Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review, September 22-28, 2011

2011-09-29

One of the most fun parts of witnessing all the racing action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs the past few seasons has been all of the superstar horses who have made their way to the track to show off their skills. This week we were blessed with a few of harness racing’s elite, and not only did they fulfill expectations, they left us slack-jawed in awe at their stunning performances. Needless to say, those horses highlight the Weekly Awards.
PACER OF THE WEEK: WE WILL SEE
One of the finest pacers in the country, We Will See came in to Saturday night’s $50,000 pace with over $1 million already in his 2011 bank account. He has been absolutely dominant in the Open class at Chester this season, and, in his previous start, put together a monster effort in winning the Canadian Derby at Mohawk in Canada. Ironically, he was 0-for-4 at Pocono in his career coming into Saturday, but the star of the Sam DePinto barn changed all that in a huge way.
In an Open filled with top-flight horses, driver Ron Pierce settled We Will See in the third position early, allowing Bettor Sweet to set some nasty fractions. Pierce then cut the 4-year-old stallion loose on the back stretch, and he corralled Bettor Sweet around the final turn. The stretch run proved to be dramatic, as Dial Or Nodial, who was sitting in the pocket, tipped out to make his charge.
As a result, We Will See had to go all out in the stretch, and he came home a winner by three-quarters of a length. One look at the timer showed just how special a mile this was, as the winning time of 1:48 was the fastest ever paced in the history of the Pocono oval. In addition, he matched the world record for fastest time on a 5/8-mile oval as he closed in on $2 million in lifetime earnings.
Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: So Easy Baby (Andrew McCarthy, Erv Miller), who highlighted the Equinox Late Closer series for 2-year-olds on Thursday afternoon by beating a group of fillies in 1:54:1 for her second straight win at Pocono; Malicious (Dan Dube, Mark Ford), who followed up an Open win at Saratoga with a condition win on Saturday night in a career-best 1:50:1; and B Lo Zero (Matt Romano driver and trainer), who rallied in the slop on Tuesday night for his third claiming handicap win, this one coming in 1:52:1.
TROTTER OF THE WEEK: LUCKY JIM
You don’t get much more accomplished than this 6-year-old gelding from the Erv Miller barn. In 2009, he won 17 of 18 starts, ending the season with a Breeders Crown championship. He’s been adding to that record ever since, pushing his career earnings past $1.8 million. But one hiccup came in the 2010 Breeders Crown Open trot at Pocono, when his attempt to repeat as champ ended quickly when he went off-stride.
Friday night’s $50,000 Open trot offered him an opportunity for some redemption, as he faced off with a fantastic field that featured another Breeders Crown champ, the mare Buck I St Pat. In sloppy conditions, Lucky Jim, with Andy Miller doing the driving, watched as Lolique gunned out to the lead and set ridiculously fast fractions in the off-going.
While the rest of the field faded, Lucky Jim came roaring up on the outside. Lolique put up a fight, and would have beaten just about every other trotter in the country with his performance, but he couldn’t hold back Lucky Jim. The stunning winning time of 1:51:4 was one of the fastest trotting efforts in track history, made all the more amazing by the fact that it took place in the slop.
Other top trotters this week include: Sand Top Gun (Andrew McCarthy, Tyler Raymer), who stepped up in class on Friday night and captured a condition trot in 1:55:2; Di Manggio (Tyler Buter, Jim Raymer), who jumped a few classes and still ripped off this third straight condition win on Friday night, this one coming in a career-best 1:54:1 in the slop; and Cora Louise (Tyler Buter, Hermann Heitmann), a filly who picked up her second straight condition win on Friday in a time of 1:57:3, a new career-best.
LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ALL SHUTTLE
With Tyler Buter in the bike, this gelding stormed first-over to a victory on Saturday night in a $12,500 claiming pace at 24-1, paying off a hefty $51.60 on a $2 win ticket.
DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW MCCARTHY
McCarthy had a rock-solid week with multiple wins on several nights, and he was the star of the Equinox Late Closer series on Thursday afternoon, picking up three victories.
TRAINER OF THE WEEK: SARITA MOSHER
The Mosher barn had one of its best weeks of the season, achieving a training double on Saturday and then adding single wins on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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.