WILKES-BARRE PA – The $215,461 third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts was conducted during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and as far as divisional supremacy is concerned – well, that’s nowhere near to being established yet.
The Always B Miki – Beach Gal colt Always A Miki now has two Sire Stakes victories, and is 3-for-4 lifetime, after tying for the night’s fastest stakes performer at 1:51.1 and earning a new mark. The Nancy Takter trainee was sent to the front near the quarter by driver Dexter Dunn and controlled things from there, seeing off closing pocketsitter Chase H Hanover by three-quarters of a length with back fractions of :55.2 – 27.3 for the ownership of Christina Takter, Goran Anderberg, Herb Liverman, and the Rojan Stables.
Lou’s Pearlman had been undefeated in four lifetime starts including two Sire Stakes wins coming into his section, but after setting the pace he tired, allowing the Betting Line – All Tucked Up colt Abuckabett Hanover to earn a 1:51.2 maiden mark by utilizing the famed Pocono Pike and finishing 1¼ lengths ahead of Capt Jack Hanover. “Team Ramona Hill,” driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Tony Alagna, combined with owners Barbera Stable, Jablonsky Held Stable, Joe Deguara, and Alagna And Inthegym for this victory.
At least there is a Stallion Series competitor who is 3-for-3 in his series after Sunday’s six $20,000 StS cuts for this group. That would be the Captaintreacherous – Bittorsweet Terror colt Bazooka Hanover, who controlled the pace and won in 1:53, a best win time for him. David Miller drove for trainer Blake MacIntosh and owner Steve Heimbecker, who have the unusual distinction of having a horse who has won three times in a series and has paid, in order of victory, $3.60, $119.80, and $4.20.
David Miller and MacIntosh had another Stallion Series win with the Somebeachsomewhere – Perfect Carets gelding Perfectboy Hanover, a maiden no longer after a 1:52 victory. Perfectboy Hanover got better as the mile went on, coming home in :54.4 - :27.1 in triumphing for owners Fred Brayford, Ridgeway Racing, Knot Xzachallie Stable, and trainer MacIntosh.
Dexter Dunn added two Stallion Series wins to his Sire Stakes triumph, including the fastest StS victory with the Betting Line colt – Thirty X colt Rifleman, who lowered his mark to 1:51.2. The Chris Ryder trainee came off a 25-day layoff to record his second straight win, both in the Stallions, for owners Robert Mondillo and Craig Henderson.
Dunn also reteamed with his Sire Stakes “partner,” trainer Nancy Takter, to win in the Stallion Series with the first-time starter One Eight Hundred in 1:53.1. A colt by Somebeachsomewhere – Economy Terror (who still holds the Sire Stakes Championship record for sophomore fillies eight years after she set it), One Eight Hundred had to tuck from the outside post eight then come up raw, but still flashed home in :54.3- :26.4 to win by the smallest margin of the stakes events, a head, over Mad Man Hill for co-owners Takter and Brixton Medical Inc.
The longest-priced stakes winner won by the biggest margin, as the Betting Line – Ideal Nectarine gelding Bet Ninteen ended his 1:52.3 maiden victory four lengths to the good for driver Marcus Miller, also a Sires winner, trainer/father Erv Miller, and owned D R Van Witzenburg. Numbers geeks buzzed that Bet Ninteen almost exactly matched his name in the wagering, as he went off at 18.90-1.
Captaintreacherous joined Somebeachsomewhere and Betting Line with double StS sire credits when Captain Fancy, out of the champion mare Fancy Filly, won his second career start while taking a maiden mark of 1:53.1, his own last quarter in :27.3. Tim Tetrick drove for trainer Bill Mac Kenzie and the ownership of Vincent Ali Jr., Alma Iafelice, and Ted Gewertz.
PA-sired stakes action for freshman trotting fillies will be featured on the Monday Pocono card, along with a Rainbow Pick-5 carryover approaching $130,000.