Connors’ Comments for Saturday, June 18, 2022


FIRST RACE – Only 57 degrees, with a stretch headwind … There was a rumor that by the winners circle there was a sign that said “NO CLOSERS NEED APPLY FOR ADMITTANCE” – a day where many two- and three-wide horses looked threatening headstretch, but the inside horses usually got the big money … UCANTTOUCHTHIS moved sharply with the wind before the ¼ and brushed quickly to command, rebuffed the first-over, then held off GUINNESS PANIC by the tiniest of margins. The latter left, wound up third-in, went to the Pocono Pike and gained strongly late. SEVENTH SECRET left alertly to get the top, yielded to the winner, moved out in the stretch, did well but came up shy. BRACKLEY BEACH was second-over, three-wide when cover stalled midturn, OK. MACHDAVID started up raw towards turn two, challenged the winner until tiring midturn. AFLAME HANOVER was third-over, wide and finished with pace from a tough spot. CAVIART ROCKLAND left, took back to third nearing the 1/8, didn’t get back into contention.


SECOND RACEHEARTLANDBANYSBRO sat third, got to the pocket past the 5/8, to the Pocono Pike and responded alertly for the victory. WINNING IS SWEET was three-wide to 1/8 command, yielded 5/16, vacated the pocket just past the 5/8 and challenged, had the lead on the turn but couldn’t cross over, good to hold second over WHAT’S GOIN ON. The latter started uncovered from midpack at the half then got cover midbackstrech, three-wide late turn, closed steadily. LEAR SEELSTER took an inside route, not enough. DAAMERICANSKY made two moves to control the pace and rolled on, pressured from late backstretch, gave way. IC A FREE SPIRIT was originally third-over, behind dull cover, too far back for an effective rally. A STUD NAMED SAM stayed in, angled between horses in tight quarters with some pace. BROTHER JAMES was in the two-wide flow but couldn’t keep up.


THIRD RACEONE AFTER NINE used his inner draw effectively, going on enough early to seat a rival, backing off the half, holding off a far turn challenger, then going clear. HOTFOOT HANNAH raced close-up, tipped out midstretch, angled wide and gained well a bit belatedly for second over HOOLIE N HECTOR. The latter started uncovered into turn two, turned up the speed far turn, then flattened a little late. CHARMING BANK took the two-hole 3/16, well-placed but not enough late. WHAT A DAME was second-over, gapped a little much of the last half. CAPITAL T STORM never surfaced. TRICKY DICK never got into the bigger picture.


FOURTH RACEROGERTHAT BLUECHIP was wide early in circling to the top, had a challenger at his shoulder most of the way in the quick clip, enough to take the victory. MY WISH CAME TRUE came out behind the parked horse down the backstretch but took a long time to get in gear, uncovered midturn, finished with pace. UNICO LEGEND N gained in a blindswitch around the final turn, went to the path behind the place horse and finished steadily. MAJOR DESIRE was looped and left out on the rim, got to the pocket past the ¾ and held amazingly well. GUNSLINGER HILL yielded for the pocket, loose in same from the 5/8, evenly late. RISKY MILLION moved outside, was behind a gapper and either started to go three-wide to get around him or drifted wide, had little late. THE OTHER TWO were never major dangers.


FIFTH RACEP L NOTSONICE was looped and three-wide to the first curve, then two-wide to the lead at the ¼, ruthless on the engine and drew away. GREAT UNKNOWN circled four-wide to get the early lead, yielded for the pocket, loose in same from the 3/8, held on to place. MARION GONDOLIER sat third, outside ¾, bore out in the stretch. MISS MCKEE was briefly outside with cover then ducked back in, fair along the inside late. LADY’S IMAGE made a decent recovery from being behind a straggler early backstretch; CUPID HANOVER was that straggler. GRANITE HANOVER gapped most of the last half in last.


SIXTH RACESPRINGBRIDGE DUEL waited in third until the 11/16 then came out raw, moved up on the far turn, proved the best in the stretch. CONBOYVILLE was out most of the quarter before taking the pocket, stayed close, to the Pocono Pike, outfooted the pacesetter for second. STATEMENT MADE A insisted on being the pacesetter at 26-1, lasted a long way. CIGAR SMOKIN TONY was right behind the breaker at the half and checked, outside late turn and made a good recovery. FRANCO TOTEM N, after spending most of the first half outside, got a tuck in the hole left by the breaker, evenly late. JAGGER ROCKS also had to check behind the breaker, never entered in contention. HORSE got in fourth at the ¼, got into tight quarters with the horse in front of him at the half and made a break. STELLAR BB could not advance into contention.


SEVENTH RACESOUTHWIND TYRION was content with the pocket early until coming out of turn two, then went uncovered, battled the leader from the 5/8 to headstretch, then drew away at will. RED REDEMPTION went along at a good clip leaving all but the winner struggling to the ¾, tired in the lane and just did save second over MISTER BOINGA. The latter tucked third, gapped ¾, then found better strides when tipped out before midstretch and almost got second. PRACTICAL CAT advanced some inside, gapped on the far turn, next in line. COCKTAILS N DREAMS was never in the picture. THE IRISHMAN moved outside 9/16, was close on cover late backstretch then fell back. CREDIT CON also went outside to little avail.


EIGHTH RACEOWEN left well then yielded readily for the pocket and got a perfect trip, outside early stretch and took the decision. RYCROFT N went in front at the 1/8 and set a solid pace, held well to the finish. PREMIER ROCKSTAR tucked fourth, went uncovered 5/8 but never reached the leader, ducked in late turn and went to the Pocono Pike, showed renewed vigor then flattened ever so slightly late. ROUGH ODDS was a bit rough at points and often had a rough time keeping up with the top pair, best of the others. ARCHANGEL THREE moved with cover but faded. DREAM OF LUCK couldn’t keep up. DERECHO developed a problem in the third quarter and fell way back.


NINTH RACEQUEEN OF ALL went straight to the top and was clear past the ¼, yielded to the favorite and sat a great two-hole trip behind battlers, to the Pocono Pike and summoned enough to gain into a :28.1 last quarter and win. THIRD SHIFT maintained second early, was quarter-moving before he closed the gap to the leader but went right by 3/8, had high heat from the first-over, still came home in 28.1 but got outfooted. NYLANDER came out off turn two and went up in 28 into the wind to challenge hard, held until almost midstretch then gave some ground, big mile nonetheless. DAGON HANOVER sat inside, didn’t have enough late. CHING CHING LUCKY was first to move into turn two, got cover off that turn but couldn’t stay with it. KEYSTONE CECILIA and KASEVILLE were not in the main picture.


TENTH RACEALLUNEEDISFAITH N was three-wide to the 1/8 then two-wide between horses to the ¼, on to get the lead 5/16 and refused to yield, drew away in the stretch. PRAIRIE PANTHER gapped the first half, then in gear quickly early backstretch and three-wide before the 11/16 to two-wide after that spot, couldn’t gain the last 3/16 but paced on to a good second. CAPTAIN ROMANCE left, took the first turn pocket, inside, Pocono Pike after a small shuffle, some pace. THE DARK SHADOW kept a lot of horses parked past a 26.1 opener and up to the 5/16 then yielded, started to fade mid-far turn. IDEAL FEELING was outside on the far turn but couldn’t make up ground. GRAND CAYMAN was four-wide to near the 1/8 and three-wide to the fast ¼, briefly had cover then was left parked 5/16, looped late backstretch. WAR-N-MUNN had a problem early and was pulled up.


ELEVENTH RACECAVIART MAX tucked third early, then was underway just before the ¼, had a hard time clearing just past the 3/8 in a fast time (albeit in a wind-aided Q2), rolled right along. GO WEST GO FAST took the pocket at the 1/8, under a hold third-in at the half, outside 11/16, tried to the wire and was rewarded with a second. PLAY THE FIELD put other leavers in behind early, then pushed the winner until yielding past the 3/8, went a little loose midturn, just failed holding second. PUZZLING came out before the ¾, three-wide into the stretch, OK. SADIQ HANOVER was outside past the 5/8, had a foe come out in front of him and was third-over, four-wide into the stretch, too far to come. INDIGO ART was just too far behind on a day not kind to closers. DRAGON STRIKES was not a contender.


TWELFTH RACEMACMORRIS HANOVER pushed the ¼ then yielded, wanted to retake to the 3/8 but was dissuaded from doing so, came out late turn, made the lead to midstretch, just held off the closing ROBBIE PEV. The latter was third-over, three-wide with cover turn, wider and was moving very well late. JULA MUSCLE PACK was second-over, three-wide past the ¾, good but outtrotted by the horse on his back. AMBASSADOR HANOVER, on a line on the turns, needed until the ¼ to make the lead and reseated an early threat in the fast half, couldn’t hold up to the wire. ALTUS HANOVER got some room deep in the Pocono Pike and made up ground. KENOGAMI COCO struggled inside, had room in the Pike but didn’t have enough kick. STRIKING GENSON gapped at the back. BEERTHIRTY K tucked third early, moved out off the second turn, was tired by the ¾.


THIRTEENTH RACELITTLEBITASWAGGER had speed, was well-placed, uncovered 5/8 and went on by to the ¾, drew away. ROLLINWITHAMBITION tightened in along the inside 11/16, had to wait for the Pocono Pike then had response for the distant second. UNDERTAKER was also locked in, found room between horses midstretch and came barreling home to just miss second. KINGSTONS BAD BOY was on top to the 3/16, finally yielded 3/8, moved outside after the winner cleared and was left raw, bore out a bit in the lane. HEREITIZ was three-deep to the 1/8, briefly behind cover then uncovered and needed until the 3/8 to clear, went on steadily but was passed by the winner and started falling back. KILLER MARTINI started the outer flow but then gapped the winner’s cover and wasn’t close. SPORTY DRAGON was not heard from. BARNABAS moved outside but never got close.


FOURTEENTH RACEDONTPASSME HANOVER started uncovered 5/8, grinded away and caught CAPTAIN SLEAZE late. The latter was on the point before the 1/8, kept a challenger out to the 3/8 before yielding, sat the pocket, to the Pocono Pike, midstretch lead, couldn’t quite make it hold up but good. MAJOR BEAN was underway from third 3/16 to take over 3/8, proved wanting in the latter stages. BEACH FORECAST left and took the early two-hole at the 1/8, sat in until the stretch, moved out, went OK. IMOUTTHEDOOR had excess cover, flying late. RIFLEMAN was uncovered then got to second-over but gapped ¾. GOOD DEAL gapped inside. TERRY A HANOVER was last at every call.