WILKES-BARRE PA – The sport’s “glamour division,” the three-year-old pacing colts, came to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday for three $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event, and the most impressive – not necessarily because he had the fastest time, but the way he raced – was the Betting Line colt Night Hawk.
David Miller guided the sophomore up to the lead by a :27 quarter, and then got “average” (for these) splits of :55.4 and 1:23.4. The only foe hanging close was pocketsitter Captain Cowboy, and when Miller gave his colt a gentle wakeup call soon into the stretch, he responded with a :26.1 blitz home to complete the 1:50 mile, not looking like he was working hard at all. Captain Cowboy, to his credit, was only a length back, but Night Hawk always looked to be in control while establishing a lifetime best.
The other two winners also put in high-quality miles. In one, the Sweet Lou colt Market Based rebounded from a break in his 2022 debut in a Meadows Sire cut, sitting in the pocket as PJ Lou set splits of :26.3, :55.2, and 1:23, then sprinting home in the Pocono Pike to get the decision by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.2, his fastest win. Andrew McCarthy got a sharp late response from the winner of the 2021 Matron and an All-Stars event last year as well; Nancy Takter trains the talented three-year-old for the ownership of Chuck Pompey, Edwin Gold, and H&M Taylor Stable.
Mad Max Hanover, a hard-charging second, just a neck shy, in last year’s Governor’s Cup, is now two-for-three in 2022 while taking a new mark in 1:50.3 in the other All-Stars contest. Six Feet Apart took the lead from Layton Hanover past the quarter in :27.1 and set midrace numbers of :55.4 and 1:23.3, with Mad Max Hanover coming up on the grind for driver Tim Tetrick. The colts mentioned put on an excellent three-way stretch battle, with Mad Max Hanover finishing a neck ahead of Six Feet Apart, who in turn was a neck ahead of Layton Hanover. The victorious altered son of Always B Miki is trained by Jake Leamon for owner Marvin Rounick.
These Pennsylvania colts return to Pocono on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, for their second Sire Stakes rounds, and as a whole the group looks like it will put on a top show, both in Pennsylvania and perhaps further afield down the road.
Racing continues at The Downs on Monday and Tuesday afternoons with a first post of 1:30. Program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.