Bushwacker edges Badiou Hanover at Pocono
April 16, 2016
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Bushwacker, under full-out assault by Cooperstown down the backstretch in the $25,000 winners-over pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, turned back that rival on the far turn, then held off second-over Badiou Hanover by a neck in 1:49.3.
Driver Larry Stalbaum had no problem w(h)acking out the pace with the altered son of Rocknroll Hanover, passing the first two striped poles in 26 and 54.3. Shortly after the half Cooperstown, gunning for his fourth straight victory, came roaring up to the leader and got a half-length by before the ¾ but could not clear as the timer read 1:21.1, a 26.3 third quarter into an atypical backstretch headwind at Pocono.
Bushwhacker fought off Cooperstown and regained the lead, then had enough left when Badiou (pronounced ("BAD-I-O-U") Hanover circled wide and menaced nearing the finish. Cooperstown settled for third; favored Bettor's Edge raced in the pocket but may have been bottomed out chasing the whirlwind front end duel, as he faded in the last quarter and finished fifth.
Bushwacker posted his first victory since February 20, but he has been facing some pretty mean hombres in the interim: foe one example, he finished third behind Wiggle It Jiggleit and Rockeyed Optimist, arguably the two best pacers at the races at this moment, on March 28 at Dover. Chris Ryder trains the winner, who raised his bankroll to nearly $460,000 lifetime for Henderson Farms.
The Angus Hall mare Allerage Star went the fastest trotting mile year at Pocono in a $15,500 conditioned event, going right to the top for driver Marcus Miller and steaming home in 56 to complete a 1:52.3 victory, also a lifetime mark. Julie Miller conditions the winner of two straight for Little E LLC (also the breeder), Arthur Geiger, David Stoltz, and Jason Settlemoir.
With a temperature reading of 72 degrees at first post time, speed was the order of the day, as three other miles in 1:50 were paced, with Achilles Blue Chip (Marcus Miller), Simply Business (Anthony Napolitano), and Allbeef N Nobull (Mike Simons) all freezing the timer at exactly the new standard for the "magic mile."
The Downs seasonal pacing standard of 1:49.1, set by Eighteen on March 26, did stand up to the speed-producing card (ironically, that win came in "nw9000L5," about four classes below the winners-over level).
The third round of the Bobby Weiss Series for pacers highlights the Sunday card at Pocono, which has a post time of 7:30 p.m. Both the males and females will contest three $15,000 divisions; hoping to making their Weiss records 3-for-3 will be, for the males, Options Are Adream (race 10, looking for his ninth win of an undefeated career) and Midnight Leader (race 11, the fastest Weiss winner in 1:51), and for the females, Candy Corn Hanover (race seven, her two Weiss wins the first two starts of her career.)--PHHA/Pocono