The wind aided horses down the backstretch at Pocono Sunday, and when Miller tipped Fear The Dragon out he sent him up to the leader full throttle, with the third quarter officially timed in 27.3 and the Dragon, officially four lengths out at the half, knocking almost a second off that fraction to make the front easily late backstretch and open a clear margin. Huntsville gave pursuit but could not find any extra steps to get him closer, and Miller guided the winner under the line in hand to take a new mark and send his earnings to $276,298 for trainer Brian Brown.
Owner Emerald Highlands Farm now has a colt (who defeated Huntsville at Philly last year) dead-square in the sophomore spotlight with Huntsville and another Brian Brown trainee, Downbytheseaside – and they also have the only double Sires winner in this division as well as the fastest winner at Pocono this year.
Trainer Jimmy Takter sent out the winners in the other two Sire Stakes divisions, both Somebeachsomewhere colts posting clockings of 1:50.3. Ocean Colony salvaged some pride for the chalkplayers in winning his division, with the 1-5 favorite coming out of the two-hole midturn for driver Yannick Gingras and then going by strong pacesetter Eddard Hanover midstretch, winning on his own by ¾ of a length for the ownership of Christina Takter, John Fielding, Hatfield Stables, and MKatz ALibfeld SGoldband.
Blood Line sprung a 12-1 surprise in his Sires division, with driver Mark MacDonald sending the colt directly to the lead despite the outside post seven and then guiding home in 54.4 to take a new lifetime mark of. Favored Filibuster Hanover pulled outside late on the backstretch and narrowed in on the leader, but Blood Line was tough on the engine and resisted the first leg Sires winner by a half-length for trainer JTakter and owners Diamond Creek Racing.
There were also a pair of $25,000 winners-over events for top older pacers on the Sunday card. In the event for pacing mares, the McArdle distaff Nike Franco N posted her second straight triumph, brushing to the lead in front of the stands and then stepping her last half in 54.4 – 26.4 to earn a new mark and pushed her lifetime bankroll to $402,743 for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Jo Ann Looney-King, and owner Richard Poillucci.
In a trotting contest, Rubber Duck and Melady’s Monet received the same win pool backing to the dollar, and their second half duel was just as close, with the first-over Rubber Duck, a son of Muscle Mass, grinding on very gamely to inch away late from the pacesetting Melady’s Monet, getting a half-length decision in 1:53 for driver Joe Bongiorno, trainer Richard Johnson, and owners Blair and Ema Corbeil.
Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana stopped by the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono for a special Sunday meet and greet with fans. After the signing, he toured the paddock, met and had pictures taken with drivers and other horsemen, and rode in the starting gate.