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WILKES-BARRE, PA - A trio of $15,000 conditioned events were featured on the penultimate card of 2018 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday night. The first of two trots resulted in an easy victory for the Kadabra gelding Northern Major in 1:57.3. Matt Kakaley moved the winner to the front past a 29 quarter and put up midsplits of 59 and 1:28.1 before storming off by 5½ lengths over closing Broadway Bruiser. The race favorite, Northern Major is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In the other trotting contest, the Triumphant Caviar sophomore gelding QB Kemp rallied from the pocket to record his second straight triumph, here in 1:57.1. Favored Bautista went to the top in a quick 27.4 on a cool night, rated the middle fractions to 57.1 and 1:27.2, but still could not withstand the rush from the two-hole by QB Kemp, driven by Tyler Buter for trainer Rob Harmon and Harmon Racing Stable LLC. The pacing event was for fillies and mares, with Don't Mach Mia surrendering the early lead to Parkin In Heaven in a 28.1, brushing to the lead and posting middle fractions of 57 and 1:26, then holding off the pocketsitter to notch a neck triumph in 1:55.1. George Napolitano Jr. was sulkysitting for trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. Earlier, pacer SB Ideal In Art, driver John Kakaley (Matt's father), and trainer Jim Ray became the first horse-driver-trainer combination to post two $50+ victories in 2018 at Pocono when they teamed up for a $148.80 shocker in race two. The trio had clicked at a $58.00 price on July 31. Tempster Hanover is the only other horse to have two $50+ wins at the meet, but he had changed hands between his May 8 and June 26 upsets. Trainer Ray tied for the top at Pocono with his second training bomber: Judy Welty, Jose Godinez, Alex Kavoleff, Jason Robinson, and Ron Burke also have two upset winners, with the last two joining Ray as both posting their double within the last month and having one of their twosome under question pay $100+. The last card of the 2018 season will take place at The Downs on Saturday night, with the yet-undistributed yearend awards to be given. The world's fastest trotter and "home track" Breeders Crown winner, Homicide Hunter, will receive local Trotter of the Year honors, with the horse's trainer, Chris Oakes, also to be on hand to see his son Hunter Oakes get the award for posting the colony's top UTR. Rene Allard will be feted upon winning his fifth training win title in the last six years, while George Napolitano Jr. will sweep the driving dash title and UDR title for the sixth straight year - "George Nap" has thirteen Pocono dash crowns and eleven UDR championships to his credit, both obviously local records. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Elysium Lindy took control from the pole early for driver Matt Kakaley, rated the half, then sprinted home to keep pocketsitting favorite Gruden at bay while winning the $30,000 Open trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Sunday. Kakaley discouraged any outside attempts to fire away hard, going at a 27.1 clip to the quarter, then rated the second quarter to hit the half in 57.1. From that point, nobody had enough speed to overhaul Elysium Lindy on a 32-degree night, with Gruden giving valiant chase up the Pocono Pike from the two-hole but coming up ¾ of a length shy. Elysium Lindy, an altered son of Cantab Hall, raised his earnings to $152,240 for the year and $318,835 lifetime for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership team of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Joseph DiScalia. After the race, driver Matt Kakaley did something that would normally be unusual - he took his helmet off. He gave it to the caretaker of Elysium Lindy, who wore it taking the victorious trotter back to the paddock, and Matt stayed in the winners circle, being joined by important Burke Brigade owner Phil Collura, to accept the honor of 2018 Pocono Pacer of the Year for the sophomore millionaire Dorsoduro Hanover. The Somebeachsomehwere gelding has posted a 19-10-5-1 scorecard so far in 2018 and has bankrolled $1,229,112, with his tally at Pocono alone reading 7-6-0-0-$469,120. Locally, Dorsoduro Hanover won a Pennsylvania All-Stars race, a leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and his divisional Championship, a Hempt elimination, and of course his Breeders Crown elimination and final, in the latter of which he took his lifetime mark of 1:49.4. (His only Pocono setback was a very honorable one, as he put up fractions of 26, 53, and 1:20.3, and then missed only a length in the Hempt Championship.) Kakaley was his regular driver for his trainer Burke and his owners, Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and the Wingfield Five LLC. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs  

Matt Kakaley's drive to his first Breeders Crown winner's circle was as memorable as the stretch drive to victory, and even more emotional. Kakaley entered last Saturday's Breeders Crown finals at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in search of his first trophy. He ended the night with two. The second, not unexpectedly, came with favorite Dorsoduro Hanover in the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace. The first, though, was something of a surprise. It came six races earlier with 52-1 longshot Percy Bluechip in the 3-year-old filly pace. As the 30-year-old Kakaley returned to the winner's circle with Percy Bluechip, he could not help but think back to last March when he was injured in an accident at Yonkers. Kakaley was sidelined for two months and required three surgeries, including one for a broken orbital bone and another for a fractured collarbone. "The winner's circle was a little overwhelming for me, just full of emotion," Kakaley said. "Coming back, I was just thinking, man, seven months ago I was on the sidelines not even sure if I was going to be able to drive anymore. My eye was really bad. I don't think people really understand how bad it really was. The people that were around me were a great support system. Obviously everything came back and I'm OK, but at the time I was really worried. "It was a rush of emotions going back to the winner's circle. My grandparents were there, my parents, my daughter, my girlfriend, all my friends that I've hung around with that live here. It meant a lot." Kakaley, who has competed regularly at Pocono for the past eight years and won a driving title there in 2011, was winless in 42 Breeders Crown finals prior to breaking through with Percy Bluechip. Kakaley positioned the filly second on the outside behind favorite Kissin In The Sand, who was engaged in a battle with Youaremycandygirl through torrid early fractions. As the field turned for home, Kakaley dropped his whip but was still able to sweep by the leaders in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length over Kissin In The Sand. "Everything went perfect for that filly," Kakaley said. "It's nice for the horse when things go the right way for them to get the job done in the big race. They were rolling up front, big numbers, and she felt strong down the backstretch. In the last turn I had a lot of go. I thought I could get there. I lost my whip, but she just powered through and got up. She raced super." It was somewhat fitting Kakaley's first Breeders Crown win came with a longshot. Of his 42 previous drives in finals, 27 were at odds of 40-1 or longer and nine of his 11 on-the-board finishes were at odds of at least 27-1. Of course, the odds mattered little to Kakaley. "It's unexpected, so a little bit of a surprise factor maybe makes it a little bit better, but just winning a Breeders Crown race is amazing," Kakaley said. "I'm just so thankful for the opportunities I've gotten. It happened. Thank God. I finally got one." And then he got two. Dorsoduro Hanover, Kakaley's first favorite in a final, took the lead after three-eighths of a mile and cruised to victory by 3-1/2 lengths over Lather Up. The gelding has finished no worse than second in seven consecutive races, winning five. His victories in addition to the Breeders Crown include the Adios and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He was second in the Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug. "I was very confident with him," Kakaley said. "That was as good as he's been all year. Ronnie has done an amazing job keeping that horse fresh. He's danced every dance and showed up every time. He's a gamer, that's for sure." Ronnie is trainer Ron Burke, for whom Kakaley drives on a regular basis. Kakaley's two wins were part of a three-Crown night for the Burke Brigade. "I was fortunate to pick up the right horses at the right time and the horses were sharp going into the Breeders Crown," Kakaley said. "I was confident coming in. Ronnie has put me in these big races. I'm happy to get a couple tonight." And as the rain-soaked and mud-covered Kakaley turned to walk away on a 41-degree Pocono night, he flashed a big smile. "I can tell you this much," he said. "I'm not cold anymore." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley, who had a terrific Breeders Crown Championship night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday, didn't go off and celebrate at Disneyworld or anything like that - they were right back at the mountain oval on Sunday night and teamed for three winners, including the Cantab Hall gelding Elysium Lindy, who took the $21,500 trotting feature in 1:54. Kakaley hustled the winner of $289,035 to the lead past a 27.2 opener, rated the half to 56.4 and sped things up to still lead at the penultimate pole in 1:24.4. Race favorite Charmed Life, who had had no luck trying to come from behind against an anti-closer bias in her Breeders Crown elim last week, came on a ton in the stretch but wound up a nose behind the winenr, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Joseph Di Scala Jr. Another pairing who had a great Breeders Crown night - driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes--won the following contest after the featured trot; next in line was the $16,000 featured pace on the card, which was taken by another member of Team Oakes - 20-year-old Hunter Oakes, who scored his first driving victory in only his second start when he won behind the $715,307 winner Polak A in 1:51.1. Both father Chris and son Hunter rank among the top five trainers at The Downs. And we apologize in advance to our Down Under friends, but it is a news story of sorts that Lazurus won at Pocono on Sunday in 1:55.4. That would be the trotter Lazurus - not the Australasian star pacer Lazarus N, who had no luck in the Breeders Crown Open Pace the night before. Matt Kakaley also drove Lazurus, and in fact wound up the night with five victories. BREEDERS CROWN NITE QUIKSTAT SUMMARY - Seven of the twelve favorites emerged victorious - but then again, so did Lily Stride ($65.40) and Percy Blue Chip ($106.00) ... They, by the way, were the only two winners who were parked out at the ¾ call, with Lily Stride ducking inside and Percy Blue Chip going wide at headstretch: seven of the other ten were on the lead at the 3/4s, and the other three were in the pocket ... Contrast that fact with the fact that only three of the winners were on top at the ¼ -- in fact, three of the winners made moves from fifth or worse at the quarter to the lead at the half! From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Wilkes-Barre, PA - Racing his most impressive mile of the season, Dorsoduro Hanover stormed to the lead and continued to draw off to a 4 ¼-length win in 1:49.4 on the "sloppy" surface of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Oct. 27 in the $530,000 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Pace Final. It was a wild shuffle from the start as This Is The Plan left best early, only to be hunted down while struggling in a :26.1 first quarter. The pace was forced early as American History took a shot on the outside as Thinkbig Dreambig challenged to get a strong position and Grand Teton was poised to move. The :53.4 half was burning some horseflesh, so Matt Kakaley steered Dorsoduro Hanover around them all, taking the lead on his outside brush and blasting through three-quarters in 1:21.3. The other giant move was coming down for Lather Up, who went three-wide to pass the early battling group. Once on the engine, however, Dorsoduro Hanover used all six cylinders to repel all others except Lather Up, who was relentlessly forging down the stretch, though futilely, after Dorsoduro Hanover. The smashing victory, a sub-1:50 mile in the muck, was far ahead of Lather Up, who took second passing a tired, stuffed-on-the-inside This Is The Plan. Shnitzledosomethin managed to get fourth. Ron Burke trains the sophomore colt by Somebeachsomewhere--Deep Valley Miss (by Artsplace). Burke Racing Stable, Silva, Purnel and Libby, Weaver Bruscemi and Wingfield Five own Dorsoduro Hanover. Hanover Shoe Farms bred the winner. It was the 10th win in 18 starts this season for Dorsoduro Hanover, who paid $6.00 to win. by Frank Cotolo, For The Breeders Crown

Long shot  at 52-1 Percy Blue Chip (Matt Kakaley) took advantage of a speed duel and was the winner of the $500,000 Breeders Crown for three-year-old filly pacers on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. It was a new lifetime mark of 1:51.2 over a sloppy track. Percy Blue Chip is trained by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Dandy Farm, Silva, Purnel and Libby. Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras) was first to the lead at the :25.4 first quarter and was soon joined by Kissin In The Sand (Scott Zeron) on the outside, who applied pressure to the :53.3 half and the 1:22.2 three-quarters. As the field turned for home, those two were still on the lead, but were overtaken by Percy Blue Chip, who'd been second-over throughout most of the race and went three-wide to win by three-quarters of a length. The daughter of Shadow Play paid $106.00, $22.80 and $11.00 for the win. Kissin In The Sand was second and Dance Blue was third. It was the first Breeders Crown win for Matt Kakaley, who dropped his whip at the top of the stretch, but clearly didn't need it. "It's amazing," he said. "Absolutely amazing. You know the only way I could win was if they duked it out on the lead, like that. I actually dropped my whip at the head of the stretch. I just put my nose on Scotty's (Zeron) helmet. She came home good. Down the backside I thought I had a good shot." by Ellen Harvey, For The Breeders Crown      

Matt Kakaley hopes to make a memorable year with Dorsoduro Hanover even better. Dorsoduro Hanover, trained by Ron Burke, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $530,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old male pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The 30-year-old Kakaley, who is among the leading drivers at Pocono, will enter the night aiming for his first Breeders Crown trophy. The duo will start from post one in the field of nine. All 12 Breeders Crown finals, with $6.4 million in total purses, will be raced Saturday at Pocono. Post time is 5:30 p.m. (EDT) for the first race. Kakaley will drive in 10 of the 12 finals Saturday. Dorsoduro Hanover won his Breeders Crown elimination last weekend by 1-1/4 lengths over Thinkbig Dreambig in 1:50.1 over a sloppy track. The 3-year-old gelding has won nine of 17 races this year and earned $916,612. His wins include the Adios, when he delivered Burke and Kakaley their first victory in the event at Burke's home track of The Meadows, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He was second in the Little Brown Jug, beaten by a neck, and in the Meadowlands Pace from post 10. "He's had some close calls and a few big wins and it's been a lot of fun," said Kakaley, who has driven Dorsoduro Hanover in all but three of his 31 lifetime starts. "He's had a solid season. I think he likes Pocono too. He usually gives a good effort every time he's at Pocono." Dorsoduro Hanover has won five of six starts at Pocono this year. His victory in his Breeders Crown elimination followed a second-place finish to Grand Teton in a division of the Tattersalls Pace at Lexington's Red Mile. "I was a little disappointed with Lexington, to be honest, because when he cleared (leader) This Is The Plan off the last turn I thought he was going to pace away and hide," Kakaley said. "He eased up on me a little late and Grand Teton got him at the wire. But he was really good (Saturday). When Thinkbig Dreambig got to his bridle he just took off again. I was really happy with him." Dorsoduro Hanover's recently-added stablemate This Is The Plan, also an elimination winner last weekend, is the 4-1 second choice in Saturday's final. He won his elim by 3-1/4 lengths over I'm A Big Deal in 1:51 in his second start for the Burke stable and driver Yannick Gingras. "He was really good," Gingras said. "I fired him up too much in Lexington and he was loose on the lead. He was way more relaxed (Saturday) and when I called on him he was there. It is going to be an interesting final. I think there are nine horses that can win this race. It's wide open." Dorsoduro Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Silva Purnel & Libby, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Wingfield Five. This Is The Plan is owned by Burke Racing, Silva Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi, and Larry Karr. Shnitzledosomethin, last year's Breeders Crown runner-up, won the third of the three eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers with David Miller in the sulky. He was three-quarters of a length better than Grand Teton in 1:51.1. It was his third win in 15 races this season for trainer Dylan Davis and owners BFJ Stable, Tom Lazzaro, Ed Gold, and Abe Basen. The colt is 12-1 on the final's morning line. "I'm tickled to death with him," Davis said. "He had a little bit of a dry summer, but he seems to be turning the corner. After (second-place finishes in the Indiana Sire Stakes final and Jenna's Beach Boy) that's when we made up our minds to come. He just didn't seem like the Shnitzle of last year until his last three or four starts. We added Lasix and that seemed to make a big difference." North America Cup champion Lather Up went off stride in his elimination, won by Shnitzledosomethin, but rallied to finish third and advance to the final. He is 5-1 on the morning line. Driver Montrell Teague expects Lather Up, who has won 11 of 15 races this year for owners Barbara and Gary Iles, to be better with an equipment adjustment. "We know what (the issue) is, and we'll figure it out for this week," Teague said. "It is what it is. But he's in. He went one hell of a mile, out the whole way. It can only improve. He's capable, we know that." * * * * * * * The Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female pacers required only a single elimination, which was won by returning champion Youaremycandygirl by a head over Alexa's Power in 1:52. The top-seven finishers from the nine-horse elim advanced to join bye recipients Kissin In The Sand and Baron Remy in the final. "I was really happy with her," driver Gingras said about Youaremycandygirl, who is trained by Burke and owned by Bill Donovan. "I thought she raced real good. It turned into a sprint, and she's not really much of a sprinter, so (Alexa's Power) was gaining on her a little bit. But I think she is coming back to her own and I was really, really happy with her." Kissin In The Sand drew post nine for the final and is the 5-2 morning-line favorite. Kissin In The Sand has won 10 of 14 races this year and finished no worse than second in any start for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. The Nancy Johansson-trained filly's wins include the James M. Lynch Memorial at Pocono from post nine. Youaremycandygirl, who has won seven of 14 races this year, is the 3-1 second choice followed by Alexa's Power, the winner of nine of 18 starts for owners Jeff and Michael Snyder and trainer Jim Campbell, at 4-1. For Saturday's complete card, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Artsplace broodmare Arterra has produced a pair of million dollar winners in If I Can Dream ($1,990,276) and Western Terror ($1,164.174); her 2015 foal by A Rocknroll Dance, Davids Coming Home, may not have the lofty credentials of the other two mentioned here, but he may be coming into his own right now, as he captured the $13,000 featured pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Monday night. Driver Matt Kakaley sent the sophomore gelding right to the top, putting up fractions of 27, 56.2, and 1:24.2, then withstood a charge from potential pocket rocket Record Machine while stooping the timer in 1:53.1, a lifetime mark. After racing only three times at two, Davids Coming Home now has seven victories in 2018 for owner Steven Cetinsky. FINISHING LINES - The draw for the Breeders Crown Open Pace and Open Trot will be held tomorrow at a noontime press conference at The Downs. The $6,000,000 Breeders Crown Championship card, with twelve Breeders Crown finals, is this Saturday, starting at 5:30 p.m. ... "It all comes down to the Breeders Crown!" From the PHHA /Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - You Got Trumped got a first-over journey into a slow pace to overcome, but he proved to have the necessary late sprint to win the $13,000 featured pace on Monday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:55.3. Racing over a track that was downgraded to "good +1" early in the card, You Got Trumped got away fourth for driver Matt Kakaley as favored Record Machine marched right to the front, with Bag Pipe Major right behind the leader as Record Machine went 28.2 to the quarter and a creaking 59.2 to the half. It was obvious at that point that the race would be a quickstep home, and the victorious Bettorthancheddar gelding had the fastest high gear in him, coming his own final half in 55.3 despite taking the air to post a ¾ length decision over Bag Pipe Major, who in turn photoed out Record Machine for the deuce. Andrew Harris trains the winner for Louis and Thomas Frascella and A Harris Racing LLC. The Napolitano brothers continued to have the hot hands at Pocono this racing week - George had five victories on the card and Anthony three, giving them 13 and 11 wins respectively over a trio of cards and thus combined 24 of the 39 visits to Victory Lane in the last three days, a 62% ratio. FINISHING LINES- The elite of harness racing's two-year-olds declared in today for their Breeders Crown elimination races on Friday, and on Tuesday the three-year-olds and older horses with Crown aspirations with have their draw for Saturday, should their particular section need eliminations. The $6,000,000 Breeders Crown Championship Night is Saturday, October 27. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

LEXINGTON, KY--The Ron Burke-trained Sweet Lou colt No Mas Amor capitalized off a covered trip as he vaulted to the front in the stretch to upset at 114-1 with a 1:49.1 mile in the third of five divisions for the $312,000 Captaintreacherous International Stallion Stakes (ISS) Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace, sponsored by the Captaintreacherous Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms, on Saturday, Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. Leaving from post one, No Mas Amor got away fifth as Air Force Hanover, roughly gaited into the first turn, pushed for command before settling into fourth. Artie's Ideal claimed control to the quarter with Captain Ahab in the pocket and De Los Cielos Deo ranging first over towards the lead through a :26.4 opening quarter until going onto a brief gallop into the backstretch. De Los Cielos Deo recovered and rushed to the front before facing pressure from Captain Ahab pulling first over into a :54.2 half. Captain Ahab took the lead moving into the far turn. Air Force Hanover, catching cover second over, marched uncovered with No Mas Amor in tow through three-quarters in 1:22.1. Captain Ahab gave way to Air Force Hanover heading into the stretch while No Mas Amor fanned off cover and readied his bid towards the center of the track. No Mas Amor shot to the front nearing the wire with Air Force Hanover holding second from Yacht Week roaring into third. Captain Ahab, lengths away, fought for fourth. Returning $230.80 to win, No Mas Amor broke his maiden in his eighth start career, earning $61,056 for owner Kenneth Jacobs. Matt Kakaley sat in the sulky. Workin Ona Mystery remained undefeated in five starts with a 1:49.3 on-the-front performance in the first ISS division. Stablemate Rock Candy left for the lead from the center as Workin Ona Mystery anxiously roared towards the top from the outside. Past the quarter in :27, Workin Ona Mystery settled onto the lead as Rock Candy stalked from the pocket through a :54.3 half. Calming the pace to three-quarters, Workin Ona Mystery withstood minor first-over pressure from Can't Beach That through a 1:23 clip and kicked into the stretch moving away from Rock Candy giving pursuit from second. World On Edge, rallying from off cover, took third with Lyons Johnnyjnr, off a rail trip, fourth. A colt by Captaintreacherous, Workin Ona Mystery passed the $100,000 earnings plateau for owners James Stambaugh, Alan Keith, Milton Leeman and Wingfield Brothers. Tim Tetrick piloted the Brian Brown trainee and paid $2.20 to win. Captain Trevor stalked quick fractions and charged home off cover to take the second ISS split in 1:49.2. Love Me Some Lou moved for the lead with Smooth Lou firing from post eight into second and Blood Money floating into third. Past the quarter in :27.1, Love Me Some Lou backed into the pocket as Blood Money brushed to the lead into the backstretch tracked by 4-5 favorite Semi Tough. Blood Money cleared command before a :54.4 half, leaving Semi Tough first over. Semi Tough circled to the lead rounding the final turn and endured pressure from Smooth Lou left uncovered into second. Blood Money paced in the pocket third past three-quarters in 1:22.1 and bolted towards the front once room opened into the stretch. Blood Money led the way heading to the line before Captain Trevor, widest on the track, swept by his competition and kicked away for the win. Blood Money finished second ahead of Smooth Lou third and Semi Tough fourth. Owned by Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Trevor Racing, Captain Trevor won his fifth race from seven starts, earning $113,404. Tony Alagna trains the Captaintreacherous colt and Andrew McCarthy sat behind the $14.80 winner. Captain Crunch scooted through the pylons to catch pacesetter Sugar Factory and win in 1:49.1 in the fourth ISS division. Captain Victorious swooped to the top from post eight with Captain Crunch taking the pocket. Sugar Factory, positioned fourth, edged first over past a :26.3 opening quarter and brushed to command just after a :54.4 half. Proof, the 3-5 favorite, angled off the cones from fourth heading into the final turn and advanced uncovered towards the tempo-setter nearing three-quarters. By that station in 1:22, Sugar Factory turned away Proof into the stretch while Captain Crunch snuck through the pylons and American Mercury, from second over, rallied towards the center of the track. Captain Crunch stuck a neck in front heading to the wire and maintained the advantage through the wire while Sugar Factory held second from Proof in third and American Mercury fourth. Winning his fourth race in six starts, Captain Crunch competes for 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms, earning $85,946 in the process. Scott Zeron drove the Nancy Johansson trainee and paid $10.80 to win. Mangogh sat off a contested pace, looped off cover and inched past 7-5 favorite Covered Bridge to take the fifth ISS split in 1:50.3. Jack Nation led the field into the first turn as Covered Bridge gradually advanced wide of Waterway taking the pocket. Waterway moved to track Covered Bridge past a :28.1 opening quarter and edged three wide into the backstretch, clearing command heading to the half in :55. Covered Bridge remained parked as Jack Nation kept chase in the pocket moving into the final turn. Waterway lost the lead by three-quarters in 1:22.3 as Covered Bridge brushed to control into the stretch. Loutenant, from third over, angled towards the center of the course and Mangogh, from fourth over, even wider in pursuit of Covered Bridge. Mangogh came quickest and overtook Covered Bridge in the final strides to win, leaving Loutenant in third while Price Hanover, from second over, finished fourth. Trained by Bruce Saunders, Mangogh won his fourth race from 10 starts, earning $117,980 for owners M&L Of Delaware LLC and M&M Harness Racing LLC. Tim Tetrick drove the colt by Western Ideal and paid $6.00 to win. Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile continues Sunday, Oct. 6 with the 53rd Kentucky Filly Futurity, sponsored by the Father Patrick Syndicate and Diamond Creek Farm, and the 126th Kentucky Futurity, sponsored by Hunterton Farms, Stoner Manor Inc. and Menhammer Stuteri Ab, headlining the card. Racing gets underway for the 13-race card Sunday with first-race post slated for 1:00 p.m. (EDT). By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Mach Three mare Monica Gallagher, who was away from the races for three months in spring and early summer, has worked her way back to top form, as she showed on Tuesday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono by winning the $17,500 featured distaff pace, her first visit to Victory Lane since April 26. Matt Kakaley got Monica Gallagher away quickly, making the lead after the quick 26.2 opener on a "good +1" track, then yielded to race favorite Skippin By near the 55.2 half to sit a pocket journey. Truth And Liberty, second-over past the 1:22.4 ¾ pole, made it a three-horse chase to the finish, with Monica Gallagher having the most late to win in 1:51.3 by a head, with the same margin separating Truth And Liberty in second and Skippin By in third. Monica Gallagher has shown herself to be usually right around the big money in her brief career: in 16 starts this year she has a 7-5-0 record, and in double the starts lifetime she has a 12-9-3 scorecard, good for $124,631. Ron Burke conditions the four-year-old for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Earlier, some confusion around the far turn led to a longshot bonanza. 3-1 third choice Lounatic pulled the pocket from behind pacesetting Michelle's Pride late in the backstretch, but then went erratically around the far turn, first squeezing Actress Hanover inside, then, while trying to correct, bearing out into the path of the second- and third-over, Linda Lace Hanover (8-5 favorite) and Under The Hood (9-5) respectively, shoving them wide and effectively taking them out of contention. Actress Hanover, at 69-1, went up into the pocket, then to the Pocono Pike and charged to the lead - returning a $140.20 win mutuel. Pacesetting Michelle's Pride was 42-1, and she was just edged for second by an unaffected horse, 10-1 Typhoon, resulting in $2-equivalent gimmick payoffs of $1219.20 for the 4-7 Exacta, $2111.40 for a 4-7-ALL Trifecta, and a 4-7-ALL-ALL Superfecta of $18281.60 - on which there were two fortunate 10-cent ticketholders. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Driver Matt Kakaley won four races on the Tuesday night card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, including two of the three $15,000 featured events, one on the trot and two on the pace - with both pacers getting their first victories of the year. Rain came to the mountain oval late on the Tuesday card, with the track downgraded to "good" by the time Kakaley teamed with the trotting gelding Mikey Likes It to take a three-horse photo over Unforgetable and Justlikehim in 1:57, a lifetime mark. The altered son of Mutineer had been second in all three of his recent starts, all at Pocono and all at 2-1 or less, but the crowd kept faith in him by sending him off the favorite, and he kept on grinding gamely late after gaining uncovered to tally for trainer Jean Drolet and owner Nancy Deluca. You don't see many winners of $342,912 in a "nw 4 races or $40,000 lifetime class," but the Somebeachsomewhere filly Majorsspeciallady fit the bill by having previously won only two races - most of her money was earned at two, when she was second to Youaremycandygirl in the Breeders Crown and on the board in 10 of 11 starts. 2018 had been less kind to Majorsspecialaldy as she continued to battle top fillies, but the class drop here was just the tonic for her, winning for the first time in 364 days while taking a new mark of 1:52.1 before the rain came and the track was rated "fast." Kakaley and the winner got parked past the 3/8 for command in the pace for distaffs, but she still had enough to withstand That's Amazing by a head for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and J&T Silva Stables LLC. Driver Tyler Buter, recently a late-night longshot special, had three $15+ winners in the first four races on the Tuesday card, including a 1:51 victory with Highland Beach Boy in the division of the featured class for male pacers. The sophomore gelding gave sire Somebeachsomewhere a sweep of the pacing features, and he ended a 304-day winless drought by quarter-moving for Buter and holding off potential pocket rocket Spolieronthebeach by a half-length while taking a new mark for trainer Pat Lachance, co-owner with M & M Harness Racing LLC, Royal Flush Stables LLC, and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono featured the fireworks a day before the Labor Day holiday, as over $1.5M was up for grab in the Championship and consolation events of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-olds and the Great Northeast Open Series Championships, the latter conducted at 1¼ miles.   GREAT NORTHEAST OPEN SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS ($100,000 purses; all at 1¼ miles)   OPEN TROT To see a trotter come home in 54.1 - 26.4 under any circumstances is mighty impressive; to see it come in a 1¼ mile race (on a 5/8-mile track) is overwhelming - which is just how the foes chasing Homicide Hunter home must have felt.   The distance of a race must not matter to driver George Napolitano Jr.--he likes to make a move around the quarter and control the pace, and so things proceeded here, with very pedestrian fractions of 28.4, 58, and 1:28.1. Then they reached the backstretch the second time, and "George Nap" gave the word to the Chris Oakes trainee. Homicide Hunter took it from there, coming home in supersonic time to complete the distance in a world record 2:22.2, well ahead of the 2:24.1 produced by Magician in 2001, with Tight Lines 8½ lengths back.   The Mr Cantab gelding Homicide Hunter, posting his third world record (4TG and OTG at a mile, all three on 5/8-mile tracks), has now won seven of ten seasonal starts and 37 of 72 lifetime trips to the gate, with a career bankroll of $1,355,427.  Crawford Farms Racing owns a trotter who looks like right now he can go with any trotter in North America, if not beyond. MARE PACE   The first horse to the lead in the GNOS mares pace was also the first horse under the wire, but in between there was a ton of movement before the Bettor's Delight mare Bettorhaveanother came up the far inside to catch Caviart Ally by a neck, covering the 1¼ miles in 2:21.3, just shy of the divisional world record of 2:21 set by Marnie Hall in 2006.   Bettorhaveanother was circled off the first turn by Caviart Ally, who in turn ceded the lead to Tequila Monday. That mare was under attack the last of the two circuits, from in front of the stands to almost the mile marker by L A Delight, with favored Shartin N circling up in her bid and Agent Q on her three-wide bumper.   The inside turned out to be the place to be, as Caviart Ally collared the pacesetter in midstretch, only to see Bettorhaveanother rally from the third-in position up the deep Pocono Pike for driver Matt Kakaley to get the decision; those in the two- and three-wide paths couldn't sustain their gain.    That set the stage for Bettorhaveanother, a winner of $430,977 who is trained by Ron Burke for the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   OPEN PACE Western Joe yielded to the early brushing favorite Donttellmeagain to sit the two-hole, then was sent up the famed Pocono Pike by driver Scott Zeron and caught the pacesetter by a neck in 2:20.2, just shy of the 2:19.4 set by Boulder Creek in 2006. The son of American Ideal was out around the first turn to gain command, then yielded to Donttellmeagain after the 27.4 quarter and was content behind the next two splits of 56.1 and 1:52.4. When the pace quickened to get to the mile point in 1:52.4 and the outer tiers stalled on the far turn, it looked like a stretch battle between the 1-2 finishers, and indeed Western Joe rallied to the lead in deep stretch over the game pacesetter.   Western Joe had already shown a liking for added distance by taking the McKee Memorial on Hambletonian Day, and here he again showed the endurance to get the big money for trainer Chris Choate and owners Anthony Ruggeri and Richard Tosies. An extra tip of the cap to Choate, who entered the winner of $503,551 despite being 26th in the standings - no one below #10 (ironically, Donttellmeagain) put in the box, so Western Joe drew in, and made the most of the opportunity. PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS ($252,000 for Championships -- $50,000 for consolations [3PC consolation did not fill])   -- 25th anniversary year of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (started in 1994)   TROTTING FILLIES Consolation -- Trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt wasted no time hustling the Cantab Hall filly S M S Princess to the lead, and that filly had a clear margin almost all the way through fractions of 27.2, 56.4, and 1:25 en route to a new mark of 1:52.3. No one could make up ground in the back numbers of 55.4 - 27.3 thrown by the $162,453 winner S M S Princess, 5½ lengths clear for owners by Ã…ke Svanstedt Inc. and Stall Musse Inc.   PACING FILLIES Consolation - The Well Said filly Strong Opinion got a big breather while setting the pace in her event, getting to the half in 57.2, then sprinted home in 55.1, and needed all of it to hold off what looked like The Charge of the Light Brigade behind her late, winning by a half- length in 1:52.3 in a race where the top five were within a length of each other under the wire. Yannick Gingras guided the victorious Ron Burke pupil, who raised her earnings to $244,448 for the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC; Jack Piatt II; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   TROTTING COLTS Consolation - All three consolations wound up going in 1:52.3, two of the quick clockings by trotters, and both handled by trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt while winging on the front end. The male was the Cantab Hall gelding Gemologist, who never looked back from the rail in posting fractions of 27, 56, and 1:24, then finishing out to take a new mark while four lengths clear at the finish. The winner is owned by the S R F Stable. (Second was the 2YO Stallion Series and Fair Sire Stakes champion Hockey Hanover; last year's Sire Stake champion Fashionwoodchopper had to settle for fourth in this consolation.)   PACING COLTS As noted earlier, a consolation event for this division did not fill.   From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono featured the fireworks a day before the Labor Day holiday, as over $1 million was up for grabs in the Championship events of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-olds. PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS $252,000 for each Championships  -- 25th anniversary year of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (started in 1994) TROTTING FILLIES Phaetosive made her 1-20 backers wait until the stretch before beginning her high speed, but once in her favorite part of the track the daughter of Explosive Matter lived up to her sire's name, kicking home sharply for the decision in 1:52.3 - faster than the 1:52.4 previous PaSS final male standard of Father Patrick which would be tied earlier in the evening by Crystal Fashion (Check Me Out became the program's fastest-ever Championship trotting winner when she won in 1:51.3). Trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer was content to keep his filly midpack as Live Laugh Love made the top just past the 27.1 quarter, then followed Seviyorum as that one moved uncovered just past the 56.1 half. Phaetosive stayed right behind her excellent cover to the lane, swung wide, and finished strongly to hold off a late-shaking-free Courtney Hanover by a length, with Lily Stride, who rallied up the inside in the stretch and may have had a nose in front midstretch, just photoed for the deuce. The pride of the Purple Haze Stables LLC continued adding to her impressive credentials - five wins in seven starts this year, good for $397,864, and 9-for-14 lifetime, with a total accumulation of $657,717. No doubt she'll be back up against Manchego, Atlanta, Plunge Blue Chip et al. soon. PACING FILLIES Kissin In The Sand had to take less air at Pocono than she did when she won the Lynch Championship here in June - she only got parked almost to the half here, instead of being out almost the whole mile, in making the PaSS Championship lead then keeping it to the wire to win her Sires final, equaling her Lynch clocking and her mark in 1:49.3. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere saw a great many foes leaving inside her from his PP7 starting spot, having cover past the 26.1 quarter to the 3/8 then asked to go on by driver Scott Zeron to get the lead shortly before the 54.1 half. Outside challenger Sidewalk Dancer began to melt back past the 1:21.3 quarter, and in the lane it turned out to be 31-1 shot Parisian Blue Chip, who tied for ninth in the points and got in by having slightly more SS money, then was parked to the 3/8 to gain command before yielding for the pocket, who rallied inside in the stretch, extending Kissin In The Sand, who dug down deep as usual and held on by a half-length. Kissin In The Sand is trained by Nancy Johansson for owners Marvin Katz and the Hatfield Stables, who saw their prize filly improve her statistics to 7-for-10 and $570,381 this year and 14-for-24 and $801,556 lifetime. For driver Zeron, the win gave him a PaSS championship in both the 2YO and 3YO ranks, as he TROTTING COLTS In Crystal Fashion's last seven victories, six of them have been by a length or less - and none of them was this second-over then wide grind in the Championship, catching pacesetter Whats The Word by a nose in 1:52.4. Whats The Word was sent by the top by Simon Allard and laid down fractions of 27, 56.2, and 1:24.2; Crystal Fashion was able to fashion a second-over trip for driver Tim Tetrick behind stablemate Patent Leather, but still was two lengths out near headstretch. But the gutty Cantab Hall gelding doesn't know the meaning of the phrase "end of the mile," and he gained foot-by-foot to just prove more photogenic on the money. Crystal Fashion, trained by Jim Campbell for Fashion Farms LLC has eight wins and $652,182 this year, and a lifetime bankroll of $813,474. His 1:52.4 clocking equaled Father Patrick's PaSS final standard, and he became the first pointwinner to take a 3YO Championship since 2016, and the first in the 3TC ranks since Magic Tonight in 2012. PACING COLTS The favorites went 0-4 in the two-year-old ranks of the PaSS Championship the day before at The Meadows; Dorsoduro Hanover, who won his biggest race of the year, The Adios, at The Meadows, brought the chalk to 4-4 in the Pocono PaSS 3YO Championships - but it was by the barest of margins over a strong-finishing Hayden Hanover. Hayden Hanover was the first horse to get a call in the contest, but then yielded to Done Well nearing the 26.2 quarter; Done Well in turn ceded the lead to the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Dorsoduro Hanover and driver Matt Kakaley en route to the 54.2 half. This Is The Plan, a 49-1 shot, went first-over and just wouldn't go away, not by the 1:22 and not coming through the stretch. This posed traffic problems for Hayden Hanover, stuck third on the rail, but Andy Miller did a masterful job weaving first out to get clearance then just inside Dorsoduro to lower that one's margin with every late step, coming up short by a nose. Dorsoduro Hanover ran his 2018 bankroll to $687,362 with his seventh win of the year for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Weaver Bruscemi LLC; and the Winfield Five LLC. Dorsoduro joined Crystal Fashion as pointleaders who won their Championship; Matt Kakaley joined Scott Zeron as winners in the PaSS finales on both Saturday and Sunday, after taking the 2PF with Sylph Hanover (also for Burke) at The Meadows. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Next week in this space we shall be reviewing everything that went on during an outstanding program of championship races scheduled for this coming Sunday, September 2. Both the three-year-old Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships and the finals of the Great Northeastern Open Series will be taking place at Pocono on that evening. Until then, here are some Weekly Awards highlighting the best of the best from the previous four racing nights. PACER OF THE WEEK: BIG CITY BETTY Sometimes a horse can get stuck in a rut where it constantly is right in the mix but can't seem to break through with a big victory. Such was the case for this four-year-old mare trained by Steve Salerno. She started the year with in-the-money finishes in six of her first nine races. Included among those were back-to-back seconds in a pair of $17,000 condition paces for distaff horses four years and under in the month of July. It seemed as though she was stuck on second. Big City Betty then took nearly a month-and-a-half off, returning on August 17 without a qualifier to battle that $17,000 group again. Only that time out she cured her second-itis, putting together an impressive first-over brush to pick up her first victory of the year in 1:52.3. She was back at it against that grouping on Sunday night, this time going off as a 6-5 betting favorite with an inside post in a field of eight. Eric Carlson was a new set of hands for the mare, and he guided her into a comfortable spot in the pocket behind pacesetting Jewels Forreal. That's where she bided her time until the stretch, when Carlson guided her off the cover to the outside. Big City Betty had enough momentum to plow right on by for the win in 1:52.1, which set a new career mark. Now that she has a taste for winning, this mare might go on a serious roll. Other top pacers include: Rodeo Rock (Anthony Napolitano, Robert Cleary), who followed up a win at Harrah's with a victory in Saturday night's featured condition pace in 1:50.3; Ali (Pat LaChance), who managed a third straight win at a third different track by winning a condition pace at Pocono on Sunday night in a career-best 1:50.3; and YS Lotus (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who scored a condition win on Saturday night in 1:50.1, the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: OPTIMIST BLUE CHIP This four-year-old gelding from the barn of trainer Carl Conte Jr. had been struggling throughout the summer facing some of the toughest condition trotters at Yonkers. Needing the confidence booster, he was slotted in the lowest condition group at Pocono on August 20. With Matt Kakaley in the bike, Optimist Blue Chip put together a confident front-trotting victory despite an outside post in 1:57.2. With that out of the way, it was time to move back up the ladder. On Monday night, the gelding faced off against an $11,000 condition group. Even with the move up in class, the bettors sensed his potential and made him the 6-5 favorite. Unlike in his previous start, however, Optimist Blue Chip started a bit slowly. Instead, Winwood Scout surged to the front, leaving the favorite to grab a spot in the outer flow and try to come from behind. He found cover behind Idle Bones N and began to get closer to the lead with a second-over journey. As Winwood Scout began to struggle, Idle Bones N moved onto the lead. But that mare was then ripe for the picking, as Kakaley spun Optimist Blue Chip off the cover and let him do his thing. The gelding powered by and managed the victory, his second consecutive. His winning time of 1:54.2 was an impressive one for the condition, which means that he might just be able to move up even more and still keep his newly-minted winning streak alive. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Jackie's Jim (Marcus Miller, Neal Ehrhart), a three-year-old gelding who moved up following his maiden win to capture a second straight condition win on Monday night in 1:56.4, a new career mark; Crazshana (George Napolitano Jr., Jeffrey Bamond Jr.), who handled a tough condition group on Saturday night and did so in a sharp 1:52.4; and Muscle Fashion (Fern Paquet Jr., Antonella Galie), who toughed out a condition win on Tuesday night in a career-best 1:55.4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ANDOVERS ASSET This two-year-old trotter driven by Anthony Napolitano, stayed flat, worked out a trip, and rallied for a condition win on Monday night at 20-1, paying off $43.40 on a $2-win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MATT KAKALEY Kakaley had his A-game working in his Pocono appearances this week, as he shared driving honors on both Sunday (three wins) and Monday (four wins.) TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ANDREW HARRIS Harris made the most of his two Monday night starters, as both trotter Blue And Bold and pacer You Got Trumped came away with condition victories. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 20, 2018 -- Dorsoduro Hanover and Done Well each locked up a berth in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers by winning a split in Monday's final preliminary leg, a $162,012 event known as the Tarport Effrat, at The Meadows. The $252,000 final is set for Sept. 2 at Pocono. The winner of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows, Dorsoduro Hanover entered the Tarport Effrat in second place in PASS standings and so wasn't under pressure to win. Nevertheless, he unveiled a new wrinkle. After a series of tough trips vying for the early lead, he ducked for Matt Kakaley, getting away last in the six-horse field. "They were stepping out of there pretty hard, and my horse races good no matter where he's at," Kakaley said. "I wasn't worried about sitting last when they were going 26 to the quarter. If they had gone slow early, I would have stepped him out of there." The Somebeachsomewhere-Deer Valley Miss gelding followed the live cover of Wes Delight, then peeled wide and downed him by 3/4 lengths in 1:50.2, with Macadoodledoo third. Ron Burke trains Dorsoduro Hanover, who lifted his career bankroll to $560,862, for Burke Racing Stable, Silva, Purnel&Libby, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Wingfield Five. In contrast, Done Well was on the PASS bubble, having competed in only one leg before Monday. While he won that, he needed points, big time, to nail down a spot in the final Tim Tetrick and the son of Well Said-Dagnabit Hanover took matters into their own hands, vaulting to the point and holding off the late challenge of Shadow Cat to defeat him by a neck in 1:51.1. A rallying Larry Karr completed the ticket. "I think he had some health issues," Tetrick said. "He raced good in his Adios elimination, and then in the final he was atrocious. The last two races, he's come back. He toughed it out today. I always thought he was better chasing, but in that spot, I have to do what I have to do." Done Well now has banked $371,762 for trainer Brian Brown and owners James Stambaugh, Wingfield Brothers, Milt Leeman and Alan Keith. $60,000 PA Stallion Series Stake -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers While the stallion series event was Monday's subfeature, it provided much of the excitement, including: a Brett Miller sweep (two for trainer Chris Oakes), all in the Lightning Lane; a stake record-matching victory in 1:50.3 by Terror Atthe Beach, an improbable 55-1 upset by PC's Expresso, who spotted the field perhaps 15 lengths after breaking at the gate. Terror Atthe Beach equaled the record of Spider Man Hanover by stalking Winston and blowing by in the stretch to score for Oakes and owners Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor and Edwin Gold. Aleppo Hanover closed well for second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Winston saved show. "Chris told me the horse has speed but is not a 1:49 pacer, so if you land on the front, try to give him a breather," Miller said. "I don't know the horse, but he sure felt like he likes the two hole." PC's Expresso had been competing primarily in overnights, but when he improved with the recent addition of Lasix, trainer Paul Kennedy and owners Paint Creek Farms and Robyn Kennedy decided to roll the dice on the stake. "The stake was there, and there was no overnight for him, so I just put him in. I've wasted $200 on plenty of other things," Kennedy said. "I figured our only chance of getting a check was to stay flat, but he raced good." The son of Western Ideal-Palazzo Princess caught the field following the miscue, saved ground along the inside and made up 4 lengths in the stretch to score in 1:53.2, a neck better than Daddyofemall. No Easy Day earned show. A Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Oakes for Tom Hill, Bobby K Hill captured the other split with a Lightning Lane charge that carried him 1-1/4 lengths past heavy favorite Go West Go Fast in 1:51.3, with Yupper third. "Chris told me this one would be better if I could give him a trip," Miller said. "In the last turn, I didn't think I would have enough time to catch the leader. But when he saw daylight, he was gone." Dave Palone and Mike Wilder each piloted three winners on the 13-race card. Stake racing continues Tuesday at The Meadows when the program features a pair of events for sophomore filly trotters: a $165,139 PASS known as the Meadow Bright and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake. First post is 1:05 PM. Phaetosive Headlines PASS Tuesday  Her win in a Delvin Miller Memorial division and second-place finish in the Hambletonian Oaks vaulted Phaetosive to the very elite of the 3-year-old filly trotter division. For all that, she’ll need a big performance in Tuesday’s $165,038 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows to guarantee a berth in the PASS championship. Phaetosive leaves from post 4 in race 9 with trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer aboard. Tuesday’s card also includes a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore filly trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. Phaetosive won her Oaks elimination and was sent off the favorite in the final but fell by a length to superstar Manchego. “I kind of knew what had to happen to beat Manchego, and none of that happened,” Smedshammer says. “I thought Manchego might have to work a little bit more to get to the front, and I wanted to come first over and be head to head at the top of the stretch. We came home in 26.2 and couldn’t make up the ground.” It was a gallant performance nonetheless for the daughter of Explosive Matter-Phaeton, and it lifted her career bankroll to $489,858 for owner Purple Haze Stables. But in the PASS, medical issues have limited her to one leg, which she won. “She was in to go at Pocono (in the PA All-Stars) when I had to scratch her because of breathing problems,” Smedshammer says. “Her epiglottis was entrapped, and they were able to free it manually, without surgery. I’m very grateful they tried the conservative route first — it worked. If she’d needed surgery, she would have missed the Oaks and everything.” With eight qualifying for the $252,000 PASS championship Sept. 1 at The Meadows, Phaetosive is tied for ninth with 35 points. Moreover, five fillies ranked ahead of or tied with her also are in Tuesday’s stake, known as the Meadows Bright. Phaetosive doesn’t necessarily have to win to make the final, but she needs a large infusion of points. “She had a couple days off after the Oaks, but she’s been following a normal schedule since then. The Oaks didn’t take any more out of her than any other race.” Phaetosive is eligible for the Elegant Image, several at the Red Mile and the Breeders Crown. No matter the outcome in the PASS and her late-season stakes, Smedshammer intends to bring her back next year. “I think she’ll be great to race at 4,” he says. “She’s a big, strong filly who hasn’t been raced hard at 2 or 3. She should have a great future as an older mare.” by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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