Day At The Track

Pocono winners tuning up for Breeders Crown

01:12 PM 15 Oct 2018 NZDT
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Call Me Queen Be, harness racing
Call Me Queen Be and driver Eric Carlson
Curtis Salonick photo

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Somebeachsomewhere harness racing mare Call Me Queen Be, a million-dollar winner in stakes company before the end of her three-year-old season, continues to be productive in her older form, as the five-year-old raised her lifetime intake to $1,346,835 with a 1:51.1 victory in the $30,000 Mares Open pace Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Eric Carlson put Call Me Queen Be on the early lead and got Lispatty in behind her before favored Lakeisha Hall came on a brush at the 26.3 quarter. Lakeisha Hall got a 56.1 breather to the half on the 45-degree night, but the price of pacing went up as Lispatty came at the leader first-up, actually getting a head advantage at the 1:23.4 3/4s. Call Me Queen Be was perfectly-placed off the protracted front-end duel, and in the stretch surged by the front combatants to a 2¼ length victory.

Call me Queen Be was the 2016 Breeders Crown three-year-old pacing filly champion, and this triumph, the fourth in her last six starts, may be a deciding factor for trainer Ross Croghan and the ownership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Mr. Dana Parham - three-year-old and older performers have to declare in Tuesday for Saturday's 2018 Breeders Crown eliminations right here at Pocono, a day after supplemental nominations and entries for two-year-olds are due. The $6,000,000 Breeders Crown Championship Night is Saturday, October 27.

Another horse who may have punched his ticket for a Crown starting berth is Muscle Diamond, who in the $21,500 featured trot got the lead nearing the 27 quarter under George Napolitano Jr.'s handling, went a very un-Crown like 57.4 to the half, then threw a 27.4 and then a 27.3 in finishing quarters to complete a 1:53.1 package on the cool night.

A six-year-old son of Muscle Hill trained by Brett Bittle and co-owned by him along with Dan Bittle and the Charles Kellers III and IV, Muscle Diamond also would bring valuable Breeders Crown experience to the table - he finished second in his two-year-old event at The Meadowlands in 2014, beaten only a half-length by Pinkman, and then in 2015 at Woodbine he was only 1¼ lengths off stablemates The Bank and Pinkman in taking third. Muscle Diamond, who has won four of his last seven, took his mark of 1:50.1 earlier this year, and he now has earnings of $745,199.

Driver George Napolitano Jr. had five winners on the Sunday Pocono card, adding to the three he posted last night - and went honors even for the weekend with his brother Anthony, who captured seven races on Saturday and added another on the Sunday program.

From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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