Connors’ Comments for Monday, July 22, 2019


MONDAY, JULY 22, 2019


FIRST RACE – Sloppy going and a “+1” variant the entire evening, with the conditions for speed less in direct proportion to the lateness of the race on the card … SPANISH ART was forwardly-placed early, uncovered into the second turn and brushed by midbackstretch, had three lengths to the 11/16 and just kept widening his margin. CROSSFIREHURRICANE angled diagonally through traffic far turn to three-wide with cover, wider and along for second. NAKED CITY went to the lead, yielded, shuffled when the pacesetter was passed then backed outside ¾, three-wide midturn, OK. DANCING RUSTY followed the winner outside but couldn’t come close to staying with him. NITTANY NATION was inside, gapped on the far turn. ROAD UNTRAVELED and EXPLODENT never got in the mix. DAFINATY was out with cover but already was gapping by the half. DEALIN DAN made two moves before the ¼, set the pace until being left behind 5/8.


SECOND RACEPREACHER OLLIE left and easily got into the pocket, outside to headstretch and went to the lead. FOOL OF IDEAS had early position, stayed third-in, then angled three-wide nearing headstretch, finished well. CEE PEE PANIC got command early, didn’t have much outside pressure on him, but still couldn’t sustain the lead to the line. ARTFUL BLISS stayed in, Pocono Pike, so-so. ASPLODE HANOVER stayed in, deep Pocono Pike and came on some. SHARKY’S WAY had an excess of cover, inside stretch, couldn’t get close. SILVER BULLET tucked fourth, then was uncovered just past the 3/8, never reached the leader and started to fade ¾. PIECE OF THE ROCK was behind faltering cover, no factor. MEDOLAND JATE was third-over, gapping at the 5/8.


THIRD RACE STARSHIP gapped before the half, got in high gear 11/16 and moved out with cover, came between horses to midstretch and gained solidly. CHEERIO HILL was second-over, three-wide headstretch, went on steadily for second. SO IT GOES tucked, came out raw 5/8, got a short lead early stretch, outpaced. GET LIT retreated to the back early, passed the others. SOMEBODYITREASURE never was a major factor. BEACH MEADOWS tucked in the pocket, inherited the lead when the early runaway made a break, had pressure from the 5/8, nothing left late. TAIL HOOK tucked early, out of gas ¾. BLANK STARE was near the back when he broke 3/16. CAPTAIN FEELGOOD rocketed away to the lead and built up a four length lead by the 26.4 quarter, but then broke 5/16 and went to the infield.


FOURTH RACEGRACE AM tucked third, moved out 3/8 to gain the lead before the half, shook off far turn pressure and won easily. TRIXEE DE VIE spotted fourth, then swung out to second-over, three-wide later on the turn and did well for second. MARIANNE FAITH swung wide late on the far turn and passed horses in the lane. JUBILARIAN got the pocket leaving, uncovered at the 5/8, at the winner’s wheel on the far turn but got no closer. CELEBRATE IT ALL saved ground, got the final check. A RAY OF SUNSHINE did not feature. EXPLOSIVE PAIGE went out to command, yielded to the winner before the half, struggling the latter part of the mile. WINNING GENE was next to an early-breaking CELEBRITY LINDY and went offstride herself.


FIFTH RACESUGAR AND SPICE was away in good order, came uncovered early on the second turn, mildly-urged to clear 11/16 in a fast third quarter, then more insistently-urged to hold off the comeback attempt of BARBS BEACH.  The latter was looped, needed until the 3/8 to clear to the front, surrendered the lead to the brushing winner 11/16 but stayed right with her, came back in the Pocono Pike and almost reclaimed the top. MY SWEET MEMORY was away very well to get the lead early, forced the place horse to work hard to get to the front 3/8, shuffled a bit on the far turn then angled wide headstretch into the space left by a breaker, came on well. SHAKE N GO had the winner’s cover then lost it 11/16, battled, gave some ground in the lane. KISSIMMEE BEACH was in the outside flow, was not bothered when the horse in front of her broke but came out of the far turn very wide, gaining late. ESPRESSO MARTINI was well-placed in the dynamic two-wide flow, gapped a bit then got closer, going three-wide when breaking late turn, made a good recovery from the brief error. BEAM M W was no factor here. ODDS ON AVENTURA gapped along the inside. BINDSAY was taking back early when losing gait, caught quickly and caught the field but could offer nothing further.


SIXTH RACEGRAPPLE HANOVER was a couple of lengths off the gate but then wound up fifth by the half as four foes made breaks by then, out second-over, gapped a little in his one-gear style, but then kept up that one gear and was along for an easy upset victory. WHOYOUCALNCRAZY avoided trouble, uncovered past the 5/8, challenged and went to the lead headstretch, not enough to hold off the winner. RAP SHEET was away fourth but inherited the pocket as two early speed horses ran, backed out into a blindswitch late turn, fair. PRAIRIE GEM tucked third but broke 3/16, made a steady recovery for a DH3. PAGING DOCTOR TEO avoided trouble to be well-placed, stayed in, outside in tight quarters late turn, fair. UNION JACK made a break off the first turn, recovered, and advanced inside, was going to the Pocono Pike when misbehaving again. WAYWARD MAN was four-wide to the first turn, challenging for command 3/16 when breaking. MUSCLE STAR was three-wide early to the lead along the inside, had the two behind him break for a brief big lead at the ¼, set the pace, nothing left in the stretch. MANWILLING broke early.


SEVENTH RACEKEYSTONE BODACIOUS cleared everybody quickly, yielded to the quarter-mover to sit the pocket, came through the Pocono Pike and caught the frontstepping FRAC. The latter settled quickly in the pocket then moved to the lead just past the ¼, set the pace, rebuffed the favored first-over, couldn’t stave off the horse to his left. BABY CHEY was off the gate, fourth-over, stacked widest and closed very strongly. CELEBRITY LAMBO got a good early spot third, inside, looked all-out the last quarter. BETTER CALL SAUL was first-up at the 3/8 and grinded while challenging, backed off a bit late. HOUSE HUBBY was not on the gate at the start, third-over, three-wide late turn, gained some in a slowing pace.  DOLLAR GRIN never featured. SCREAMING CONWAY tucked midpack, then was second-over but appeared to be struggling from the 5/8. TW LAUXMONT broke just before the start and was on the dead gallop in about five-wide position.


EIGHTH RACEFLIPPEN CREEK went to the front, had pressure on his flank from WINNING HABIT that didn’t go away until midstretch, where he proved the best. The latter was double-looped and had the 3-hole defended on him, so pressed on uncovered, challenged a long, long way, and showed very good grit. DEAD BOLT raced out to the pocket, loose much of the second half behind the two combatants, evenly inside late. BRANDYWINE BATTLE was urged at the half to get closer, faded ¾. SECRET MATTER went around a moribund one and got the last check. CELEBRITY DANTE had very little. ZEUS PV broke off the turn before the start, far back, was going three-wide early far turn in contention for a check but broke again.


NINTH RACE – Last ¾ 1:32.1 … GRANDMA HEIDI inherited the pocket near the bottom of the first turn, made the most of the trip and came out just past headstretch, to the lead midstretch then had enough to not be caught by DJ’S MIDNIGHT JAZZ. The latter was buried inside fourth-over, found clearance midstretch to angle behind the winner and then wider, ate up a lot of ground in the last 1/16. EXPLOSIVE MEL was third-in, to the Pocono Pike and just nipped for place. DESERT PEPPER went to the lead, got a 1:01.3 middle half, still didn’t have enough. FLOW AND GO had tucked into the pocket to the 3/16 when making a break, recovered quickly and spent the rest of the mile on the rim, hounded the leader then faded. LADY LONE STAR was third-over, wide in the lane and digging deep for more but ran late. TAD KRAZY HANOVER was last save the breaker but got to second-over behind the parked horse, came up empty at crunch time. MEEP HANOVER was offstride well before the start.


TENTH RACEA BETTOR BEACH was off the gate but shifted gears and grabbed a tuck 3/16, started uncovered off the second turn and went up to the lead as the rest struggled to keep tight, tucked in the pocket on the turn then went to the Pocono Pike and passed a stubborn TWIN B JAYS. The latter brushed to the top past the ¼ and set fast fractions in the circumstances shaking all but the winner, gave way grudgingly, far back of the rest. I’M NO PANSY circled the rest to be the distant third in a photo over CENTURY ENFORCER. The latter was three-wide early to command before a 27 quarter, yielded for the pocket, started to gap out 9/16. LOVE THE ACTION was outside behind the winner but couldn’t keep up. WISH ME WELL tucked, then was not heard from again. ZAZA BOY was first on top, yielded 3/16, faded more and more the last quarter. PECORINO lost gait near the 3/8. V O JOE broke way before the start.


ELEVENTH RACESAVANNAH SMILES was between horses and looked in danger of being looped 3/16 but pressed on and got the lead before the 5/16, set the pace, clear much of the last half and had enough to keep SWEET MARTHA LOU at bay. The latter was three-wide to the ¼, took back to settle in third, outside approaching headstretch and paced gamely to the line. ACTRESS HANOVER was the innermost player in the three-horse drama the first quarter, yielded for the pocket, started getting a bit loose 11/16, but hung in there late. PASSION STRUCK was three-wide and gaining around sluggish foes midturn, still gaining but probably was not to get to third when she broke deep stretch. THEWONDEROUSWENDY passed the rest. ELLEOFADELI was second-over, gapped a bit 5/8 and then more ¾. OUIJA was out past the ¼ then tucked, didn’t stay in very long because again outside first-over, didn’t get up to the leader before fading. ROSIE’S FOXY LADY fell far back.


TWELFTH RACELISBURN made the lead 3/16 after some work, strung the field out the middle half, still had 2½ lengths midstretch, won confidently despite the diminishing margin. EVER AGAIN sped up from the rail going to turn one to defend pocket positioning, a bit loose much of the last half, then showed good determination trying to run down the leader late. TODDLER TANTRUM moved second-over, ducked in midturn and was a distant third. MARINER SEELSTER tucked in a 4-gap early, then started raw past the 3/8, got to the leader’s wheel ¾ but no closer before tiring. THEREISAPACEFORUS picked his way through stragglers for the last check. SHOW THE FASHION was three-wide to the first turn then understood the inside situation and tucked third, was gapping most of the last half. TORRID BROMAC N had little. SLUGGEM N was outside but made no dent. WHATSTROUBLINUROCKY was done at the half.


THIRTEENTH RACEFREDDIE MAC was able to slip off the rail early on the backstretch and went three-wide before the 5/8 to two-wide raw, had the lead but not the inside on the turn, gradually wore down a stubborn BUCKETLIST HANOVER. The latter pulled out of third 3/16 before the parked horses could hem him in, rushed to the lead, battled the winner most of the last 3/8, tried very hard in a good race. CHUCKIE ME made the lead before the 3/16, yielded to the early mover, kept up the best he could, fell back a bit in the lane. PANAMANIAN HANOVER was first on top then yielded, in, came out on the turn but gapped. FIVE TOWNS avoided sluggish horses. ANDOVERS TOUCH went three-wide from last to try to clear the parked horses but made little progress. HUMBLEBRAG HANOVER gapped much of the way. MASSTER BLUE was outside near the back, started gapping off turn two. PUMA BLUE CHIP had cover leaving, lost it 3/16 and was left raw, got past midpack, then faded the last half.


FOURTEENTH RACEIDEAL ROCKY came outside with cover to turn two, swept three-wide to second midway down the back, didn’t tuck in a gaping pocket and continued on to challenge the leader after the amazing fractions, had to earn the victory and did so. FOX VALLEY INFERNO was three-wide past the 1/8 then two-wide to the 3/8 while setting an amazing half in the conditions, drew clear to midbackstretch but had the winner charge up, held with rare fortitude. OUR POSITANO N circled three-wide from far back on the turn and took third ahead of THE CATAMOUNT KID, who followed him. PAN OF STEEL was well-placed early, uncovered 3/8, left behind 5/8 and tucked third 11/16, fell back. NIALL HANOVER and NAMEISONTHEHALTER never factored. CHANCELLORCULLEN N had cover then lost it past the 5/8 and gained no more. BIG MACH went to the lead in a very quick quarter, yielded 3/8 and got bottomed out behind the startling fractions.