Connors’ Comments for Saturday, February 20, 2021


FIRST RACE – 28 degrees throughout; track “good +1” through eight races, then “fast +0” … HORSING AROUND insisted on cutting the pace from the pole forcing tucks, kept a controlling lead to the wire. APEX SEELSTER sat in, gapped a bit early, blocked on the far turn, came up the far inside with solid pace. SHANE ADAM went into the pocket at the 1/8, lost a little ground from the ¾ on, still not bad. GRAND TETON was third-over, three-wide with then without cover to two-wide ¾, OK late. MARINER SEELSTER, swishing his tail throughout, made the 3-hole to the 3/16, fell back in the last ¼. BARBADOS was too far back to get into the main fight. CINNAMACK moved second-over, three-wide early backstretch to two-wide but himself stalled past the 5/8. RANGERS SURESHOT attempted a quarter-move but was left out to dry without the necessary speed, fell way back.


SECOND RACEA REAL MIRACLE left sharply and crossed over into turn one, yielded but retook just past the 3/8, much the best in here. ALEX TYE spotted, then was third-over, briefly three-wide then back to two-wide with cover, again three-wide midturn and was second-best in here. MY MIND IS MADEUP was uncovered into turn two, made the pocket 5/8 as the former resident backed up, couldn’t gain in the stretch. MY DELIGHT stayed inside and gained a lot of ground from far back. BURNING MIDNIGHT had cover then lost it, challenged, backed off steadily in the last 1/8. SPROCKET came three-wide late backstretch but flattened nearing midturn. DAAMERICANSKY was looped early, made the lead off the first turn then surrendered it nearing the second bend, couldn’t keep the hole filled from early backstretch. FIREBALL was never close. WAGON MASTER offered very little.


THIRD RACEBUSBOY HANOVER spotted early, closed a gap, on the move to turn two and got cover, three-wide 11/16 and went right to the lead early turn, stayed safe with urging. BEST TRICK EVER followed the winner’s cover until winding up two-wide raw far turn, inside early stretch and paced home gamely. BYE BYE JOHN backed out to third-over, four-wide briefly ¾ and three-wide on the turn, OK. NINE WAYS was three-wide leaving to the ¼, made the front 3/8, got little rest, didn’t fade too badly. BOBBY K HILL fought between horses just past the ¼ before getting the lead, shuffled some but didn’t have much response when clear headstretch. ROYAL HEART was innermost in a three-way battle past the ¼, yielded, uncovered again on turn two but couldn’t sustain his bid much past the ¾. STORMONT CZAR A developed a problem past the half.


FOURTH RACE – A snow squall during race … MISSISSIPPI RABBIT was slow to the gate, outside uncovered off turn two, inexorably grinded up, got the advantage midstretch and went on sturdily to the line. CAL tailed the winner’s cover, couldn’t go by but got second in the last steps. JUST N ACE left and took the early pocket 3/16, back out 5/16 to regain the lead, had heavy pressure from the winner, still on even terms midstretch, held well. CAPTAIN NASH settled behind cover early, then raw 3/16 to command just past the 5/16, yielded and sat the pocket, had inside room, OK but not quite enough. BARIMAH A forced a tuck then yielded past the first turn, caught in, had nowhere to go late. HEREITIZ never factored. ROCKNROLL CHARM gapped third-over; he and ROCKIN INTHE HILLS were never factors.


FIFTH RACEPOLAK A was three-high to the 3/16, briefly behind cover then to the lead off the first turn, relinquished to the chalk off the second turn, out again ¾ and went right by, won easily. UNDERTAKER didn’t get much help from his cover, three-wide ¾ to two-wide late turn, enough to hold off ITSONLYROCKNROLL A for place. The latter was last until the stretch, came a long way in the lane with sharp speed. HERE COMES SWIFTY was two-deep much of the ¼, yielded, stayed in, not much late response. CHEYENNE JEFFREY started the outer flow on turn two but never reached the leader. GIAS BOY was not prominent. OFFICIAL DELIGHT pushed early and yielded, came back to reclaim the lead nearing turn two, had no more fight when challenged 3/4 and tired significantly late.


SIXTH RACESWEET TEA was three-wide to the first curve, on top 5/16, rated quarter two then had a big challenge from the first-over, with those two being joined by the pocketsitter late, had enough to prevail. WORTHY OF HONOR made the front then yielded to the winner, had a shot up the Pocono Pike, just missed. MANWILLING came boldly uncovered 3/8 and raced the winner head-to-head the third quarter, fell back a little on the turn but persisted gamely (as the pace slowed). PROTOSTAR was third-over, four-wide in the stretch and finished steadily. PRESIDENT, SWEET SOFIE T, and TRICKY DICK were all behind a wall of horses throughout the stretch – hard to tell how much they had left in the 30.2 kicker. LAZER JET was second-over, three-wide midturn, not quite enough. GALIXTON broke just before the 1/8.


SEVENTH RACE – Some stretch headwind … THISJETSABOOKIN yielded at the 3/16 to sit the two-hole, clear in the Pocono Pike and paced away easily. WILSONS VINNER was forwardly-placed early, then trapped in ¾, spent the first half of the stretch angling wide and the second half closing well. BLOW A CLOUD N was first-up at the half, never reached the first horse but went on steadily. CASH IS KING saved ground throughout, some pace late. RAKSMACH N was out 3/16 before taking the lead, set a quick clip on this day, tired in the stretch. MAJOR BUCKS was blindswitched in a stagnant outer flow to the ¾, never gained contention. MOUNTAIN HIGH was second-over, three-wide not long after turning into the backstretch but never posed a major danger. REAL LUCKY N miscued an 1/8 before the start.


EIGHTH RACETULLOW N got in a lively outer flow, tipped three-deep late turn and paced over the field at $69.80, giving driver Eric Goodell his first victory since a long hiatus. TWIN B SPEED DIAL defended the pocket, went to the Pocono Pike and got the briefest of leads, clearly second. FOO FIGHTER N looped horses en route to 1/8 command, rated the half then sped up, not enough late. WINDSONG JACK moved with cover then lost it to the 11/16, couldn’t continue to gain late. ELECTRIC WESTERN gapped ¾, was doing a little better late. UNION STATION left but took back, went uncovered 9/16 then went into a gap third 11/16, no factor late. JEREMES GENERAL took back into his own hole, was gapping by the ¼ and little to offer today.


NINTH RACEMELANIE’S TEDY left well and spotted, came uncovered at the half and battled hard for the lead through the backstretch, finally passed the leader ¾, drew clear late in a big mile. P L MUNSON was underway 3/8, three-wide briefly early on turn two as sluggish cover pulled, went behind cover but then had to go three-wide again 11/16 in order to gain, finished steadily for a good second. DA MAGICIAN was looped and settled in fourth 3/16, came out near the half but gapped despite urging, went back inside, then went around a tiring pocketsitter and retucked far turn, split horses late as trying hard and got third. CLASSY HILL went a big opener to put a foe in behind him, was under relentless attack by the winner the third quarter then was passed, held second until late. TUCKER CREEK tried to follow P L MUNSON ¾ but gapped, passed tired horses. ASTON HILL DAVE moved outside but gapped the flow, blindswitched, very little. CONSTNTLYSIDEWYS A offered very little. ALBERGO HANOVER left, was forced to take the two-hole just past the ¼, was all done to the 11/16.


TENTH RACE – Wind is calmer … GLENGARRY KNIGHT N hit the top straightaway as there were no other fast leavers, yielded 3/8 for the two-hole, up the Pocono Pike and looked a safe winner. WESTERN HILL looked to want to take back early but was a little rough and stayed outside until the ¼ then brushed on to the lead 3/8, under reminders the last half, held well but had to settle for second. URBAN RENEWAL gapped in fourth down the back but showed some comeback inside in the last 1/8. WATERWAY had the early pocket by default, stayed connected, came out midturn but had no gain. THEFREEDOMFIGHTERN was never close but got the last check. SOMWHERENBROOKLN N pulled out at the ¼ but did not find cover and never got close. GRAND PRIORITY and WHAT’S GOIN ON never made their presence felt.


ELEVENTH RACEJUST PLAIN LOCO had some speed, sat in, got room up the inside as the pocketsitter swung wide, rallied for the tally. OH K MAN started uncovered into turn two, challenged, had a brief lead late turn to just past midstretch, held well. TALK SHOW followed up second-over, three-wide from past midturn, flattened a bit. WHITE HAIR ROCKS took command into turn one, yielded near the ¼ for the two-hole, came out in a blindswitch midturn as the leader started to give a little ground, had to angle four-wide for stretch clearance, OK. SHOREVIEW was parked in a fast opener for the lead, rated the half then came under severe pressure, was beaten midturn but didn’t fade too badly. BARGAIN SHOPPER was wide a long way early before settling in, then followed cover, blindswitched, not much. MR BIG LOAD swung three-wide from fourth-over 5/8, couldn’t threaten. DREAM OF LUCK broke at the start.


TWELFTH RACEFERNADO pressed on to the lead 3/16, didn’t get pressure until almost the ¾, threw matching 28.2s home to show he was the best here. JANAID moved second-over off turn two, three-wide around a dull one 5/8 back to two-wide and raw, very gamely to the wire. NEWBIE defended the pocket, had a great trip but came up shy along the inside at crunch time. SUNSET BRAYDON was third-over in a nonflow, went four-deep 5/8, to three-wide 11/16 but couldn’t sustain his gain on the turn. BRACKLEY BEACH saved ground to no avail. TODDLER TANTRUM was not heard from. BARNABAS gapped early, moved outside at the half but had no punch at all.


THIRTEENTH RACEIAMMRBRIGHTSIDE N again used his good early speed to make the lead quickly, hung the chalk almost to the 3/8 then sat on his back until the stretch, to the Pocono Pike and had the requisite burst to win. AMERICAN REBEL didn’t leave but was still outside past the 1/8 when deciding to press on to the front, got there at the 3/8, was pressured on the far turn, held gamely but beaten by a horse with a better trip. I GET THAT was uncovered from last before the half and gradually moved forward, attacked the leader on the turn, couldn’t quite sustain the gain in the lane but a clear third. SEVENS HOPE A did not keep up. CLASS SIX took the early two-hole 3/16, not heard from again. FRANKIE ROCKS A was inside, asked for more 5/8, got rough then made a full break.


FOURTEENTH RACETRENTE DEO was three-wide to the first turn, briefly had cover then went forward, took until a fast 3/8 to make the lead and continued at a hot clip, with nobody in behind able to do anything about it. HALLIE’S COMET took over the lead at the 1/8, made the winner work to get the top, pulled the pocket 11/16 but was back inside again pretty quickly, paced very well but couldn’t defeat the winner. SAILBOAT HANOVER left and yielded, sat in, did well to be as close as he was in a fast mile. JAHAN HANOVER moved out 5/8, briefly had cover then was left raw and left behind in the last ¼. ROCK THE HILLS stayed in until the stretch, couldn’t quite reach fourth. BILBO HANOVER was outside but couldn’t make a dent; RANSOM DEMAND followed that one then was three-wide on the turn, no factor. THE FINAL TWO were never heard from.