Wilkes-Barre, PA — The Always A Virgin gelding Sweet Talkin Satin, racing for a $10,000 base tag in the Game Of Claims Pacing Series at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, became the only horse in the Game Of Claims’ four levels to win all three of his preliminary legs while succeeding during the Sunday (Feb. 28) twilight card. The 11-year-old, with a $629,284 career bankroll, posted a 1:53.2 victory over sloppy going, smashing his field by 10-1/4 lengths.
And if he is to have success in next Sunday’s $20,000 series final, he’ll have to do it for yet another new barn because Sweet Talkin Satin has now been claimed out of all three of those prelim victories.
Big Game Hunter posted his second series triumph in another division at this level, joining Myidealson N in having two prelim round successes.
The unofficial top nine point winners who appear to have earned their way into their final are in order Sweet Talkin Satin, Big Game Hunter, My Idealson N, Better B Rolling, Little Admiral, P-Drive Hanover, Canbec Kingkazimir, Bamski, and Love The Action (who didn’t race in leg three after a second and a first earlier, and scraped in by one point); My Alpha Rock N and Spicebomb are the AEs.
The fastest clocking of the entire twilight card came in the final prelim for $7,500-priced horses, when the Rocknroll Hanover gelding Don’tcallmefrancis posted a 4-3/4 length victory in 1:53 for hot-driving Anthony Napolitano, who tied with Matt Kakaley with three sulky successes on the night. Trainer David Russo and owner Santo Farina still have the horse, as he attracted no claims from anybody in all three prelims, two of which he won.
Don’tcallmefrancis was joined in becoming a two-time prelim winner Sunday by the 12-year-old Modern Art gelding R Gauwitz Hanover, a career winner of $478,505, who became the leading point winner while winning his section at this level in 1:55 and who will be changing hands before his $15,000 final.
The top nine in the quick unofficial calculations were R Gauwitz Hanover, then a tie between Don’tcallmefrancis and Rojan’s Way (an earlier two-time winner), Grits N Gravy and Lucky Levis (tie), Luziana and Needless To Say (tie), and Onlythetuffsurvive and Stick With Cramer (tie). Heez Orl Black N is first on the bubble; tied for the second bubble spot are Durant and Pop Icon.
Even these lower-tagged horses attracted eight claimers for $104,000 with a chance at going for big money for this type a week hence. The claiming totals for the week were 28 horses changing hands for $641,500; for the six-day meet, series fever has prompted 125 moves in the claiming box, to the tune of $2,324,375.
Pocono will be hosting its first Monday program of the season at 12:30 p.m.; free program pages are available at www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.