Homeracing

Saturday night's Pocono Downs card offers numerous elims

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

June 24th, 2018

One week after Mohawk Raceway offered a handful of lucrative finals for pacers and trotters, Pocono Downs attracted many of those same horses to clash in nearly a dozen elimination races whose connections are seeking to return for their respective finals one week later.

Saturday's opening race was actually not one of the eliminations but another $30,000 Great Northeast Open series, although it produced a clocking that seemed befitting of horses in the Ben Franklin elims later. Bettor's Edge (Scott Zeron) benefited from a pocket trip behind Rodeo Romeo through insane fractions of 25.1, 53.3 and 1:20 then angled out late and just got up to win by a neck in 1:48.2. The nine-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding now sports a 6-6-5 slate and $120,000 banked from 21 starts this year.

Then one race later in the first of three $35,000 Ben Franklin elim for aged pacers, Heaven Rocks A (David Miller) lived up to his role as the 3-10 favorite when he benefited from a second over trip behind Western Fame, fanned wide on the far turn and outlasted the late bid of Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) to score by a neck in 1:49.3. A six-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding trained by Ross Croghan, Heaven Rocks A notched his third win in eight starts this year and vaulted into the rich Ben Franklin final next weekend. Western Fame also earned a spot in the final despite a first over journey.

Then one race later in the first of three $25,000 Earl Beal, Jr. eliminations for three-year-old colt trotters, Mission Accepted (Ryan Stahl) lived up to his role as the 4-5 favorite when he rallied from well off the pace and then angled inside turning for home and surged past Patent Leather (Tim Tetrick) to score by nearly a length in 1:53.2. A sophomore gelded son of Manofmanymissions trained by Jeff Conger, Mission Accepted remained perfect in four starts this year and now owns eight wins from 13 career tries.

Then one race later in the second $35,000 Ben Franklin elimination, McWicked (Brian Sears) easily lived up to his role as the 1-5 favorite when he angled out first over from fourth, wore down Mach It So (Tetrick) down the backside and surged to command on the far turn and edged clear late to a three-length score in 1:48.3. A seven-year-old McArdle stallion trained by Casie Coleman, McWicked notched his third win from five starts this year and pushed his lifetime earnings to nearly $2.4 million. Rockin Ron and Mac's Jockpot rallied late to also earn a berth in the final.

Then one race later in the second $25,000 Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial elim for sophomore colt trotters, Six Pack (Ake Svandstedt) gained command soon after the start , got a breather to the half in 57.3 and held safe the pocket sitting Evaluate (Tetrick) to score by a length in 1:53.3. A sophomore son of Muscle Mass owned and trained by Svandstedt, Six Pack has won all four of his starts this year and sports eight wins and nearly $350,000 banked from 12 career tries and he will be among the favorites in the lucrative final next week where Evaluate and Fashionwoodchopper will join him.

Then one race later in the first of three $25,000 Max Hempt Memorial eliminations for three-year-old colt pacers, Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) just lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite when he brushed to command past the half in 55.1, got a breather to three-quarters and just outlasted Springsteen (Simon Allard) and This Is The Plan (Tetrick) to score by a neck in 1:49.4. A sophomore son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Ron Burke, Dorsoduro Hanover notched his fourth win in five starts this year and rebounded from a seventh-place finish in his North America Cup elim.

Then one race later in the first of two consecutive $20,000 James Lynch Memorial elims for three-year-old pacing fillies, Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras) rebounded from a dull effort as the favorite in the Fan Hanover elimination at Mohawk two weeks ago when he gained command soon after the start and led throughout to score by a neck over stablemate Double A Mint (Matt Kakaley) in 1:51.3. A sophomore daughter of American Ideal trained by Burke, Youaremycandygirl notched her second win in four starts this year.

Then one race later in the second $20,000 James Lynch Memorial elim for three-year-old filly pacers, Kissin In The Sand (Zeron) left to secure good early position, yielded to Sidewalk Dancer before the half in 55 flat, sat a tight pocket down the backside and through the far turn and angled inside late to score by a neck in 1:51.1. A sophomore daughter of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Nancy Johansson, Kissin In The Sand notched her second win in four starts this year and now owns nine wins and $350,000 banked from 18 career tries. Sidewalk Dancer easily advanced to the final which could result in the same exacta.

Then one race later in the second $25,000 Max Hempt elim, Hitman Hill (Brett Miller) gained command ina 26.2 opener, got a breather by the half in 54.4 then just outlasted the late inside bid of Shnitzledosomethin (David Miller) and prevailed narrowly as the 6-5 second choice in 1:49.3, while favored Stay Hungry (Doug McNair) rallied for third. A American Ideal gelding trained by Chris Oakes, Hitman Hill rebounded from an unlucky post 10 draw in the NA Cup final and recorded his first win in five starts this year and now owns seven wins in 12 lifetime tries.

Then one race later in the third $35,000 Ben Franklin elim for the free-for-all pacers, Sintra (Jody Jamieson) temporarily lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite when he saved ground throughout while sitting third, angled inside at the top of the lane and just got up to edge All Bets Off (Kakaley) and Filibuster Hanover (Gingras) for a head victory in 1:48.4. But Sintra was disqualified from first and placed third, while All Bets Off was promoted to first and stablemate Filibuster Hanover was placed second with all three reaching the final.

Then one race later in the third $25,000 Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial for three-year-old trotters, Manchego (Gingras) just lived up to her role as the 1-5 favorite when she raced parked past the opener to gain command, rolled by the midway mark in 56 flat, met token pressure from Mississippi Storm down the backside and through the far turn, shook loose from that one then held safe the late inside bid of Crystal Fashion (Tetrick) to score by a nose in 1:52.4.

A three-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jimmy Takter and the only filly in the three elims, Manchego remained perfect in three starts this unbeaten in 15 career outings when she just outlasted Crystal Fashion. Despite being the only filly in the final, Manchego will be the solid choice in the $500,000 Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial final next weekend. Crystal Fashion will definitely want another shot at her, while Mississippi Storm advanced to the final as an outsider.

Then one race later in the third $25,000 Max Hempt Memorial elim for three-year-old colt pacers, Lather Up (Montrell Teague) easily lived up to his billing as the 1-5 favorite when he raced parked to gain command from Nutcracker Sweet (David Miller) past the opener in 26.2, got a breather to the half in 55.4, rebuffed pressure from Done Well (Tetrick) down the backside and through the far turn and edged clear from the pocket horse in the lane to a three-length score in 1:49.

A sophomore son of I'm Gorgeous trained by George Teague, Jr. for owner-breeders Gary & Barbara Iles, Lather Up remained unbeaten in seven starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings past $470,000 and he now owns 11 wins and roughly $545,000 banked from 14 lifetime outings. Nutcracker Sweet and Wes Delight both advanced to the final, but Lather Up is going to be 1-5 in there for "Team Teague" and is already in the hunt for 2018 harness horse of the year.

Also that evening at Yonkers Raceway, Always At My Place (George Brennan) overcame a long first over journey, surged to command down the backside and held safe favored Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) to win the $44,000 Open Handicap by two lengths in 1:51.1. A seven-year-old Always A Virgin gelding trained by Ron Burke, Always At My Place recorded his third win in 13 starts this year and eclipsed the $900,000 plateau in career earnings. Evenin of Pleasure held the place spot while Bit Of A Legend N had little to offer in his first start since winning the $200,000 Battle Of Lake Erie three weeks ago.
Loading...