Prairie Sweetheart wins 2016 Pocono debut
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Prairie Sweetheart, undefeated in seven starts as a two-year-old while running roughshod over Florida's top pacing fillies, used her 2016 debut at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono to try purse competition away from Florida and away from stakes races – and she passed the test with flying colors, taking a $14,000 pace in a new lifetime best of 1:52.4.
Matt Kakaley, who was also in the sulky for trainer Michael Deters when the latter last won a race at the mountain oval – on August 27 of last year –made a frontward move with the daughter of Royel Millennium after a 27.2 opening quarter, backing the half off to 57.2, then rocketing home in 55.2 to defeat pocketsitter Lasting Love by 2¾ lengths for Deters, who is also co-owner with breeder Laurie Poulin and John Spindler. The $7000 she won Tuesday combines with the $63,274 she made last season for a bankroll of $70,374 in her undefeated career.
With Pompano concentrating its state action in the last quarter of the year, when both two- and three-year-olds are ready to go, Prairie Sweetheart made her first lifetime start last October 6 in a Sunshine State Stake, and was invincible over the next two months, winning her seven races by a combined 45 lengths (in fact, her 2¾ length win margin Tuesday was the smallest of her career). Trainer Deters drove her in her Sunshine state contests – in fact, in fall Pompano stakes the last two years, Deters, who these days concentrates on training, has a 31-24-4-0-.846 sulky record!
Among the older distaff pacers, Shine N Shimmer repudiated the old theory that "you shouldn't do something the same way twice and expect a different result" in winning a $15,500 pace. Last week the daughter of American Ideal sat third-inside through much of her mile, paced in 1:51.4, and finished second by a half-length; this week she sat third-inside through most of her mile, paced in 1:51.4 – and took a one-length victory over 2014 Breeders Crown champion Sayitall BB. Simon Allard, scoring his third win of the night, guided the career winner of $476,869 for trainer Doug Lewis and ubiquitous owner Howard Taylor. (Pocono/PHHA)