Day At The Track

Brian Brown is "The Man" in Sire Stakes

03:16 PM 17 May 2015 NZST
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Rise Up Now
Rise Up Now remains undefeated in five outings this year
Fred Brown Photo
WILKES-BARRE PA - To modify a Southern expression to its current "home," harness racing trainer Brian Brown is "hotter'n a two-dollar Pennsylvania pistol on a Saturday night."
 
Trainer Brown, trainer of 2014 divisional and Jugette champion Color's A Virgin and a resident of Delaware OH, may be having himself a two-day party late this September at the famed half-miler, as he already has five different Pennsylvania Sire Stakes-winning three-year-old pacing horses, three fillies and now the two colts who continued the hot trainer's winning ways Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, being among the four winners in the $226,168 first leg of their Sires action.
 
As the track turned "sloppy" for the fifth race Sires division (Pocono is about 150 miles northeast of Baltimore as the crow flies, and the Preakness rain started about two hours before the storms hit northeast PA), Rise Up Now remained undefeated in five outings this year, tucking in the pocket down the back and then catching leader Blood Brother in the stretch to post a 1½-length 1:51.3 over a newly-christened "sloppy" track. Blood Brother had snapped off splits of 26.1, 55.3, and 1:22.2, but the 53 usage in the odd-numbered quarters did not allow him to hold off the Somebeachsomewhere gelding and driver Simon Allard, who piloted the Brown trainee for King McNamara of Florida, the only non-Buckeye in the ownership group which includes the Strollin Stable, William Robinson, and Country Club Acres.
 
Brown is now two-for-two seasonally with the Well Said colt Lost For Words, who reclaimed the lead down the backstretch, opened up four lengths turning for home, then held off the late charge of the game little Allbeef N Nobull to win by 1½ lengths in 1:51.4 in the night's second division, when the track was still "fast." Lost For Words, a finalist in both the Governors Cup and Breeders Crown last year, was driven by Jim Morrill Jr. for the three Ohioans who share in Rise Up Now's ownership and another Buckeye, Richard Lombardo.
 
For years Brown has done very well in the Pennsylvania program, but this year his numbers are only slightly short of unbelievable. He's perfect in five Pocono starts, and at The Meadows he sports a 13-9-3-0 tally, for a Keystone State total of 18-14-3-0 - which produces a mind-boggling state UTR of .870!
 
McArdles Lightning teamed with driver Anthony Napolitano to post a 6-1 upset in taking the first division, coming from last at the half in the seven-horse field and blitzing his own back two quarters in 54.2 to equal his lifetime mark of 1:51. Steve Elliott conditions the McArdle ridgling (double thoroughbred Triple Crown racewinner American Pharoah is also a ridgling) for the Lightning Stable.
 
In the final Sires heat, Wazikashi Hanover was a pocket rocket in catching last year's 2YO Sires champion, Yankee Bounty, by 1¼ lengths, with the time on the sloppy track 1:52. Yankee Bounty overcame the outside "eight-ball" to post splits of 27, 57, and 1:24.4, but "Wazikashi," a Dragon Again gelding, was relentless and gained into the 27.1 kicker for trainer Joann Looney-King and the Tri County Stable. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. joined trainer Brown as a double winner in the Sires races.
 
*****
Also on the Pocono Saturday card were two $30,000 Open events, one for each gait, which were carded in anticipation of next Sunday's $150,000 Invitationals to be raced at the other track that Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association services, Harrah's Philadelphia.
 
Last year's divisional champion Classic Martine will have an interesting decision to make about "trying the boys" after taking the $30,000 Open trot by 3½ lengths in 1:53.1 on a fast track for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes. The daughter of Classic Photo, owned by Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich, and Ed Gold, made the lead in 27.3, "stole" a 30-second second quarter, and then dashed home in successive 27.4 panels to defeat Classicality, with 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry coming from seventh at the half to claim third, another length behind.
 
On the pacing side, Van Rose Memorial winner Domethatagain and second-place Alexa's Jackpot met again, but this time, two weeks later, the post position advantage was reversed (1-4, respectively, in the Rose to 8-3 Saturday), as was the result, with Alexa's Jackpot winning in 1:49.3 in the off going. Domethatagain motored to the top in 26 flat from his next-to-outside starting berth Saturday, but Alexa's Jackpot was put on the move soon thereafter by George Napolitano Jr., who took both Opens, and posted splits of 54.1 and 1:21.4 en route to the 1¼-length triumph. Trainer Marty Fine shares ownership in the winner with the Highland Thoroughbred Farm.
 
*****
The week's racing comes to an end at Pocono Sunday night with four $20,000 divisions of the first leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for the three-year-old colts and geldings. Many horses holding promise of developing into good horses are in the Stallion events; one of the more promising is Gallic Beach, making his first start of the year but showing a half-length loss in 1:50.2 at Lexington last fall. He's a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Western Gallie, a daughter of Western Hanover whose dam is Galleria and whose SBSW half-sister is double Breeders Crown elim winner Galliebythebeach.
 
PHHA / Pocono
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