WILKES-BARRE PA – Abuckabett Hanover took away the undefeated status of two-year-old champion Perfect Sting, but both colts lost nothing of their lofty reputations at the end of a 1:50 mile, the fastest of three divisions of the second preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Lou’s Pearlman took advantage of the rail to put Summa Cum Laude in the pocket by the 27.3 quarter, only soon to see Perfect Sting and then Abuckabett Hanover sweep past to the lead by a :56.1 half. The field went to the three-quarters in 1:23.3, and then the afterburners were turned on, with Abucketabett Hanover coming home in :26.2 for Andrew McCarthy to finish a head better than Perfect Sting, who in his seasonal debut came home individually in :53.3 - :26.
One Eight Hundred made a huge blast out of the pocket (own last split :26.1) to overhaul Southwind Gendry in a 1:50.3 Sires victory for driver Tim Tetrick and driver Nancy Takter, the latter co-owner with Brixton Medical Inc. This race also featured two frontstretch brushes after the quarter (:27.2), first by One Eight Hundred and then by Southwind Gendry, who had been three-wide early and never saw the rail until the three-eighths.
“Gendry,” a 1:49.4 Sire Stakes winner in his 2021 bow, put up middle fractions of :56.2 and 1:24.1 then came home in :26.3 himself, but he could not withstand a monstrous last eighth by One Eight Hundred, a Somebeachsomewhere colt who now has four wins in five seasonal starts, all at Pocono. One Eight Hundred and Southwind Gendry were both 7 to 5, with the former the favorite and a three-quarters of a length winner.
The third Sire Stakes division also went in 1:50.3, with trainer Tony Alagna picking up a second Sires win with the Somebeachsomewhere colt Exploit, who lowered his mark a tick. Joe Bongiorno sent the favored colt up grinding against pacesetter Gamblin Mo, who moved to the lead after a :27.1 opener and hung midrace splits of :56 and 1:23.3, with Exploit showing his grit by pacing his own last half in :53.4 raw to overhaul the leader by a head for Leblanc and Kribbs, Joe Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners, and Joseph Barbera.
There were also seven divisions of the second Stallion Series prelims, which unusually generated seven gelding winners. Sire Somebeachsomwhere, trainer Brett Pelling, and the McCarthy brothers accounted for three StS events; Todd’s victories coming with Komodo Beach in a new mark of 1:51.3 for David Mc Duffee, John Fodera, Steven Wienick, and Trevor Ritchie (this triumph was by 1¼ lengths, the largest margin of all ten Sunday Pocono stakes), and with South Beach Star in 1:51.1 for All Star Racing Inc., while Andrew guided Whichwaytothebeach home first in 1:51.2 for Alan Johnston and John Craig.
Another multiple siring credit went to Sweet Lou; his winning offspring were Straight Talk in 1:52.1 for driver David Miller, trainer Ron Burke, and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, William Switala, and James Martin, and also Boiler Maker, who reduced his mark to 1:51.4 for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Jim King Jr., and Tim Tetrick LLC.
Fastest Stallion divisional winner was Lindycalledfrankie, by Captaintreacherous, who lowered his record to 1:51 for driver Scott Zeron, trainer Linda Toscano, and owner Arnie Chusid. Completing the StS winners was a son of Always B Miki, Always B Sweet, who was a 7-1 upsetter in a lifetime best of 1:51.3 for driver Andrew McCarthy and the brother team of trainer John and owner Tom Cancelliere.
How competitive are these three-year-olds going to be this year? Here’s one indication: Not one of Sunday’s Pocono winners was also victorious in the first SS/StS preliminary held at The Meadows fifteen days ago.
Racing resumes Monday at 12:30 p.m.; trotters will be in the spotlight, with a $12,800 claiming handicap and an $11,200 fast-class event. In addition, the Rainbow Pick 5 carryover will be $58,245.64. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.