WILKES-BARRE PA – Favorites won all four divisions of the $155,948 second preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing males at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania Sunday night, with Hall Of Fame trainer Linda Toscano sending out two of the PaSS winners.
The Sweet Lou gelding It’s My Show made his 2023 Sire Stakes bow a successful one while taking a new mark of 1:49.2 for driver Scott Zeron and owners Richard and Joanne Young. The Sweet Lou gelding showed he deserved being favored after two overnight wins, tucking in the pocket early to a :26.2 quarter, rushing to the lead before a :53.3 half, surrendering command to Bamboozler to a 1:21.1 three-quarters, but then being able to rerally past the horse who passed him down the back, winning by 1¾ lengths.
The second Toscano trainee was the Heston Blue Chip colt Fulton, last year’s Sire Stakes champion and winner of his first 2023 Sire Stakes outing in 1:49.3, who came back here to win in 1:50.2 for driver Dexter Dunn and the ownership of Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Bottom Line Racing LLC. Fulton moved past Lyons Surfing past a :27.1 initial split to take the top and put up midfractions of :54.4 and 1:22.3, then had to dig down to hold off the resurgent Lyons Surfing by a head.
Joining Fulton as a double Sire Stakes winner was the Captaintreacherous colt Ken Hanover, who was the evening’s fastest stake winner when posting a new mark of 1:49. David Miller reserved the colt off fractions of :26 and :54.2, moved him uncovered and saw him go :26.4 down the back to clear before the three-quarters in 1:21.3, then safely withstand the horse on his back, Larceny, by 1¼ lengths. Trainer Polie Mallar is also co-owner of the three-time May stakes winner with Patrick Leavitt, William Jordan, and Dennis Osterholt.
Sire Sweet Lou and driver David Miller both had a Sires double as they combined on Ammo, last year’s Breeders Crown winner, who remained undefeated after two seasonal starts for trainer Joe Holloway and owners Val D’Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. Ammo moved after a :27.2 quarter, got to the lead well before the :56.1 half, then sped to the three-quarters in 1:23.3 and home in 1:50.3, a lifetime best, while defeating pocketsitter Flite Craft by 1½ lengths.
There were also five $20,000 divisions of the companion Stallion Series for this group. Driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Travis Alexander teamed for two PaStS successes with Stay Hungry geldings, both of whom reduced their lifetime records: Hunter’s Hero, at 4-1 the longest shot in all the stakes, winning in 1:50.4 for Fiddler’s Creek Stables LLC, and Im Hungry, home in 1:51.3 for Schooner II Stable.
Fastest Stallion Series winner was the Always B Miki gelding Joemikiyoursofine, lowering his mark to 1:50.2 for driver Simon Allard, trainer Chris Choate, and owners Anthony Ruggeri and Richard Tosies. The Captaintreacherous gelding Lyons Spirit became the only double StS winner when he took a new mark of 1:52 for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Jim King Jr., and owners Threelyonsracing; completing the Stallion Series winners was first-time 2023 starter Cannibal, whose 1:50.3 was a tick off his mark, with Dexter Dunn driving for trainer Nancy Takter and Diamond Creek Racing.
The stakes schedule continues at Pocono Downs Monday at 1 p.m. with two $35,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars event for three-year-old trotting males, including several Hambletonian hopefuls. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.