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Heated action in Sun Stakes Saturday elims

June 27, 2015
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In addition to the Hempt elims Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, there were also elims for the Beal, Lynch and Franklin.
 
The top three finishers in each of three $25,000 eliminations for the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters return for the rich final.
 
Uncle Lasse, "not the favorite at 4-5” (how often do you see that phrase?), just caught 3-5* Crazy Wow in the shadow of the wire to take an exciting Beal elim in 1:54.
 
The son of Donato Hanover, trained by Jimmy Takter, sat the pocket, got out behind Crazy Wow as that one raced up uncovered to go to the lead on the far turn, then inexorably gained on his game rival to be along by a head, with Shoot The Thrill another two lengths back in third.
 
Uncle Lasse is undefeated in four seasonal starts for the interlocking owner/breeder combine of Solveig's Racing Partners/ Solveig's Breeders.
 
The Explosive Matter colt Wicker Hanover, a double Pennsylvania Sires Stakes winner but yet to prove himself at the highest level, exploded in the last eighth to catch 2014 champion Pinkman, heretofore undefeated this year, by a half-length in 1:54.1.
 
Pinkman was sent to the lead early and cut a reasonable pace in the off going, but Wicker Hanover, who had to pause past mid-turn as his cover Donatomite was the third of the race's three breakers, gathered himself and overpowered the champ late for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Noel Daley, and owner Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable Inc. Centurion ATM also qualified for the Beal final, 1 1/2 lengths behind Pinkman and a half-length in front of Pinkman's stablemate Whom Shall I Fear.
 
A fast pace, and the early break of 2-5 favorite Habitat, helped set up the Muscle Massive colt Cruzado Dela Noche to sweep the field into the far turn and draw off to a 2 1/4-length victory in 1:53.3 over the two longest shots in the field, Southwind Mozart and Boots N Chains. Cruzado Dela Noche, only a half-length behind Uncle Lasse in a PA Sires event two starts back, took a new lifetime mark with the triumph for driver David Miller, trainer Nancy Johansson, and owner Courant A B as the 3-1 second choice.
 
The top four finishers in each $30,000 elimination, plus the fastest fifth-place finisher, return for the $500,000 Ben Franklin final for older horse pacers.
 
Older horse pacing division leader State Treasurer, last most of the way and coming from eighth nearing head-stretch, stormed home with a wicked last one-sixteenth that picked up the entire field in his 1:50.3 elim. Driver David Miller, like Scott Zeron a stakes doubler, sent the son of Real Desire five widein the lane and let his horse do the rest, getting up over a very durable Dynamic Youth, who was overland for seven of the race's eight furlongs, with Clear Vision and Mach It So taking third and fourth behind the winner, trained by Dr. Ian Moore for owners Sally and Paul MacDonald.
 
Longtime fans who recalled that Luck Be Withyou won the 2013 2PC Breeders Crown Championship here at Pocono over a sloppy track were rewarded with 6-1 win odds Saturday, as the son of Western Ideal went coast to coast in1:50. Luck Be Withyou eliminated luck by laying down fractions of :26, :53.4, and 1:22 in staying safe by 1 3/4 lengths over 8-5 favorite Vegas Vacation, who had to rally four wide on the final turn. Captive Audience, last at the three-quarters, did a masterful bob-and-weave in the lane to be up for a dh3 with Domethatagain. Foiled Again, the $7 million man,was fifth after having to travel the last turn three wide, with his 1:50.2 clocking earning him the last Franklin spot.
 
Luck Be Withyou'sdriver and trainer, George Napolitano Jr. and Chris Oakes respectively, have combined for many an engine victory at Pocono; if they can win next week, neither they nor owner John Craig will be fussy about the path the Brittany Farms-bred horse travels.
 
In the James Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers, the top three finishers in each $20,000 elim return for the $300,000 championship.
 
The middle and perhaps "featured” Lynch elim was supposed to be another matchup of 2014 Harness Horse of the Year JK She'salady and Sassa Hanover--but nobody told The Show Returns. The second-place finisher in the Fan Hanover despite PP10 at 113-1 was backed down to 9-2 locally, and she rallied for a strong two-length victory in 1:51.3.
 
The winning daughter of Rocknroll Hanover shot to the top for John Campbell, yielded to a midrace brush from slight favorite "JK” to sit the pocket, then slipped out on the far turn when Sassa Hanover challenged and went to the lead headstretch. Campbell tipped her wide and went by "Sassa” late, with Single Me third and JK She'salady fading to fifth. Chris Ryder trains the winner for Richard and Joanne Young, whose I Luv The Nitelife set the divisional world record for "f” tracks, 1:48.4, right here.
 
Stacia Hanover, returning to the races with Lasix after a month layoff, came back sharp for trainer Steve Elliott, making the lead past the eighth and going on to a 1 3/4-length victory for driver Scott Zeron while earning a new speed badge of 1:51.3. Bettor Be Steppin photoed out Wicked Little Minx for second, with both qualifying for the championship along with the winner, who is owned by David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio and was the even-money chalk.
 
Momas Got A Gun dueled with favored Divine Caroline through the last three-sixteenths, then went past her in deep stretch to take her elim by a half-length in a new mark of 1:51.3. The Somebeachsomewhere filly, making her second move of the race a winning one, was driven by Brett Miller for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and owner Geoffrey Martin. Deli Beach, over 10 lengths out at the half behind a bad gapper, rallied for third and advancement.
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