Brian Brown must feel pretty good right now.
Done Well indeed “done well” again Monday, getting away third in a five-horse field and then moving uncovered at the 5/8. Despite the raw overland journey, Done Well showed individual back fractions of 55 – 27.3 to win handily for James Stambaugh, Wingfield Brothers LLC, Milton Leeman, and Alan Keith while raising his earnings to $93,782.
The winning margin was 5¼ lengths, but that needs to come with a footnote – Pennsylvania fair sensation Venier Hanover was closing strongly and had just gotten to second past This Is The Plan when he made a break 50 yards out from the wire, falling back to third (an inquiry indicated no violation of the breaking rules). Without the break, the winning margin may have been about 3 – 3½ lengths, which still says “much the best” in any race.
Taking speed honors by a tick in the sloppy-track Monday stakes was the Bettor’s Delight-Maid West colt Wes Delight, posting his second straight win for trainer Mark Harder, who co-owns with Rick Phillips and Deena Frost. Yannick Gingras got away second then was “quarter-mover #1” with Wes Delight, making the top then yielding to “QM #2” Wild Bill. Gingras was content to sit in the two-hole until the famed Pocono Pike came, and then got his horse to quickly respond to the tenacious first-up bid of Nutcracker Sweet, posting a neck decision in the 1:53.3 mile.
Sheppard Final winner Kwik Talkin boosted the earnings in his brief career to $110,480 while running his scorecard to 6-5-1-0 and equaling his mark of 1:53.4 in the third and final division. First-over had done well in the two early divisions with a win and a photoed second, and that was the route driver Scott Zeron used with the son of Well Said-Kwik Dial, overhauling pacesetter Karpathian Kid by a length using a 27.3 personal back quarter for trainer Rob Harmon and owners Scott and Lisa Henry, Robert Robinson, and Jacqueline Dinelle.
The quality and evenness of the competition behind Done Well in this Sires division is reflected in the fact that no other horse has more than one victory after the three prelims, and in fact the two colts tied for second in the pointstandings are This Is The Plan and Karpathian Kid, who each have three seconds. With 8 horses within 11 points in 5th through 12th position in the standings, and eight qualifying for the divisional Championship (to be held at Pocono on Labor Day), the last prelim, to be held on Monday the 14th at The Meadows, should produce some spectacular racing.