingin) coming and I thought about not letting her go, but I figured she’d carry me there, and she did,” Tetrick said. “My mare exploded when she got out.”

Corky, with David Miller in the bike for trainer Jimmy Takter, won the Beal by one length over Picture This in 1:54.3. Dontyouforgetit, also trained by Takter, finished third.

Smilin Eli, the favorite based on his 4-for-4 career record entering the Beal, started from post nine and was able to get the lead after the opening quarter-mile. He held the advantage until the stretch, but Corky was able to claim the top spot with a first-over effort. Smilin Eli finished fifth.

Corky has won three of seven races this year — with his wins coming consecutively since a second-place finish to Smilin Eli in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship on June 1. Corky, owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding and Jim Fielding, has won six of 14 career races and never finished worse than third while earning $575,968.

“He’s a very laid-back horse,” Takter said. “I always knew he had something deep within him; he’s been very consistent. He’s coming into himself right. He ended up with some bad luck last year. He got like a thousand warts on his hind legs — I’ve never seen anything like it — and thank you (veterinarian) Patty Hogan. She had to burn them away and it took a whole day for her to do it.

“I think we have a hell of a shot in the future with him. He’s been extremely good his last three starts.”

Miller hopes Corky is his horse for August’s Hambletonian Stakes.

“He’s getting better all the time and tonight’s another step closer to it,” Miller said. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hopefully he can hold on another month.”

Times were fast prior to the stakes slate getting underway, with multiple world-record performances on the card. But during the middle of the eighth race, the preferred pace won by Abelard Hanover in 1:48, heavy rain arrived and soaked the track for nearly 20 minutes.

Abelard Hanover’s time equaled the fastest mile ever by a gelding pacer on a five-eighths-mile track.

Bolt The Duer, driven by Mark MacDonald for trainer Peter Foley, won the $50,000 Franklin Consolation in 1:47.4, equaling the fastest mile ever paced on a five-eighths track and setting the track record for Pocono Downs.

Beach Memories, driven by Yannick Gingras for trainer Brian Brown, won the $50,000 Hempt Consolation in 1:48.3, equaling the world record for 3-year-old gelding pacers on a five-eighths oval and setting the track record for 3-year-old gelding pacers at Pocono Downs.

All Laid Out, driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer Noel Daley, won the $50,000 Beal Consolation in 1:53.1.

Earlier on the card, 4-year-old Uncle Peter, trained by Takter, won the preferred handicap trot in 1:50.3, setting the record for the quickest mile ever by a trotter on a five-eighths track. He eclipsed the mark of 1:50.4 set by Googoo Gaagaa at Pocono Downs last year.

“I’ve been high on him all his life,” Takter said. “To see him go a world record today was an unbelievable feeling.”

Ken Weingartner for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

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.

Guccio Matches World Record in Preferred Trot at Pocono

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

June 15, 2013

What is it about trainer Jimmy Takter and 4-year-old trotting stallions at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs?

A week ago, Uncle Peter set a new track and world record for the age group with a win in the featured trot. On Saturday night at Pocono, Takter brought in Guccio and he matched the feat with his own $25,000 Preferred trot victory in the same record time of 1:51:1.

Guccio, a 4-year-old stallion seasoned by tough trots at The Meadowlands, was made the 2-5 favorite in a field of nine. Takter, who also drove the stallion, kept him back in fifth early as lead-shuffling between Lightning Storm and Opening Night created blistering fractions. Takter got Guccio moving first over on the back stretch. At the top of the lane, he had corralled leader Opening Night and wore him down for a 1 ½ length victory in that record-setting time of 1:51:1. Opening Night finished second while Keystone Thomas picked up the show.

It was also a career mark for Guccio, who is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Goran Falk, and Brixton Medical. The win was his second of the season and 7th lifetime, while his career earnings jumped to $899,333.

In Saturday night’s $25,000 Preferred pace at Pocono, Bet On The Law might have been overlooked in a field that included stakes veteran Hurrikane Kingcole, Ron Burke trainee Escape The News, and Aussie invader Erle Dale N. As a 5-1 fourth choice in a field of seven, Bet On The Law stayed back off the early pace, choosing only to move when Hurrikane Kingcole came first-over on the back stretch to give him cover. That was a change of tactics by trainer/driver Joe Pavia Jr., one that paid off when the 4-year-old gelding spun off his cover and rallied to win by a length in a career-best 1:48:4. Hurrikane Kingcole had to settle for second while Musselsfrombrussels picked up the show.

Bet On The Law, owned by Steven Held, Joe Barbera, AGC Stables, and Dijo Racing, won for the sixth time in a dozen 2013 races. It was his  11th career victory and pushed his lifetime earnings to $313,249.