Great Northeast Championships raced at Pocono
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The Monday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono was jam-packed with quality racing throughout, with three $100,000 Championships of the Great Northeast Open Series for older fast-class performers, all at 1¼ miles over the five-eighths mile Pocono oval, along with eight $40,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series Championships for Keystone-sired 2 and 3 year olds who rank just below the national-caliber state Sire Stakes ranks.
$100,000 GREAT NORTHEAST OPEN SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS
Perhaps None Bettor A had a bit of an experience edge by racing over distances longer than a mile Down Under, but he showed rare courage in holding the late charge of favored pocketsitter Backstreet Shadow in 2:20.1, a stakes record, with the last three-quarters of 1:22.3 extraordinary in an extended-distance contest.
None Bettor A darted to the top for George Napolitano Jr. entering the backstretch the first time, and no one had the word “record” in mind when the first two poles were passed in :28 and :57.3. However, the second lap of the red Pocono oval was a flat-out sprint, with None Bettor A hanging up the next two fractions of 1:25.3 and 1:52.3, then staying game with Backstreet Shadow coming right at him in the lane to take a half-length decision with a :27.3 last quarter.
None Bettor A now has 11 victories in 15 seasonal races, with a lifetime bankroll of $385,945. Andrew Harris is handling the conditioning of the Bettor’s Delight gelding for Joe P Racing LLC and Oldford Racing LLC.
The Explosive Matter four-year-old gelding Rich And Miserable, who developed into a national-caliber horse through the late spring and summer, confirmed his elevation to the very top level when he caught 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover in winning the GNOS Open Trot Championship in 2:24.3 – a more relevant number being the back half of :56.3 over the extended distance.
Tyler Buter, who emerged as the star of the day with four stakes wins, sent Rich And Miserable right to the lead , then extended favored Hannelore Hanover well past a :29.2 opener, yielding the lead and content to sit in the pocket while Hannelore dawdled through fractions of :58.3 and 1:28.2.
The pace picked up when Tight Lines ranged up first-over, with the mile mark hit in 1:56.4. As they turned into the lane Rich And Miserable ducked to the famed Pocono Pike and went right up to her, then edged the mare by a head in the 27.4 last quarter. It was the tenth win in fifteen seasonal starts for Rich And Miserable, who is trained by Todd Buter and is owned by Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs.
Patience proved quite a virtue for driver Tim Tetrick and the Bettor’s Delight mare Bettor’s Up, as the winner of $892,374 proved to be the fresh horse late to take the GNOS Mare Pace Championship in 2:21for the 1¼ miles after her four main opponents had all made moves in the twicearound contest.
Apple Bottom Jeans showed customary speed at the start; Eclipse Me N moved early and had the lead before the :27.3 first marker. Heavy favorite Caviart Ally then moved and took command at the :56 half, going to the three-quarters in 1:25 and the mile in 1:53, with Write Me A Song giving chase in the backstretch the second time.
Tetrick rode the first-over’s cover, tipped his mare wide in the lane, and made up a lot of ground to post a head victory over Caviart Ally, with Apple Bottom Jeans only a neck further back. The final clocking set a GNOS divisional stakes record and matched a time posted by the mare Marnie Hall at Dover in 2006 in the old Classic Series Final. The 14-1 winner is trained by Nick Surick and is owned by his Nick Surick Stable LLC.
$40,000 PENNSYLVANIA STALLION SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Winning Mister – P Town Girl gelding Town Victor charged home out of the pocket to take his StS group in 1:54.4 – a time which set an individual and stakes record and a Pocono track record, and until yesterday would have equaled the world record (Real Cool Sam won his Sire Stakes Championship at Philly in 1:53.4f). The winner of six of eight, including three Stallion prelims which made him the leading prelim pointwinner, was driven by Matt Kakaley for trainer Rich Gillock, co-owner with Barbara Richardson. Town Victor won by two lengths over pacesetter Loyal Fox Hanover.
The Andover Hall – Miss Athena filly Miss Wilia streaked right to the lead from post eight for driver Scott Zeron and set the pace, then held off the closers to win in a lifetime best and Stallion Series Championship record 1:55.2. Caviart Giulia came up the inside but was a head shy of the winner of three straight, who is trained by Rick Zeron and owners Charles Resecki and Thomas Brice.
The Well Said – Bodacious Hanover colt Lake Charles was sent off at 2-1, behind his Ray Schnittker stablemate Captain Groovy at even money, but once circling that horse after a hard first 3/8, Lake Charles was the strong horse to the wire, winning his fourth straight race (three prelims and now his finale) while rewriting his individual and the stakes record to 1:51.3. Patriot Nation finished 3½ lengths behind the streaking winner, who was driven by David Miller for owners Schnittker, Max J. Hempt, Dr. John Egloff, and Steven Arnold.
The Captaintreacherous – Rocknroll Cameo miss The Party’s Rockin posted the fastest clocking of her group’s StS prelims, 1:52.4, two starts back, then made a break on the lead as the heavy favorite last time. On Monday, the winner of half her six lifetime starts made atonement for that miscue, leading at every pole which matching her 1:52.4 mark. The Party’s Rockin held off game longshot Keystone Eureka by a length for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Mark Harder, and owner Matthew Dugan.
Lindy’s Crazy Hall prepped for the Stallion Series Championship with a qualifying win featuring a smart :27.2 last panel, and that effort seemed to be just the tonic for the son of Cantab Hall as he equaled his life mark of 1:54.3 in victory for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Domenico Cecere, and the Greathorse ownership. Lindy’s Crazy Hall was under pressure for much of the last half from favored Kate’s Massive, who was looking to become only the third Stallion Series horse to be a champion at two and three, but the pacesetter prevailed by a head.
After working hard to get the lead nearing the quarter, the Donato Hanover miss Jezzys Legacy was in control of her Championship, withstanding late-charging longshot Southwind Storm by 1¼ lengths for driver Tyler Buter while equaling the stakes record of 1:54.2. Trainer Ray Schnittker is also co-owner of the classy filly with Little E LLC, Ted Gewertz, and Mary Kinsey Arnold.
The Captaintreacherous colt Waterway parked Seafarer to the quarter, sat behind that rival, then came up the Pocono Pike to catch the pacesetter and take his StS Championship in 1:51. Waterway had a big late surge to edge Seafarer by a nose for driver Dexter Dunn, hot trainer Tony Alagna, and the ownership of Alagna And Begley Stable, Santo and Joseph Barbera, and David Silverman.