Day At The Track

Explosive Ridge lowers his record to 1:55.1

04:46 PM 12 Jun 2017 NZST
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Explosive Ridge
Explosive Ridge
Curtis Salonick Photo

WILKES-BARRE PA – In this era of specializing harness racing catch-drivers, the “trainer/driver” title is still proudly held by a few horsemen, mostly horsemen “past the half” and usually with those focusing on trotters.  

Another thing these “old-time horsemen” also possess is an ability to adjust strategy in midcourse, and one of the best trainer/drivers, Ake Svanstedt, dropped two of his charges out of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes class to the Stallion Series and then won divisions of the second leg of StS action Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

First to take a win was the Yankee Glide gelding Limerence, a checkgetter in PaSS company but here a wire-to-wire winner in a personal best of 1:55.2 for Åke Svanstedt Inc., Mal & Janet Burroughs LLC, Myfab Inc., and Torbjorn Swahn. The native Swede came back an hour later and put a new mark of 1:56.2 on the Donato Hanover colt Coogan, withstanding closer Brand New Key by a head for owner Hakan Andersson.

Another Sire Stakes refugee, the Explosive Matter gelding Explosive Ridge, lowered his record to 1:55.1 with an engine victory for driver Matt Kakaley. Trainer Nancy Johansson shares ownership of the winner of two straight with Kenneth Ross.

The Cantab Hall gelding Monteverdi, who may or may be named for a former harness track in Vermont, pounced from the pocket to overhaul pacesetter Stealth Hanover past midstretch and go on to a new mark of 1:55.4 for driver Christian Lind and trainer/father Staffan. Staffan is also co-owner with Bender Sweden Inc. and Acadia Farms Inc. of yet another horse finding success dropping from Sires competition which likely accounts for the fact that there were no StS two-time winners after this second leg.

Backstage Pass earned Donato Hanover another siring credit, and tied for the fastest winner at 1:55.1, when he went a first-over grind then held off Vodkancaviar, who had tailed his cover, by a neck. Pocono’s “Trot Man,” Mike Simons, guided the winner of 9 out of 18 starts lifetime, and also has local training duties for owner Jessica Smith.

Yankee Glide also picked up a second sire victory when the interestingly-named Boinganator quarter-moved en route to a 1:56 triumph that lowered his mark by five full seconds, presenting Jim Marohn Jr. with one of his quartet of sulky wins on the night. Jill Roland conditions the steady youngster for Anthony Risi and Bernard O’Brien.

Driver Corey Callahan and trainer John Butenschoen, winners of two of the three Sire Stakes divisions for this group on Saturday, took a blanket finish in the final division, earning a new mark of 1:57 while giving Cantab Hall a second winning son in the Stallion Series. The sophomore winner is owned by William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick, and finished off a “sweep” of setting new lifetime speed bests.

The Stallion Series colts gathered around the paddock televisions for a glimpse of some of their heroes, who gathered at Pocono Sunday for a $25,000 winners-over trot. They saw the Yonkers invader Buen Camino put on a strong performance, going for early position, maneuvering for a position for the stretch, then trotting over a tough field to take a personal mark of 1:52 for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and trainer Trond Smedshammer. The Cash Hall gelding raised his earnings to $111,830 this year and $487,951 lifetime for the Purple Haze Stables LLC.

PHHA / Pocono

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