Day At The Track

Hambo-level harness action imminent

06:16 AM 30 May 2019 NZST
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Goes Down Smooth and Yannick Gingras,Harness racing
Goes Down Smooth and Yannick Gingras
Lisa photo

WILKES-BARRE PA – If you’re The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and on Saturday night you have the world’s fastest two-year-old, the filly Warrawee Ubeaut (1:48.3), among the harness racing entrants in four $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars race for three-year-olds – what can you do for an encore on Sunday?

Here’s the answer – you turn to the Hambletonian-class types, the three-year-old colt trotters, stage three $56,868 divisions of the second preliminary leg of their Pennsylvania Sire Stake, add five more $20,000 divisions of the group’s Stallion Series action, then also card two $30,000 races in the Great Northeast Open Series, one for mare pacers and one for trotters. That’s what you do.

The three Sire Stakes races are slotted in races three, five, and eleven, each having seven entrants, and each section has a winner from the first preliminary round, held at The Meadows on May 11. In race three Ginger Tree Skyr is the PaSS winner already, having posted a 1:55 upset at 26-1. Dan Rawlings will come east to drive the Explosive Matter colt for trainer Steven Cook as they begin from post two. Also highly-regarded in this division is Gerry (post six, driver Brian Sears), who broke at The Meadows in his seasonal bow but who won in 1:54.3 last year, and Marseille (post four, driver Åke Svanstedt), a maiden but who comes in for his 2019 debut off a good second in a qualifier.

Goes Down Smooth will start from post six in the fifth race for the formidable team of trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras, who will be freshly-returned from the World Driving Championship in Sweden. In addition to winning in 1:54.3 in his PaSS contest at The Meadows, the Muscle Hill gelding won two starts back in the final of the Walner series at The Meadowlands, and he also shows a 1:53.4 victory at the Jersey miler. White Tiger, who won his seasonal debut at The Meadowlands in 1:54.2, could be the major danger, starting from post two for driver David Miller.

In the third Sire Stakes cut, Gingras appears to have a good chance to add a second feature tally as he steers the Cantab Hall colt Osterc from post five for trainer Per Engblom. He is undefeated in two starts this year, preceding his 1:55.1 win at The Meadows with a victory in the Dexter Cup at Freehold, and he is also the defending Sire Stakes champion this division. Guaranteed (post two, driver Tim Tetrick) has a 1:53.4 victory at The Meadowlands this year and certainly could contend on his best outing.

The Stallion Series events go gateward in races 1, 4, 7, 9, and 12, and they are full of young horses who are developing now – 17 horses in the five races show a win within their last two starts. All three winners in The Meadows StS races are here – Kate’s Massive (race 4), Raceace (race 7), and Lapped By Lindy (race 12); Kate’s Massive may be the most interesting in that he followed his StS win with a victory in the Currier And Ives Trot at The Meadows, and he is luring the winningest driver of all-time, Dave Palone, for an infrequent visit to Pocono.

The Great Northeast Open Series has divisional leader Tequila Monday in the mare pace and Crystal Fashion, winner of the Earl Beal Final here in 2018, in that gait’s open event; these two races will be further examined in a release tomorrow, along with the GNOS open pace at Harrah’s Philly earlier on Sunday.

 

PHHA / Pocono

Jerry Connors

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