Tactical Mounds A Pleasant Surprise

Tactical Mounds
Published: November 2, 2023 04:01 pm EDT

After becoming more relaxed on the racetrack, three-year-old female trotter Tactical Mounds has delivered a good bit of excitement this season for her connections.

Over her past 10 starts, Tactical Mounds has hit the board eight times, posting six wins. She has earned just over $250,000 during that span, with her triumphs including the New Jersey Classic Series final, Continentalvictory, and most recently, consecutive Grand Circuit scores at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in the Pegasus and a division of the Circle City.

On Friday, the Megan Scran trainee will return to Hoosier Park for the $115,000 Crossroads of America for sophomore filly trotters. Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Mommamia Volo is the 9-5 morning-line favourite in the 10-horse event, starting from post one with Todd McCarthy driving for trainer Carter Pinske.

Tactical Mounds will leave from post three with driver Scott Zeron and is the 5-2 second choice.

“She was really hot when I first got her,” Scran said about the daughter of Tactical Landing-Mounds. “We worked on getting her quiet, keeping her on a helmet and relaxed. She finally got there and she’s been great since.”

As a two-year-old, Tactical Mounds won two of eight races and earned $27,840. She hit the board a total of six times and went off stride in the other two starts.

“She was just immature,” said Scran, who conditions the $27,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase for Thestable Tactical Mounds ownership group. “She did her work, but you’d never think last year that she was what she is now. She’s definitely been a surprise. Last year, she raced with hopples on; this year, she doesn’t. It’s just a matter of maturity, growing up.”

Tactical Mounds had a win and four other top-three finishes in her first eight races this year. She followed that stretch with a third-place finish in the Tompkins-Geers Stakes on July 22 at The Meadowlands, where she finished ahead of Mommamia Volo in a race won by Railee Something in 1:52. It proved to be a harbinger of things to come.

After winning a conditioned race at Mohegan Pennsylvania’s Pocono Downs, Tactical Mounds was victorious in the Continentalvictory on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands. She got the job done from post 10 — a feat Zeron would repeat several hours later in winning the Hambletonian with Tactical Approach — in 1:52.1 despite a parked-out journey.

A month later, Tactical Mounds won the New Jersey Classic at the Big M, again from post 10 in 1:52.1. Her connections then paid $30,000 to enter the Elegantimage Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park, where Tactical Mounds ended up finishing third in the final, behind future Breeders Crown champ Bond and returning O’Brien Award winner Righteous Resolve.

Following a nearly one-month respite, Tactical Mounds headed to Indiana and posted her two victories at Hoosier Park.

“She’s so versatile,” said Scran. “She’s won from off the pace, she’s won first-up, she’s won on the front. She desires to win. She’s big and she’s beautiful, and she’s a lot of fun to race and watch.”

Tactical Mounds won last week’s Pegasus in a career-best 1:52, beating Call Me Goo — who is the 9-2 third choice in Friday’s Crossroads of America — by a half-length.

“I wasn’t super thrilled with her last start finishing,” said Scran. “You could see right at the wire she got pretty bumpy. Even though she won, you could see there is something we’ve got to work on because she didn’t finish great.

“Another thing, being here, she’s been out of her normal routine that she has at home. Because she’s not staked to a whole lot, she raced from home a lot, besides going to Canada. So, she’s had the same routine all season until we went to Canada. She’s kind of out of her routine right now.”

In addition to Tactical Mounds, Mommamia Volo and Call Me Goo, one other filly is at odds less than 15-1 in the Crossroads of America, Rose Run Yolanda, the Ohio Sire Stakes champion who is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park.

“It’s going to be a little tougher with Mommamia Volo in there, and Rose Run Yolanda is no slouch,” said Scran. “It should be a good race. I’m confident in my filly. She always gives a hundred per cent.”

In addition to the Crossroads of America, Hoosier Park’s Friday card includes the $205,000 Carl Erskine for three-year-old trotters, $190,000 Monument Circle for three-year-old male pacers and the $105,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for three-year-old female pacers.

Tactical Approach, who in addition to the Hambletonian counts the Kentucky Futurity and Breeders Crown among his nine wins this season, is the 9-5 favourite in the Carl Erskine. French Wine, who was second in the Futurity and third in the Breeders Crown, is the 7-2 second choice.

Breeders Crown runner-up Stockade Seelster is the 8-5 favourite in the Monument Circle while Strong Poison is the 8-5 choice in the USS Indianapolis.

Racing begins at 6:15 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Hoosier Park. For free Hoosier Park program pages, click here.

(With files from USTA)

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.