FIRST RACE – Temperatures held in the mid/low 40s throughout the night … “+0” variant; what water there was in the track that caused it to be rated “good” for races 1-4 gradually worked out because of the atypical stretch tailwind, and the surface was rated “fast” thereafter … ALLBEEF N NOBULL left some, then got a great second-over trip, three-wide to headstretch, strong through the lane. HALL BRO left strongly, forced a tuck, then strung a rival out most of the way to the 3/8, yielded for the pocket, cleared in the Pocono Pike but only after the winner had momentum going for him, finished steadily. AMERICAN RAGE was third-over, couldn’t quite keep with the winner late turn and into the stretch, but then came on with a good gain. RATHER SWELL sat in, went to the path behind the winner but was never clear to the wire. BIG GAME HUNTER left between horses, took the early pocket 3/16, came out raw off the second turn, fought the leader and had an advantage, but not the rail, on the far turn, held well. JOHNNY O gapped at the ¾. MACHTU N, a bit rank behind the gate, was three-wide to the 3/16, then pressed on to command before the 3/8, didn’t get much rest on the lead, gave way in the stretch. SPORTSKEEPER was never a major player.
SECOND RACE – LUNATIC FRINGE came first-up into the second turn, speed-grinded in 27.2 down the backstretch against the wind and kept up the relentless pressure, showed fine gameness as the twilight’s last gleaming approached to get the job done. WINTER BLAST was second-over, struggled a little bit during the quick third quarter then was closer, three-wide headstretch, just not quite enough. JACKSON BRADY stayed in, then came out two-wide ¾, did not tip wide, came through a thin hole and finished well while not clear. DAVID THE SAINT left and indeed had the lead towards the first turn, but was forced into the pocket by an insistent polesitter in a 26.4 vs. the wind, sat in the pocket, cleared in the Pike but didn’t have enough. VICEROY HANOVER was fourth-over, did OK+ from an impossible spot. AMORA BEACH insisted on the lead and forced a tuck in a 26.4 quarter, had the winner grinding at him, was a beaten horse before headstretch but still only missed 2¼ lengths. IM SO HANDSOME was third-over, ducked to the Pocono Pike, evenly. FEEL MY PAIN gapped.
THIRD RACE – REAL ROCKER spotted fourth early, then quarter-moved to 3/8 command, opened a clear lead at the 5/8, got on a line significantly coming out of the final turn and hit a pylon, but quickly got straightened away and drew further clear. KEYSTONE CAMARO was looped leaving, briefly had cover then went up uncovered to gain the lead just past the ¼, yielded to the winner, couldn’t go with that one but still held well for second. NITTANY NATION sat last until the ¾, then made a nice three-wide move on the turn and passed a lot of horses to be third. ONE MORE MIRACLE outleft everybody from the outside post, yielded, inside, struggled in the fast mile for this class. CANE RIDGE left some, then came uncovered at the ½ but never got near the leader. MACHMILLIONS spotted then moved second-over, inside on the far turn, not prominent. WANT ME was empty inside at the ¾. SHADOW’S IMAGE was never close and finished far back.
FOURTH RACE – SWISHNFLICK went right to the top and improved her position from there, strong to the wire. FLEET BUMBLEBEE was looped, took back to tuck third 3/16, out again ¾, trotted well in the lane bur was up against a powerful winner. FOR YOU ALMOSTFREE defended the pocket past the 1/8, then weakened in that spot through the lane, still far clear of the rest. TREASURE KEYS K came out 5/8 to try to pass a gapping MAJESTIC STONE, eventually did late. ANAFFAIRTOREMEMBER looked to be considering leaving but broke early. THE OTHERS were always far back.
FIFTH RACE – CRAFTY MASTER was outermost of four leavers, quickly took back to tuck fourth at the 1/8, then moved uncovered towards the second turn, was a bit on a line on that turn but then went on to get the lead 9/16, had an easy time of it the last 3/8 for a Simon-Rene consecutive triple. OUR JERRY LEE N left and was three-wide to the 3/16, where he backed off and got a 3-tuck, stayed in until headstretch then fanned wide, finished solidly in a quality mile. BONFIRE BLISS sat in and used the Pocono Pike to win a three-way photo for the distant third. IN COMMANDO left, yielded nearing the 1/8, regained at the 3/8 but then yielded again at the 9/16, couldn’t keep pace the last 3/8. BOLD AND BRAVE was between horses to the lead shortly before the fast quarter, yielded and stayed in, outside stretch but little to offer. FREENEASY HANOVER was first-over, never reached the horse sitting third. THE OTHER PAIR did not make their presence felt.
SIXTH RACE – QUICK FUN N led from the first step to the last and strung the field out in the fastest mile of the young local season – 1:51.4 (in a bottom conditioned pace). DR C’S Z TAM did his best to keep up with the super-strong winner, clearly second. SB IDEAL IN ART didn’t have good cover, went three-wide midturn, easily third. MUST BE THE BUNNY came raw into turn two but never made a dent. JET PASSING stopped staying semitight in third at the 5/8. THE REST were scattered up the track behind this riproaring mile.
SEVENTH RACE – TECHTOR HANOVER left, yielded near the ¼, came out raw 3/8 to regain command at the ½ after snappy fractions, had a bunch of horses coming at him in the stretch but had enough to go on gamely to the wire for the tally. RUFO started first-up from next-to-last on the second turn, got cover past the 5/8, swung wide off that cover headstretch and raced strongly late to be second. GRAND THEFT was looped and three-wide most of the 3/16, then went on and made the lead only after very hard work 3/8, yielded for the pocket, OK in the stretch considering the hard early price paid. IDEAL MATTERS was out much of the ¼ to reach the front after being looped, yielded, came out raw past the 5/8, held stubbornly. HERE COMES SWIFTY stayed in, angled out in the stretch behind the winner then angled wider very late and continued to gain. YANKEE DEVIL sat in, never had a clear path in the stretch. THE OTHER PAIR were in the two-wide flow but didn’t reach.
EIGHTH RACE – DW’S NY YANK left, went into the pocket for a few steps just past the 3/16 then quarter-moved (perhaps fearing a quarter-move from the horse behind him), kept going at a good clip, had one challenger late in the form of pocketsitting SKATES N PLATES and showed his millionaire gameness in taking the win. SKATES N PLATES did not want to yield and went 27.1 to the ¼, finally accepted the pocket, stayed tight, went to the Pocono Pike and was gaining, very good race. ZOOMING tucked third, gapped in the second quarter, came uncovered 5/8, outtrotted by the top two but well-clear of the others. KARETS gapped second-over, evenly late. THE OTHER FOUR never made their presence felt.
NINTH RACE -- PHIL YOUR BOOTS left then parked a foe much of a very fast quarter, reclaimed the lead 3/8, had pressure down the backstretch, briefly drew clear to headstretch, but rocked to the wire to keep safe. THAT’S MY OPINION started uncovered at the 3/8 and rushed up quickly, battled with the winner, lost ground to headstretch but then found a second wind and gained some back late in a sharp outing. HIGHVIEW CONALL N gapped the latter part of the swift opener, inside, swung out in the stretch and just got past STARLITE KID late for third. The latter left, outside 3/16 in the 26.2 opener, yielded to the winner, evenly late. PANSFORMATIVE had more pace than the others in the stretch to get the last payday. ONE BAD NIGHT was hindered by dull cover. PIERCE plodded along midpack outside the mile, empty at the ¾. CHARGER BLUE CHIP gapped at the back. TRADING UP was third-over, three-wide early on the turn but had very little.
TENTH RACE – CITY HALL was four-wide leaving but had taken back to two-wide covered into the first turn, briefly three-wide around the trouble nearing the ¼ then motored up to grab hold of the lead to the 3/8, urged ¾ and had enough response to withstand CASIMIR JITTERBUG. The latter was three-wide leaving, bore down into ONTARIO SUCCESS 3/16 and caused trouble, yielded to the winner for the pocket, charged up the Lightning Lane and was solid late. A judges’ INQUIRY was originally posted against ONTARIO SUCCESS, because he was the one who went offstride, but eventually it was determined that that horse jumped because CASIMIR JITTERBUG had a wheel under him, and CASIMIR was jitterbugged from second to fourth. ONTARIO SUCCESS was two-wide leaving to the top, looked ready to yield when crowded and suffered an “ix,” regained stride fairly quickly though falling back from second to fifth, launched uncovered, couldn’t reach the winner down the back but was very game through the drive considering the trouble he had. QUALITY CLOSER left and yielded, had to snatch up a bit behind the late first turn trouble, inside, fair. COWBOY TERRIER was briefly wide just before the ¼ in the confusion, tucked in, then went to second-over, not quite enough. LEAN ON YOU sat in, evenly. BESTJETYET was in a very tough spot. UNCLE BEN N jumped offstride 100 feet before the start.
ELEVENTH RACE – A fast pace and constant movement helped STONEHOUSE ADAM (not to be confused with STONEBRIDGE ADAM in race twelve), who came four-wide from fourth-over past midturn and had enough in the decelerating pace to get home first – a triple for the team of Goodell and Burke. ROCKEN CAMNATION, four-wide off the gate, left quickly but was forced to go 26.4 to make the lead, yielded to the retaker, sat the pocket, came clear in the Pocono Pike and looked to have a brief lead past midstretch but couldn’t quite get it all. VISIBLE GOLD sat in, found a small path between horses past midstretch and finished steadily. LISCLOON had a fine second-over trip, three-wide past midturn, OK but no real excuse. ETHAN HANOVER was three-wide early, raced with cover until tucking third 3/16, then went first-up 3/8, had the lead but couldn’t cross over from before the ¾ and through the turn, gave way. TOPCORNERTERROR was never a contender. DIRTY DEVIL forced a fast quarter, yielded but quickly retook, under intense pressure most of the last 3/8 and tired. GREAT SOUL gapped third-over.
TWELFTH RACE – CARDIAC FASHION came uncovered into the second bend, then stormed 27.3 against the wind down the backstretch to clear to the lead before the ¾, kept an open margin. THEREISAPACEFORUS came all the way up the inside from last, including using the Pocono Pike, and had solid late steps. MAJOR HOMER was first away from the gate but was four-wide and was put under restraint to take back for a tuck, stayed in, angled three-wide midturn and did pretty well. MOJO TERROR improved position at the start, struggled o keep up from the 11/16. STONEBRIDGE ADAM (not to be confused with STONEHOUSE ADAM in race 11) forced wholesale tucks as the innermost leader, rated the half, but could do nothing about the winner late backstretch and faded. JC KINGDOM made the pocket before the 3/16, moved outside on the turn but had little left to give. BACK ON BOARD N was hindered by the poor cover of TWINSPEAK.
THIRTEENTH RACE – RUDDY RUSTY sailed right to the lead and went on at a good clip, opened a big lead but was getting a bit weary late and needed rocking to hold off LINDYLICIOUS, with those two far ahead of the others. The latter came out before the 5/8, didn’t advance much until the last 1/8, then came on steadily to be a clear second. A LISTER maintained the pocket until unplugging before the ¾. HAILEYSGONEDANCING started uncovered into turn two, got cover nearing the 5/8, evenly. BY CANCE HANOVER and PEGASUS POINT were never in the main action. TAROT ran about 100 feet before the start, caught by the start line but never got back in the race. LASER LUCY took a while to settle to the inside, then moved out but had no trot. SHEZA TIM TOO went offstride down the back.