WILKES-BARRE PA – The three-year-old trotting colt Greenshoe continued his awesome 2019 performances during a Wednesday morning qualifying session at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winning in a spectacular 1:52.
Brian Sears came to Pocono to guide the son of Father Patrick, and the pair hung up fractions of :28, :55.4, and 1:24.1, with the sophomore fifteen lengths ahead by the half and having a margin of 28 lengths at the wire. The Marcus Melander-conditioned trotter, owned by Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, and Morten Langli, had not raced since winning the New Jersey Sire Stakes final at The Meadowlands on May 31, and the sharp victory sets him up perfectly for the eliminations of the Earl Beal Trot at Pocono on Saturday, June 22, with the $500,000 Beal Championship a week later.
Southwind Ozzi, the fastest three-year-old in a race this year at 1:48.4, was scheduled to qualify but was scratched.
There were seventeen baby qualifiying races as the busy morning stretched into early afternoon at Pocono, with four races for each gait and sex except the colt trotters, who went in five sections.
In the pacing colt ranks, Ray Schnittker sent out three winners, the fastest being the first-time starter Captain Groovy, who moved to the lead past the quarter and won in 1:56.3, back fractions :56.3 - :28. The son of Captaintreacherous is the first foal out of Lets Groove Tonite, who is a ¾ sister to the $1.2M+-winning world champion Dynamic Youth. Schnittker also drove this colt, and he co-owns him with Ted Gewertz, Howard Taylor, and Mary Kinsey Arnold.
Schnittker also drove the American Ideal colt Teton Sunset to his second straight win, in 1:58, coming from fourth with a back half of :56.4. The third Schnittker stablemate from this section to win was the Well Said colt Lake Charles, who debuted in 1:57, his own last half :57.1, with Mark MacDonald in the sulky.
The son/father team of driver Scott and trainer Rick Zeron unveiled two winning filly trotters, including Illdoitmyself, a daughter of Chapter Seven out of Dornello. This filly proved “misnamed” in her race, as the Kadabra – Win Missy B miss She Must Be Magic posted huge fractions of :28, :58.1, and 1:27.3, opening up a 15 length lead at the last-named call, but Illdoitmyself came a last quarter of :28.1 to catch the leader by ¾ of a length in 1:58.4, a season’s record by over two seconds. Illdoitmyself is owned by Rick Zeron Stables, James Walker, and Van Camp Trotting Corp.
The Zerons also won with Fortune Telln Lady, a daughter of Trixton who won in 2:01 on the lead, back fractions :58.2 - :28.4.
Trainers Gareth Dowse and Erv Miller each had two victories in the freshman trotting colt action, all with first-time starters. The fastest win in this group was posted by Play Trix On Me, a Trixton – Lima Playmate colt who quarter-moved for trainer/driver Dowse and stopped the clock in 2:00, :58.2 / :29 coming home, for owner-breeder Steve Jones. Dowse also piloted the Andover Hall colt Paulie Walnuts to a 2:00.4 win, coming out of the pocket with a :28.4 burst home.
Both of Erv Miller’s trainees are by first-year sire Whom Shall I Fear, the full brother to Father Patrick and Pastor Stephen. Scott Zeron rallied the colt Meadowbrook Chip out of the two-hole for a 2:00.3 success, with back numbers of :58.3 - :29.1, while the gelding Fear The Tiger, who overcame a hard first-over trip in his 2:02.2 victory, was driven by – Erv Miller! This was Erv’s first success in the sulky since July 23, 2016, but many forget he was a two-time UDR champion in 1998-99.
Ray Schnittker, Scott Zeron, and Gareth Dowse each drove three freshman winners, while Dowse as trainer also had three triumphs to lead the conditioners’ grouping in the baby races.