Day At The Track

Real Cool Sam, Capricornus PASS Pocono winners

12:32 PM 26 Aug 2019 NZST
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WILKES-BARRE, PA - Although a half length winning margin might not suggest so, the Muscle Hill - Cooler Schooner freshman trotting gelding Real Cool Sam was absolutely in control in hisharness racing division of the $184,018 final preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for his group Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Real Cool Sam and driver David Miller were looped out of the gate as Big Oil was hustled to the top, but the double world champion methodically made his way forward to the lead in :29.1, with his rivals showing respect and letting him get to the half in :59. Rome Pays Off, a winner in his only Sires start, came uncovered and gained through and past the 1:28 three-quarter pole.

In the stretch, Rome Pays Off grudgingly gave ground, but Big Oil still looked fresh in the pocket and ready to mount a big Pocono Pike dash. But you don't get to be the active all-time leading moneywinning driver without a knowledge of your horse and the opposition, and Miller, knowing his charge was not to be passed, sat "Coolly," with Big Oil getting to within a half-length but not in a menacing fashion; Rome Pays Off stayed on for a good third.

Real Cool Sam is undefeated in seven starts, winning three Sire Stakes, the Peter Haughton elim and final, and a PA All-Stars division. Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC have seen their trotter earn $294,038 already, with many big stakes to come.

The other Sires cut went to the Cantab Hall - Oh My Darlin colt Capricornus, 3-4 in the Haughton, and here a winner in his Sires bow in 1:55.2, equaling his mark. Tim Tetrick sent the winner to the top not long before the :28.2 quarter, then kept King Alphonso, who had been parked behind him early, out almost to the :57.4 half before yielding the lead and letting his rival carry the lead past the 1:26.4 three-quarters and into the stretch.

Capricornus went to the Pocono Pike and was able to overhaul the tough leader, then held off EL Titan rallying to his inside by ¾ of a length, with King Alphonso third. Marcus Melander appears to have another good trotting colt in the two-time winner for the JJ Stable.

The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission is the official tallier of the points earned in the Sire Stakes and the Stallion Series, but a quick, unofficial calculation performed after the last PaSS race revealed the following eight horses with the most points: 1. Real Cool Sam; 2. King Alphonso; 3. EL Ideal; 4. Gangster Hanover; 5. Amigo Volo; 6. Can't Say No; 7. Chestnut Hill; 8. Swiss House Onfire. The 2YO Sire Stakes Championships will be held at Philly (where they go eight-wide) on Sunday, September 8.

On the Stallion Series side, there were four divisions, with the Muscle Hill - Oyster Kronos colt Beyond Kronos going the fastest mile of all the babies by remaining undefeated in three StS races, with his 1:54.4 time a new mark. Beyond Kronos grinded first-up and worked to defeat pacesetting Askmelater Hanover, hard-used early, by a neck for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Jim Campbell, and owners Jeffrey and Michael Snyder.

Town Victor wound up as leading prelim pointwinner on the strength of three wins and a third in the StS, including his 1:55.3 win Sunday for driver Matt Kakaley, which gave him a new mark. The Winning Mister - P Town Girl gelding is already a five-time winner for trainer Rich Gillock, co-owner with Barbara Richardson.

The other two Stallion Series winners broke their maidens: Maesterdaemon, an Andover Hall - Angel Pie colt who won in 1:58 for Team Melander, driver Mattias and trainer Marcus, and the S R F Stable; and Don Grigio, by Donato Hanover - Crazy Grigio, home in 1:57 for driver Corey Callahan, trainer John Butenschoen, and Crawford Farms Racing.

Again, the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission is the official tallier of the points earned in the Sire Stakes and the Stallion Series, but a quick, unofficial calculation performed after the last StS race revealed the following nine horses with the most points: 1. Town Victor; 2. Beyond Kronos; 3. Matter Of Focus; 4. (tie) Loyal Fox Hanover and Saxon; 6. Don Grigio; 7. Libero Hanover; 8. (tie) Spring Roll and Stickler Hanover. All of the Stallion Series Championships will be held here at Pocono (where we go nine-wide) on Monday, September 9.

From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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