Connors Comments for Saturday, April 20, 2019




FIRST RACE – Dropping from the high to the low 60s on tonight’s card … Stretch headwind … BUNKNDUNK left, yielded to the ¼, made a regaining move, yielded again at the ½, back for a third move to the top and swept by 11/16, drew clear in the last ¼. AN THE THUNDEROLLS was trapped in at the 3/8, escaped into a blindswitch 11/16, could go three-wide midturn, clear second. MAJOR PEPPER was parked to the ¼ for the lead, yielded, followed the winner out 11/16 but faded alongside the former leader. SPANISH ART had an excess of cover, three-wide 11/16, broke entering the final turn, ducked in from wide to the Pocono Pike, gaining at the wire in a good recovery. PEDIGREE BLUE CHIP was caught three-wide the entire first turn outside of horses drifting out, put it in high gear off the first bend and took the next quarter rushing to the lead, no response when challenged late backstretch, did get the last check. ROCKME SOCKS OFF was far back, in a blindswitch behind a stopper early turn and ducked inside. LOGAN HANOVER was parked 5/16 before settling in fourth, not heard from thereafter. MR HEAVEN was outside the whole way, left uncovered, not much the last 7/16. TARAMAKAUREACTOR N stayed in and was shuffled, was circling wide far turn when going to a run.


SECOND RACEBLAYDE HANOVER made two moves to command, went big odd-numbered quarters and established a clear lead, no problem the last quarter. BRUCE’S MAGIC gapped inside past the 5/8 then got closer, outside late turn, steadily for second. ONE TO DRAW TO was uncovered a long way, not a real threat to the winner but kept on going gamely. BILBO HANOVER gapped second-over, then wide in the stretch and OK. MAYFIELD DUKE was last, gained in the lane without clearance. CITY HALL went to the front past the 3/16, yielded to the winner, started having trouble keeping up past the 5/8. FRANKY’S BEACH BOY was not heard from.


THIRD RACETERROR O was second-over to turn two, gapped in the fast third quarter then got closer, just up in the last step over TWIN B WRANGLER. The latter tucked fourth, then was underway raw heading into turn two, fought a resilient pacesetter, got the lead 70 feet out, just missed. T’S ELECTRIC was stung to a hard quarter to get in front, slowed quarter two then sped up down the back to create gaps, held a long way. GRANDPA DON was stuck inside, found a path early stretch then gained until the wire, where he may have been shut off. CLASSIESISTAR N was third-over, four-wide on the far bend, couldn’t generate enough. NAKED CITY had forward position, had to wait for the deep Pocono Pike but didn’t have a great response. ROYAL COURTIER was on top to the 1/8 and pushed a quick quarter before yielding, struggled to keep up much of the last 3/8, little left late. OHOKA TEXAS N never was a major factor.


FOURTH RACECC’S DESIRE was three-wide past the 1/8, then two-wide well past a fast quarter and almost to the 3/8 before making the top, got a breather to the half then picked it up, held off a wall of horses in the lane. WESTERN ALUMNI was third-over from last, four-wide just past midturn, closed very big (though in a slow last quarter), returned with “b.e.” RIVER RUNS DEEP stayed third-in, to the deep Pocono Pike and gained. P H KENNY put all but one leaver in behind then pushed that one almost to the 3/8 before yielding, tightened in the pocket on the turn, then didn’t have too much late. ALL MUSIC was second-over, three-wide midturn, not enough kick. SHARKY’S WAY left between horses, took back to fourth 3/16, inside and backed up to last, had to swing to the extreme outside the first part of the stretch and had too far to come; mile better than it may look on paper. DOUBLE IMPACT was uncovered towards turn two, was being asked from before midbackstretch, slowly fell back some in the last 1/8.


FIFTH RACEAMERICAN ADMIRAL made the lead before the 3/16, got a slow second quarter, then put down successive 27.2s coming home as an impressive winner. AFLAME HANOVER went right to the lead, yielded for the pocket, came out late on the turn, raced well but didn’t narrow in on the winner until the issue was decided. LOVE THE ACTION sat third, struggled from the 11/16. DAKOTA ORE was raw early on turn two, got to within a neck of the pocket horse before backing off. ILLEGITIMATE SON backed out to second-over 5/8 but couldn’t reach cover. THE OTHER PAIR never made a dent.


SIXTH RACEBIG GAME HUNTER forced wholesale tucks in a 26 opener, slowed the half, burned the third quarter, and stayed strong coming home – throw out the second quarter, and he paced his other 3/4s in 1:20.3. NIMBLE AND QUICK was three-wide to the first turn, two-wide to the pocket 3/16, didn’t ease out until almost midstretch, good but not a big threat to the winner. THEFREEDOMFIGHTER N was four-high into turn one and three-deep 3/16, finally tucked third past the ¼, popped out into the stretch, couldn’t gain but was well-clear of the others. RIGGLE WEALTH stayed inside and was next. LETJIMMYTAKEOVER had some gate foot, out uncovered to the second turn, moved up a little while pacing a 26.4 backstretch, then stopped gaining, but still beat the others in a not-bad mile. AWESOMENESS was second-over, three-wide headstretch but little. TULLOW N was third-over, ducked in on the turn, not prominent. SENTENCING MEMO was never in contention.


SEVENTH RACEADMIRAL sat in behind a cutthroat duel and advanced to the pocket, had room to come out after confusion at the ¾, made the lead past midstretch and was up (in a 30.1 kicker) while holding off a regathered ONE MORE MIRACLE. The latter made the top, yielded at the 3/16, came out second-over past the 5/8, had to be grabbed into ¾ with the trouble and was kept three-wide through the turn, downshifted midstretch and was coming back gamely. UNDERTAKER was three-wide to the 3/16 and then two-wide almost to the 3/8 in a really fast pace, had the pocket horse pull on him 5/8, then saw that one hook his right wheel from behind and had to steady while the foe dislodged, held on to the lead a long way in a brave showing. MYSTERY ISLAND sat in and came through, angled wide in the lane and gained as the tempo diminished. A AND C ARTIST spotted fifth, gapped third-over, had to go three-wide when a foe broke on the turn, then ducked inside, got the final payday. ERIE DALE N was never in it. CARMENS BEST was parked 3/16 for the lead then hung a foe about as long before yielding for the pocket, pulled out 5/8 raw while the pace continued fast, went up to challenge nearing ¾ when he bore in and hooked the leader’s wheel from behind, made a break in freeing himself. ROCKIN THE HOUSE was three lengths off the gate when making a break 50 feet before the start.


EIGHTH RACEGALLERY OPENING was uncovered from in front of the stands, was a grinding machine, took the lead early stretch and just kept on going in a big outing. COWBOY TERRIER was looped and between horses to the pocket before the ¼, then soon moved to 3/8 command, fair and square outpaced by the winner late. BONFIRE BLISS was first to the lead, stayed in then backed out late turn, OK. NATHAN FEELSGOOD stayed in, angled wide headstretch and had finishing pace. BASS PLAYER was three-wide to the 3/16 then onward to the lead in a fast quarter, yielded, pocket, little left in the stretch. SOMEBEACH BARON and FOREVERNALWAYS were not late factors. ACHILLES BLUE CHIP was third-over, three-wide on the far turn but didn’t gain. CASHENDASH HANOVER was second-over, had trouble keeping with cover past the 5/8.


NINTH RACEDRAWING DRAGONS made the front at the 1/8, yielded off turn one, was third-inside, moved out while surrounded headstretch, unhesitatingly went through a sliver of space between horses before midstretch and finished strongly for a nice win. CLASSY HILL tucked fourth 3/16, then was underway 7/16 raw, went 26.4 down the back to really fight the leader, paced on with gameness to the wire, giant effort. JK PRIDENJOY moved after the early fight to the lead in front of the stands, under attack from past the 5/8 onward, held well. CONCUR was three-wide to the 1/8 then two-deep to get command off turn one, yielded for the pocket, to the Pocono Pike and may have had a nose up midstretch, couldn’t quite sustain. UNCLE COZ was second-over, three-wide late turn, like others here in gear a bit too late. SANATTLE SLEW was third-over, NINE WAYS fourth-over, had to stack very wide and gained late. SPORTY SPOOK A suffered interference behind a breaker off turn two, not that much late. MESSI N made a break coming off turn two.


TENTH RACE – Wind tailing off … SOHO WALLSTREET A had some speed, looked to quarter-move but retucked when the pocket horse had the same intent, sat in third, angled out late turn and wide, hit an even higher gear midstretch and won over a determined SPORTS COLUMN. The latter was between horses early and took back to fourth, started uncovered 5/8, kept digging and digging and just got outrushed. HITMAN HILL left hard, was put in the pocket 3/16, then quarter-moved in front of the winner, pressured from late on the backstretch, led a long way in the stretch. MARINER SEELSTER left, put a foe in for a brief period, then yielded when that one brushed, kept up in the pocket, but didn’t have enough late. HEREHECOMESAROCKIN was third-over, three-wide late turn, fair. CASUAL COOL trailed, had some pace up the inside late. TORRID BROMAC N gapped second-over. LEAN ON YOU never featured.


ELEVENTH RACEROOTIN TOOTIN advanced second-over, three-wide late turn, had enough rally to arrive first. SOMETIMESAWINNER sat last, went to the deep Pocono Pike and may have had to wait a couple of strides for full clearance, then responded very willingly. DAKOTA JACK was three-wide 3/16 to the front, got pressure from late backstretch, not quite enough. TEXAS TERROR N tucked fourth, then was first-over into turn two, got to the leader nearing the ¾, held pretty well. SIR PUGSLEY had early speed, inside, out in a blindswitch headstretch, never clear. BETTER B ROLLING left between horses and made his way to the pocket, came up empty late. WAGON MASTER was third-over, widest, not enough.


TWELFTH RACESPORTS LEGEND left hard to get the lead, had his principal opponent parked out as the pocket hole was closed late on the first turn, went very fast with the presser, then just drew away in very quick time. ON ACCIDENT closed up a gap down the back, swung wide headstretch and had enough to be the distant second. TURBO HILL was three-wide past the 1/8, had the pocket close on him late on the first turn and had to spend the mile out in the air, fell back at the ¾ after a very hard trip. R U TALKIN left, kept the hole closed past the 3/16, proved bottomed-out in the last ¼. THE OTHERS were always well back in this very quick contest.


THIRTEENTH RACEARCHANGEL THREE made the top at the 1/8, yielded 5/16, immediately retook, yielded again at the ½ and sat in the pocket, to the Pocono Pike and made his third move a good one en route to victory. DULL ROAR went the grinding route, stayed right in the fight to the wire. MACH DÉJÀ VU was second-over, three-wide late turn, took a while to find his best strides then OK. WAR-N-MUNN was out until the 5/16 to hit the front , yielded, third-in, surrounded headstretch, followed the winner home. MAJOR BUCKS was a bit off the gate, was third-over, three-wide with cover on the turn then four-wide, too far to make up. ALLSTAR PARTNER, also off the gate a bit, gained under cautious handling behind a stretch wall. BEYOND DELIGHT took all the way back to last, went to the deep Pike but didn’t have enough. POLAK A moved 3/8 to get the lead at the half, succumbed in the stretch.


FOURTEENTH RACESCOTT ROCKS made the front 3/16 and refused to yield despite brutal pressure, held together to the wire gamely. IDEAL WHEEL was underway early, third-over, four-wide headstretch and made up a lot of ground off the fast pace. ROYAL HEART pushed the winner and yielded, kept the hole closed, to the Pocono Pike, decent. JOHNNY Q was shuffled inside, to the deep Pike and gained. THE DARK SHADOW had a good second-over trip, three-wide nearing the stretch, not enough. SAM’S TRIPLE CROWN was outside with cover early then left on the rim coverless, battled hard a very long way, held very well. LOCKTON LUCK A didn’t appear to have clearance in the stretch. CARRACCI HANOVER got a slow start, was never a factor. … The brothers Napolitano wind up with nine wins: George five, Anthony four.