Connors’ Comments for Saturday, July 27, 2019


 SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019


FIRST RACE – 89o at post time, and in the 80s throughout the card … BENJI’S BEST was parked 5/16 to make the lead, went clear at the half and won by one of the biggest margins at the meet. IT’S A FREE SPIRIT went away in good order, sat third, got room to come up headstretch and was up for the v-e-r-y distant second.  TOM’S AROCKIN went four-wide around three sluggish tiers midturn and was along for third. ROCKIN CELEBRATION was looped then three-wide much of the ¼, took back to tuck, then was caught inside, used the Pocono Pike and passed a few. ROCK ON LINE made the top into the first turn, yielded to the winner 5/16, left an ever-widening gap from the half. LIMA RAIDER came uncovered and tried to gain but could not. POKERFACE BLUECHIP and FERNADO got no help from cover. PAPRIKE BLUE CHIP was midpack trying to gain position just past the 1/8 when suffering broken equipment, guided to the outer fence and was pulled up.


SECOND RACEMAXDADDY BLUE CHIP was uncovered just past the 3/8, one-geared it up, went past a tired leader, stayed safe. ARCHANGEL THREE got inside at the 1/8 and pushed outside foes, trapped in on the far turn, went to the Pocono Pike and held off PICKLED PREACHER for second. The latter stayed in then backed out to third-over, three-wide midturn, closed well. FEEL THE NEED A gapped at the back, then gained some inside to be best of the rest. BLOW A CLOUD N got to third-over but had little. POLAK A was second-over but came up empty, then blindswitched. TACT TATE N was four-wide past the 1/8 and three-wide 3/16, went on to the lead off the first turn after a strength-sapping opener, yielded for the pocket, tired ¾. GOTTA GO B B was three-wide past the 1/8 then to the lead 3/16, yielded off turn one but regained and set the pace, tired significantly.


THIRD RACEATTA BOY DAN was three-wide to the 1/8, kicked the plugs and sped up to take command 3/16, set the pace, under a hold much of the middle half, then stepped up his game and came home in 27.2 clear of a pair of good foes. ROCK THE TOWN outleft everybody, yielded 3/16 for the pocket, couldn’t gain in the lane, did manage to take second over SOMETIMESAWINNER. The latter speed-grinded out of fifth off the second turn, very resilient late. BORDER CONTROL A offered little. BEACH MEMORIES showed some gate speed, backed outside on the turn but had very little. GRAND PRIORITY was looped between horses, took back to last and never reentered the hunt.


FOURTH RACEARCH CREDIT left and yielded, stayed connected third-in, went to the Pocono Pike and just caught pacesetting P L ICABOD. The latter got the lead at the 1/8, yielded but retook to the 3/8, got a rest in quarter two then sped up, just failed to hold on. DIRTY SECRET was three-wide to the 1/8 to the lead just past the 3/16, yielded 3/8 for the two-hole, rocked on the turn, outside early stretch but lost ground. FRENCH MONI was uncovered from last, bested the rest. MARCH AWARENESS gapped early and late. WESLEY HANOVER backed out to second-over but made little impact. C-O-TO BLUEGRASS was never in the mix.


FIFTH RACEJEREMES GENERAL left, took the early pocket 3/16, vacated what had become the three-hole 5/8 and went by before the ¾, drew clear while kept to business to the wire. EASTEND EDDIE moved out on the second turn, got cover 5/8, left uncovered to the ¾, couldn’t go with the winner but won a three-way picture for second. DAYLIGHT RUSH left, forced the winner to tuck, then let a brusher go 3/8, was badly shuffled before the ¾, got to two-wide midturn and went around the tired horse, ducked inside and made a good comeback in the lane. JACKSRLUCKYTOO gained in the good outer flow, didn’t miss second by much. PEMBROKE WILDCAT was also in the two-wide flow but gapped, three-wide midturn, ducked in to headstretch, got the last check. TEXICAN N was stuck inside and shuffled, never reentered the picture. FANCY COLT and SKYWAY BILL were always far back. BASS PLAYER was looped and briefly tucked fourth, then was on the move before the ¼ to the lead 3/8, had no answer for the winner when he challenged late backstretch.


SIXTH RACEBEGUIN DUGOUTIER F made the lead 3/16, went a fast ¾ in increasing his lead from the 5/8 on, tiring late but well clear. VERDI D EM moved outside to the ¾ and three-wide late turn, along for second. CARRICK retucked down the back, then backed out two- and three-wide, gained in the slowing tempo between horses. GLOBAL REVOLUTION was three-wide to the 1/8 then took back to get in third, uncovered 11/16, moved inside headstretch, couldn’t do much late. FUN TIME CHARLIE moved out with cover late backstretch, offered little late. ABBIE’S CELTICLASS left, yielded, gave ground in the pocket from nearing the 5/8 onward. BURNIN MONEY was never a major danger. OSVALDO BLUE CHIP went offstride soon after the start.


SEVENTH RACEHERE COMES SWIFTY went right to the lead, yielded to sit the pocket, went to the Pocono Pike and grinded by CENTURY CHURCHILL late. The latter was looped early and took the pocket, then was out for the lead and got it before the 3/8, went a big third quarter, just missing holding on. BLAISE MM HANOVER pulled behind an empty horse early backstretch and had to go three-wide around him, back in late backstretch, then out and wide to headstretch, caught LINKJACK HANOVER for third. The latter spotted fifth, was able to come up the inside when the first-over gummed up the outer tier before the 5/8, outside raw 11/16, so-so late. THAT’S MY OPINION pulled raw from third going to the half but was already in retreat by the 9/16. THE REST never entered into contention.


EIGHTH RACEDAAMERICANSKY put everybody in in a 26.2 opener, stretched a quarter-mover then yielded, came to the Pocono Pike and closed enough to edge BETTOR B ROLLING. The latter had a forward spot, outside on the turn and gained, not all that smooth late but tried hard and just missed. WAGON MASTER came out late backstretch, gained cover, ducked in, back out headstretch, steadily to the wire. REGGIANO was far out of it headstretch, closed very solidly. NOX VEGAS BLUECHIP quarter-moved but had to be chased to get the speed to clear before the second turn, not enough left late. THE OTHER PAIR were not factors.


NINTH RACESTORMONT CZAR A was looped at the 1/8, had cover until past the ¼ then rolled up to the front to the 3/8, fought off the first-over then fought off the second-over GINGER TREE CASH. The latter got second-over position, gapped a bit down the back then tightened in, three-wide late turn, kept on coming to the line. BONDI HANOVER was three-wide just past the 1/8 to the lead just past the ¼, yielded for the pocket, slightly loose the rest of the way but went on evenly. BOOK BINGE went to the lead, saw two go by in quarter two, to the deep Pocono Pike, had a belated response and was almost third. RATHER SWELL went uncovered 9/16, pressed, couldn’t sustain. INSTRUCTOR couldn’t quite stay with cover. MUSTANG ART was wide with cover to the 1/8, then took back to tuck fifth, not clear part of the lane but didn’t have all that much. CLASSY HILL was sitting last and didn’t get into it.


TENTH RACEWESTERN JOE tucked fourth, on the move before the ¼ and was outside almost all of the second stanza before clearing, went on down the back without pressure, drew clear into the stretch, more than enough to withstand PRAIRIE PANTHER. The latter came out from sixth 5/8, got cover a sixteenth later, three-wide near headstretch, strong late foot. MAJOR CROCKER A was away nicely for the lead in a 26.1 opener, made the winner work to clear hard into turn two, sat the pocket, got a little loose midturn, held for third over EPAULETTE A. The latter went away for the early pocket, sat in, to the Pocono Pike, couldn’t go by for show. CRUISE PATROL never moved. ALWAYS AT MY PLACE pulled raw 11/16 but didn’t gain. TOASTMYGOATS was at the back the whole way.


ELEVENTH RACEHAVEFAITHINME N was three-wide early, then followed cover to the 3/8, then raw to the lead not much into the backstretch, fought with the first-over and turned him back, then went on very gamely. DRAWING DRAGONS went to the front 3/16, hung a foe almost to the 3/8, yielded, sat in, had to wait for the Pocono Pike and rallied well in the wake of the winner. MIDWAY ISLAND was forwardly-placed after pushing past the 1/8, backed out at the half behind the duelers, three-wide late turn, OK+ late. OURLITTLEGENERAL A had cover 3/16, then out raw a like distance to the top, then yielded a like difference later, struggled some the last ¼. CASUAL COOL moved outside near the back, three-wide with cover on the turn, followed the show horse’s path and gained. NIMBLE AND QUICK and DAKOTA JACK could do nothing after inside trips. SLIPIN SKIP was in the multi-horse outer flow, left raw near the 9/16, battled in the fast pace, rebuffed. BILBO HANOVER was out with cover but gapped on the turn.


TWELFTH RACEOCEAN COLONY was uncovered on the second turn, was a speed-grinder deluxe, got up in the shadow of the wire. STILL FRISKIE went to the lead and forced two different foes to tuck behind him, drifted into the Pocono Pike past headstretch denying ROOTIN TOOTIN immediate access, just edged out for win and just edged that one for second, placed for the passing lune violation. ROOTIN TOOTIN quarter-moved for third, got the pocket before the 3/8, denied immediate access to the Pike then came clear and had a good surge late. ROUGH ODDS was away in the pocket, pulled past the 1/8 but decided to retreat, backed outside late turn, best of the rest. TOPVILLE OLYMPIAN gapped at the back, used the inside to get the last check ahead of CAPTAIN DEO, who also stayed inside. URBAN RENEWAL stayed connected until the 7/8. MR D’S DRAGON was second-over but gapped 11/16.


THIRTEENTH RACEROLLINLIKETHUNDER started uncovered 3/8, another very good grinder, got by a stubborn SPORTS COLUMN late. The latter was three-wide past the 1/8, then two-wide and proceeded on to grab the lead near the 3/8, came under pressure from the winner, held very well. BRO HANOVER left but tucked, stayed in, to the deep Pocono Pike, up for third. IDEAL KISS yielded very reluctantly to the 3/8, pocket, slightly loose later down the back, Pocono Pike, outpaced. AMERICA’S FLEET was third-over before the half, three-wide late turn, pace on the end of it. MAJOR BUCKS was caught in, angled widest before midstretch and finished strongly. ROCKIN IN THE HILLS was outside midpack to the ¾, then faded. MACHIAVELLI was last at every call.


FOURTEENTH RACEHITMAN HILL made the front before the 3/16, kept rolling and would not yield, well in control in this fast mile. SOMEBEACH BARON pushed, yielded, then kept the pocket tight as a threesome was well ahead of the rest from before the 3/8 to the 11/16, second-best. FEELING CAM LUCKY left a big hole to midbackstretch then shut the parked horse out of a tuck, started gapping again, distant third. HEARTBEAT HILL gapped a gapper. MAYFIELD DUKE was never in the fight. BABY KITTY circled wide but made no impact. BLACK CHEVRON N tucked third past the 1/8, tried for the lead 5/16 but was given the cold shoulder, had a three-tuck shut on him 11/16, continued to fade.