Nicholas Beach Sharp In Pocono Qualifier

The highly-anticipated return of the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Nicholas Beach to Pennsylvania took place Wednesday morning (March 17) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where he carved a last quarter of :26.2 to win a qualifier in 1:54.

Nicholas Beach, a $110,000 yearling, showed precociousness at two by following a second in his debut with a 1:53.2 win at Pocono on Aug. 19. But then Nicholas Beach did not get back to the races for 551 days, trying unsuccessfully to qualify once at three, and finally returning to the track and winning twice at Pocono at the end of winter 2020.

Another 172-day layoff ensued as a result of racing's shutdown into the pandemic, and Nicholas Beach came back ready to win seven of eight starts and finish second in the other. He took a mark of 1:49 at Harrah's Philadelphia on Aug. 28, coming his back half in :53.3 from post 8.

His last 2020 victory was at Yonkers on Nov. 23, and his new connections—including trainer Jennifer Bongiorno—brought him back for a March 6 qualifier at Meadowlands, where he won in 1:53.1 from post 10. The next three finishers in that mile—Backstreet Shadow, Patriot Nation, and This Is The Plan—have earned $3.8 million among them (Nicholas Beach has $70,450 on his card), and an average mark of 1:47.3. The sharp victory for driver Matt Kakaley at Pocono Wednesday again points to what seems like a vast potential in the horse if he can realize it.

Two other horses broke 1:55 during the “balmy” Wednesday morning session at Pocono. The double stakeswinner Shouldabeenatd, now four, won in 1:54.3 for Kakaley and trainer Ron Burke; and Ghost Dance, a New York Sire Stakes winner in his earlier days, was along in 1:54.2 for driver Tyler Buter and trainer Scott Blackler.


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