Darlinonthebeach wins season debut at Pocono
April 20, 2016
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South Side Hanover and Stirling Debutante both took their third victories in as many preliminaries of the Bobby Weiss Series by winning $15,000 divisions of the trotting females competition Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, while in the third cut two "logical" horses came home 1-2 – and combined for a $919 exacta.
Also Tuesday night, at 10:48 pm, the 3-year-old filly pacer Darlinonthebeach won her 2016 debut by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:51.3. David Miller drove the filly for trainer Nancy Johansson and owner White Birch Farm.
South Side Hanover has had the rail in all three of her Weiss starts – the outer one the first week, the inner one the last two – but the result has always been the same, a visit to Victory Lane. Tuesday, the Cantab Hall filly went wire-to-wire in 1:58, with back fractions of 58.2 – 28.3 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel and Schadel's co-owner Roger Hammer, a/k/a "Team Vivid Photo."
Even though she equaled her lifetime mark of 1:55.4 in another Weiss division, the Credit Winner mare Stirling Debutante did not have it easy, pressed hard by first-over Abbie's Celticlass, but she nonetheless held her lead over that rival to the wire by a half-length, with Anthony Napolitano again in the sulky for trainer Christie Collins and owners J M F Racing LLC.
And as for that "logical" $919 exacta? Well, the winner, Squeals Of Delight, had seconds in both her two previous starts in the Weiss, and second-place horse Real Caviar had won a Weiss division in week one, so you think those two would get some respect here, right?
Well, $107.00 winner Squeals Of Delight held off 23-1 place horse Real Credit (another Schadelite) to her left by a length in 1:57.4, lowering the winning Donato Hanover mare's mark by six seconds – but admittedly they did have some assistance from the remainder of the seven-horse field, who all went offstride, including 1-5 favorite Selfie Hanover while on the lead on the far turn. Larry Stalbaum had Squeals Of Delight in the pocket at that point and took over the lead, during the moans of agony of the chalkplayers, and captured the victory for trainer Robert Bath, co-owner with Eldo Leonelli.
Squeals Of Delight was the second $100+ winner at Pocono in three nights, after $197.00 Majo Just Do It won on Sunday, and the timing couldn't have been more curious – because The Downs had just come off a week where the combined win prices of every winner, each night for four straight nights, never topped $100 TOTAL for a single card! (PHHA/Pocono)