Freshman Pacers take center stage Tuesday with PA All-Stars

2015-06-26

There will be a tremendous amount of great horses and great racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono between June 27th, Saturday’s,  eliminations and next Saturday’s $1.8M worth of four Championships on Sun Stakes Saturday (July 4). But the stakes spotlight will not go dark in the four cards in between at the mountain oval, as Pennsylvania All-Stars action for two-year-olds will be featured on each of the four cards in between.
The Pennsylvania All-Stars, for state-sired horses, have traditionally been gathered in a 10-day period in proximity to the Fourth of July until this year, when the crowding of the stakes schedule suggested moving the 3YO events to May, to give eligibles some stakes competition before the Grand Circuit events got in high gear. The 2YO races are staying in their usual spot, which has been the introduction of many future stars to the sport in recent years. Trotting colts are featured on Sunday, June 28; pacing fillies two days after that; trotting fillies the next day; and then the pacing colts on Friday, July 3, as Pocono expands to a five-card-a-week schedule during summer’s “prime time.”
On June 28th, the trotting colts are divided into six divisions of a $180,000 event. There are already sixteen “winners” in the races, mostly in qualifiers/non-purse baby races, although one has won a pari-mutuel race and one a Fair Sire Stakes at Bloomsburg. Of these, seven already have winning lines timed in 2:00 or faster.
Two of the youngsters, the Donato Hanover colt Mr Right and the Cantab Hall gelding Alexander Hanover, have already taken a win in 1:57.3f. Mr Right earned his record in a June 12 non-purse baby event at Pocono for trainer Leigh Raymer, and was made the 2-5 favorite in a June 21 local overnight, but his uncovered move in that event was resisted by Alexander Hanover, who went wire-to-wire for trainer Bill Popfinger.
On  June 30th, Tuesday, five divisions of freshman pacing fillies will answer the starter’s call in $150,000 worth of competition. 19 of these babies already have wins, again mostly in 2YO-restricted events, with 16 already having broken the 2:00 barrier.
The fastest of the group to date is the Somebeachsomewhere miss Pure Country, who took a Meadowlands qualifier in 1:54.4 – 26.4 for trainer Jimmy Takter, who is also rumored to be good with the occasional trotter. A daughter of Yankee Cruiser, Danika P, has won in pari-mutuel competition, a Meadows overnight in 1:55.4f for trainer Ron Burke. (Takter and Burke – together again.)