Four Reynolds Races For Morrill Jr.; New Track Record
Jim Morrill Jr., won four W.N. Reynolds Memorial Stake races Friday night, July 10 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, including all three for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings
But stealing the thunder on the third night of Grand Circuit Week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was Sailing Cruise, who broke a nine-year-old track record of Space Shuttle in a race for non-winners of $11,500 in last five starts or 11 extended pari-mutuel races lifetime.
Driven by Andrew McCarthy, the four-year-old stallion rolled to a victory in 1:50.2 over the five-eighths mile track and increasing Sailing Cruise’s earnings to more than $336,000. Mickey Peterson trains Sailing Cruise.
Morrill Jr. right from the get go won his first Reynolds win in Race 1 with three-year-old Precious Medal with a first-up trip, stopping the timer in 1:51.1 and nipping by three-quarters of a length Lightning Elvis (Dave Palone).
In the second division of the three for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, Morrill Jr. made two big moves in this race to drive race favourite Johnny Z to his second stakes victory with a time of 1:51.1.
Johnny Z, trained by George Teague Jr. and named after John Zimich, director of publicity at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, is three-for-three this season at the five-eighths mile track, including a victory in the $300,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial Pace in May.
Next stake win for Morrill Jr., came with Bullet Express, a two-year-old trotting filly that won in 2:00.3. Jim Campbell trains Bullet Express, who was making her first lifetime start. Morrill Jr. was following favourite Bone A Fide (Palone) when the latter went off stride on the front end.
Mr Wiggles, who is also trained by Teague Jr., won the third and final division for the three-year-old colt and gelding pacers with Morrill Jr. in the sulky. The 1:51.2 is a new life mark. Mr Wiggles increased his 2009 earnings to almost $495,000 with six wins in 11 starts and two second-place finishes.
For the first three nights of Reynolds races, Morrill Jr. has collected seven wins while Teague Jr. compiled four training victories with Saturday afternoon’s action remaining.