Connors’ Comments at POCONO DOWNS
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2021
FIRST RACE – Welcome back for another year of harness racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono … Temperature rising from the low to mid 20s; wind is not a factor … I GET THAT was second-over, gapped in a quick third quarter, then went three-wide midturn as cover tired, overhauled UNION STATION at 40-1. The latter tucked fourth just past the 1/8, quarter-moved to the lead to turn two then had to resist a backstretch challenger in a fast middle half, almost lasted. WAGON MASTER was forwardly-placed, shuffled some mid-far turn, clear in the Pocono Pike just a little too late. JEREMES GENERAL left to 1/8 command, yielded before turn two for the two-hole, gapped far turn, was going to go inside the pacesetter early stretch then altered course outside, evenly. WHAT’S GOIN ON was not heard from. SOMWHERENBROOKLN N was underway early and was third-over, but was gapping midbackstretch. CONSTNTLYSIDEWYS A gapped at the back. TULLOW N had the early lead, yielded, moved raw at the half and made a big third quarter push, then tired in the last stanza.
SECOND RACE – FERNADO followed the parked horse before the half, made a quick three-wide move to the 5/8 to clear before the ¾, went on steadily to withstand THISJETSABOOKIN. The latter was fourth-over, had great cover, left three-wide early turn and two-wide late turn, kept coming on. BEST TRICK EVER was third-over, left three-wide raw before the ¾ then got to two-wide on the turn and inside headstretch, good race but had to settle for third. OFFICIAL DELIGHT made the lead 3/16, yielded for the pocket, was shuffled when the leader was engulfed to the ¾, to the inside and a distant next. ITSONLYROCKNROLL A also was caught inside, slow to clear, had some on the line. JUST PLAIN LOCO had too far to come from last. CASH IS KING left well, yielded then quarter-moved, couldn’t resist the sweeping winner to the ¾ and faded. POLAK A was looped and tucked third at the ¼, shuffled around the far turn, couldn’t get back into it. TODDLER TANTRUM went up with the early leavers, did not look for a tuck but went on, didn’t threaten before fading.
THIRD RACE—CAPTAIN NASH spotted third at the 1/8, came raw off turn two, gradually hit a higher gear, proved strongest in the stretch. REVELRY was third-over and not helped by his cover, three-wide headstretch and finished well. CLASS SIX made the lead before the 1/8 and was clear to the ¾, couldn’t sprint late. TEXAS TERROR N left well then yielded for the two-hole, loose most of the way, to the Pocono Pike, evenly. FRANKIE ROCKS A advanced up the inside down the back, a bit of pace late. FIREBALL gapped much of the way, including as second-over. ALBERGO HANOVER trailed.
FOURTH RACE – SHOREVIEW was about to yield to an outside foe when that one broke to the first turn, did yield 3/16 but was out again off turn one, cleared nearing turn two, controlled the pace from there and won easily. WHITE HAIR ROCKS left and was going to cross over before turn one when he made a brief misstep, recovered and hit the front 3/16, yielded, couldn’t go with the winner late but was second-best. BOBBY K HILL saved all the ground and was along for third. UNDERTAKER came out behind the winner early frontstretch, left raw nearing the second curve, challenged, tired past the ¾. BYE BYE JOHN found a spot at the 1/8, came out with cover, three-wide 11/16 but couldn’t gain. BARGAIN SHOPPER was third-over, gapped and was blindswitched, ducked in, little. JANAID tried to gain three-wide from far back but couldn’t. KEYSTONE STEAM gapped early and was never in this one.
FIFTH RACE – JACKAMINO held forward position and stayed third-in, fanned wide headstretch, got going early stretch and had a big last 1/16 to get the decision. MISSISSIPPI RABBIT left boldly from the rail discouraging a few, yielded to the ¼ and stayed in the pocket, outside late turn, made the lead past midstretch but was caught. IAMMRBRIGHTSIDE N was four-wide leaving, briefly checked then went on and circled to the lead at the ¼, rolled on, held on to the lead until past midstretch. APEX SEELSTER did and then did not have cover in the third quarter, three-wide when the new first-over tired on the turn, regathered before midstretch and not bad at all. HEREITIZ gained steadily inside on the far turn and to the wire. WINDSONG JACK pulled behind the parked horse, was three-wide soon off turn two to first-over, stalled past the 5/8. BURNING MIDNIGHT looked at leaving but was surrounded and tucked, not heard from afterward. JUST N ACE was wide early and looped, left uncovered at the ¼, urged but couldn’t reach the leader, fell back.
SIXTH RACE – ROYAL HEART used the rail well and sat the pocket, to the Pocono Pike and went by midstretch. NINE WAYS made the lead at the 1/8, got his own way to midpoint then sped up, couldn’t stall the winner’s move. OH K MAN tucked fourth just before the 3/16, then came again uncovered off turn two, didn’t threaten the top two but was game to nip HERE COMES SWIFTY for third. The latter tucked third going to turn one, sat inside, evenly late. BRACKLEY BEACH and NEWBIE couldn’t mount a threat after inside trips. STORMONT CZAR A was mired behind dull cover. DREAM OF LUCK moved outside before the half and soon got cover, but gapped it from the 5/8. BIG MACH pulled 3/8 and wound up third-over, tried to go three-wide around a gapper but couldn’t gain.
SEVENTH RACE – LORD WILLOUGHBY A worked to the top at the 1/8, set a strong pace with no one getting close, rocked out to an impressive win. WESTERN HILL had early cover leaving then was raw, couldn’t make the pocket and tucked third off the first turn, moved out late on the far turn and did well. BRAVO TEX N was second-over, three-wide past midturn when his cover faltered, steadily. MARINER SEELSTER started alertly, yielded at the 1/8, kept the pocket closed while off the leader the rest of the ¼, nothing left late. CINNAMACK was third-over, three-wide with cover far turn but gapped it. BORN ON FIRE gapped early, never in it. TWIN B SPEED DIAL sat in, went wide far turn but never got close. DAAMERICANSKY came uncovered 3/8 but never got to the winner’s wheel before fading.
EIGHTH RACE – SUNSET BRAYDON was second-over, three-wide before the 5/8 to two-wide past the 5/8 to the lead before the ¾, a runaway. BUSBOY HANOVER left hard, forced a tuck then stung a rival to the 3/8 before yielding, swung out behind the winner to the ¾ then was left two-wide raw, just got the distant second in the final steps. BLOW A CLOUD was three-wide just past the 1/8, then two-wide and was out to the 3/8 to gain the lead, had no resistance for the winner but fought hard for the place. MR BIG LOAD left between horses and took an early tuck, gapped a little on the far turn, evenly. MAJOR BUCKS was fourth-over, bothered behind a breaker early backstretch and three-wide much of the rest of the way, stayed digging in. MOUNTAIN HIGH got a slow start and never factored. CHEYENNE JEFFREY came out at the quarter, left raw 3/8 and challenged but didn’t have the speed to clear, left behind 11/16. INTERNET HANOVER was third-over when making a break early in the backstraight.
NINTH RACE – GLENGARRY KNIGHT N made the front past the 1/8 and yielded at the ¼, tightened in in the pocket down the back, outside headstretch and by easily. FOO FIGHTER N was taken back at the start then shifted gears and showed good speed to go up and get command by the ¼, rated quarter two, couldn’t stall the pocket rocket. TUCKER CREEK sat in, gapped far turn, then found his best strides a mite too late. GRAND PRIORITY pushed out from the rail, yielded, stayed connected, evenly late. THEFREEDOMFIGHTERN backed out to second-over, tucked in when his cover gave way ¾, OK late. SEVENS HOPE A backed out to third-over but was soon gapping. ASTON HILL DAVE didn’t get a call. ROCKIN IN THE HILLS moved uncovered from last 5/16 but never got near the front.
TENTH RACE – AMERICAN REBEL was looped and between horses, had to check as the foe outside him took a stumblestep, tucked in, was able to swing wide in the stretch and had the most pace late. A REAL MIRACLE was challenging for the early lead when he took a stumblestep going to turn one, recovered and made the pocket by the 1/8, considered quarter-moving but did not, outside in the lane, got second between horses. MELANIE’S TEDY blasted down the road in quick numbers, held well far ahead of the others. DA MAGICIAN was urged early, caught out three-wide to the 3/16 then tucked fifth at the ¼, gapped nearing the half, went out into a blindswitch 11/16 then ducked back to the rail as his cover faded, went a better mile than it may look after a horrible journey. BARBADOS swung widest headstretch and was coming on belatedly. ALEX TYE was never in it. MY DELIGHT moved second-over, then three-wide 11/16 but soon flattened. GRAND TETON was on the move raw before the 3/8, was rough-gaited and did not clear, faded in the last ¼.
ELEVENTH RACE – MY MIND IS MADEUP moved outside 5/8, was off cover to the ¾ but caught up to it on the turn, wide and along in time. CLASSY HILL left very strongly as the only outside speed horse, yielded for the pocket and stayed close to the fast pace, outside ¾ to challenge, took over turning for home but couldn’t hold off the winner. VALIDUS DEO gapped in the second quarter, went to the Pocono Pike in the stretch, next in line. ROCKNROLL CHARM went evenly. RANGERS SURESHOT left a gap much of the way. ELECTRIC WESTERN and BARIMAH A were never in it. WISE IMAGE yielded for the pocket then quarter-moved, set a fast pace without pressure to the ¾, nothing left in the stretch.
TWELFTH RACE – MIGHTY SANTANA N started uncovered at the 3/8, cleared to the lead just past the 5/8 and was under immediate attack to his right, shook off that one then held off the foe to his left. OLLIE’S Z TAM set the early pace with two moves, yielded to the winner just past the 5/8 and stayed close, Pocono Pike, good but second-best. ALL ABOUT HEAVEN was towed up behind live cover, left uncovered to the 11/16 and made a bold challenge, held his ground nicely. VIRGIN STORM was three-wide to the 3/16 then two-wide until getting the top off the first turn, yielded, backed out and went two-wide 11/16, didn’t gain while bearing out in the stretch. NVESTMENT BLUECHIP was stuck behind a tired one as the top horses got away, recovered to get the last check. HORSING AROUND left between horses, worked into a tuck 3/16, then was gapping from the ½. THE OTHER TWO were two-wide but never entered the main picture.
THIRTEENTH RACE – WESTERN FAME went right to the top, helped when a breaker altered the fortunes of outside leavers, forced a tuck, rated the half, left these behind with a 26.2 third split and won like a $1.8M winner should. BLACKLIGHT was inside the early breaker and checked, then caught the front three, steadily inside to be the distant deuce. ANOTHER DAILY COPY was four-wide around the early miscuer, raced up to get the pocket just before the ¼, couldn’t stay with the leader 11/16, fair late. ARTIFACT HANOVER left well, did give the pocket nearing the ¼, couldn’t gain late. HALLIE’S COMET had to check behind the “x”er and “ix”ers, got the final payday. WARRAWEE UNIQUE and BILLY LINCOLN N were knocked offstride early by P L MUNSON, who left three-wide but made a nasty break going to turn one, was kept out wide the rest of the way.
FOURTEENTH RACE – FOCUS POCUS asserted himself early and forced tucks, slowed the half then picked up the pace and kept everybody at bay nicely. SWEET TEA left three-wide and circled the chalk early, to the pocket 3/16, maintained second. HALL IT OFF was third-over going to the half, swung very wide in the lane and got the edge in a three-horse photo for third. LAZER JET came out just past the 3/8, went three-wide headstretch, edged for third. PROTOSTAR sat in, started up the deep Pocono Pike but may not have had room, had to wait and back out behind SWEET TEA to midstretch, possibly costing himself enough momentum to get third. CONTEXT tucked third, started raw at the half, never posed a big threat before tiring. PRESIDENT and SWEET SOFIE T were never in it. TRICKY DICK lost gait w-a-y before the start.