FIRST RACE – A balmy 70 degrees as the night opens, with a stretch headwind … BASS PLAYER was away nicely to sit the two-hole, gapped behind fast fractions to the half then got tighter, to the Pocono Pike and reeled in CUZ IM ROCKIN. The latter was alert at the start and cleared early into the first turn, had an open length lead to the half, got pressure before the ¾, held on very well. JET AVIATION struggled to keep up, not that much in the lane, just third. PEDIGREE BLUE CHIP spotted, gapped a gapper in quarter two, then to second-over, three-wide late turn, fair. JUST MY KINDA GUY was last much of the way, swung widest and had some finishing power. MR HEAVEN went to third-over but gapped on the far turn. MAJOR PEPPER got an early spot, came uncovered off turn two, gradually moved up to contention around the far turn, then tired. EPIC UNION struggled to keep most of the way while urged, narrowed in on the turn and was stuck behind a wall of horses into the stretch, made a break.
SECOND RACE – SHOOTER’S DREAM got the front into turn one, extended an outside foe to dissuade a potential quarter-mover, let the outside challenger go 3/8 after a tough battle, popped the pocket 5/8 and went right on by, drew clear in the last quarter. JOHNNY Q was outside with cover down the back, uncovered on the far turn, steadily for second behind a good winner. PERSISTENT THREAT A joined the outer flow, not bad but not enough. NIGHT CLUB HANOVER showed speed, wanted to quarter-move but retucked when the winner extended the parked horse, then outside 11/16, left raw and soon into the pocket, tired in the lane. O’ SUNDLAND was wide leaving, tactically hung two-wide to the 3/8 in a demanding half (the second quarter was into the wind), had been softened up by the time the others came calling. NOX VEGAS BLUECHIP never gained contention. SOMETIMESAWINNER sat in and was badly shuffled out of it when the pacesetter faded.
THIRD RACE – RIVER RUNS DEEP was three-wide to the first bend then two-wide to the ¼ for command, rated the half, then came home in 56 to keep T’S ELECTRIC at bay under mild coaxing. The latter was first away at the start, yielded for the pocket, to the Pocono Pike, good but not quite enough sprint. MASTER OF PUPPETS got in midpack before the ¼ after a foe broke, then second-over, three-wide headstretch, gamely to the wire to nab third. ADMIRAL stayed inside, not much late. LIMA PRO sat in, out in a blindswitch late turn, so-so between horses late. MAKE IT BIG took back early, started uncovered into turn two, put a head up on the pocketsitter before the ¾ but was never closer to the lead, faded. DANCIN HILL struggled to keep up. FINAL JUSTICE gapped cover. SIR RICHIE N made a break 3/16.
FOURTH RACE – TOUGH MUDDER went to the front then yielded 3/16 for the pocket, came outside past midturn, paced away from these. P H KENNY moved third-over, swept three-wide through the far turn, late speed to be just second over SKY GUY. The latter stayed inside then swung out for the stretch, fair. BONFIRE BLISS made the front 3/16 and rolled on the engine, came up shy in the last 1/8. WESTERN ALUMNI got inside 5/16 after a foe broke, fourth-over and with three-wide cover on the far turn but gapped a bit, got the last check. LOOKINFORADVENTURE was second-over, blindswitched to the ¾, ducked in but didn’t have much. SOMETHINGINTHEWIND was not prominent after being bothered at the ¼. SPORTY MERCEDES spotted, then was first-up into turn two, in retreat the last panel. MCJAGERSONTHEMOVE made a break off the first turn and was taken to the inside.
FIFTH RACE – PAPRIKE BLUE CHIP used track geometry to the max and sat in the pocket off a battle, outside into the stretch and gradually wore down JK PRIDENJOY. The latter made the top at the 1/8, was under pressure to the 11/16, gave way to the fresh stretch challenger. BUNKNDUNK, not smooth-gaited, was four-wide from the 11/16 and gained through the turn, best of the rest. ROYAL COURTIER stayed in, not a great deal along the inside in the stretch. ASPLODE HANOVER was outside in a blindswitch then ducked in past midturn, not prominent. TARAMAKAUREACTOR N got a slow start and was gapping badly early backstretch. MISTER SPECIAL T was three-wide to the 1/8 then had to race out in the two-path coverless, fell back 11/16. ROCKME SOCKS OFF moved out behind the parked horse, tried to circle that one past the 5/8 but just hung in place clogging a path.
SIXTH RACE – BETTER B ROLLING stayed connected throughout, backed outside ¾ and went three-wide towards headstretch, had the most late kick. FOUR CARD MAJOR one-geared raw from early on turn two, never had the lead but continued gamely for the deuce. CENTURY CHURCHILL needed the length of the frontstretch to clear on a quarter-move, went fast fractions but couldn’t last to the wire. IDEAL TYSON passed tired rivals along the inside. PEMBROKE WILDCAT was away nicely from the rail, pushed a foe the length of the frontstretch before relinquishing to sit the pocket, started gapping after the 5/8. EASTEND EDDIE could offer little. NIMBLE AND QUICK was neither.
SEVENTH RACE – The chart reads 26 to the quarter, but the racetrack timer said 26.3 … Whichever it was, it was the start of a tremendous mile by PAPPY GO GO, who pulled from third off turn two and dashed in 27.3 to go right by, then kept pouring it on in 28 vs. the wind to finish in 1:52 – the fastest trot anywhere in North America this year. CRAZYCAT worked into the pocket at the 1/8, had the room to back out behind the winner as he went by, tucked in the pocket ¾, and held the very distant second. LUMINOSITY moved outside on turn two, couldn’t stay with the winner 5/8 but followed his new cover a ways, uncovered on the turn, good mile. SYLVESTERAMERICAIT went evenly behind the monstrous winner. SIR JOHN F took back to sixth at the ¼, never again a factor. MAXIMUSCLE was three-wide leaving to the lead at the 1/8 in the fast ¼, had no answer for the winner past the 5/8 and tired. THE OTHERS were always far behind.
EIGHTH RACE – ROCKEYED OPTIMIST was on the move from third shortly after the 1/8, made the lead 5/16, kicked home in 55.3 and won nicely. BLACK CHEVRON N gapped on the first curve, tightened, then came home in 54.3 while raw from next to last, never taking a backward step in an impressive showing. BLAYDE HANOVER had great cover, ducked between horses in the lane and did well to be best of the others. CLASSY HILL was shuffled and had to back out wide, OK. WAR-N-MUNN did not feature. ARCHANGEL THREE was crucially shuffled at the 7/8 behind the tiring pocketsitter and lost all chance. POLAK A dashed to command, yielded for the two-hole, came up empty in the stretch.
NINTH RACE – WARP FACTOR THREE was parked to a fast quarter, rated the half then took off and proved impossible to catch. GALLERY OPENING had a bunch leave inside him and took back, out rolling past the ¼ and got to third-over, three-wide to the 11/16 when the second-over gapped, got to two-wide covered on the turn as the gapper broke, finished very strongly with no chance to catch the winner. RUFFLE UP was forwardly-placed,
caught behind a gapping pocketsitter and had to wait for the Pocono Pike, not a bad response. ALL MUSIC got in fourth 3/16, then led the outer charge past the 3/8 but never got close. HUGH HEFNER N never was a major player; nor was SANATTLE SLEW. ACHILLES BLUE CHIP was in charge before turn one, yielded at the quarter for the pocket, struggled most of the last half. SPANISH ART was not in contention when bothered badly by ZERO THE HERO, who lagged his cover badly in second-over and then broke ¾.
TENTH RACE – EDDARD HANOVER took the lead early, got a 30.1 second split vs. the wind, shook off the chalk first-over, but was kept to hustling tactics as there was only 2¼ lengths from first to last. DRAGONOLOGY worked to the pocket at the 1/8, had his chance up the Pocono Pike, couldn’t quite make it. HAVEFAITHINME N was urged as the gate sprung but could get away only third, stayed in, to the deep Pocono Pike and not bad at all. THE DARK SHADOW was second-over, three-wide ¾ as his cover began to drop back, steadily although not threatening. URBAN RENEWAL gapped third-over on the far turn, OK under the wire. COOPERSTOWN stacked widest and finished well from an impossible spot. CHRISTEN ME N edged in fourth before the 3/16, made a bold bid in front of the stands, lost a little momentum on the second turn, regathered to challenge down the back, but saw his bid stall near the ¾.
ELEVENTH RACE – WAGON MASTER defended the pocket early, stayed with the leader and roared out late on the turn, but needed the whole lane to prove his superiority over ONE TO DRAW TO. The latter was in control from the pole, outsprinted home but fought very hard against the winner. SHADY CITY took back to tuck third past the 1/8, uncovered before the 5/8, ducked in on the far turn, not bad inside late. CONCUR didn’t have the best cover, had some late foot. SI SEMALU moved at the half and soon got cover, not so much late. IMSTAYNALIVE had to angle widest and did well the last 1/16. SLUGGEM N was caught inside behind a struggler, who was BORDER CONTROL A, who looked hard to handle at several points, then dropped out of it.
TWELFTH RACE – MIDWAY ISLAND had cover to the 3/16 then went on to the point before the 5/16, yielded for the pocket, to the Pocono Pike, got the lead just past midstretch and held the advantage to the wire. DULL ROAR went 27.1 down the back first-over and never gave an inch in the fight to the wire. BIG N BAD had fine advancing cover, three-wide headstretch, looked to find his best gear just a little too late. BLOW A CLOUD N moved after the front end settled and took the top before turn two, set a quick pace, pressured on the far turn, just a little shy at crunch time. SEVENS HOPE A was third-over, lost some ground early stretch but then was coming back. MIKE’S Z TAM was parked 3/16 before getting the lead, yielded, sat in, was looking for room early stretch and seemed to find it deep in the Pike but had little left to give. THE OTHER TWO were in the back throughout.