Posts Tagged ‘William Mullin’

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Week In Review

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

June 11-17, 2016

If you were looking for the unexpected, it was a good week to watch the races at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Long shots seemed to be coming in every time you turned around, and favorites, with some notable exceptions, had a hard time getting the job done. Weeks like this past one remind everyone just how unpredictable this sport can be. Keep that in mind as we take a look at some of the top equine and human performers and hand out the Weekly Awards.

PACER OF THE WEEK: PRICELESS EDITION

Rules have been put in place this season at Pocono that have changed the claiming ranks to some extent. Without getting into the minutiae of those rules changes, the gist of them are that horses that are claimed or have had a lot of recent success at a certain price generally must move up in the ranks. As a result, winning streaks are much harder to come by among claimers. But apparently nobody told that to Priceless Edition, who’s been carving his way through his claiming brethren of late.

The hot streak for this 12-year-old gelding began on May 15. After coming up empty in his first five starts of the year following an excellent 2015, Priceless Edition handled a group of $7,500 claimers in 1:54:2. He followed that up with a place and a win in his next two races, which triggered a move up to the $10,000 claimers for his next race. And he promptly won in that class on June 4.

On Saturday night, he faced off with the $10,000 claimers once again and went off as an even-money favorite. After sitting fourth early, the veteran pacer, under the guidance of driver Andrew McCarthy, swooped to the lead on the front stretch. He never really extended to a big lead, but he kept the pressure at bay and came home strong to win by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:54:1. That makes four wins out of five for Priceless Edition, and, even though he now has to move up again, don’t be surprised if he keeps it rolling.

Other top pacers this week include: Allbeef N Nobull (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who upset the field at 27-1 in Saturday night’s featured $25,000 condition pace, winning in a career-best 1:49:2 that was also the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono; Mr D’s Dragon (Simon Allard, Staffan Lind) a 3-year-old who ripped off his third straight condition win on Tuesday night, this one coming in career-best 1:52:1; and Cracker Coffee (Eric Carlson, Amber Buter), a mare who followed up consecutive wins at Tioga with a victory on Tuesday night at Pocono in the featured pace for mares in a career-best 1:51:2.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SPICEDBOURBONGIRL

This 3-year-old filly from the barn of trainer Jeff Gregory has been outstanding to this point in 2016. After winning just once in nine tries as a freshman in 2015, she came out of the gate firing this year with wins in three of her first four races. Two of those wins came at Pocono, including a career-best mile of 1:53:4 on May 29, and the other was in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes competition at The Meadows.

With that kind of record it was no surprise that she went off as a 3-5 favorite in a condition trot at Pocono for non-winners of five on Sunday night. Gregory also did the driving on this night and moved Spicedbourbongirl to the front with a quarter-pole move. Even though she had put up that impressive 1:53:4 in her previous race, the filly needed much less on this night thanks to a nice rating job by Gregory in the first half of the mile.

The slower pace meant that there were other horses close by late, but Spicedbourbongirl had little trouble holding them off. Even though her winning time of 1:56:3 was nearly three seconds off her previous effort, it was easy to see she had plenty left in the tank had she wanted to push it. With four wins in five races so far in 2016, this filly looks like one of the best in her age group on the regional level, and she might just have the stuff to do some damage on a bigger stage should the opportunity arise.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Explosive Man (Robert Krivelin driver and trainer), whose condition win on Sunday in 1:56:1 was his third straight victory, two of which have come at Pocono; Amicus (George Napolitano Jr., William Mullin), who led just about all the way on Monday night to notch his second straight claiming victory, with this one coming in 1:58; and Quick Deal (Ake Svanstedt driver and trainer), who posted the week’s fastest trotting time at Pocono when he won a condition on Saturday night in 1:53.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: PITTSTOP KIP

Sunday night was a night of long shots, but none were more surprising than this gelding driven by David Miller who scored a claiming handicap win at 40-1, paying off $83.80 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: COREY CALLAHAN

With a Sire Stakes win Sunday night and two Stallion Series scores Monday night, Callahan was the only driver this week to get at least one win in both, and not one of his winners went off at lower than 8-1.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RON BURKE

The ever-prolific Burke barn produced three winners on Saturday night, including 27-1 bomber Allbeef N Nobull in the $25,000 featured condition pace.

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.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, May 30th, 2014

May 3-9, 2014   

On Kentucky Derby day at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, we held our annual doubleheader, bookending thoroughbred’s most famous race with a pair of harness racing cards for the overflow crowd. That means we had even more racing action than usual at Pocono this past week. And that, in turn, means that it was even tougher than usual choosing from among the best performances. Yet that’s what we’ve attempted to do with this edition of the Weekly Awards.

PACER OF THE WEEK: DANCIN YANKEE

The feature event on Saturday night and of the entire week at Pocono was The Van Rose Memorial, a $50,000 invitational pace held in honor of the longtime area sportswriter and great friend to the sport of harness racing in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Van certainly would have loved Saturday night’s race, considering the stellar field it contained and the outstanding performance of Dancin Yankee.

Dancin Yankee, a 6-year-old stallion from the Josh Green barn, was fresh off the rugged Levy series at Yonkers, where he finished 5th in the $567,000 final. As the 3-1 second choice in the Rose, he stayed back from a blistering early pace which produced fractions that were unsustainable even for the caliber of pacers in the race. On the back stretch, driver Brett Miller sensed his chance and sent Dancin Yankee first-over to easily take the lead.

From there, he kept extending his advantage until it was just about insurmountable at the top of the stretch. Even with closers like the race favorite Dovuto Hanover attempting to rally, Dancin Yankee stayed strong and came home in front by 3 ¼ lengths, an eye-opening margin considering the quality of the field. Even more impressive was his winning time of 1:49, a new career mark despite the fact that the track had been downgraded to good condition due to rainy weather.

Other top pacers this week include: Codey Shark (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), whose condition victory on Saturday afternoon in 1:52:3 was his third straight; Sky Desperado (Anthony Napolitano, Steve Salerno), who switched barns but still managed his second straight $25,000 claiming win on Saturday night and matched his career-best time of 1:51:1 in the process; and Dealmaker (Ron Pierce, Joseph Poliseno), who picked up his second straight $15,000 claiming win on Wednesday night and did it in a new career-best of 1:50:4.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: HARBOR POINT

There wasn’t an Open or Preferred trot on the schedule this past week at Pocono. Instead, the highest trotting purse of the week was the $21,000 up for grabs in a condition trot on Saturday night pitting non-winners of $27,500 in their last four starts against each other. As a result, the top trotters on the grounds jammed into this field, many either dropping down in class or shipping in from other tracks for the race.

Yet the horse who was made the 3-5 favorite was one who was actually moving up in class. Harbor Point had faced a lower condition field in his previous start but scored in such convincing fashion in a sizzling 1:53:2 that it was impossible for the bettors to ignore him, even in such heady company. Driver Ron Pierce raced him like the best in the field, gunning him to the front end early.

Pierce did an excellent job rating the speed on the front end, so that Harbor Point was plenty strong enough to hold off any late challengers. Even with the move up in class, the 5-year-old gelding from the Mark Ford barn picked up his second consecutive win in 1:54 on a good track. This trotter is on a roll and seems ready to take on all comers as long as this hot streak persists.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Frenchmen (Simon Allard, Pierre Paradis), who picked up his second straight front-trotting win on Sunday night over the $7,500 claimers, this one coming in a new career mark of 1:56:4; Skyline Road (Jim Morrill Jr., William Mullin), who took a big step up the condition ladder on Wednesday night but still scored his second straight win, this one coming in a career-best 1:53:3; and Affirmed Action (Mike Simons, John Grasso), who went gate-to-wire to win Wednesday night’s featured condition trot in 1:53:4.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: HUMILITY

This pacer had been up the track in his previous two $25,000 claimers, but he reversed that trend on Saturday night with Marcus Miller in the bike at 36-1 for a $74.60 win payout on a $2 ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR.

George is a candidate to win this award every single week at Pocono. This week he picked up multiple wins in four out of the five racing cards that were held.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RON BURKE

Burke, as always, is in the hunt to be the top trainer in the Pocono standings, and he helped his cause on Saturday night by scoring three training victories.

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.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

April 27-May 3, 2013

We start every year at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with a fresh Track Records page at the back of the program showing off some of the finest performances ever at the track. And every year, by the end of the season, that page looks drastically different after a fresh batch of competitors hits the track and breaks or matches a bunch of those records. Our first interloper on the Track Records page for 2013 highlights this week’s edition of the Weekly Awards

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: BEATGOESON HANOVER

This mare from the barn of Nifty Norman has had a distinguished career, earning close to $1 million in her lifetime, so she was certainly capable of a big effort. The down side was that she came into Saturday night’s condition pace for non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races without a win in her first four tries this season, although that was excusable considering the tough foes she had been facing at the Meadowlands.

On Saturday night, she had Ron Pierce in the bike, and Pierce decided he would be aggressive with the mare, sending her first over on the front stretch to take the lead by the half-mile marker. The fractions Beatgoeson Hanover laid down were unforgiving, which prevented any outside pressure from getting by her.

That kind of up-front speed often leaves a horse vulnerable in the stretch, but this mare was not to be denied. Pierce urged her home 1 ¼ lengths in front of Dontgetinhisway in a stunning time of 1:52:1. That matched the track record for trotting mares aged four years old and up, a mark originally set by Brighten Up in 2010. It won’t be the first time we see a track record in jeopardy this season, but it was still a thrilling effort by this marvelous mare.

Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Defiant Donato (Matt Kakaley, Jim Campbell), an impressive young filly with three straight wins to start her career after a rallying victory in a condition trot on Wednesday in a career-best 1:55:1; Fool’s Revenue (Jim Morrill Jr., William Mullin), who moved up in class to beat the $12,500 claimers on Tuesday night in 1:55:3, his second straight victory; and In Your Room (Mike Simons, Gail Wrubel), a mare who stepped up in class on Tuesday night but still rolled to her second straight condition win in 1:54:2.

PACER OF THE WEEK: ST LADS ZOOM ZOOM

Trainer and driver Daryl Bier only makes cameo appearances at MSPD, and he usually only makes the trip if he has a serious contender who can do some damage on the Pocono oval. As a result, he usually has a pretty excellent percentage of winners, and St Lads Zoom has been particularly tough to stop in the early parts of the meet.

The 4-year-old gelding was saddled with tough outside post positions in his first two starts at Pocono, but he acquitted himself well with a third and a win in those races. On Saturday night, he got a much better look at it with a #3 post position in a field of eight, but he also was moving up in class into a rugged non-winners of $24,000 the last five starts condition pace.

The good post allowed Bier to get St Lads Zoom Zoom in solid position in the pocket. In the stretch, the gelding did the rest, powering home for the victory in a thrilling stretch drive over favored Meirs Hanover in 1:51:2. St Lads Zoom Zoom has now won six of his nine races this season, just another efficient and effective performer from the Bier barn.

Other top pacers this week include: Pence Hanover (Andrew McCarthy, Aaron Lambert), who won the season’s first Preferred pace on Saturday night with front-end speed in a career-best 1:49:4; Mr Perseverance (Ron Pierce, Rene Allard), who moved up his claiming price to $25,000 yet still captured his second straight victory on Saturday night, this time in a career-best 1:50:3; and Lorrie Please (Eric Carlson, Michael Hall), a mare who captured the featured distaff pace on Sunday night with a gutsy effort in the stretch in 1:50:2, a new career-best.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: WESTERN CHURCHILL

The #9 post position didn’t scare away this gelding driven by John Campbell in a condition pace on Saturday night, as he won at 35-1 for a win payout of $72.80.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: RON PIERCE

Pierce has been making more frequent appearances at Pocono and has been lethal. Consider the monster night he had on Saturday night when he notched seven wins.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RENE ALLARD

Allard has been one of the hottest trainers on the grounds early in the season, and this week was no different, as he scored three wins including a double on Saturday night.

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.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Friday, October 5th, 2012

September 28-October 4, 2012

Now that we’ve hit the month of October, both the calendar and the cooler temperatures at night remind us that the racing season at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is now rounding the final turn on its way into the home stretch. Still, the racing action hasn’t let up one bit, and this week has been a prime example, giving us a host of excellent candidates for the Weekly Awards.

PACER OF THE WEEK: OYSTER BAY

As recently as July 31, Oyster Bay was battling it out for a claiming price of $7,500. A horse’s fortunes can change in an instant, and so they did for this pacer, who started performing well even as he continuously moved up in class. On August 31, he scored against the $12,500 claimers with a win in a career-best 1:51. He followed that up the next week for trainer Jason Robinson with a victory at a $15,000 claiming handicap.

He was claimed from that race to join the Sarita Mosher barn, and he had several things working against him in Saturday night’s $20,000 to $25,000 claiming handicap pace. Not only was he moving up in class, but it was also his first race in three weeks time. The possibility existed that he would be rusty against this top-notch group.

Those doubts started to fade when driver Andrew McCarthy, returning to Pocono last weekend after missing time with an injury, settled the gelding in a good spot in the pocket late. From there, Oyster Bay did the rest, powering home to match that career-best mile in 1:51 as a 10-1 long shot. Let’s see if he can continue to move up that ladder and have the same kind of success as the season winds down.

Other top pacers this week include: Camille (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who arrived after successful stints in Canada and at The Meadows to dominate the Open Handicap  for mares on Tuesday night in 1:50; Bagel Man (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter), who has owned the $10,000 claimers of late, picking up his third straight win in the class on Friday night in 1:52:1; and Razzle Dazzzle (Joe Pavia Jr., Richard Silverman), who, despite a layoff of more than a month, rallied to win the week’s featured condition pace on Saturday night in 1:49:3, matching both his career-best and the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono.

TROTTER OF THE WEEK: ZOOMING

It’s tough for trotters to maintain consistency in the higher classes, simply because the chance that they will go off stride is realistic at any time. Zooming has not only been consistent; he’s been downright overpowering at times this season, specifically when he went off for a career-best win at Pocono earlier in the meet in 1:52:3.

The 4-year-old gelding from the barn of Julie Miller was at it again in a rugged condition trot with a purse of $18,000 on Saturday night. He came into the race trying to atone for his last start, when he made an incredible rally to finish 3rd despite breaking before the start of the race. It was clear that Zooming, if he could stay flat, would be a really tough customer.

Well, he did indeed stay flat, and driver Tyler Buter, after keeping him back from the early pace, sent him barreling by the competition late for the victory. The winning time was 1:52:3, matching that career-best from earlier in the season. Zooming has a name that fits the way he’s been racing of late, as his consistent excellence continues to impress the Pocono faithful.

Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Zero Boundaries (Mike Simons, William Mullin), who rolled to his third straight win over the $10,000 claimers on Wednesday night in 1:56; M S Heather M (Jim Taggart Jr., Tabitha Teresczuk), a mare who won on Wednesday night, his second straight victory over the $7,500 claimers on an off-track, in 1:57:1; and Pilgrims Chuckie (Matt Romano, Thomas Cancelliere), who surprised the top condition trotters on the grounds on Saturday night at 15-1 in 1:54:1.

LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: NORTHMEDO CRUISER

Even though he was dropping down in class on Friday night, this claimer got away at 34-1 with Matt Kakaley in the bike and upset a group of claimers to pay off $71.60 on a $2 win ticket.

DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MATT KAKALEY

In an amazing display of hot driving, Kakaley won six consecutive races on Friday night’s card, on his way to a week with double figures in the win column.

TRAINER OF THE WEEK:  SCOTT DI DOMENICO

Scotty D started the year at Pocono hot and has picked up the pace again recently. Among his two winners this week was Bettors Glass, who matched the fastest pacing time of the week with a 1:49:3.

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.