As y'all know, last evening several eliminations for the Beal, Lynch, Hempt and Frankin were held at Pocono Downs.
Here are a few thoughts; my opinion only:
Jimmy Takter in harness racing update said that Father Patrick's vet bill was $50 last month and that was just to draw and test his blood. Normally we would think this hyperbole, but when you see him trot I think it ain't blowing smoke. I was loathe to call this horse the next Muscle Hill last year, because a lot of 2 year old trotters can slay unseasoned competition and look good doing it in the trot ranks, but this year I do not know how anyone can deny it. I believe he is trotting perfection and we might be looking at the next big thing in this sport.
Captaintreacherous was defeated by the journeyman, but very fast Domethatagain last evening. In the open ranks the Captain has gone zero for two, after beating up on a really suspect crew of three year olds last season. Some are surprised, I know, but should anyone be? There are a lot of pacers that can go 1:48 and a good deal of the time it depends solely on the trip. Last evening, over the tarmac that is Pocono Downs, off those fractions and race set up, at the clubhouse turn there were only two horses who could win that race and they came 1-2. If the Captain got Sunshine Beach's trip, he does not hit the board. If Foiled Again gets the lead in 26 and comes his back three quarters in 22 on that bullring, no one is probably beating him but the pocket horse either. These are all good speedy horses, but trips matter so much nowadays when five or six in a field can go, and carry that speed.
One horse that truly did stand out in the Franklin, however, and I think he should be considered the best older horse in training, is Sweet Lou. Lou blasted his last three quarters in (if you can believe this) : 26.4, 26.4 and 27. Niatross with a head start couldn't close into that. Perhaps the soundness kinks are ironed out on old Lou, and he can retrace the steps of his brother who got better and better with age too.
Neither the fillies or the colt's taught me anything last evening, although it was obvious McWicked goes into his final with a huge edge. Nuncio was a measured winner and looks like (in a year like last year) to be a top three year old. If there is a better set of hands on a trotter than driver John Campbell I'd like to see it. That was a pure professional at the lines for that tricky colt.
How fast is Pocono Downs and how hard is it to close from more than a few lengths back? Watch the replay of the 7th race. All Star Partner was pacing so much out of his skin coming home he could not negotiate the turn. Racing like it was at Pocono last night makes me long for my construction of PTP Downs one mile straight harness track.
I bet nothing last evening at Pocono, other than betting a few horses to show against Father Patrick. That was, what I thought, a takeout free bet. I simply can not bet into that track's takeout rates.
Harness Racing Update has some stuff on Gural, including his response to the incendiary, and rather odd Faraldo facebook post. It has a look at what's been happening in harness racing so far in 2014 that's good and not so good, and Bob Pandolfo has a letter that shares what we've espoused with him for years: Driver quality does not create handle, good betting races do.
Have a super nice Sunday everyone.
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