Allard brothers have big Saturday at Pocono
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The Allard brothers, driver Simon and trainer Rene, boosted themselves to the top of the early season horsemen’s win total competition Saturday night (April 1) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, visiting Victory Lane five times on the evening, including victories in both of the top conditioned events, one at each gait, with both winners now 2-for-2 on the year at Pocono.
Crafty Master, a son of Mister Big, went the fastest mile of the early season at Pocono, tallying in the $15,500 pace in 1:50.2, a new lifetime mark. Though aided by racing behind a fast first half mile of :54.2, Crafty Master still had to overcome the first-over trip. However he showed his continued top form by drawing off late, winning by 1-1/2 lengths for the ownership of Allard Racing Inc., VIP Internet Stable LLC, and Lynn Denesha.
The Kadabra mare Swishnflick kept her local record perfect after a pair of starts, rallying off a pocket trip to catch pacesetting Skates N Plates by a half-length in 1:55.4 in the companion trot. Allard Racing Stable Inc. also owns this winner of more than $381,000 among its winning quartet on the night.
The other stable winner is owned outright by Rene. His name is Muscle Beach Boy, whom was purchased after six straight wins in upstate New York and brought to the Downs. Yet, if the gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere is to make it eight straight visits to Victory Lane, it won’t be for the Allards, as he was claimed out of his triumphant race in 1:53.2 at the mountain oval Saturday.
The very first race to take to the red clay oval was for the highest bounty of the night, as high-level claiming pacers contested an $18,000 purse. The race went to Next Success, who recorded his second straight triumph at The Downs, and his third overall, as he led at every call, holding off potential pocket rocket Baggage Claim in 1:53.1 for driver Jim Morrill Jr., trainer Les Givens, and the ownership team of Henry Faragalli III, Nanticoke Racing Inc. and Bay Pond Racing Stable.
Incidentally, Next Success’s sire, Veeza, may not be particularly well-known, but few horses are better-bred: he’s by champion sire Western Hanover, and his dam is Margie’s Melody, the dam of the storied Nihilator.
Simon Allard had a two-win lead atop the drivers colony after his fifth sulky success, but no lead is safe at Pocono Downs with George Napolitano Jr. around. In fact, Napolitano Jr. won two races near the end of the card to join Allard as co-leading driver.
Tomorrow night (Sunday, April 2), the $750,000 Bobby Weiss Series for developing 3- and 4-year-olds starts its 2017 program, with the first of four $15,000 preliminary legs for pacers of each sex filling three divisions. The top moneywinners in the Weiss preliminaries come back in early May to contest the $30,000 Weiss Series Championships. (PHHA/Pocono)