Marseille fastest in PASS 3CT splits
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Marseille was the fastest winner in the three $56,868 divisions of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for 3-year-old trotting colts, conducted over a "sloppy" track at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday night.
The fastest Sires Stakes winner also had the distinction of breaking his maiden with the victory, as the Muscle Hill colt Marseille parked the favored Gerry early, yielded to sit the pocket, then out-trotted him home by a half-length in a 1:53.3 mile, with his own last quarter :27.4. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt had Marseille ready at first asking for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Order By Stable, and Howard Taylor.
Explosivebreakaway, a full brother to Phaetosive, pushed favored Osterc to a :28 quarter then yielded for the pocket, and thus put himself in position to capitalize when Osterc made a break late on the far turn, going on to victory in 1:54.2. Summit In Sight, who had come uncovered from far back to challenge Osterc, got a brief lead when that rival broke, but the victorious Explosive Matter gelding had clear sailing up the inside and gained into the :56.2 back half to win by 2 3/4 lengths over Summit In Sight. Tom Jackson guided the winner for trainer Fred Grant, who shares ownership in the improving sophomore with Janice Rubin, Steve Katz, and Murray Brown.
White Tiger won the third division of the Sires Stakes in 1:55.3 to remain undefeated in two seasonal starts. The Muscle Massive gelding quarter-moved and got a slow half of :58.4, then increased the tempo and withstood the late charge of Macmorris Hanover by three-quarters of a length. David Miller drove the Andrew Harris trainee to his fifth lifetime win for Thestable White Tiger Group.
Also on the card were five $20,000 Stallion Series divisions for the sophomore trotting colts. Most impressive was Kate’s Massive, who has two Stallion Series victories this year and is perfect in three 2019 outings after a 1:54.4 triumph. Dave Palone drove this colt for trainer Kelly Paver, as the Muscle Massive colt quarter-moved to control the throttle, then came home in :28.3 under mild encouragement to win by a half-length for owner Harry Horowitz.
Lapped By Lindy joined Kate’s Massive as a double Stallion Series winner, making the lead past the quarter and then just being able to withstand a big late charge by Night Hall by a nose while lowering his speed record to 1:55. Andy Miller drove the Muscle Hill gelding for trainer/wife Julie and the partnership of Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Andy Miller Stable Inc., and George Green.
The Cantab Hall gelding Nextroundsonme was given a well-judged steer by Marcus Miller, then came on after a fast pace to catch favored Sheer Muscle while taking a new mark of 1:55 in another Stallion Series division. Jenny Melander trains the sophomore for Belmar Racing And Breeding.
Trainer Andrew Harris added a Stallion Series victory when 19-1 shot Blue And Bold came off cover to track down Mass Fortune K by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.1 for the meet’s leading driver, George Napolitano Jr. After opening the year with two victories in his first three starts and then dropping three straight, Blue And Bold showed he may again be on the upside for A Harris Racing and April Campbell.
The Andover Hall colt Finally Found Away opened the card with a victory in his seasonal bow, lowering his mark three seconds to 1:57. Pacesetter Lazzaro made a break at headstretch, with left the door open for pocket-sitting Finally Found Away, and the sophomore took advantage of the luck to win by 1 1/2 lengths for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Bob Stewart, and Bluestone Farms.
Rounding out the card were a pair of Great Northeast Series events.
In the $30,000 mares pace, Tequila Monday rebounded from a defeat at Harrah’s Philadelphia after opening the year with six straight victories, winning in 1:50.2. The American Ideal mare was sent to the front by driver Tyler Buter and put up fractions of :26.2, :55.1, and 1:23, then with the outer tiers stalling, found her only stretch challenge coming from pocket-sitter Apple Bottom Jeans, and the winner withstood that one’s charge by three-quarters of a length. Hunter Oakes trains Tequila Monday, the leader so far in her division’s point-standings, for Northfork Racing Stable and Chuck Pompey.
In the $30,000 open trot, Crystal Fashion had an easy time of it, defeating Muscle Diamond by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:53. Tim Tetrick guided the Cantab Hall gelding to the lead in front of the grandstand, and the winner powered home in :56 to notch his first win of the year. Jim Campbell trains the winner for Fashion Farms. (Pocono/PHHA)