WILKES-BARRE PA – The world’s fastest two-year-old, the Sweet Lou filly Warrawee Ubeaut, remained undefeated in two seasonal starts despite 29 days away from the races, winning one of four $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All Stars event for three-year-old pacing fillies in 1:51 over a surface rated “sloppy” – a condition “Ubeaut” had shown she could overcome when she won the Breeders Crown here last year.
With Yannick Gingras, the only driver ever to have handled Warrawee Ubeaut, returning from Sweden after a second-place finish in the World Driving Championship, Matt Kakaley got the driving assignment from Ron Burke. Kakaley kept the champion filly third through a :27.2 opener, then took the lead just past the 3/8 and went on to set middle fractions of :55.4 and 1:24. Philly Hanover, undefeated in three seasonal starts before this race and sitting right behind Warrawee Ubeaut, gave her best effort in the stretch, but Kakaley got a :27 last quarter out of the winner with minimum effort on either’s part, with Philly Hanover 1¼ lengths behind at the finish. The richest freshman of 2018, Warrawee Ubeaut now has a lifetime bankroll of $703,615 for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura, and J&T Silva – Purnel & Libby.
Driver Dexter Dunn secured a second All-Stars success with the Somebeachsomewhere filly Stonebridge Soul, who posted a triumph in 1:51.1, her fastest ever, despite a “sloppy” surface. Stonebridge Soul. a heavy choice, posted fractions of :26.3, :56.1, and 1:23.1, then saw off a good late burst by Sweet Heaven up the Pocono Pike, with the half length victory bringing her earnings to $164,000 for trainer Chris Ryder and owners Henderson Farms and Robert Mondillo. Stonebridge Soul has two wins and two seconds in four seasonal starts – and the two horses who have beaten her are named Warrawee Ubeaut and Treacherous Reign.
The Captaintreacherous filly Alii Nui had won here Tuesday to give her wins in two of her last three starts – her only two victories in 14 career starts – but in her All-Stars division she was full of pace in the pocket to down pacesetting favorite Abigail Dawn in a career best 1:51.3 (fast track). Marcus Miller hustled the filly right to the two-hole behind Abigail Dawn, who had been 4-for-5 this year and who set unpressured fractions of :26.3, :56.1, and 1:24. But pressure came from the Erv Miller-trained winner when Marcus tipped her wide headstretch, and Alii Nui rallied into the :27.3 kicker to defeat the chalk by ¾ of a length for Ervin Miller Stable Inc., Hannah Miller, Nick Surick Stable LLC, and Louis Willinger.
In the $21,500 fast-class featured pace, the millionaire Mach Three gelding The Real One rode good cover, tipped wide at headstretch, then was along in the final strides in 1:50.2, gaining into a 27.2 final split despite the rainy conditions. Trainer/driver Pat Lachance guided the winner of 48 races and $1,069,438 to a half-length victory over a game first-over Hitman Hill for owner Helene Fillion.
It wouldn’t be Saturday at Pocono without a few words about claiming activity. The first race was a $30,000 / $40,000 claiming handicap pace – and six of the eight horses changed barns for a total of $202,000, both one-race seasonal highs, including a $40,000 claim of Rock The Town, the fifth time that local price record has been reached and the second time on this horse. The other division of the 30/40 claiming handicap saw four more horses go to a different home for a total of $135,000. The total amount of money spent via the claiming box Saturday was $468,000, a seasonal record for not only one day but for a racing week, via 16 acquisitions.
FINISHING LINES – The first baby races of the year at the Pocono track are scheduled for this Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. (note time change), in conjunction with the usual qualifying sessions.