Wilkes-Barre, PA — The Monday (Sept. 9) twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono was jam-packed with quality racing throughout, with three $100,000 finals of the Great Northeast Open Series for older performers, all at 1-1/4 miles, along with eight $40,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series finals for 2- and 3-year-olds.
Perhaps None Bettor A had a bit of an experience edge by racing over distances longer than a mile Down Under, but he showed rare courage in the Open Pace of the Great Northeast Series, holding off the late charge of favored pocket sitter Backstreet Shadow in 2:20.1, a stakes record, with the last three-quarters of 1:22.3 extraordinary in an extended-distance contest.
None Bettor A darted to the top for George Napolitano Jr. entering the backstretch the first time, and no one had the word record in mind when the first two poles were passed in :28 and :57.3. However, the second lap of the red Pocono oval was a flat-out sprint, with None Bettor A hanging up the next two fractions of 1:25.3 and 1:52.3, then staying game with Backstreet Shadow coming right at him in the lane to take a half-length decision with a :27.3 last quarter.
None Bettor A now has 11 victories in 15 seasonal races, with a lifetime bankroll of $385,945. Andrew Harris is handling the conditioning of the Bettor’s Delight gelding for Joe P Racing and Oldford Racing.
In the Open Trot, the Explosive Matter 4-year-old gelding Rich And Miserable, who developed into a national-caliber horse through the late spring and summer, confirmed his elevation to the very top level when he caught 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover in winning in 2:24.3, a more relevant number being the back half of :56.1 over the extended distance.
Tyler Buter, who emerged as the star of the day with four stakes wins, sent Rich And Miserable right to the lead, then extended favored Hannelore Hanover well past a :29.2 opener, yielding the lead and content to sit in the pocket while Hannelore Hanover dawdled through fractions of :58.3 and 1:28.2.
The pace picked up when Tight Lines ranged up first-over, with the mile mark hit in 1:56.4. As they turned into the lane Rich And Miserable ducked to the famed Pocono Pike and went right up to Hannelore Hanover, then edged the mare by a head in the :27.4 last quarter. It was the tenth win in 15 seasonal starts for Rich And Miserable, who is trained by Todd Buter and is owned by Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs.
Patience proved quite a virtue for driver Tim Tetrick and the Bettor’s Delight mare Bettor’s Up, as the winner of $892,374 proved to be the fresh horse late to take the Mare Pace in 2:21 for the 1-1/4 miles after her four main opponents had all made moves in the contest.
Apple Bottom Jeans showed customary speed at the start, but Eclipse Me N moved early and had the lead before the :27.3 first marker. Heavy favorite Caviart Ally then moved and took command at the :56 half, going to the three-quarters in 1:25 and the mile in 1:53, with Write Me A Song giving chase in the backstretch the second time.
Tetrick rode the first-over cover, tipped his mare wide in the lane, and made up a lot of ground to post a head victory over Caviart Ally, with Apple Bottom Jeans a neck back. The final clocking set a series divisional record. The 14-1 winner is trained by Nick Surick and is owned by Nick Surick Stable.
$40,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series finals
The Winning Mister–P Town Girl gelding Town Victor charged home out of the pocket to take his group in 1:54.4 — a time which set an individual and stakes record and a Pocono track record. The winner of six of eight, including three Stallion prelims which made him the leading point winner, was driven by Matt Kakaley for trainer Rich Gillock, co-owner with Barbara Richardson. Town Victor won by two lengths over pacesetter Loyal Fox Hanover.
The Andover Hall–Miss Athens filly Miss Wilia streaked right to the lead from post eight for driver Scott Zeron and set the pace, then held off the closers to win in a lifetime best and Stallion Series final record 1:55.2. Caviart Guilia came up the inside but was a head shy of the winner of three straight, who is trained by Rick Zeron for owners Charles Receski and Thomas Brice.
The Well Said–Bodacious Hanover colt Lake Charles was sent off at 2-1, behind his Ray Schnittker stablemate Captain Groovy at even money, but once circling that horse after a hard first three-eighths, Lake Charles was the strong horse to the wire, winning his fourth straight race (three prelims and now his finale) while rewriting his individual and the stakes record to 1:51.3. Patriot Nation finished 3-1/2 lengths behind the streaking winner, who was driven by David Miller for owners Schnittker, Max Hempt, Dr. John Egloff, and Steven Arnold.
The Captaintreacherous–Rocknroll Cameo miss The Party’s Rockin posted the fastest clocking of her group’s prelims, 1:52.4, two starts back, then made a break on the lead as the heavy favorite last time. On Monday, the winner of half her six lifetime starts made atonement for that miscue, leading at every pole while matching her 1:52.4 mark. The Party’s Rockin held off game longshot Keystone Eureka by a length for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Mark Harder, and owner Matthew Dugan.
Lindy’s Crazy Hall prepped for the Stallion Series final with a qualifying win featuring a smart :27.2 last panel, and that effort seemed to be just the tonic for the son of Cantab Hall as he equaled his life mark of 1:54.3 in victory for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Domenico Cecere, and owner Greathorse. Lindy’s Crazy Hall was under pressure for much of the last half from favored Kate’s Massive, who was looking to become only the third Stallion Series horse to be a champion at two and three, but the pacesetter prevailed by a head.
After working hard to get the lead nearing the quarter, the Donato Hanover miss Jezzys Legacy was in control of her final, withstanding late-charging longshot Southwind Storm by 1-1/4 lengths for driver Tyler Buter while equaling the stakes record of 1:54.2. Trainer Ray Schnittker is also co-owner of the classy filly with Little E, Ted Gewertz, and Mary Kinsey Arnold.
The Captaintreacherous colt Waterway parked Seafarer to the quarter, sat behind that rival, then came up the Pocono Pike to catch the pacesetter and take his final in 1:51. Waterway had a big late surge to edge Seafarer by a nose for driver Dexter Dunn, trainer Tony Alagna, and the ownership of Alagna And Begley Stable, Santo and Joseph Barbera, and David Silverman.
Driver Tyler Buter continued his winning ways in the Stallion Series finals by guiding the Captaintreacherous filly Annie Hill, the prelim point leader, home in 1:50.4, equaling the stakes record. Buter gave the distaff, coming off a sick scratch, a second-over trip, and she finished strongly to defeat pocket sitting Michelon’s Filly by 1-1/4 lengths for trainer Chris Oakes and owner Tom Hill.