WILKES-BARRE PA – Dandy became a double Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winner in his three-year-old trotting colt division, while Double Deceiver showed equal gameness and a faster time as these two won their $66,554 sections of the PaSS second prelim for the group Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
In Double Deceiver’s 1:53 victory, Kosher Mahoney went to the lead ahead of That Ole Bar Stool (a Sires winner in the first leg) and Ducasse, then saw those two briefly ponder moving early and then going back in after the :28 quarter. This gave Kosher Mahoney a chance to get a breather to a :57.2 half, but then it was time to accelerate as the Cantab Hall gelding Double Deceiver came out raw before the 5/8 and trotted his own third panel in :27 to be up to challenge the leader just past the 1:25 three-quarters.
Double Deceiver appeared to get a head ahead mid-far turn, but Kosher Mahoney fought back to equal terms in early stretch. However, David Miller was able to get more out of Double Deceiver late, and the pair crossed the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Kosher Mahoney. It was only the second start of the season for the winner of $281,498, who is trained by Carter Pisnke for Pinske Stables and Makenna Lynn Pinske.
A rainshower passed over the track during the warmups of the second division, but the wetness did not dampen the determination of Dandy, who gave sire Cantab Hall a Sires double as he won by a neck in 1:54.1, a new mark.
Driver/owner Jackie Ingrassia held Dandy midpack early as Donzel Hanover set fractions of :27.2 and :57.1, nearing the latter fraction moving her colt to the outside. She picked up cover in the middle of the backstretch from S I P, last year’s Pennsylvania two-year-old champion who upped the tempo to 1:24.4 at the three-quarters with his challenge, with Dandy hustling to stay with his cover (his own third quarter was :27.1) and then tipping wide into the lane.
Dandy and S I P had a big battle through the stretch, and the one-mindness of Dandy, who digs in all the way to the wire in every race, served him well here as he beat the defending champ by a neck; Pour Mea Double, weaving through stretch traffic in tight quarters, just missed in the picture for second.
Dandy had a 5-1-0-2 scorecard for $9027 and a 1:59.4 mark at two, but the development and pluckiness of the Frank Ingrassia trainee is reflected his seasonal log: 7-4-2-0, with earnings approaching six figures before the halfway point of the season.
There were three keys to winning the two $20,000 Stallion Series divisions: 1) drop from the Sire Stakes; 2) make a quarter-move; 3) have a big lead midstretch, then just hold off a late charger.
The faster StS winner was the Explosive Matter gelding Andoverthewinnings, who lowered his mark to 1:55.2 while being guided by Corey Callahan. Andoverthewinnings moved at the :27.3 quarter and took over in front of the stands before reaching the half in :57. First-over Capricious One made a bold surge near the 1:25.4 three-quarters and was alongside the leader when the challenger broke in the stretch – but the winner and Callahan, now clear, still had to be alert as Mrmayor Hanover found his best strides late in the Pocono Pike, only to come up a head shy on the money (and have the lead two steps past the finish). John Butenschoen trains the winner for Claude Gendreau Stable Inc.
The Cantab Hall gelding Bigly was outside from the pocket at the :27.2 quarter in the other division, then went on to command and got a rest to a :58.1 half for driver/trainer Aaron Johnson. Bigly opened a big lead past the 1:27.2 three-quarters, but Crazy Supersport kept narrowing in during the last quarter, coming up just a half-length shy at the end of the 1:56.4 mile. The winner is now 4-for-7 this season for owners Jennifer Johnston and Brian Taylor.
Braxten Boyd, now seventh in the Pocono drivers standings, continues to impress, with the 22-year-old turning in a four-bagger Sunday.
Pocono will be racing this Monday and Tuesday afternoon; post time for each card will be at 1:30 p.m. Program pages are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.