WILKES-BARRE PA – The Pennsylvania All-Stars series brings together this weekend two interesting groups of colts at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono – three-year-old trotters on Saturday afternoon and two-year-old pacers on Sunday’s twilight card.
17 of the 27 trotters entered in Saturday’s thee $30,000 divisions of All-Stars races are eligible to contest the sport’s greatest prize, The Hambletonian, on Saturday, August 8. The owners and trainers of the Hambo eligibles will be getting a good reading on their horses’ ability exactly three weeks before the elimination races for the Hambletonian.
Amigo Volo is the richest and probably the best-known of the entrants. The altered son of Father Patrick, trained by Nifty Norman for the Pinske Stables and David J. Miller, earned $610,546 at age two and set four world records for his age, sex, and gait. He undoubtedly needed his seasonal debut last week after not having raced since November, and he will have the services of Pocono’s leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., as he seeks to further establish his Hambo credentials while starting from post two in the eighth race All-Stars section.
There is no outstanding favorite in the sixth race division, though the Muscle Hill colt Hillexotic, starting from post five, may draw some attention. He won a Big M qualifier in 1:54.4, making him the only horse in this division with a sub-1:55 mark at either two or three, and he closed in :26.2 for fourth in his only purse race of the year, signaling room for improvement for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and owner Purple Haze Stables LLC.
Sunday’s All-Stars action for baby sidewheeling colts has attracted enough interest to schedule five $30,000 divisions. Three of the entrants were winners in the first preliminary of their Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action at Philly: Bayfield Beach (1:52.4) and Always A Miki (1:52.2), both in the tenth race division, and race three’s Lou’s Pearlman (1:53.3).