In a race where the field of eight had collectively earned more than $8 million, and five had bankrolled more than a million dollars each, it was Barimah A, with less than $200,000 on his card, coming off of fireball fractions to take the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday, the evening feature on a doubleheader Kentucky Derby Day of racing.
There had been no fewer than four lead changes at a point just past the three-eighths, with wild initial fractions of :25.4 and :53.1 finally going up on the board as Somewhere In L A, the last to the lead, started to feel pressure from Mach It So, the first to the top now back outside with first-over duty.
Those two went at it viciously down the backstretch to a 1:20.4 three-quarter clocking, with Rockin Ron tiring in the pocket and forcing favored Sunfire Blue Chip (they were the other two early leaders) to come out into a blindswitch heading into the far turn to avoid being shuffled.
The horse creating the blindswitch was the unheralded Barimah A, who went three-wide at the 11/16th marker and continuously gained ground after the wild pace. Somewhere In L A and Mach It So continued their inside-outside fight for supremacy and Barimah A kept gaining in the three-deep path, forcing the blocked Sunfire Blue Chip to dip inside and then go to the Pocono Pike.
That looked like the winning move for a couple of seconds midstretch, but Sunfire Blue Chip showed the effects of being parked past a :25.4 quarter on an off track for the lead, and the gallant Barimah A sustained his gain to put up a head advantage at the wire in 1:50 in the off going. Somewhere In L A, parked three-eighths in the wild numbers to get the front, was another length back in third.
An altered son of Bettor's Delight patiently handled by driver Pat Berry and owned by Brian Carsey, John McGill, and Adam Friedland, Barimah A recently moved under the shedrow of Scott Di Domenico and certainly has taken well to his new surroundings, winning four of five races and $60,250 of his current $204,505 lifetime money total. Saturday’s 1:50 clocking, taken in the race honoring the late longtime area harness writer, equaled the lifetime mark he had posted in taking the Pocono feature last Saturday. (Pocono/PHHA)