Connors’ Comments at POCONO DOWNS — TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2018


FIRST RACESAM’S ESCAPE left well then yielded for the pocket in the lineup-minus-one, went to the Pocono Pike and surged by past midstretch under light encouragement. A AND C ARTIST had the lead nearing the 1/8, set an honest clip, not quite enough to hold off the winner, clear of the others. TONY CHEESECAKE was away third and maintained that position throughout. THE CATAMOUNT KID and THETRUTHABOUTDAVID stayed along the inside and got the final two checks. SB IDEAL IN ART came uncovered 5/8, gained the latter part of the backside but never headed the third-in horse, fell back. ABBEYLARA never featured. STANHOPE pulled at the bottom of turn two but never reached contention.


SECOND RACECAPTAIN DEO left with high speed to 1/8 command in a 26.1 opener, rated the half, then had a clear lead the last half, responded readily when asked to go faster in the lane, very impressive. CALIFORNIA CRUISIN left nicely, yielded at the 1/8 for the pocket in another lineup-minus-one, gapped a little the last half, but finished closest to the fine winner. JK MUSICMAN started uncovered off the second turn, didn’t reach the winner, held OK+ while going his last half mostly raw in 55.1. VELOCITY SUB Z sat in, didn’t have much stretch velocity. DEWAR N JACK went raw early on the second turn, got cover coming off of that turn, could make no impact. CRUISERWILLWIN struggled to keep up from the 5/8. KABOOM POW was under a hold at the start, moved from last into turn two but never entered the main picture.


THIRD RACEQB KEMP was three-wide early, then two-wide between horses to the lead at the ¼, refused to let the challenging favorite clear while rolling on in fast fractions, leaving the field strung out, stayed clear to the finish despite the expected deceleration. YOOPER made the lead into turn one, yielded and kept the pocket closed, stayed tight until the stretch, held second. BOMBSHELL BELLE moved three-wide 11/16 from next-to-last and stayed wide through the turn, gained a lot of ground in a slowing pace. MISTER PHOTOGENIC gapped inside down the back, got a nose past PONDA’S MUSCLE MAN at the wire to take fourth. The latter left well, yielded, stayed in, little to offer late. KEYSTONE SERGEANT moved two-wide past the 5/8 behind the parked horse, double-blindswitched, no factor. WESLEY HANOVER had the best view much of the way. NORTHERN MAJOR was four-wide early and three-wide to the 1/8, then ducked behind cover, left raw from the ¼, could not clear to the inside despite encouragement although briefly the leader of the race, fell back ¾. TOTAL DIVA spotted, backed out and followed three-wide cover on the turn, little late.


FOURTH RACEADDIE ROSE sat in, moved outside when clearance came 5/8 and started to speed-grind, worked her way past pacesetting DEPRIVED late while handled with confidence. The latter was three-wide to the 1/8 and two-wide to the quarter in gaining the lead, got a rest in the middle half, but didn’t have enough to hold off the winner. FOX VALLEY HERMIA worked to the early lead, yielded at the ¼, well-placed in the Pocono Pike but saw the top two get away from her. AMERICAN MAJOR pushed into the first turn then yielded, not heard from thereafter. ASHOK ACE had dull cover, inside on the turn then out again in the lane and almost reached fourth. PRINCESS RUSTY moved out with cover but was gapping by the ¾. REAL SHEILA was outermost of a quartet of leavers, ducked behind cover at the 1/8, then was left out in the air at the ¼, started to fall back 9/16.


FIFTH RACENICE STUFF left, gave the pocket at the ¼ but still stayed closely-placed, was able to slide up the rail when the pocket horse broke and went inside 9/16, swung wide entering the stretch and had the most late, a $72.40 winner for Action Jackson. CAMPBELLINI moved out off the second turn and three-wide around the parked horse to uncovered 11/16, dueled with the pacesetter, got a short lead early stretch, held well but had to settle for second. BROADWAY BRUISER got into the wide flow behind a fellow BROADWAY, had some belated kick. BROADWAY SISSY followed the place horse’s cover but gapped on the far turn. CHARIOT RACER made the top, forced a tuck in a fast quarter then had constant pressure, tired in the stretch. LADY PALEMA was 5-wide to the first turn, then settled behind cover, blindswitched 5/8 then ducked inside, fair. PUERTO RICO was four-wide early then three-wide to the 3/16, briefly had cover then lost it and was forced to take the air, fell back. DIAMOND STARLIGHT wanted to be in the early mix but broke at the start. MISSION REVEALED was three-wide to the first turn then two-wide until taking the pocket at the ¼, broke off turn two and was taken to the infield.


SIXTH RACEYOUNG AMERICAN took the pocket early, under a hold as the pace slowed near the 3/8, stayed in then came with a rush 11/16, moved up to the leader, then drew away late. FLIRTSWELL stayed connected to the main crew, outside near headstretch, along for second. CLASSIC CARPET was behind a bad gapper and got around her down the back, still far back at the ¾ but had a good last quarter. STRAWB’S CHIPPIE N tucked third, moved before the 3/8 as the pace was slowing and got to the lead early in turn two, went 28 down the back, not too much left at the end. SMART ZONE made the lead into turn one, yielded into turn two, a bit loose in the pocket much of the last half before falling further back. PARTYON PARTYGIRL was devoid of forward step.


SEVENTH RACEONE FINE LADY left nicely and raced up into the pocket at the 1/8, to the Pocono Pike to the lead midstretch, seemed tired late but held on for the win. PRETTY EDGY was three-wide early to grab early command, dogged by pressure most of the way, held OK. NEW YORK ATTITUDE circled up three-wide past the 5/8 around a bad gapper and was out wide the rest of the way, relentless in his pursuit to the wire. CADILLAC CRUISER was three-wide then two-wide behind cover to the ¼, then left raw, went up to challenge in a 1:00 middle half, held with great courage. CELEBRITY ARTEMIS got an early forward spot, stayed in, not clear in the lane but looked to be all-out. HERE’S THE MAGIC spotted fourth 3/16, came out in a blindswitch 5/8, had to check early stretch, then blocked almost to the wire with looking to have some horse. FLAGSTAFF wasn’t heard from. MARAT had cover but gapped at the back. MONEY CRAZED pulled second-over behind the parked horse 3/8, suddenly fell back sharply 9/16, had some sort of problem.


EIGHTH RACENORTHERN SWIFT improved position early, came up on the grind steadily, collared the leader early stretch and won very nicely. DONT MACH ME forced two foes to take a hole in the first quarter, then yielded to the frontstretch brusher, sat the pocket, all-out to be up for second late over COVFEFE. The latter left well but took back seeing how insistent the rail horse was, may have given the pocket at the ¼ to clear the way, moved 5/16 and emerged with the lead before turn two, had the winner gradually move to her and pressure her, couldn’t hold second late. LYNN BIN CON KIN went around a tired horse and then gapped, along for distant next. SHE’S IN FOR LIFE tried to follow the winner but couldn’t stay with her, tucked past the 5/8, little in the lane. RED SNAPPER was disconnected most of the last half; HURRIKANE EMPRESS even more so. MOCHA MAYHEM was three-wide to the 1/8, raced into the pocket at the ¼, was done before the 5/8.


NINTH RACECAN DO was four-wide among four leavers, took back behind cover and then in fourth 3/16, moved out behind cover to turn two, saw the cover tire 5/8 and soon went three-wide to get back to two-wide, now uncovered, 11/16, moved up and then went right on by. I C CAVIAR improved early position, followed the winner and just did avoid a blindswitch 11/16, not as much as that one in the lane but steadily for the deuce. CAJOLE HANOVER pushed the horse to his right 3/16 before yielding the lead, pocket, to the Pocono Pike but didn’t have enough for second. YOU CANT HABIT was last-over, advanced in a blindswitch through the turn then swung wide, finished well. MASSACAIA stayed in, gapped in the last ¼. LAKEVIEW TAMMY was used to make the lead 3/16 in a fast quarter, moderated the tempo but still gave way. CODIAS ON THE MOVE never featured. MODERN MERCURY was fourth-over, three-wide just before the winner swept wide but couldn’t blindswitch the place horse and flattened on the turn. COWBOY HALL was three-wide early, tucked third at the 1/8, moved first-over 3/8 but had very little on the second move.


TENTH RACECLAREBEAR, on the bit in her low-going style, spotted then moved right out behind cover at the half, followed the great cover then went three-wide headstretch and drew off from these in fast time. SEVENTIMESAVIRGIN tucked third going to the first turn, then went uncovered to the half, had a torrid battle with the leader from before the 5/8 onward, couldn’t stall the winner but went on gamely to get second over TRUTH AND LIBERTY. The latter went third-over, quickly got tight on cover, four-wide early stretch and almost was up for place. JUXTA COWGIRL refused the pocket and was out just past the ¼ for the lead, came under intense pressure from the first-over at the 5/8, stayed in the fight for second until past midstretch. ROB THEN BLIND was fourth-over, ducked inside headstretch and made up ground from a tough spot. BRING ME DIAMONDS and TATARIA didn’t achieve prominence. LK’S NANCY LEE showed quick speed, pushed a rival past the quarter until yielding, sat in the two-hole, came up empty through the lane.


ELEVENTH RACEDR J’S KISS was second-over and was towed up when her cover hit high gear late backstretch, three-wide past midturn, steadily and just caught PRAIRIE SWEETHEART in the shadow of the wire. The latter tucked behind a four-horse charge to the first turn, came out at the quarter, left raw 5/16 and quickly to the lead 3/8, went on steadily on the lead, just nipped on the end of it. DELIGHTFULLY WILD was three-wide to the 3/16, then two-wide to get the top 5/16, soon yielded and sat the pocket, gapped on the far turn but was resurgent in the Pocono Pike and wasn’t far off at the wire. NARCIAN JEWEL left two-wide in the four-deep early group, lead 3/16, yielded 5/16, stuck behind a gapper on the turn, spent the first half of the stretch angling to a wide clearance, then very good late. COLORFUL JASMINE was four-high towards turn one, took a 4-hole 3/16, came out first-over at the half, started making inroads on the pacesetter’s lead 11/16 but never got to her wheel, held OK. HIGHLY THOUGHT OF was away well from the pole and yielded, no factor thereafter. SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR gapped cover. HEAVENS DANCER was last at every call.


TWELFTH RACETAROT left, tucked third 3/16, moved before the 3/8 with cover then lost cover and went on to the lead off turn two, opened a clear lead late backstretch / through the turn / through midstretch, and was too far ahead to have CELEBRITY LOVER catch him. The latter was third-over, had the second-over break early backstretch then got tight on cover, three-wide towards headstretch, had a long way to come but was really eating up the ground. ELDORADO OF GOLD S was away slowly, sat in, angled out late turn, swung wide, steadily to be third. WINWOOD SCOUT got the pocket almost immediately, made a move 5/16 to the lead 3/8, yielded again off turn two, couldn’t keep up the last ¼. ARCH CREDIT was on top almost immediately, saw two go by in quarter two, to the Pocono Pike, little late. ARRAKIS was never close. LE REVEUR N came raw at the half, couldn’t reach the leader, tired on the far turn. HE’S GONE was out second-over but broke off the second turn.


THIRTEENTH RACETOASTMYGOATS left for every single step of this mile, followed up his second quarter breather with a 56 last half and staying in control. ADRIAN HANOVER defended the pocket from the rail, moved out a notch in the lane, didn’t gain or lose ground. BIG TOP HANOVER was three-wide to the first turn, spotted fourth at the 1/8, first-over at the half, never got to the winner’s wheel but held on pretty well. HERE COMES SWIFTY tucked third just past the 1/8, in, Pocono Pike, not too much. MIKADO BLUE CHIP was underway from next-to-last 3/8, got to second-over, not bad. GOTTA LOVE HIM and DEALMAKER were never heard from. JUPITER JOHNNY gapped third-over.


FOURTEENTH RACEBUCKETLIST HANOVER was another who trailed at no point in the mile, rated the half then stepped home lively to keep the favored ZOOMING at bay. The latter got away third, came out before the 11/16, made a bid, not enough although good. SIR JOHN F sat in, gapped down the back, then moved wide in the stretch and had solid trot finishing, though a bit too late. P L ICABOD had a good start and went right to the pocket, looked all-out the last ¼. CR BLAZIN BEAUTY moved out behind cover then was quickly left raw when the cover was empty and retucked, would have had cover late backstretch if able to reach it. TIDQUIST was behind dull cover, never in it. NOBLE ANTHONY pulled out at the half but quickly went back in as empty. SERIOUS SAVANNAH was away fourth, broke 3/16.