Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 37
1 2 3 Next »

Wilkes-Barre, PA - The pocket rocket This Is The Plan prevailed on Sun Stakes Saturday night (June 29) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. He ducked inside pacesetting favorite Western Fame, went to the lead, then held off defending Ben Franklin champion McWicked to take this year's $500,000 Ben Franklin final in 1:48.2, with the 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding setting a new mark. Yannick Gingras got This Is The Plan out to command early, then let Western Fame go to the lead near the :26.3 quarter. Western Fame reached the half in :54.2, then turned on the afterburners as McWicked moved first-over, keeping that rival a few lengths behind by going the third split in :26.2 en route to a 1:20.4 three-quarters. Around the turn, though, the field crept closer, with This Is The Plan right on Western Fame's back and McWicked getting closer. In the stretch, the famed Pocono Pike provided the avenue to victory for the winner, as he finished a neck ahead of a never-say-die McWicked, with Western Fame another half-length back. "I thought if I could get a two-hole trip behind Western Fame, we could be at least second," Gingras noted after the race. "He was sharp in his elimination (second to Western Fame), and he was less grabby than he was last week, except maybe late on the turn, but generally he was more relaxed, and he took advantage of the trip." Ron Burke conditions the winner of $917,915 for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Lawrence Karr. Driver Gingras went to the Franklin winner's circle for the second time, the first with the great Foiled Again in 2013. In the $75,000 Franklin consolation, Highalator bolted out of third before the half, cleared to the three-quarters in 1:20, and went on to the fastest mile of the year on a five-eighths-mile track, 1:48, while leaving his field 4-1/4 lengths behind. Hitman Hill and Filibuster Hanover had argued through bruising early fractions of :25.2 and :53.1, and thus the front end had been softened when Highalator and driver Richard Still made his huge backstretch brush and drew off. The son of Somebeachsomewhere has now won 30 of 64 lifetime starts and $466,528 for trainer Jenny Bier, co-owner with Joann Dombeck and Midsize Construction Inc. PHHA/Pocono    

Saturday, June 29th,  the very best of the best trotters and pacers in North America will descend upon the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Northeast PA for Sun Stakes Saturday, when the harness racing stars shine SO bright.  Four championship races will be on this stellar card, including the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot; the $500,000 Ben Franklin Free-For-All-Pace; the $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial Pace; and the $300,000 James Lynch Memorial Filly Pace, plus consolations of each.  Eliminations for Sun Stakes Saturday will take place on Saturday, June 22nd.  The Rainbow Pick 5 going into Saturday’s card is now up to $34,358.69, and is a .20 wager for races 10 through 14.  In addition, the Pick 4 for this card will be races 9 through 12.  As an added bonus for the fans, Sun Stakes Saturday presents a special meet and greet with former NFL Quarterback Dan Marino in the Racing Lobby at 5:00pm.  This is a wristband-only event, with a limited amount wristbands being distributed at 1:00pm.  Only the distributed authorized photos will be signed. The Downs is also getting you ready for the beach…or your backyard pool… with a souvenir beach towel!  The first 300 fans with coupon will receive this vibrant cobalt-blue towel.  The coupon is in the racing program, available starting at 5:00pm  Redemption is between 9:00PM and 10:00Pm in the lower Grandstand bar.  The promotion is one per fan, while supplies last.    Post Time is 7:00pm, with plenty of seating on the apron and patio,  as well as free self-parking and free admission. Trackside bars will be open with ice cold beverages, and food will be available for sale.* Racing for the track in Northeast PA continues through November 16th on Sunday at 7:00pm;  Monday and Tuesday at 4:00pm; and Saturday at 7:00pm. Jennifer Starr – Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

We're taking a two-week break from handing out the harness racing Weekly Awards in this space to talk instead about Sun Stakes Saturday. The finals are coming up this coming Saturday, June 29, with nearly $2 million on the line in the four championship races. But before they could have the chance of competing for those monumental purses, some of the top horses in the sport took to the track on Saturday in the eliminations to qualify for the finals. The weather was perfect, the track and times were fast, and the results weren't always predictable. Other than Highalator coming up short in the Ben Franklin elimination, the biggest names all managed to make it through to the finals, meaning that Saturday's races should be stellar. Let's take a look at how the eliminations played out in terms of both the top performers and those that could be sneaking under the radar heading into the high-stakes finals. Max C. Hempt Memorial Pace (Three-year-old Open pacers) Coming into the night, this was the most wide-open of the four championship races, and Saturday night really didn't provide too much clarity. Proof probably goes into Saturday as the favorite barring a really unfavorable post position; his win in 1:48:1 was an age-group best this year and he won't have to face Captain Crunch, winner of the last four races where Proof was an also-ran. But Chris Oakes knows a thing or two about training stakes winners at Pocono, and Shake That House looked sharp in his elimination victory on Saturday night. Meanwhile, Ron Burke's Captain Victorious survived a hellacious speed duel for his own career-best performance in the final elimination of the night. All three are peaking at the right time, while the other qualifiers for the final all need to step up their games to be considered as upset candidates. James M. Lynch Memorial Pace (Three-year-old filly pacers) For a while it was the Tony Alagna show in the Lynch on Saturday night. Although neither Tall Drink Hanover or Odds On St Lucie were favored, they dumped odds-on favorites (Philly Hanover and Zero Tolerance) in the eliminations. Those latter two horses both got through, as did Chris Oakes' fast-improving Blue Ivy, who nearly upended Odds On St Lucie at 25-1. But Alagna couldn't make it a clean sweep, as his trainee Treacherous Reign came up short of defending Breeders Crown champ Warrawee Ubeaut in the final elimination, a reversal of fortune from the Fan Havover in Canada where Treacherous Reign pulled off the upset. Still, you might not be able to glean too much from that elim, since Warrawee Ubeaut was able to get away with soft fractions that likely won't be part of the picture in the final when everyone is going all-out. Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot (Three-year-old trotters) Only two divisions here, which meant it was easier for horses to make the final. That didn't stop the first race from being a donnybrook, with White Tiger setting an unsustainable pace before faltering. The beneficiary was Green Manalishi S, no worse than 2nd in 10 races as a freshman but making his first start of the year. No rust here, as he used a second-over trip to win in 1:52:1. Race favorite Swandre The Giant did well to escape from the pocket behind the fading White Tiger to get third and punch his ticket. Marcus Melander trains Green Manalishi A, but the focus was on the trotter he had lying in wait in the second split, Greenshoe. After dusting a pair of stakes fields at The Big M in ridiculous times to start the season, Greenshoe was a 1-9 choice in the elim. When defending Pennsylvania champ Osterc got away with a :57:1 opening half, upset possibilities seemed real. Then Greenshoe glided by without so much as a grunt of effort, winning by another wide margin. Even with a stacked field on Saturday, another 1-9 sendoff for this budding legend isn't out of the question. Ben Franklin (Free-for-all pace) We talked about the disappointment for Highalator, as Levy champ Western Fame, trained by Pocono's top conditioner Rene Allard, avenged an earlier loss at the track with a rock-solid effort in 1:48:1. He was coming off a month-and-a-half layoff, but the batteries appeared fully recharged after the long grind of the Levy. Ron Burke's This is The Plan put up a nice effort as a long shot, finishing just three parts of a length back, recapturing some of the form he flashed last year at age three. The second split was star-studded, to say the least. Lather Up underperformed last year at Pocono to mar an otherwise stellar sophomore season, but he atoned somewhat on Saturday night. After Montrell Teague rated the pace to his liking, the four-year-old watched aged pacing legend McWicked take the lead from him late, only to grab it back for the win. McWicked is safe, finishing third, while Allard trainee Springsteen, the defending Hempt champ, nearly nipped Lather Up late despite it being his first start of the season. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia

WILKES-BARRE PA - The harness racing fields for the elimination races for Sun Stakes Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono have been drawn, with the top finishers in the eliminations this Saturday coming back in a week to compete in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Free-For-All Pace, the $500,000 Earl Beal Three-Year-Old Trot, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Three-Year-Old Colt&Gelding Pace, and the $300,000 James Lynch Three-Year-Old Filly Pace. There are three eliminations for both of the sophomore pacing events, with the top three coming back for the big money a week hence. In the Beal Trot and the Franklin Pace, there are two eliminations, with the top four finishers plus the fifth-place finisher with the highest 2019 earnings taking places in the Championship events. Here's a look at the horses in the eliminations of each of the four Sun Stakes Saturday events. BEN FRANKLIN FREE-FOR-ALL PACE ($35,000 eliminations in races 8 and 10) McWicked, 2018's Harness Horse of the Year, the defending Franklin champion and the winner of last season's Breeders Crown right here at Pocono, heads the free-for-all contingent. A winner of $3,918,456, the son of McArdle won his 2019 debut, then came back for a creditable third after taking four weeks off last Saturday, and is quite likely to be tighter for this Saturday's action. He'll start from post three in the eight-horse tenth race elimination, with Brian Sears driving for trainer Casie Coleman and the S S G Stables. Springsteen makes his 2019 debut from post one for the brother team of trainer Rene and driver Simon Allard; he won the Hempt Pace during last year's Sun Stakes Saturday card. Starting between Springsteen and McWicked is Lather Up, a top performer when minding his manners for driver Montrell Teague and trainer Clyde Francis. In the eighth race first Franklin elimination, Highalator comes back to Pocono on a five-race winning streak. A son of Somebeachsomewhere owned by trainer Jenny Bier in partnership with Joann Dombeck and Midsize Construction Inc., Highalator, as fierce a stretch competitor as has been seen at Pocono in a long time, will look to raise his lifetime tally at the mountain oval to 13 wins in 20 starts as he begins from post four in the nine-horse field for driver Richard Still. Western Fame, who ran roughshod through the Levy Series and has earned $448,800 already this year, comes back to the races after a month-and-a-half freshening, and he'll start from post two for trainer Rene Allard and driver Daniel Dube. EARL BEAL THREE-YEAR-OLD TROT ($25,000 eliminations in races 2 and 12) The Father Patrick colt Greenshoe, who has stamped himself the early favorite for The Hambletonian, is at the front of the class of the trotters assembling for the Beal off three astounding lines - a 1:51.2 win in a New Jersey Sire Stakes at The Meadowlands on May 17, a 1:50.2 triumph in the NJSS final two weeks later, and then a 1:52 qualifier here at Pocono on June 12. The Marcus Melander trainee, owned by Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, and Morten Langli, will begin from post five in the twelfth race second elimination for driver Brian Sears. The biggest threat to Greenshoe could come from Osterc, the 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion who is 3-for-4 to start this year, including two PASS prelims and the Dexter Cup. He'll go from post four for trainer Per Engblom, with Yannick Gingras listed as driver. In the second race first Beal elim, the Muscle Hill colt Green Manalishi S, another from the potent stable of Marcus Melander, makes his seasonal debut from post five, with Tim Tetrick scheduled to drive for owners Courant Inc. Green Manalishi S was five times first and five times second in ten starts as a freshman, earning $510,557. White Tiger, who equaled the 5/8-mile track world record for freshman geldings with a 1:55 win here last year, figures competitive here for trainer Andrew Harris and driver David Miller as he begins from post three. White Tiger opened his season with two wins before falling victim to broken equipment in his latest outing. MAX C. HEMPT THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT&GELDING PACE ($25,000 eliminations in races 1, 4, and 7) Proof, the 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, will draw his share of attention in the fourth race second Hempt elimination. The A Rocknroll Dance colt, trained by Brian Brown for Diamond Creek Racing, got his first 2019 win in his fourth start last time out, but he had been competitive in Sire Stakes event before the breakthrough win. David Miller is listed to guide Proof from post three. Starting from the rail in the first race first elimination is another 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion - Aflame Hanover, whose 1:51.4 triumph in the PA Fair SS Championship was the fastest final victory of all-time, even quicker than any three-year-old. The Russell Hanover gelding, a "local product" trained by Linda Schadel and co-owned by her and her husband Tony, comes off a fourth in the North America Cup Final, and Andrew McCarthy has gotten along well with the sophomore since taking over driving duties two races ago. In the seventh race third elimination, there are stakes winners from Delaware (Goldberg), New Jersey and Kentucky (Hurrikane Emperor), along with recent sub-1:50 overnight winners in Lyons JohnnyJnr and Captain Trevor. A handicapper could make a good case for many of the horses in this competitive field. JAMES LYNCH THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE ($20,000 eliminations in races 3, 5, and 11) One of the surer bets on Sun Stakes Saturday elimination night is that there will be a great deal of attention on the eleventh race third Lynch elimination, as Warrawee Beauty and Treacherous Reign have at each other again after the latter beat the former by a nose in a thrilling Fan Hanover final in Ontario last weekend. The Sweet Lou filly Warrawee Beauty, the fastest two-year-old of all-time at 1:48.3 and last year's divisional champ, will be out for revenge from the rail in the seven-horse field for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Ron Burke, and owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. The Captaintreacherous miss Treacherous Reign, undefeated in four starts this year, begins from post three for driver Dexter Dunn, trainer Tony Alagna, and the combine of Alagna Racing LLC, Big Als Stables, Let It Ride Stables Inc., and Mr. Dana Parham. Another daughter of Captaintreacherous, Philly Hanover, will be handled by Dexter Dunn from post two in the third race first Lynch elim. The Ron Coyne trainee, owned by Ron Coyne Stables Inc. and Blair Corbeil, has four wins and a second in five starts this year, the second coming to Warrawee Beauty, and she is a double PaSS winner Zero Tolerance has had zero tolerance for her New York Sire Stakes rivals this year, winning her three NYSS starts by a combined 16¾ lengths. The job may not be as easy in the fifth race second Lynch elim, but the Heston Blue Chip filly is the likely favorite beginning from post four for driver David Miller, trainer Joe Holloway, and the ownership of Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. The gigantic Saturday Pocono card also has a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) pace as race nine, with the two inside starting slots to be filled by Courtly Choice, who has carried his three-year-old form over to his present age four, and None Bettor A, the imported upstart who earned his sixth straight victory in the Battle Of Lake Erie on June 8. Both already have GNOS wins to their credit. First post for this Saturday's 14-race card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is scheduled for 7 p.m. PHHA / Pocono

Wilkes-Barre, PA --- McWicked, perfectly-placed second-over, swung three-wide late on the far turn and had an overwhelming late kick to come up a 1:49.3 winner while taking the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace final on Saturday (June 30) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The Ron Burke-trained threesome of Filibuster Hanover, Rockin Ron, and All Bets Off got away 1-2-3 by the :26.2 first panel, with McWicked fourth early. As the outer tier formed early, it looked like McWicked and driver Brian Sears might have to come first-over, but past the three-eighths All Bets Off pulled from third, giving cover which helped McWicked's chances. The middle splits were pedestrian, :55 and 1:22.2, with All Bets Off continuing his grind against pacesetting Filibuster Hanover, and McWicked readying to mount a wide charge. That charge commenced near the top of the stretch, and when McWicked started his kick, the only thing in doubt was the winning margin, which was 1-1/2 lengths over Rockin Ron, who parlayed prime pocket position for place; 99-1 Mac's Jackpot also used an inside trip to get a high finish, coming home third, just nipped for second. "It was good that I had sort of a 'slow second-over' trip, going up towards the front," Sears noted post-race, confident in the stretch strength of his son of McArdle-Western Sahara, who also won the 2014 Hempt, in a stakes record of 1:47.3 which still stands. In a career of continuing stardom, McWicked, now seven, boosted his earnings to $2,646,362 in only 80 career starts. The Franklin champion is owned by the S S G Stables of North Boston, N.Y., and was the only favorite in the night's four major races. Split The House, the 2017 Breeders Crown winner among the older pacers, was given a canny drive by Brian Sears to take the $75,000 Franklin Pace Consolation in 1:49. Sears stayed third-in at the half after Boogie Shuffle had taken the field to the quarter in :26.4 and favored Mach It So moved to the lead and passed the half in :55. Dealt A Winner pulled uncovered and heatedly battled the winner to the 1:21.1 three-quarters; when the second-over couldn't keep up, Sears slipped out then went wide on the far turn and tracked down 55-1 shot Boogie Shuffle, who got the lead midstretch in the Pocono Pike, by a half-length. Spilt The House is a Rocknroll Hanover gelding trained by Chris Oakes for Crawford Farms Racing. He boosted his lifetime bankroll to $643,833 while victorious in only his second start of the campaign. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Springsteen rocked to a 15-1 upset in Saturday's (June 30) $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where favorite Lather Up went off stride and suffered his first loss in eight starts this year. Springsteen and driver Simon Allard used a three-wide move at three-quarters and overcame Nutcracker Sweet by a head to win in 1:48.3. Hitman Hill finished third. Stay Hungry led the field to the first quarter in :26 before giving the top spot to Dorsoduro Hanover by the half-mile point, which was reached in :53.1. Lather Up, the North America Cup champion, made a first-over move on the backstretch but was unable to get to the front, leaving Springsteen to make a three-wide move as the group hit three-quarters in 1:20.2. In the stretch, Nutcracker Sweet moved to the inside and got the lead, but was unable to hold off Springsteen. Lather Up, who got roughly gaited going around the first turn, went off stride as he came off the final turn and was seventh-placed-eighth in the field of nine. "All I worry about is my horse being nice and relaxed," Allard said. "He's always so angry and wants to go fast. The fact they were going real fast to the half, I never had to grab into him and he was nice and relaxed. Whenever we can tip him whenever he wants to go, that's the thing to do. "We didn't know how good of a 3-year-old he was going to be. We went through a little bit of a problem with him tying up but right now everything is back good. He's ready for a good summer I guess." Springsteen is a son of Rock N Roll Heaven out of American Charm. He has won two of five races this year and five of 19 in his career, good for earnings of $479,423. The colt is owned by Allard Racing, Bruce Soulsby, Alan Weisenberg, and Kapildeo Singh. Springsteen paid $32.60 to win. Max C. Hempt was a renowned Pennsylvania-based breeder, whose horses were known for the prefix "Keystone," as well as a longtime director of the U.S. Trotting Association and Hambletonian Society. He served as the Hambletonian Society president from 1966-1984 and the creation of the Breeders Crown series evolved under his leadership. Hempt, who passed away in 1999, was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1980. The Art Major colt Courtly Choice set the speedy tone for the evening by winning the $75,000 Hempt Pace Consolation in 1:48.4, equaling his mark and setting a national season's record. David Miller spotted fourth with Courtly Choice while I'm A Big Deal and Done Well battled well past a wicked :25.3 opening quarter, with Done Well claiming the top at the three-eighths and rolling on to the :53.2 half. Miller and Courtly Choice, who was the choice of the bettors, quickly got in gear down the backstretch, went by Done Well with no difficulty before the 1:21.1 three-quarter pole, and then finished out on his own, 12-1/2 lengths ahead of his rivals. Courtly Choice, now a winner of $148,596 for trainer Blake MacIntosh and the ownership of Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe, and Touch Stone Farms, evidently has the speed to give with the division's best -- what he still needs to master is how to draw a good post. He had post eight of nine in the North America Cup eliminations, was a troubled fifth, won the Cup Consolation, then drew post nine of nine in the Hempt elimination against Lather Up and had too far to come on the speed-favoring Pocono oval. by Ken Weingartner & PHHA/Pocono Downs    

Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Crystal Fashion won Saturday's (June 30) $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, following a battle between Manchego and leader Six Pack before getting room in the stretch to power to a half-length victory over Six Pack in 1:51.4 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Lawmaker finished third. Manchego, the lone filly in the race and 3-5 favorite, went off stride coming around the final turn and finished ninth. It was her first loss in 16 career starts. Six Pack was three-wide around the first turn, a head back in third place, as the field reached the first quarter in :26.2. He grabbed the lead soon thereafter and hit the half in :55.4. Manchego, who was on the outside from the start, worked her way first-over to alongside the leader by three-quarters in 1:23.1, but was unable to get in front. Crystal Fashion was third coming around the final turn, but moved to the outside in the stretch after Manchego went off stride. "I just wanted to get up close," winning driver Tim Tetrick said. "My horse likes to leave the gate and sit close and get a good trip. If he gets room late, he likes to trot. He got by a good horse and we got the job done." Said winning trainer Jim Campbell, "Timmy gave him a perfect trip and he responded well and dug in when he had to." Crystal Fashion, a son of Cantab Hall out of Window Willow owned by Fashion Farms, has won three of six races this year and seven of 18 in his career. The gelding, who is eligible to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian, has earned $471,537. Sent off at odds of 9-2, Crystal Fashion paid $11.40 to win. The Earl Beal Jr. Memorial honors the former president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, who was a driving force to bring casino gaming to the state's racetracks. The 2017 Breeders Crown winner, the Swan For All colt Fiftydallarbill, had suffered horrendous luck in his Beal elimination last week, so in the $75,000 Beal Consolation driver Brett Miller left little to chance. Letting the horse ride parked through the :28 opener and guiding him to the lead well before the :56.3 half, Miller got the winner of $553,997 to the three-quarters in 1:25, then the pair sprinted home in :27.1 to hold off pocket-sitter Moosonee by a half-length, with the 1:52.1 clocking a lifetime best. Bill Crone is the trainer of the promising sophomore, who certainly has a rich Indiana campaign in front of him. by Ken Weingartner and the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Wilkes-Barre, PA --- Kissin In The Sand raced on the outside for much of the way before rallying in the stretch to get past Youaremycandygirl in deep stretch and win Saturday's (June 30) $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers by a neck in 1:49.3 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Alexa's Power was third. Kissin In The Sand started from post nine and got parked on the outside as Youaremycandygirl got the lead from post two. Youaremycandygirl hit the opening quarter in :26 and then battled with Kissin In The Sand as they reached the half in :53.2 and three-quarters in 1:20.3. As the horses came around the final turn, Kissin In The Sand moved to the pylons behind Youaremycandygirl, but she wasn't finished fighting. After straightening up in the stretch, Kissin In The Sand returned to the outside and was able to pass Youaremycandygirl in the final moments. The time was one-fifth of a second off the stakes record. "How the heck did she win that race?" a smiling trainer Nancy Johansson said as she posed for the win photo. "Nobody wants to sit parked the whole way," winning driver Scott Zeron said. "I felt like I was going against the other best horse in the race and it was a battle between the two of us. "I had a decision in the first turn, I thought maybe I would be able to get in but I felt I was really going to have to wrestle her to do it and Yannick could have stolen the race at that point. I made the decision to go to the front. When I ducked her back in on the last turn she picked the bit back up, which surprised me. When I angled her back over in the lane she really was game." Kissin In The Sand, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate, has won three of five races this year and 10 of 19 in her career. She has earned $495,545 for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. Kissin In The Sand went off at odds of 4-1 and paid $10.20 to win. The Lynch Memorial is named in honor of James M. Lynch, who served in positions from steward to racing secretary to director of racing to general manager during a career that took him to tracks around the country. He was the director of racing at Pennsylvania's Liberty Bell for all 23 years of its existence. He also was a horse owner and director of the U.S. Trotting Association. He passed away in 2000. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday morning (June 28) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Jennifer Starr, the harness racing marketing director at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono; Jimmy Takter, trainer of Manchego; Jordan Stratton, driver of Marion Marauder; and Jim Campbell, trains a slew of horses participating in stakes on Saturday. Starr, the racing marketing director at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, joins the program to talk about the happenings at the track on Saturday. The pair will discusses the races and what the track has available to patrons. Takter, trainer of Manchego, will discuss his champion three-year-old filly. She was victorious against the boys during her elimination and she looks to take them down for the second week in a row in the $500,000 final. Takter told Ken Weingartner that he believes his filly has something left in the tank for Saturday night. Stratton, who drove Marion Marauder last week, joins the show to discuss how the champion trotter handled the 1/2 of Yonkers Raceway. The duo will discuss with Stratton how he feels he can handle the different size tracks going forward and what may be next for the Triple Crown winner. Campbell trains a slew of horses throughout the three big stakes races and consolations Saturday night at Pocono. The pair talks to Campbell about all of the horses he has entered and how he feels they are training up to the big weekend. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive atwww.betamerica.com/BARN. by Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike

This Week: Ben Franklin Pace, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial, Max C. Hempt Memorial and James M. Lynch Memorial finals, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Cleveland Trotting Classic, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Tompkins-Geers, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y.; and Landmark Stakes, Historic Track, Goshen, N.Y. Schedule of events: The harness racing Grand Circuit spotlight will once again be on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this Saturday night (June 30) as the track will host four lucrative Sun Stakes finals in the $500,000 Ben Franklin for older pacers, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. Also on Saturday, Northfield Park will host the $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic for older trotters. On Friday (June 29), Tioga Downs will host three divisions in the $75,200 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old male pacers and three divisions in the $70,500 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old filly pacers. Also on Friday, Historic Track will card eight Landmark Stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Purses range from $6,125 to $14,350 for the Landmark Stakes. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Manchego, McWicked, and Lather Up were impressive in victories in the Sun Stakes eliminations Saturday (June 23) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Manchego kept her career record perfect after 15 starts, but in taking on the boys in her $25,000 Beal Trot elimination she was extended further than she had ever been before, holding off a game Crystal Fashion by a nose while equaling her career best of 1:52.4. Yannick Gingras kept the filly in mid-pack until traffic settled late on the first turn, then got her in gear before the :26.4 quarter, brushed to the lead, and got relatively soft middle fractions of :56 and 1:24.4. But through the stretch Crystal Fashion, who had ducked inside from second-over an eighth of a mile out, gained steadily, with Gingras chasing after the super filly late to maintain the victory in only her third race of the year. Jimmy Takter trains the winning daughter of Muscle Hill, who now has earnings of $929,688 for the ownership of Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. McWicked made winning look easy despite a first-over journey, winning handily for driver Brian Sears in 1:48.3. Mach It So set the early pace of :26 and :54.2, then had to contend with the winner. McWicked took the lead shortly after the 1:21.2 three-quarters, then finished out in :27.1, by 2-3/4 lengths ahead of Rockin Ron, who split horses late to just get second over longshot Mac's Jackpot, who nipped Mach It So for advancement to next week's championship. Casie Coleman conditions the veteran son of McArdle, who now is at $2,396,362 in career earnings, for S S G Stables. They saved the best for last on Sun Stakes Saturday elimination night, as the I'm Gorgeous colt Lather Up made the lead past the quarter, then came home in :53.1 in hand late for driver Montrell Teague to freeze the timer in 1:49 in his $25,000 Hempt elimination. After the :26.2 opener put down by Nutcracker Sweet, Lather Up, three-wide just past the eighth pole, raced up to grab command, got a huge breather with a :55.4 half, and then asserted his divisional dominance with the brilliant last half, winning by 2-1/4 lengths over Nutcracker Sweet, with Wes Delight edging Done Well to move on to the final. But someone will have to go a big mile in the final to defeat Lather Up, trained by Clyde Francis and moving his bankroll to $544,765 for owners Gary and Barbara Iles, who saw their pride and joy remain undefeated in seven seasonal starts. Complete recaps of the weekend races, including the other Pocono stakes eliminations, are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 392; 2. Yannick Gingras - 291; 3. Jordan Stratton - 154; 4. Jason Bartlett - 139; 5. David Miller - 130.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 315; 2. Jim King Jr. - 151; 3. Jimmy Takter - 129; 4. Peter Tritton - 122; 5. Rene Allard - 80. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 107; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 74.8; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 74.8; 4. Richard Poillucci - 66; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King - 60. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Meadowlands Racetrack, Hoosier Park and Yonkers Raceway. The Meadowlands will host the Graduate Series finals for 4-year-old pacers and trotters, Meadowlands Pace eliminations for 3-year-olds, a Reynolds division for 3-year-old filly trotters, and the first leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers. Hoosier Park will card the Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers and Yonkers features Lawrence Sheppard eliminations for 2-year-old pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Last week's eliminations for this coming week's Sun Stakes Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono were notable for the way that most of the biggest names were able to sail through to the finals. In many cases, the elimination week can be extremely troublesome for highly-favored horses, but nine of the eleven Sun Stakes elims were won by the favorites, while the other two favorites who came up short did manage to get in by finishing high enough in the order. Although there were some highly-regarded horses who came up short of the finals, the races on Saturday are about as star-studded as fans could have hoped. As we both look back at the elims and preview the finals, you'll note that post position is a big factor heading into this Saturday. A few horses will have to overcome some tough spots to take home the winner's share of the giant purses, while others will benefit from much better posts than they had a week ago. Here's how it all shakes out. Race 9: The James M. Lynch Memorial Pace This $300,000 showcase for three-year-old fillies is distinguished by extremes in terms of the post position draw. Sidewalk Dancer, who actually came up short in her elimination behind Kissin In The Sand, will be the favorite. The reason: She had to deal with an outside post in the elimination, but for the final the Chris Oakes trainee gets the inside post. Meanwhile Kissin In The Sand drew the short straw and will start from the dreaded #9 post. Youaremycandygirl comes in as the defending division champion but has endured an up-and-down year. Although she won her elimination, her front-pacing style really benefitted from soft fractions, fractions she's unlikely to get away with on Saturday night. One to watch who could get you decent odds is the Ron Burke-trained Double A Mint, who was closing fast last week right behind Youaremycandygirl. Race 10: The Max C. Hempt Memorial Pace With $500,000 on the line for three-year-old open pacers, you might expect it to be an incredibly competitive group. But the bottom line is that if Lather Up races like he has throughout this year, he will be tough to beat. Unbeaten this year with a win in the North American Cup as a highlight, he left the pursuit behind late in his elimination. Although Dorsoduro Hanover and Hitman Hill were the other elimination winners, it feels like the one with the best chance of springing the upset is Stay Hungry, a Breeders Crown champion at age two and coming off a third in the elimination despite an awful trip. Springsteen, coming out of the Rene Allard barn, also could be looking to enjoy some glory days on Saturday night, but this is Lather Up's show. He just needs to race to his potential. Race 11: The Ben Franklin Free-For-All Pace On the one hand, McWicked was the easiest winner of Saturday night's three eliminations for the $500,000 showcase for aged pacers, gliding first-over to a comfortable win. But he only had to beat four other pacers in that split, so the task on Saturday night will be considerably more difficult for the favorite. All Bets Off, Sintra, and Filibuster Hanover come out of last week's most competitive race, as All Bets Off won thanks to a DQ of Sintra, who finished first but went inside the pylons to do it. Don't sleep on Filibuster Hanover, who was squeezed in the stretch to suffer his first loss of the year. If the pace gets wild and woolly, which it very well could, Heaven Rocks A, the Aussie invader who came from behind to win his split, could be a major factor, although McWicked also generally comes from off the pace. Race 12: The Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot Something has to give in the $500,000 sophomore trotting showcase. Colts Mission Accepted and Six Pack come in undefeated on the year, but the filly Manchego is unbeaten in her career, having passed her first test against the boys in the eliminations, albeit barely over Crystal Fashion. Ake Svanstedt's Six Pack is stuck on the outside, which won't make it easy on his favored style of early speed. The Ohio invader Mission Accepted proved he belonged with a furious rally to win his split. Crystal Fashion must be feeling confident following his near-miss against Manchego, while Patent Leather, Fashion Woodchopper, and Evaluate are all extremely dangerous. If Manchego sustains against this stacked field, it's hard to imagine her losing anytime soon. As you can tell, it should be a thrilling night of racing on Sun Stakes Saturday. Don't miss out on the action. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs  

Jimmy Takter is ready to take off Manchego's training wheels. In this case, the wheels are shoes. Manchego, undefeated in 15 career races, will attempt to become the first female winner of the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono when she faces eight male rivals in the $500,000 event for 3-year-old trotters. Last week, she captured her elimination by a nose in 1:52.4, equaling her lifetime best time and besting a field that included 2017 male divisional champs from the U.S. and Canada plus the Breeders Crown winner. She will start the Beal final from post No. 6 with regular driver Yannick Gingras and is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. "This is a good test for her, it's a very good race," Takter said. "(Last week) she had to work hard to get the lead; she fought hard. It will be tougher this week. There is going to be a lot of action in that race." Takter has won three of the Beal's seven previous editions and last year sent out the first female finalist in the event, Ariana G, who won her elimination before finishing third from post eight in the final. Takter plans to make a shoeing adjustment on Manchego for Saturday's final. "She's been racing with her training shoes," Takter said. "She's been going with a (heavier) shoe up front and she doesn't need any weight. We can lighten her up quite a bit. This is something I always do. I don't do it right away; I've been waiting to get to this point in the season. I've got another gear there." The Beal is one of four marquee events that make up Sun Stakes Saturday at Pocono. The card also features the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, where Lather Up is the 2-1 morning-line favorite; $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers, with McWicked the 5-2 favorite; and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, where Sidewalk Dancer is the 5-2 choice. Manchego was a $120,000 yearling buy, under the name Whispering Hills, at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale. She is a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic and her family includes millionaire Possess The Magic. Manchego was a perfect 12-for-12 last year and became the first undefeated 2-year-old female trotter to win a Dan Patch Award. She also was the first unbeaten 2-year-old female trotter to win a Breeders Crown. This year, Manchego won divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Pennsylvania All-Stars before her nose victory over Crystal Fashion in her Beal elimination, which marked only the second time in her 15 starts that a horse was within 1-1/2 lengths of her at the finish line. In the elim, she defeated a field that had last year's male Dan Patch Award winner Fourth Dimension, O'Brien Award winner Alarm Detector, and Breeders Crown champ Fiftydallarbill. "She's more calm this year; more professional in all aspects," Takter said. "She's very handy. Whatever you want to do, you can do. That's a plus for her." Manchego, who is owned by Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman, has earned $929,688 in her career. Crystal Fashion is the 3-1 second choice in the Beal final, followed by elimination winners Mission Accepted at 4-1 and Six Pack at 5-1. Six Pack will start from the outside position, post nine. Seven of the nine finalists are eligible to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian Stakes: Manchego, Six Pack, Crystal Fashion, Lawmaker, Patent Leather, Fashionwoodchopper, and Evaluate. The only Beal champion to win the Hambletonian was Pinkman in 2015. Beal winners Devious Man and Southwind Frank finished second in the Hambletonian the past two years. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono. The Beal is race No. 12 on the card and caps the stakes events. The Lynch is race nine, followed by the Hempt and Franklin. The Earl Beal Jr. Memorial honors the former president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, who was a driving force to bring casino gaming to the state's racetracks. Following is the field for this year's race. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Lawmaker-Anthony MacDonald-Andrew Harris-15/1 2-Patent Leather-Brian Sears-Jim Campbell-10/1 3-Mission Accepted-Ryan Stahl-Jeff Conger-4/1 4-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-3/1 5-Fashionwoodchopper-David Miller-Jim Campbell-12/1 6-Manchego-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 7-Mississippi Storm-Brett Miller-Tom Fanning-20/1 8-Evaluate-Corey Callahan-Marcus Melander-6/1 9-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-5/1 Complete entries for the card are available at this link. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Saturday, June 30th, the very best of the best harness racing trotters and pacers in North America will descend upon the Downs at MohegaSun Pocono in Northeast PA for Sun Stakes Saturday, when the stars shine SO bright.  All eyes will be on the filly Manchego, now 15 for 15, clocking the fastest in the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot eliminations of 1:52.4, with the gelding Crystal Fashion missing by a nose.  She starts from post 6 and will once again be “against the boys”.  Also in the spotlight will be North America Cup winner Lather Up, entering the final of the Max Hempt Memorial off his powerful 1:49 win in the eliminations, looking like he still had plenty left in the tank for driver Montrell Teague. Lather Up, 7-for-7 this year for trainer Clyde Francis, starts from the not-easy post 7. Ben Franklin 2014 winner McWicked returns to this superstar field, which includes Heaven Rocks A and All Bets Off, who won his elimination after favorite Sintra (also in the final), crossed the wire first but was placed back for a violation of the pylons rule.  The James Lynch Memorial is equally full of star power, with Kissin’ In The Sand drawing the difficult 9 post, and Youaremycandygirl looking to get back to winning form.  The Downs is thrilled to welcome the incomparable Foiled Again on Saturday, racing in the third, a conditioned pace.  The 100th win in the illustrious career of the “Richest Standardbred of all time” is within his grasp!  Foiled Again won the Franklin here in 2013, setting the World Record in his elimination of 1:48, and returning for a thrilling final on a sloppy track in 1:49.2.  The day begins with a special Meet and Greet with Julius “Dr J” Erving in the Racing Lobby at 4:30pm  This is a wristband-only event, with wristbands being distributed at 1:00pm.  A Racing Rewards card is required, and only the distributed authorized photos will be signed. Also on Saturday, the first 300 fans will receive a souvenir cooler pack.  Coupon is required and in the live racing program, available starting at 11:00am.  Redemption is between 9:00PM and 10:00Pm in the lower Grandstand bar.  The promotion is one per fan, while supplies last, with their Racing Rewards card. Post Time is 7:00pm, with plenty of seating on the apron and patio,  as well as free self-parking and free admission. Patio and apron bars will be open with ice cold beverages, and there’ll be a food tent.  No off-property food or beverages are permitted.  Racing for the track in Northeast PA continues through November 17 Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday.   

WILKES-BARRE PA - Divisional bragging rights, not to mention loads of cash, will be on the line this Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, as the northeastern Pennsylvania track hosts the $2,120,000 Sun Stakes Saturday Championship. The $300,000 James Lynch Pace Championship for sophomore harness racing fillies leads off the four consecutive finales in race 9; following in this order are the other three Championships, all worth $500,000: the Max C. Hempt Pace Championship for three-year-old male pacers; the Ben Franklin Pace Championship for free-for-allers; and the Earl Beal Trot, an open event for three-year-olds. There was sufficient interest to warrant scheduling $75,000 consolation events for the Hempt (race 2), Franklin (race 4), and Beal (race 7). In last week's eleven elimination races determining the Championship participants, the average win price was $3.80 and there were twelve horses sent off at even money or less. This week's Championships should prove to be much more competitive and more evenly-distributed on the tote board, with the elim winners all clashing, the luck of the draw a big factor, and some longshots last week who made powerful performances looking to be in the thick of things again this Saturday. Here is an overview of the four Championship races in order of presentation, with the post position, horse, trainer, and driver of the final underneath, and then a paragraph on those races which have a consolation. JAMES LYNCH PACE CHAMPIONSHIP (stake record 1:49.2, shared by American Jewel [2012], Fancy Desire [2014], and Pure Country [2016]) The horses who put in the most demanding performances last week had varying luck at the post draw: two of them drew the 1-2, while the other drew the outside post nine. Youaremycandygirl looked to be back to her 2017 divisional championship-winning form in the elim, winning in 1:51.3, although only by a neck over Ron Burke stablemate Double A Mint (who drew post seven). It seems like she should be able to utilize her speed from post two, with Yannick Gingras again scheduled for sulky duty. (Burke has a third filly here, Sansovina Hanover.) The other elimination went even faster, 1:51.1, and it was taken by Kissin In The Sand by a half length over Sidewalk Dancer. But in the Lynch Championship, "Kissin" was unlucky enough to draw post nine and will have a hard time getting a good trip for trainer Nancy Johansson, though hot-driving Scott Zeron will certainly try. The horse she beat by a half-length, Sidewalk Dancer, moves from post eight to post one for driver Brett Miller and trainer Chris Oakes, and she was outside a long way to get the lead only to be overhauled late; certainly a better trip seems likely for her. RACE 9 -- $300,000 JAMES LYNCH PACE CHAMPIONSHIP - 3YO FILLIES 1, Sidewalk Dancer, Chris Oakes, Brett Miller; 2, Youaremycandygirl, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 3, Serene Stride, Mark Harder, Corey Callahan; 4, Sansovina Hanover, Ron Burke, Louis Philippe Roy; 5, I'm Trigger Happy, Ross Croghan, David Miller; 6, Alexa's Power, Jim Campbell, Tim Tetrick; 7, Double A Mint, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 8, Hypnotic Tale, Linda Toscano, David Miller also listed; 9, Kissin In The Sand, Nancy Johansson, Scott Zeron. MAX C. HEMPT PACE CHAMPIONSHIP (stake record 1:47.3, McWicked, 2014) All pre-race conversation about the Hempt Championship will likely start with Lather Up, although the colt drew the not-easy post seven in the field of nine. Lather Up was probably the most impressive performer in the Sun Stakes Saturday eliminations, starting from post seven (!), making the lead, then powering off in the stretch with plenty appearing to still be in the tank, winning in 1:49 for driver Montrell Teague. Lather Up, 7-for-7 this year for trainer Clyde Francis, is beginning to draw comparisons to another recent superstar from this barn, Wiggle ... something or other. The other two elimination winners got more favorable starting spots and will be conceding nothing to the likely favorite. Hitman Hill has post two for trainer Chris Oakes and driver Brett Miller off a wire-to-wire win in 1:49.3; Dorsoduro Hanover, who had been the early leader in the "glamour division" before Lather Up's recent skein of outstanding form, is no slouch himself, winning in 1:49.4 last week to take his 2018 record to 4-for-5 for trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley. You could plead a decent case for many of the other Hempt entrants as well. RACE 10 -- $500,000 MAX C. HEMPT PACE CHAMPIONSHIP - 3YO MALES 1, Nutcracker Sweet, Jimmy Takter, David Miller; 2, Hitman Hill, Chris Oakes, Brett Miller; 3, Springsteen, Rene Allard, Simon Allard; 4, Dorsoduro Hanover, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 5, Stay Hungry, Tony Alagna, Doug McNair; 6, Shnitzledosomething, Dylan Davis, Yannick Gingras; 7, Lather Up, Clyde Francis, Montrell Teague; 8, Wes Delight, Mark Harder, Corey Callahan; 9, This Is The Plan, Chris Ryder, Tim Tetrick. Consolation: Probably the most highly-regarded consolation horse who didn't make his way to his final, Done Well, will have no easy time of it in this event, as he must surmount the outside post nine for trainer Brian Brown and driver Tim Tetrick. Courtly Choice can be tougher with the switch from post eight to post four. BEN FRANKLIN PACE CHAMPIONSHIP (stake record 1:47, shared by Sweet Lou (2014) and Always B Miki (2016) McWicked, who won the Hempt Pace Championship in 2014 in a time of 1:47.3 which still stands as the stakes record, comes to the Franklin Championship as the likely chalk after a series of powerhouse off-the-pace performances in 2018, including his elimination win last week in 1:48.3, fastest of the three elim races. Though Pocono is generally not a "closers" track, McWicked has drawn post two, from which he can work out good race placement for trainer Casie Coleman and driver Brian Sears. Heaven Rocks A, a champion in his native Down Under and an emerging force on the North American scene, draws post four for trainer Ross Croghan and driver David Miller off his 1:49.3 elim win, and may not yet have found his best stride Stateside. The other elimination offered more questions than answers: Sintra, the favorite, crossed the wire first in 1:48.4, but was placed back for a violation of the pylons rule in the stretch, thus elevating All Bets Off to first and the title of "longshot of the elims" (at a $9.00 mutuel. All Bets Off will start from post five for trainer Ron Burke (who qualified three for the Franklin finale) and driver Matt Kakaley, while Sintra must contend with post seven for trainer David Menary and driver Jody Jamieson. RACE 11 -- $500,000 BEN FRANKLIN PACE CHAMPIONSHIP - Free-For-Allers 1, Mac's Jackpot, Jeffrey Smith, Brett Miller; 2, McWicked, Casie Coleman, Brian Sears; 3, Donttellmeagain, Jim King Jr., Tim Tetrick; 4, Heaven Rocks A, Ross Croghan; 5, All Bets Off, Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley; 6, Rockin Ron, Ron Burke, Louis Philippe Roy; 7, Sintra, David Menary, Jody Jamieson; 8, Filibuster Hanover, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras; 9, Western Fame, Jimmy Takter, Andrew McCarthy. Consolation: The horses in the Franklin Consolation have among them 205 lifetime wins and $9,825,733 in earnings, and an average mark of 1:48.1 - and this is the consolation! Mach It So may be well-regarded from the rail after setting a fast pace and finishing fourth in his elim; he won the Commodore Barry at Philly two starts ago. $500,000 EARL BEAL TROT CHAMPIONSHIP (stake record 1:50.2, Father Patrick, 2014) Stake recordholder Father Patrick was a pupil of trainer Jimmy Takter, and this year Takter rolled the dice and sent his undefeated champion filly Manchego in "against the boys." Manchego ran her lifetime win streak to 15 with an elimination win in 1:52.4, fastest of last week's three Beal events. But the gelding Crystal Fashion missed only a nose to the top filly, and both will have to have their "A" game as they square off in the Beal: Manchego from post six, with Yannick Gingras up, and Crystal Fashion from post four for trainer Jim Campbell (who has three Beal starters) and driver Tim Tetrick. Champions outside of Pennsylvania won the other two eliminations: Ohio invader Mission Accepted rolled to his eighth win in a row in 1:53.2 for driver Ryan Stahl and trainer Jeff Conger, and got a good draw in post three, while Six Pack, a 1:53.3 elim winner to remain perfect in four 2018 starts, was not fortunate at all for trainer Ã…ke Svanstedt, forced to begin from the outside post nine. RACE 12 -- $500,000 EARL BEAL TROT CHAMPIONSHIP -- 3YO Open 1, Lawmaker, Andrew Harris, Anthony MacDonald; 2, Patent Leather, Jim Campbell, Brian Sears; 3, Mission Accepted, Jeff Conger, Ryan Stahl; 4, Crystal Fashion, Jim Campbell, Tim Tetrick; 5, Fashionwoodchopper, Jim Campbell, David Miller; 6, Manchego, Jimmy Takter, Yannick Gingras; 7, Mississippi Storm, Tom Fanning, David Miller also listed; 8, Evaluate, Marcus Melander, Tim Tetrick also listed; 9, Six Pack, trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt. Consolation: A wide-open event; perhaps the best line was turned in by 2017 Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill, who had to endure an interference break while eight just past the half, yet rallied to be fourth, just photoed from a chance to race for the big money. FINISHING LINE - There is also a horse on the card who is a former Breeders Crown and Ben Franklin winner, both right on the local surface. He has higher earnings by far than any horse entered tonight, and more than most of the entire fields - a harness racing world record $7,577,638. His name is Foiled Again. He starts from post two in the third race. And if the 14-year-old wins, it will be the 100th victory in his storied career. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - A "Who's Who" of the free-for-all pacers, three-year-old trotters, and three-year-old pacers both male and female were gathered together at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, trying to perform well in elimination races and qualify for next Saturday's $2,000,000 Sun Stakes Saturday Championships race card. The expected rain thankfully never came, but there was a frontstretch headwind. FRANKLIN PACE (FFA p) Heaven Rocks A proved best in a cavalry charge to the wire, sweeping off cover to reduce his Stateside mark to 1:49.3 in the first of three $30,000 Franklin elims. Check Six moved to the lead after the 26.1 opener, got to the midpoint in 54.1, then was challenged by first-over Western Fame to the 1:22 ¾ pole. Heaven Rocks A tipped three-wide midturn, was (as has been his norm) a bit hard to keep on a maximum course late on the turn, but then showed determination to withstand late-charging Donttellmeagain by a neck, with Western Fame holding stoutly for third and a Franklin final spot. Ross Croghan trains the winner of $414,145, and driver David Miller co-owns him with the Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham. McWicked made winning look McEasy despite a first-over journey, winning handily for driver Brian Sears in 1:48.3. Mach It So set the early pace of 26 and 54.2, then had to contend with the inexorable McGrind of the winner. McWicked took the lead shortly after the 1:21.2 ¾, then finished out in 27.1, 2¾ lengths ahead of Rockin Ron, who split horses late to just get second over longshot Mac's Jackpot, who photoed Mach It So for advancement to next week's Championship. Casie Coleman conditions the veteran son of McArdle, who now is at $2,394,362 in career earnings, for S S G Stables. Sintra, sitting third headstretch, ducked far inside for the stretch drive and did get to the wire first in 1:48.4 in his Franklin elim, but he went inside the pylons in doing so and was placed third, elevating All Bets Off, who missed a nose after setting much of the pace (54.2, 1:21), to the big share of the purse. Filibuster Hanover, sitting in the pocket after taking the early lead (26.1) then yielding and to All Bets Off's immediate left through the lane, was third placed second to halt his undefeated 2018 season, with Sintra's placement back to third still enough to get him through to the Championship. All Bets Off, who sat a world record here three years ago that still stands, was another successful teaming for Team Kakaley/Burke, nudging his earnings up to $2,990,054 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino, and the Panhellenic Stable Corporation. BEAL TROT (3YO Open trot) Manchego kept her career record perfect after 15 starts, but in taking on "the boys" in her $25,000 Beal Trot elim she was extended further than she had ever been before, holding off a game Crystal Fashion by a nose while equaling her career best of 1:52.4. Yannick Gingras kept the filly in midpack until traffic settled late on the first turn, then got her in gear before the 26.4 quarter, brushed to the lead, and got relatively soft middle fractions of 56 and 1:24.4. But through the stretch Crystal Fashion, who had ducked inside from second-over an 1/8 of a mile out, gained steadily, with Gingras chasing after the super filly late to maintain the victory and The Streak, in only her third race of the year. Jimmy Takter trains the winning daughter of Muscle Hill, who now has earnings of $929,688 for the ownership of Black Horse Racing, John Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Ohio champion Mission Accepted proved he was the real deal against Grand Circuit stock by taking the first of the Beal eliminations in 1:53.2. Those who had backed the Manofmanymissions colt to 4-5 had a few anxious moments down the back as their choice significantly gapped the cover of Patent Leather, who went his third split in 26.4 to clear pacesetter Whats The Word. But driver Ryan Stahl got more out of Mission Accepted and gained on the turn, then dove down into an open Pocono Pike, trotting away late for a 1¼ length tally over Patent Leather, with Lawmaker, forwardly-placed throughout, taking third. The winner, perfect in four starts this year and the OhSS Final victor at two, now has a bankroll of $268,300 for trainer Jeff Conger, who is also the co-owner with Knox Services Inc. and David Wills. Six Pack started from post six in his Beal elim, then recorded all "1"s across his charted line, withstanding a late Pocono Pike rush from Evaluate by ¾ of a length to win in 1:53.3. Trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt put the New York star right on the lead, and after a 29.3 second quarter breather the son of Muscle Mass flew home in 56 - 27.4.   Evaluate (at .90 odds to Six Pack's .80*), in the pocket, raced strongly in the lane to maintain second, with Fashionwoodchopper showing grit to hold on for third and advancement after having to go first-over. Six Pack now shows earnings of $345,055 for Ã…ke Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, and Stall Kalmar FF. HEMPT PACE (3YO c/g pace) They saved the best for last on Sun Stakes Saturday elimination night, as the I'm Gorgeous colt Lather Up brought to mind another recent good horse (Wiggle something or other) by making the lead past the ¼, then coming home in 53.1 in hand late for driver Montrell Teague to freeze the timer in 1:49 in his $25,000 Hempt elimination. After the 26.2 opener put down by Nutcracker Suite, Lather Up, three-wide just past the 1/8, raced up to grab command, got a huge breather with a 55.4 half, and then asserted his divisional dominance with the brilliant last half, winning by 2¼ lengths over Nutcracker Suite, with Wes Delight edging Well Done to move on to the Championship. But someone will have to go a big mile in seven days time to defeat Lather Up, trained by Clyde Francis and moving his bankroll to $544,765 for owners Gary and Barbara Iles, who saw their pride and joy remain undefeated in seven seasonal starts and add a seasonal record to his ever-growing resume. Dorsoduro Hanover made a swift move to the lead before the 5/8 in the first of the Hempt elims, then held on gamely over the late charge of Springsteen by a neck, with forwardly-placed This Is The Plan, looped for the lead down the back, coming back to be another neck off the 1:49.4 winner to complete the trio to advance. The victorious Somebeachsomewhere gelding took a new lifetime mark and set a season's record (so it only lasted 55 minutes ...), running his 2018 record to 4-for-5 this season while taking his earnings to $172,668. Matt Kakaley handled sulky duties for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stables LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Weaver Bruscemi LLC; and the Wingfield Five. Hitman Hill paid a 26.2 price to get the lead before the quarter, put down 54.4 and 1:22.1 middle splits, then lasted to the wire by a head over inside charger Shnitzledosomethin in 1:49.3, a personal best and a tick better than Dorsoduro Hanover divisional season's record. Stay Hungry, who found all sorts of trouble, out to the quarter before tucking from PP8, then checking when the first-over broke before the ¾, rallied stoutly for third to advance. Hitman Hill is a son of American Ideal who was guided by Brett Miller for trainer Chris Oakes, and the ownership of Tom Hill and Northfork Racing Stable. LYNCH PACE (3YO filly pace) Youaremycandygirl, looking more like her 2017 championship self, took the first $20,000 Lynch elimination on the engine in 1:51.3. Yannick Gingras was out to the 27.1 quarter to make the lead behind the daughter of American Ideal, then tripped the timer at the half in 56.2 before Alexa's Power moved up to challenge. The 6-5 second choice pacesetter (the first non-favorite to win in the eliminations after five straight chalk) and the 1-2* first-over battled to and past the 1:23.2 3/4s, with Alexa's Power dropping in the pocket at headstretch and second-over Double A Mint coming quickly in the lane. The "Candygirl" (named after a line in a song by the "group" The Archies) held off Double A Mint by a neck, with Alexa's Power and Hypnotic Tale next in line. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $925,915, 2-for-4 this year and 11-for-15 lifetime, for owner W. J. Donovan. Kissin In The Sand left to the early lead, let Sidewalk Dancer go by at the half, then surged in the Pocono Pike midstretch to catch that rival by a half length in 1:51.1 in the other Lynch elim. Sidewalk Dancer was out the whole way in the 26.4 quarter and almost to the half in 55 before clearing the winning favorite, went to the ¾ in 1:23.1, but succumbed to the pocket rocket late, with I'm Trigger Happy, Sansovina Hanover, and Serene Stride (the faster 5th-place finisher) going on to the Championship. Kissin In The Sand was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Nancy Johansson, and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere has earnings of $345,545 for owners Marvin Katz and the Hatfield Stables. GREAT NORTHEAST OPEN SERIES (top older pacers) Why did he include a $30,000 race, the Great Northeast event, in this wrapup? How about because the winner, Bettor's Edge, equaled the fastest mile of the year on a 5/8-mile track in North America by winning in 1:48.2? How about because the fractions were 25.1, 53.3, and 1:20, and the nine-year-old winner set most of the pace? Rodeo Romeo got past Bettor's Edge after the astounding quarter, but then the winner of $2,133,382 was out and retaking for Scott Zeron in front of the stands and "got a rest" to the half. Then Highalator came first-over and got a small advantage late backstretch through the smoking 3/4s, but the winner held him off, then withstood the Pocono Pike late move of Rodeo Romeo to tally by a ½ length for trainer Jennifer Lappe, also the co-owner with Robert Santagata; Highalator was only a neck further back in third. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA – A “Who’s Who” of the free-for-all pacers, three-year-old trotters, and three-year-old pacers both male and female were gathered together at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, trying to perform well in harness racing elimination races and qualify for next Saturday’s $2,000,000 Sun Stakes Saturday Championships race card. There was a frontstretch headwind. FRANKLIN PACE (FFA p) Heaven Rocks A proved best in a cavalry charge to the wire, sweeping off cover to reduce his Stateside mark to 1:49.3 in the first $30,000 Franklin elim. Check Six moved to the lead after the 26.1 opener, got to the midpoint in 54.1, then was challenged by first-over Western Fame to the 1:22 ¾ pole. Heaven Rocks A tipped three-wide midturn, was (as has been his norm) a bit hard to keep on a maximum course late on the turn, but then showed determination to withstand late-charging Donttellmeagain by a neck, with Western Fame holding stoutly for third and a Franklin final spot. Ross Croghan trains the winner of $414,145, and driver David Miller co-owns him with the Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham. McWicked made winning look McEasy despite a first-over journey, winning handily for driver Brian Sears in 1:48.3. Mach It So set the early pace of 26 and 54.2, then had to contend with the inexorable McGrind of the winner. McWicked took the lead shortly after the 1:21.2 ¾, then finished out in 27.1, 2¾ lengths   ahead of Rockin Ron, who split horses late to just get second over longshot Mac’s Jackpot, who photoed Mach It So for advancement to next week’s Championship. Casie Coleman conditions the veteran son of McArdle, who now is at $2,394,362 in career earnings, for S S G Stables. BEAL TROT (3YO Open trot) Ohio champion Mission Accepted proved he was the real deal against Grand Circuit stock by taking the first of the $25,000 Beal eliminations in 1:53.2. Those who had backed the Manofmanymissions colt to 4-5 had a few anxious moments down the back as their choice significantly gapped the cover of Patent Leather, who went his third split in 26.4 to clear pacesetter Whats The Word. But driver Ryan Stahl got more out of Mission Accepted and gained on the turn, then dove down into an open Pocono Pike, trotting away late for a 1¼ length tally over Patent Leather, with Lawmaker, forwardly-placed throughout, taking third. The winner, perfect in four starts this year and the OhSS Final victor at two, now has a bankroll of $268,300 for trainer Jeff Conger, who is also the co-owner with  Knox Services Inc. and David Wills. Six Pack started from post six in his Beal elim, then recorded all “1”s across his charted line, withstanding a late Pocono Pike rush from Evaluate by ¾ of a length to win in 1:53.3. Trainer-driver Åke Svanstedt put the New York star right on the lead, and after a 29.3 second quarter breather the son of Muscle Mass flew home in 56 – 27.4. Evaluate (at .90 odds to Six Pack’s .80*), in the pocket, raced strongly in the lane to maintain second, with Fashionwoodchopper showing grit to hold on for third and advancement after having to go first-over. Six Pack now shows earnings of $345,055 for Åke Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, and Stall Kalmar FF. HEMPT PACE (3YO c/g pace) Dorsoduro Hanover made a swift move to the lead before the 5/8 in the first of the $25,000 Hempt elims, then held on gamely over the late charge of Springsteen by a neck, with forwardly-placed This Is The Plan, looped for the lead down the back, came back to be another neck off the 1:49.4 winner to complete the trio to advance. The victorious Somebeachsomewhere gelding took a new lifetime mark and set a season’s record, running his 2018 record to 4-for-5 this season while taking his earnings to $172,668. Matt Kakaley handled sulky duties for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stables LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Weaver Bruscemi LLC; and the Wingfield Five. LYNCH PACE (3YO filly pace) Youaremycandygirl, looking more like her 2017 championship self, took the first $20,000 Lynch elimination on the engine in 1:51.3. Yannick Gingras was out to the 27.1 quarter to make the lead behind the daughter of American Ideal, then tripped the timer at the half in 56.2 before Alexa’s Power moved up to challenge. The 6-5 second choice pacesetter (the first non-favorite to win in the eliminations after five straight chalk) and the 1-2* first-over battled to and past the 1:23.2 3/4s, with Alexa’s Power dropping in the pocket at headstretch and second-over Double A Mint coming quickly in the lane. The “Candygirl” (named after a line in a song by the “group” The Archies) held off Double A Mint by a neck, with Alexa’s Power and Hypnotic Tale next in line. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $925,915, 2-for-4 this year and 11-for-15 lifetime, for owner W. J. Donovan. Kissin In The Sand left to the early lead, let Sidewalk Dancer go by at the half, then surged in the Pocono Pike midstretch to catch that rival in 1:51.1 in the other Lynch elim. Sidewalk Dancer was out the whole way in the 26.4 quarter and almost to the half in 55 before clearing the winning favorite, went to the ¾ in 1:23.1, but succumbed to the pocket rocket late, with I’m Trigger Happy, Sansovina Hanover, and Serene Stride (the faster 5th-place finisher) going on to the Championship. Kissin In The Sand was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Nancy Johansson, and the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere has earnings of $345,545 for owners Marvin Katz and the Hatfield Stables. GREAT NORTHEAST OPEN SERIES (top older pacers) Why did he include a $30,000 race, the Great Northeast event, in this wrapup? How about because the winner, Bettor’s Edge, equaled the fastest mile of the year on a 5/8-mile track in North America by winning in 1:48.2? How about because the fractions were 25.1, 53.3, and 1:20, and the nine-year-old winner set most of the pace? Rodeo Romeo got past Bettor’s Edge after the astounding quarter, but then the winner of $2,133,382 was out and retaking for Scott Zeron in front of the stands and “got a rest” to the half. Then Highalator came first-over and got a small advantage late backstretch through the smoking 3/4s, but the winner held him off, then withstood the Pocono Pike late move of Rodeo Romeo to tally by a ½ length for trainer Jennifer Lappe, also the co-owner with Robert Santagata; Highalator was only a neck further back in third. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

1 to 16 of 37
1 2 3 Next »