June 23, 2012
On a night when three track records and two world records had already been established at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Googoo Gaagaa needed to come up with something special to steal the show.
How does the fastest mile ever on a 5/8-mile oval work for you?
Googoo Gaagaa trotted an unreal 1:50:4 to win the $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial Jr. trot on Saturday night. The performance capped off an amazing night of action that saw pacers and trotters scorching the Pocono oval all night long.
Googoo Gaagaa came into the night having set a world record for 3-year-old colts on the trot of 1:51:3 in last week’s Beal elimination. In the final, the colt who is owned and trained by Richard Hans of Maryland, made his move on the front stretch to take the lead from Stormin Normand.
Nobody else made a serious threat to the top two, and Stormin Normand made a charge in the stretch, pulling up to about a half-length away. But driver Corey Callahan, who’s been aboard for all of Googoo Gaagaa’s 2012 victories, urged him home to win by 1 ¼ lengths. Little Brown Fox finished a distant 3rd. The fractional times were 27:1, 55:2, and 1:22:3, leading to the amazing winning time of 1:50:4, which shattered the world record for trotters of all ages on the 5/8-mile oval, which was the 1:51 mile posted by Arch Madness at Pocono in 2010.
In the winner’s circle, Callahan described Googoo Gaagaa’s legendary performance by saying, “He’s just a machine. He’s a professional in every sense of the word.” Callahan also had encouraging words for Hans, who was unsure how he fit in on the big stage, telling him, “You belong here, and he proved tonight that he does.”
Googoo Gaagaa now has an amazing record of 11 wins in 12 races, with his only loss coming earlier this season when he went off-stride at Harrah’s. Sired by Cam’s Rocket, a pacer, the colt pushed his career earnings to $345,945 as he heads to the Yonkers Trot.
The record-setting began at Pocono in the first elimination for the Ben Franklin, a free-for-all pace which Pocono will host for the first time next week. George Brennan drove Aracache Hanover, trained by Gregg McNair, to the Pocono all-time mark for aged pacing stallions with a victory in 1:48:1. The previous mark of 1:48:2 was set by Vlos in 2010 and matched by Transcending this May. From that elimination, Meirs Hanover (2nd), Bettor Sweet (3rd), Clear Vision (4th), and Razzle Dazzle (5th) also made the Franklin final.
In the second elimination, Bettarthancheddar, with Brennan in the bike again, this time for Casie Coleman, chased down We Will See late for a victory in 1:48:3. Along with Bettarthancheddar and We Will See, 3rd-place Foiled Again and 4th-place Rockincam are headed to the Franklin final.
In the second elimination for the Max C. Hempt Memorial, a 3-year-old open pace, Hurrikane Kingcole powered to a romping win in 1:48:1, breaking Shadow Play’s track record of 1:48:2 and matching the world record for 3-year-old colts on a 5/8-mile oval. From that split, I Like Dreamin and Hillbilly Hanover, who finished 2nd and 3rd, will race in next week’s final.
The first Hempt split was captured by I Fought Dalaw, with David Miller in the bike for Sam DePinto, in 1:49:3. One Through Ten and Mc Attaboy made the final by finishing second and third in that split. Bolt The Duer, with Mark MacDonald driving for Peter Foley, won the final Hempt split in 1:48:3. All Star Legend, who finished second in that split, and A Rocknroll Dance, who finished 3rd, are headed to the Hempt final next week.
The night’s final record came courtesy of American Jewel, the star 3-year-old filly trained by Jimmy Takter. With Tetrick in the bike, she captured her elimination for the James M. Lynch Memorial stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies in 1:49:2. That’s a new Pocono mark for the age group, breaking the 1:49:3 staandard set by the great Southwind Tempo, and matches the world record on a 5/8-mile oval. Joining her in next week’s Lynch final from her split are Economy Terror, Marty Party, Lightning Paige, and Destiny’s Chance, who finished 2nd through 5th, respectively, in the race.
In the night’s other Lynch elimination, Darena Hanover, with Yannick Gingras in the bike for Ron Burke, scored in 1:50:2. Her fellow finalists are Sarandon Blue Chip (2nd), Shelliscape (3rd), and Major Look (4th.)
The finals for the Ben Franklin, Hempt, and Lynch will all take place in a mega-card on Saturday night, June 30 at Pocono, with approximately $1.6 million on the line during the night.
June 23, 2012