Connors’ Comments at POCONO DOWNS
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2021
FIRST RACE – High 20s; stretch tailwind from race two until late in the card … MYIDEALSON N got early position, quarter-moved right to the top, shook off the outside challenger by headstretch, then held safe the inside threat of LOVE THE ACTION. The latter was outside until just past the ¼ for the top, yielded for the two-hole, battled inside the winner, good second. BAYONET started uncovered 3/8, pressed the leader hard down the back and through the turn, didn’t fade all that badly. CHIP FOR REAL went evenly along the inside. SHADY CITY gapped third-over. CANBEC KINGKAZIMIR made the lead to the 1/8 and kept a foe out until past the ¼, stayed in, little left in the last 1/8. GIVEN UP TERROR looked all-out to keep close to cover down the back and on the turn, swung wide but had no gain. SPICEBOMB jumped early.
SECOND RACE – NEEDLESS TO SAY raced into the pocket at the 1/8, tight on the leader the last ½, to the Pocono Pike, good to defeat STEUBEN GLADIATOR. The latter moved uncovered to the 9/16, grinded, may not ever have been ahead but paced on with determination. I AM THE COWBOY headed right down the road, just outsprinted at the end. BOBBIES POWER PLAY was quite wide early, got into third at the 1/8, evenly in the lane. SAGEBRUSH SID moved from last 3/8 and got cover early backstretch, struggled a bit to the lane then did a little better. TRUSSED UP TRUDY sat in, not a presence here. CRUISIN VIRGIN was not swift early, went to third-over but didn’t enter contention.
THIRD RACE – SWEET TALKIN SATIN was uncovered into the backstretch, held his ground evenly down the back then fell back a little on the turn, but could summon some more, made the lead, and just held off RATHER SWELL. The latter was second-over, gapped a bit on the turn, but also gained well late. PAR INTENDED cleared to command past the 3/16, yielded for the two-hole, to the Pocono Pike and had the lead past midstretch, just nipped. BETTER B ROLLING went in third at the 1/8, moved 5/16 to the front before turn two, didn’t have much pressure, still could not hold on. NORTHERN SPORTSMAN hung a foe 3/16 then yielded, sat in, appeared clear to the far inside but couldn’t get into the main action. RED DIRT BOOMER gapped third-over. NERVES OF STEEL showed little.
FOURTH RACE – DURANT went in third at the 1/8, then was quarter-mover #2, went on at a good clip without heavy pressure, impressive winner. LUZIANA moved second-over, swung three-wide midturn, good but a non-threatening second. I’LL CALL U LATER left, yielded, was quarter-mover #1 and yielded again, not really tight on the winner most of the last half, so-so late. STICK WITH CRAMER was first-up into the club turn, never appeared to head the pocket horse, tired midturn. MORE MORE MORE moved third-over, slid inside for the drive, not that much. SMART TALKER had no say in this. KENTUCKY PROUD was left out 3/16 before getting the point, yielded to two horses, empty midturn.
FIFTH RACE – P-DRIVE HANOVER was looped leaving and rode cover to the ¼, then went up and cleared to the lead past the 3/8, didn’t have much pressure and drew away nicely. SKYWAY BILLY was the first to show then yielded, sat third-in, got room inside when the pocket horse pulled on the turn, best of the rest. MY ALPHA ROCK N was third-over behind dull cover, three-wide before the ¾ to the finish and steadily gained. CESPEDES Z TAM was wide early then parked until getting the top at the ¼, yielded nearing turn two for the pocket, pulled same past midturn but never gained. CAPTAIN CUT THROAT started uncovered going to turn two, stalled 11/16 having not headed the pocket horse. RED DIRT ROCKNROLL was second-over, blindswitched late backstretch, ducked in, little late. SPRINGBRIDGE ROAD broke not long after the start and couldn’t get back into it.
SIXTH RACE – CHOCO CHARLIE got the first call, yielded for the pocket, waited for the Pocono Pike and had the most of these late. OPTIMIST BLUE CHIP came raw from third 9/16, went on steadily but couldn’t get the job done. CAMPBELLINI made the front past the 1/8, got a moderate middle half with the chalk only coming to him late backstretch, held OK. WHOUCALNCRAZY sat in then angled out in the lane but could make little impact. BUTTER TOFFEE gapped at a couple of points. SHOEMAKER HANOVER had too far to come. LE REVEUR N came out at the bottom of turn two then got cover coming out of that bend, started gapping ¾. STOP RESISTIN made a break w-a-y before the start.
SEVENTH RACE – POP ICON worked out a nice second-over trip, let uncovered far turn, finished out well to take the victory. JUSTIFIED stayed in, deftly moved into a blindswitch midturn then ducked back in to the pocket late turn, in the Pocono Pike and edged a pair for second. ALL ABOUT RUSTY was first-over just before the 3/8, grinded steadily and made the lead far turn, held well after a not-easy journey. BIG BOY FRAZIER was third-over, finished steadily. IMA TRAGEDY N sat in and was shuffled far turn then out into the blindswitch behind the place horse, angled inside towards midstretch and had some gain. BJ’S GUY was fourth-over, had to go four-wide late turn, little chance. DONEGAL JIM yielded for the pocket, badly shuffled around the turn. LOVE YOURSELF left quickly to gain command, set the pace but had nothing in reserve when challenged to the ¾.
EIGHTH RACE – HASHTAGMADEYALOOK was looped and three-wide most of the 1/8, tucked third after the outside challenger broke, then quarter-moved but took the length of the frontstretch to clear, but still drew clear in the last half in a very nice mile. CASH FOR GOLD was battling with a foe when that one jumped 3/16, pushed the winner then yielded before the second curve, couldn’t go with the winner but did hold second. TROLLER moved outside midturn and narrowed in some. SPOILER ALERT was far back, took the inner route and had a good gain. B THREESEVEN sat in good position, not much at crunch time. ARCH CREDIT moved out on the far turn but didn’t make up ground. DISCUS HANOVER left well and was fighting for command towards the 3/16 when jumping. SPEED BALL SWAGGER gapped midrace, came outside off turn two but made a break and went wide; KEYSTONE SERGEANT, just behind him, tried to go through inside that one but also miscued.
NINTH RACE – ONLYTHETUFFSURVIVE wound up going down the road, handled both the first-over and the late surge of LUCKY LEVIS. The latter was outleft, managed to defend the pocket as the outside challenger backed off, took his shot in the stretch and was good but had to settle for second. LYONS AMUSEMENTS left well and was almost a length past the winner past the 1/8 when he took back and finally got in at the ¼, gapped far turn, but then found good finishing pace. HEEZ ORL BLACK N tucked fourth, came raw on turn two and pressed the leader, tired some very late. ALASKAN SEELSTER sat in and gapped. HES GONE BADDER and BIG TURN ON were behind the dull cover of second-over WRANGLER ROCKSTAR; none of those three made their presence felt.
TENTH RACE – BIG GAME HUNTER stayed two-wide behind the early fight, then paced up to take control before the 3/8, never threatened. LITTLE ADMIRAL was second-over, three-wide not much past the ¾, gained steadily in the last quarter; RUNHAPPY TEN was right on his back and was along for third. MOONWARDS HANOVER was shuffled to last, finished alertly inside. KHUN RATHA A sat in, moved over a lane in the stretch, may have been in tight quarters between horses late. ER ROCK MY WORLD was three-wide to the first turn and got in front at the 1/8, yielded, stayed in, not much to offer late. ALTA SHELBY N was four-wide early and three-wide to the 3/16, crossed over off the first turn then yielded to the winner, paid the price for the early exertion. BAMSKI left some, came back first-over towards turn two but couldn’t get close.
ELEVENTH RACE – CIGAR SMOKING TONY was on the move 3/16 to get the lead and control the pace, drew clear ¾ and finished in 27.2 in hand. PLAY THERAPY tucked in third before the 1/8, came out in the lane and had good pace. FATHER FRED was on top before the 1/8, yielded to the winner, outpaced for second. VINTAGE SUMMER stayed in, gapped far turn. YER SO BAD was third-over in a dull flow, ducked in and finished with some pace. JUNIOR MAN was second-over but didn’t have great cover, three-wide late turn, a bit late. NOTYOURTYPICALMAN was uncovered into turn two, never reached the leader before fading. PANTHER’S PINOT was already leaving a big gap by the 3/8.
TWELFTH RACE – Wind has abated somewhat … ROJAN’S WAY got early positioning, went first-over at the half, got cover to the ¾ but found that useless and was three-wide near late turn, drew off from these. BULLPUP was third-over behind a dull one, very wide in the lane and gaining as the pace slowed. GRAVE DANCER pushed much of the 1/4 and yielded, gapped third-inside on the turn, just third. JUST N BERLANDER stayed in, angled out early stretch then dove down into the Pocono Pike and was gaining. MAGIC TRICKS looked at leaving but tucked, shuffled to last, gained some in the declining tempo. TEO ENTEO A left and cleared just before the ¼, yielded 3/8, pulled the pocket ¾ but had no gain. PROM KING could do little from second-over. CENTURY FERRARI went frontward belatedly early and was three-deep 3/16, then pressed on two-wide to the lead 3/8 in a very fast half, tired.
THIRTEENTH RACE – DON’TCALLMEFRANCIS was looped early, pressed on to the front off turn one, dealt with the first-up, then had enough to defeat foes to both sides while drifting out a bit. GRITS N GRAVY was away nicely to 1/8 command, yielded for the two-hole, outside stretch, just did get second over R GAUWITZ HANOVER. The latter spotted early then was a groundsaver, steady pace up the inside. SOUTHWIND TERROR was second-over, three-wide midturn but lacked sufficient late kick. SHARKNADO gapped third-over early backstretch then got tighter, tried to gain wide on the turn but could not. TENACIOUS ONE A went uncovered nearing turn two and was tenacious in challenging the winner, but tired past midturn. THE OTHER DUO did not make their presence felt.
FOURTEENTH RACE – RANSOM DEMAND was in front at the 1/8, yielded to the retaker for the two-hole, not outside until early stretch, gradually got to the front. JAHAN HANOVER left, yielded, retook before being caught in by a parked challenger, set the pace, held very well. DRAGON STRIKES sat in, went to the Pocono Pike and gained strongly. WILSON VINNER stayed in, gapped a little 11/16, evenly late. SHIPSHAPE tucked midpack, then was second-over, three-wide midturn, found his best strides a little too late. VODKA ON THE BEACH was not in the main action. SCOTT ROCKS left, tucked third when the favorite retook the lead, went first-over at the half, tired far turn. GRANDPA DON was never close. REDDING HANOVER was away slowly and then gapped.