PACER OF THE WEEK: UP FRONT TIM T
Most of the time the horses that win these Weekly Awards come from the upper classes and are often the favorites or close to it in their respective groups. Yet the recent achievements of Up Front Tim T, a 7-year-old stallion trained by Bruce Lundstrom, have maybe been more impressive than most if only because he has been so unheralded on his hot streak against the $5,000 claimers.
It started on April 13, when Up Front Tim T rallied from far back early to win by a head as a 16-1 shot. He followed that up on May 22 with another late-kicking win, this time a bit more moderately priced but still a mild surprise at 4-1. On Tuesday night, his biggest obstacle was a #6 post position, which meant that he might be shuffled too far back for his late move if he stayed on the inside.
Driver, who was aboard for the previous three wins, sent Up Front Tim T on the outside on the back stretch, taking on some extra distance but giving his horse a chance to uncork his late move. In the stretch, the stallion blew by the leaders and came home a winner going away in 1:55:3, a time skewed by sloppy conditions. This time he was a 6-1 shot, meaning that he's picked up three wins in a row without being the favorite once. Unheralded, yes, but, of late, also unstoppable.
Other top pacers this week include: American Shuttle (, ), a mare who ripped off her win over the $15,000 claimers on Sunday night in a career best 1:51:3; Schoolkids ( , ), whose condition win on Saturday night came in 1:50, the fastest pacing time of the week; and Bestnotlie Hanover ( , Douglas Berkeley), who won his second straight and third in his last four with a claiming victory on Saturday night in 1:51:1.
TROTTER OF THE WEEK: A CROWN FOR LINDY
Anyone who knows anything about the trotting game knows that the constant possibility that even the very best of them might go off-stride makes every trot a bit of a nail-biter. As a result, sometimes it's not the flashiest or even the fastest of trotters who gets to the winner's circle with regularity, it's the one who's steady, consistent, and gives itself a chance week in and week out.
A Crown For Lindy has found that consistency in his last couple starts. On April 13, he overcame a tough outside post to find the pocket and upset a $7,500 claiming group in a career-best 1:55:4. On Sunday night, the 8-year-old gelding from thebarn had a better post but also moved up into the more rugged $10,000 claiming group, which seemed like a tough test.
One by one, horses made their play for the front end in the race, only to break stride. Meanwhile A Crown For Lindy, with Don Irvine Jr. in the bike, stayed flat and strong, eventually making his way to the front for the victory in 1:57. That makes two in a row for the veteran trotter, who has demonstrated in this mini-streak that, for the trotters, steadiness is sometimes as important as speed.
Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: War Cry Hall (, ), who won a condition trot on Wednesday night against a tough group in 1:56 in the slop; Wind Of The North ( , Clifton Green) who posted the best trotting time of the week by a wide margin with a condition in on Saturday night in 1:54:1; and Majestic Stone ( , Bucky Angle Jr.), who followed up a win at Harrah's with a condition victory in the slop on Wednesday night in 1:56:2.
LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: EMBASSY SEELSTER
Off-tracks often lead to long shot winners, and that was the case on Wednesday night, whenrallied this mare to a claiming handicap pacing win at 22-1, paying off $46.80 on a $2 win ticket.
DRIVER OF THE WEEK:
Simon really caught fire in the second half of 2013 at Pocono, and he has continued that hot streak this year. He picked up five wins this week, including a triple on Sunday night.
TRAINER OF THE WEEK:
Bier, who is also known as an excellent driver, came up with three training wins this week, including a double on Tuesday and a win with Bandolito on Saturday in the featured Preferred pace.
That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs