It was oldies night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs as Doo Wop Hanover pulled off a major upset in the second of three $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for juvenile pacing colts. Ron Pierce guided the colt to just his second win of the season, this one a personal best of 1:51 3/5.
The race had an interesting beginning with Bakersfield leaving alertly along with Crafty Master and Carracci Hanover. Western Vintage, the 2-5 choice in the field also left from the outside. Midway around the opening bend Crafty Master made a break forcing both Carracci Hanover and Western Vintage to go wider through the turn to avoid a mishap.
Carracci Hanover would get the lead past the :27 opening quarter and it would take more than three-eighths of a mile for Western Vintage and Yannick Gingras to clear the lead.
Ron Pierce was already on the move before Western Vintage hit the half in :54 4/5 and he took up the chase without cover with Doo Wop Hanover, a colt trained by Steve Elliott and owned by Peter Blood, Rick Berks and Gary Piontkowski.
Western Vintage and Doo Wop Hanover met on even terms down the backstretch but neither driver appeared interested in accelerating the pace. Western Vintage was able to get away with a :29 1/5 third quarter but it wouldn’t help him in the homestretch.
Doo Wop Hanover went past the favorite in early stretch and cruised home to a length victory over Melmerby Beach with Some Major Beach finishing third. Doo Wop Hanover was sent off at 31-1. Western Vintage wound up seventh.
"I raced him from the back (in his last race) and he really fired home nice,” said winning driver Ron Pierce following the race. "I learned over the years never to underestimate Stevie Elliott or Peter Blood. I figured if they had him in the race they must have known something.”
Luck Be Withyou put the pedal to the medal from the outset and gamely held the field at bay to capture the final $25,000 Breeders Crown elimination heat for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers for driver Ron Pierce.
Now in the stable of Chris Oakes, the half-brother to last year’s three-year-old filly pace champion American Jewel, set fractions of :27 1/5, :53 4/5 and 1:22 2/5 and still had something left for a personal record 1:50 mile. The time would have equaled the world mark had it been set earlier in the night.
Luck Be Withyou had to deal with constant pressure from Arthur Blue Chip while setting the pace but scored by three lengths over pocket-sitter Three Of Clubs with Ari Allstar emerging along the rail late for the third spot over a brave Arthur Blue Chip.
Sent off as the second-betting choice behind Three Of Clubs, Luck Be Withyou returned $6.80 to win.
John Craig owns Luck Be Withyou, a colt that had raced exclusively in Ontario for trainer Bill Cass but shipped to Pennsylvania under the care of Chris Oakes.
"We bought him in Lexington last year,” said Cass after the race. "Mr. Craig picked him out of the book and I represented him. We picked him up and he’s been a great horse since. I’ve been in the business for 45 years. Everybody is pointing towards the Breeders Crown. To get one, I’ll tell you, it’s my first and it’s very exciting.”