Freshmen impress in Pennsylvania All-Stars at Pocono

Wilkes-Barre, PA — Six $30,000 divisions of Pennsylvania All-Stars stakes action for 2-year-old male trotters were featured Monday night (July 8) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Real Cool Sam and Big Oil posting matching 1:55.2 wins.

Real Cool Sam posted a 1:55.2 victory in Pennsylvania All-Stars action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Curtis Salonick photo.

Of the two, Fashion Farms LLC’s Real Cool Sam endured the more adventurous journey. David Miller settled the son of Muscle Hill and world-record holder Cooler Schooler in fourth early as favorite Paulie Walnuts went down the road through fractions of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:26.2. Real Cool Sam worked by Paulie Walnuts late on the turn when he suddenly bore out three-wide nearing head-stretch, and Paulie Walnuts found himself back on a clear lead. Miller soon straightened out the Jim Campbell trainee, who came back to win in 1:55.2.

Paulie Walnuts could not respond to Real Cool Sam’s resurgence and broke stride, but still held second while 5-3/4 lengths back.

The other 1:55.2 mile fell to the colt Big Oil, a son of Father Patrick out of Cee Bee Yes. Big Oil also tucked before advancing first-over for driver Andy Miller, but was the recipient of good fortune when Legion Of Honor, who cleared after a :27.4 opener and set middle fractions of :57.4 and 1:26.2, broke nearing head-stretch. Big Oil took a 2-1/4 length victory over favorite Expectations in his purse debut for trainer Julie Miller and owners Joseph, Douglas and Ronald Allen.

Trainer Marcus Melander, who has domainted the 3-year-old colt stakes, won the first two All-Star divisions with Muscle Hill colts making their purse debuts. One was with Rome Pays Off, a full brother to Earl Beal Jr. Memorial winner Marseille. Mattias Melander raced Rome Pays Off in the pocket behind pacesetter Vinny De Vie, and then went to the Pocono Pike to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:58.1 for the S R F Stable. Marcus Melander then teamed with driver Brian Sears to win with Hellbent For AM S, who came first-over, made the lead in the lane, then held off Patriarch Hanover by a neck in 1:56.1 for Courant Inc.

After winning his purse debut at 38-1, the Explosive Matter colt Can’t Say No was backed to favoritism, and he and trainer-driver Ray Schnittker responded with a wire-to-wire win in 1:55.4 for a new mark. Steel Schooner got no closer than 1-1/4 lengths behind Can’t Say No, who is co-owned by Schnittker in partnership with Steven Arnold, the Arden Homestead Stable and Fred Hertrich III.

The other of Muscle Hill’s winning sons was Mister Walker, who took his first start for a purse in 1:57.1. Corey Callahan got the first foal out of D’Orsay going out of fifth up the backstretch, and he gobbled up ground to reach pacesetter Dublin before edging away by three-quarters of a length for trainer Jonas Czernyson and Consus Racing Stable Inc.

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