WILKES-BARRE PA -- $330,800 worth of Pennsylvania All-Stars action for locally-sired harness racing three-year-olds highlighted the holiday weekend action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Saturday, with pacers of both sexes contesting four divisions and the trotting colts matched up for three splits four weeks before the Hambletonian.
Il Sogno’s Dream had a chartline with more bubbles than a kid’s bathtub, but he nevertheless overcame the brutal trip to win by 7¾ lengths in the fastest division for the diamondgaiters, 1:54.1.The son of Cantab Hall was handled by North America’s leading driver, Aaron Merriman, and the performance of the Chris Beaver-trained 3YO showed why he ventured east from his Meadows-Northfield base by winning impressively for a pair of Manes (Bill and Dan) and a pair of Christophers (Leonard and Randy; well, three if you count trainer Beaver).
Madewell Hanover seems to be peaking at an opportune time for owner/trainer/driver Chris Ryder, as the Yankee Glide gelding moved to the lead in front of the stands and never looked back, holding early leader Amped Up Hanover safe by half a length in 1:55.1, with successive back splits of 28.2.
The Explosive Matter gelding Outburst burst to the lead past the quarter and never looked back again in winning his division in 1:54.4, sporting identical 57.2 halves. The Noel Daley-trained sophomore was 5½ lengths ahead at the finish for driver Andrew McCarthy, coming off his 1000th career win earlier in the week, and owners Daley, Adam Victor & Son Stable LLC, Kemppi Stables Ov Inc., and Mirva Bogucki.
Local sulky speed specialist George Napolitano Jr. got the Allamerican Native colt Mattamerican to the front past the quarter despite the outside post seven in his cut, and then threw a 26.2 third quarter to open up a lead he would never surrender in a 1:49.4 victory. Norm Parker conditions Mattamerican for owner/breeder Robert Key.
The McArdle colt Sean Liam Q saw eight months pass between his first and second racetrack victory, but he accomplished his third just four days later in winning a four-horse blanket finish in 1:50.1. The 16-1 shot had the right local driver for the upset, as “King” George Anthony has dubbed Andrew McCarthy “The King Of The Longshots,” and McCarthy had just the right timing to get Sean Liam Q home first for trainer Ross Croghan and his owners and breeders, Steve Stewart, Alan Quinn, and Frank Cannon.
At Press Time was knocked down to the minimum $2.10 win payout and did not disappoint, the Western Terror colt winning by 4 ½ lengths in 1:50.1 for driver Matt Kakaley and some folks you may not have heard from for a while – trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
The royally-bred (Somebeachsomewhere-Bunny Lake) colt Bondi Hanover led at every pole, coming home in 27.1 to withstand Lord Of Misrule by a head in 1:50.4. Aaron Merriman added to his win total by guiding the winner for trainer Tony Alagna and the W Springtime Racing Stable, who campaigned Bunny Lake.
Lynch Pace Final winner Fancy Desire returned to the site of her big stakes victory seven days previous, and the Real Desire filly triumphed again, but Lynch elim winner Cinamony narrowed in on the pacesetting winner late to miss by just a neck in the 1:50.2 mile. Kevin Carr handles the training of the fast-emerging star for owner Robert DiNozzi, with George Napolitano Jr. again in Fancy Desire’s sulky.
The Well Said filly Take That Hanover needed very bit of a 27.1 last quarter to ward off first-over Marathon Day by a neck in 1:49.4. Tyler Buter returned to Victory Lane with Take That Hanover for trainer Casie Coleman and the Jack Darling Stables LTD.
Driver Jim Morrill Jr. has a special knack for getting horses home first from seemingly-impossible spots, and he rallied Lucy’s Pearl, dead last at the half, to a ¾-length triumph over favored Also Encouraging in 1:50.1. Another daughter of Well Said, Lucy’s Pearl is a rare pacing foray for the “Trotting Guru,” trainer Ron Gurfein, who also shares ownership with Elizabeth Novak.
Stung past a 25.4 opener by main foe Seashell Hanover, the Somebeachsomewhere filly Bahama Blue made the lead and still had enough in the lane to hold off that rival by a length in 1:51. The familiar local team of driver Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes added another victory to their impressive stats column for owners Susan Oakes, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises LLC.