Connors’ Comments for Sunday, May 2, 2021


FIRST RACE – Warmest day of the year so far at 80o … Wind would start as a stretch headwind, then make a 180o switch midcard to a stretch tailwind … JUSLIKEAQUEEN made the front just past the 1/8 in a rare “reverse lineup,” opened a big lead down the back, maybe a bit tired late but very far ahead. ROJAS BLUE CHIP stayed on the back of the gapping pocket horse until midturn, just edged past that one for second. SWEET ROCKIN GIA yielded to the winner just past the 1/8, started to get loose to the 5/8, did fight for second to the wire. PICKLES ON TOP began falling back before the 5/8.


SECOND RACEHES GONE BADDER moved out raw before the 5/8 and soon got cover, three-wide midturn, came home steadily and got the nod as the pace slowed late. BAYONET was first to show, relinquished to sit the pocket, to the Pocono Pike and gained a short lead, came up just a bit shy. NEWS WATCH was third-over, spun four-wide late on the turn and looked to have the momentum upper stretch, but flattened out some. HEEZ ORL BLACK N moved raw from third to the 11/16, a step shy. JEREMES GENERAL joined the cover flow ¾, went between horses headstretch and had pace on the end of it. SHRIMP AND GRITS stayed in, shuffled to last, never a factor. DURANT went to the front past the 1/8, rated the second quarter then went faster with the wind, little left in the lane. ARTACUS was looped and worked in fourth 3/16, couldn’t keep up not long after the second turn.


THIRD RACEKARETS was four-wide almost to the 1/8, pressed on to the lead 5/16, slowed the half, never got outside pressure, kept clear despite the slowing last quarter. PHANTOM RUSTY was innermost of five leavers and took positional advantage to ride in the pocket, couldn’t gain and just held off SPLITSVILLE for second. The latter was behind very-slowly-advancing cover, three-wide in the stretch and had a very big last 1/16. LANDONFITZ sat third, a little bit off the top two from past the 5/8. NATALIE HANOVER was never prominent. ER BEN was uncovered to the 9/16 and advanced inch-by-inch to almost headstretch, then tired. BATTLE MAGE was five-wide early and soon was taking back to last, not a factor thereafter.


FOURTH RACE – TRAFFIC JAM bided time outside early then was in gear at the 1/8 to get the lead coming of turn one, set the pace, won easily – giving the 33-year-old “youthful veteran” Matt Kakaley his 5000th career driving victory. RHODATOLD ME stayed in, got clearance in the Pocono Pike and did OK. SHE’S A BILLIONAIR looked to be struggling a little to keep up to the ¾ whether inside or outside, then finished well. RELLA TIVITY left to 1/8 command, yielded just past the ¼ for the two-hole, no gain in the lane. SOMTHNGABOUTMARY N offered little. GALARINA was last and fell far back.


FIFTH RACEITSONLYMONEYHONEY took advantage of inside positioning to force one leaving foe to tuck then push the other past the ¼ to get the lead, retook with a quick move just past the 3/8, ran away from these. MAJESTIC MISTRESS briefly had cover then battled SHADY MCCOY in a long duel for second, which the former won. The latter was out between horses until tucking third 3/16, outside early backstretch and got to tuck into the pocket late backstretch, fought hard to try to preserve second and was away ahead of the rest. BRUTAL STORM was three-wide to the 3/16, trotted to the front off turn one, yielded to the winner’s quick move past the 3/8, started unplugging before the 5/8. LAKEVIEW TAMMY got the last check. CAN DO couldn’t keep up down the back. KANDY KORN was outside but couldn’t reach. KOW GIRL showed a bit of speed, then was well off the dueling top three when breaking 3/16.


SIXTH RACENEEDLESS TO SAY got the early lead, sat close-up in the pocket, went to the Pocono Pike and made the lead, held off the good late charge of SPECTACULAR ROCK. The latter moved with cover at the half, went three-wide midturn when the first-over faltered and lost some ground straightening away, really coming on late. MYIDEALSON N yielded under a hold then quarter-moved, in a good third panel fight with the first-over, shook that one off, but couldn’t make his advantage last to the wire. GOLDEN GESTURE had an excess of cover, ducked inside for the stretch and finished OK. MEADOWBRANCH FLASH was out third-over and gapping down the back, then better and followed cover three-wide, too far to come. BYE BYE JOHN started the outer train at the half and went head-to-head with the leader from the 5/8 until past the ¾, when he began to tire. SPORTSMANSHIP was last at every call.


SEVENTH RACE – Wind is shifting to a stretch tailwind … MELODIES MAJOR was looped and parked to the ¼, yielded to sit in the pocket, outside stretch and along easily. NIALL HANOVER chose to stay in, up the inside to grab second. HOW ARE YEE JOHN was away well, quarter-moved to 3/8 command, battled the first-over, not all that much left late. WHITTAKER N gapped second-over, wide in the stretch and a bit better belatedly. CENTURY ENFORCER never entered the picture. GRAND GALOP SEMALU was away quickly to get in front, saw two go by in quarter two, back out for more first-over and challenged, but faded in the last 1/8. ARTOFFICIAL FLAVOR was always at the rear.


EIGHTH RACEGEORGIE MARTIN N sat the pocket, saw the front horses tire and the back ones get in gear too late, to the Pocono Pike and along easily. SWEET YOUNG THING gapped a little second-over, three-wide just past midturn, along for the distant second. YES DOUBLE DOWN stayed close, didn’t have the inside acceleration of the winner, OK late. ALL ABOUT AMY took back early, then third-over, finished with speed. LADY LONDON headed down the road but couldn’t finish out the task. BETTERB CHEVRON N tucked fourth 3/16, then underway raw just past the half, advanced making a good charge, but tired after a hard trip. BRING ME DIAMONDS offered little. LITTLE SANDY TOES gapped at the back, swung three-wide ¾ but never got in the picture.


NINTH RACEDIVINE SPIRIT wound up in the early pocket, stayed third-in until midturn, then out and gained to just edge BANK BOX TREASURE in a quick mile for these. The latter quarter-moved and kept on rolling, held very gamely and was unlucky to get nipped. CONSUS VICTORY assumed the front early, yielded for the pocket, had a shot up the Pocono Pike but didn’t have enough. ZOOMING stayed in, to the deep Pike but didn’t gain. MUSHANA was three-wide leaving but broke going to the first turn. SWEET HEART AS broke shortly after the start.


TENTH RACESHOULDABEENATD went out between horses to control the throttle, went 27.4 against the winds down the back then drew clear while storming home in 27.1. SURE R LOOKIN GOOD was three-wide early, then tucked in the two-hole behind the big chalk, held second at 48-1. LADY ROCKNROLLA A was away in good order, sat third-in, couldn’t quite get to second late. PEGGY J moved to second-over past the 5/8, blindswitched far turn, never entered the main picture. MAJOR BATTLE tried a three-wide sweep from third-over on the far turn but didn’t enter contention. BOLT OF BEAUTY went raw off turn two, gets credit for going 27 raw vs. the wind down the back, but never reached and then fell back. TOPVILLE ANGELINA was gapping in last before the ¼.


ELEVENTH RACEREMARKABLE DE VIE looked at leaving but was taken back although not appearing to like it, went out third-over, made a big gain three-wide through the far turn, drew away. LIFE WELL LIVED set the pace with two speed moves, couldn’t stall the winner but held second over WINNING LEGENDS. The latter made the top at the 1/8, yielded for the pocket, had a clear shot at place in the Pocono Pike but couldn’t quite get there. FOREVERHILLREIGN was way wide off the far turn and closed very nicely. SEVEN IRON took back to tuck, then second-over, blindswitched by the winner then backed out to follow him three-wide midturn, evenly late. ARCH CREDIT stayed inside, evenly late. SIR JOHN F spotted, then came first-up going to the race’s midpoint, challenged but faded the last quarter. ATABOY HANOVER never featured.