WILKES-BARRE PA – The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series circuit makes its local 2021 debut during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono – and they’ve saved the best for first, as the “glamour division” three-year-old pacing colts kick off the Pennsy-sired action at the mountain track with three divisions of Sire Stakes and seven divisions of Stallion Series action.
2020’s Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year Perfect Sting makes his seasonal bow in the ninth race Sire Stakes division after posting wins in all ten of his freshman starts. The fastest-pedigreed Standardbred horse (by 1:46 pacer Always B Miki out of the 1:47 mare Shebestingin) has put in qualifiers of 1:52.2 and 1:52.3 for trainer Joe Holloway in preparation for this contest, and David Miller will be driving the colt from post five in the field of seven.
Southwind Gendry, an altered son of Always B Miki who was beaten just a head in that Breeders Crown final and who won the faster division (1:49.4) of the first Sire Stakes prelim at The Meadows, is the early favorite in the tenth race division; the Burke trainee will team with Yannick Gingras here. Sure to drawn attention is the $800,000 yearling One Eight Hundred, a Somebeachsomewhere colt who tied for fastest win in Pennsylvania All-Stars action here last weekend with a 1:50.1 triumph, and who Sunday has drawn the rail for trainer Nancy Takter and driver Tim Tetrick.
The other 1:50.1 All-Stars winner was Gamblin Mo (post four, trainer John Butenschoen, driver Tyler Buter), and the other Sire Stakes winner was Literl Lad Hanover (1:51.1, post three, trainer Burke, driver David Miller). But neither of these horses is favored in the eighth race Sires cut; that honor went to Exploit, second in the Governor’s Cup last year and third in his seasonal debut at The Meadowlands, with closing fractions of :53.1 - :26.1. Exploit begins from post five for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Joe Bongiorno.
The Stallion Series races will not lack for competitiveness or speed: the five StS divisions at The Meadows averaged 1:51.2, and four of the winners, plus 1:50.2 All-Stars winner Emblaze Hanover, are among the entrants.
The first of fourteen races on Sunday is set to go postward at 5 p.m.; program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.