June 8-14, 2012
Over the next several weeks, some of the finest horses in the country will be stopping at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs as our stakes season begins in earnest. As if anticipation, the overnight horses on the grounds have ramped up their performances. On Saturday night alone, there were four miles of under 1:50; back in the day, we wouldn’t have four miles under 1:50 all season. It’s been a particularly competitive battle for the Weekly Awards. Let’s see who comes out on top.
PACER OF THE WEEK: ROCKIN GLASS
This four-year-old gelding has found his stride in the 2012 season, tripling his career earnings with his performance this year. He arrived at Pocono in May to race against the $25,000 claiming class, winning against that group in his second MSPD start in a career-best 1:49:4. He was claimed from that race and joined the barn of trainer Cad Gregory.
Gregory and his new connections decided to try Rockin Glass against the condition pacers, and he showed he was up to the test with a victory on June 2 in 1:50:4. For Saturday night’s races, he stepped up into the non-winners of $25,000 condition, one of the toughest groupings on the grounds. With George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, the gelding found himself chasing some sizzling fractions.
In the stretch, Rockin Glass made his move out wide, blowing by his competition in a blistering 1:49:2. Not only was that a new career-best for the gelding, it was also the fastest time posted on the Pocono oval last week. With 9 wins in 19 races this season, this is one pacer who is loving his 2012 season, and there’s still a lot of racing to go.
Other top pacers this week include: White Liar (Eric Carlson, Erv Miller), a three-year-old colt who scored his third consecutive condition victory on Friday night, doing so in a career-best time of 1:50:4; Touch Of Steel (Matt Kakaley, Linda Kakaley), who moved up into the $12,500 claiming ranks on Saturday night from the $10 claimers and notched his third straight win, this one coming in 1:52:1; and Twin B Passion (Matt Romano, Andrew Adamczyk), a mare who moved up in class but still scored her third straight claiming win on Wednesday in 1:53:4.
TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SPICE IT UP LINDY
This 9-year-old gelding is still trotting at an extremely high level. The pride of the Santo Zuzolo barn, Spice It Up Lindy returned to the Pocono racing wars on Sunday night after a highly successful stint at Tioga Downs, where he won back-to-back starts including an Open on June 2.
Considering that he had set a career-mark of 1:53 at Pocono in a race in 2011 and has had several solid wins here in the past, Spice it Up Lindy was a well-known commodity in the condition field he faced on Sunday night. Driver Tom Jackson sent him to the front end early and dared everyone else in the field to play catch-up with him.
Several took their shots, but none could get it done. Spice It Up Lindy powered home to win by a length-and-a-half. His sizzling time of 1:52:4 set a new career mark and also matched the fastest trotting time at MSPD last week. The gelding made it known has is back at Pocono, and all other trotters must take notice.
Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Windsun Galaxie (Mark MacDonald, Tyler Raymer), who led gate-to-wire to win the week’s featured trot on Sunday night in 1:52:4, a new career mark; All Munky Business (Jim Morrill Jr., Jean Drolet), who followed up a win at the Meadowlands with a condition victory at Pocono on Wednesday night in a career-best 1:55:1; and Sonny McDreamee (Larry Stalbaum, Celine Harvey), who captured Wednesday night’s featured condition trot in a sizzling, career-best mile of 1:53.
LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: PEGASUS MAN
Despite a tough first-over trip, this trotter with David Ingraham in the bike surprised a field of condition trotters on Tuesday night at 24-1, paying off $51.40 on a $2 win ticket.
DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR.
George had a huge week, including a six-win night on Saturday, making him the first driver in the Pocono colony to go over the 100-win mark for the 2012 meet.
TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ROB HARMON
Harmon just started training once again at Pocono recently, but he has quickly made his presence felt. This week he picked up wins on three out of five racing nights.
That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 8-14, 2012