Grand Circuit-calibre horses prepping for their 2013 campaigns put on impressive shows in Thursday morning qualifiers at Pocono Downs once again.
Economy Terror --- the 2011 U.S. juvenile filly champ and double world record-setter in capturing the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships at Pocono at age two and three --- won her second straight qualifier. She was put on the engine this week by driver Jim Morrill Jr. for trainer Chris Oakes. She came home in the fastest clocking of the session, 1:52.4, a head and neck in front of promising sophomores Ronny Bugatti and Track Master D, respectively.
Another 2012 PASS champion, the three-year-old trotting filly Frau Blucher, brought a smile to the faces of her connections and fans of Cloris Leachman by making her first trip behind the gate in 2013 an easy 1:56.4 triumph for the Morrill Jr./Oakes connection.
To finish the PASS theme, Dovuto Hanover, who was favoured last season in the two-year-old pacing colt finale but had a luckless uncovered trip, had no such trouble today in what was his return to the Keystone State. He raced on the engine and finishing in 1:57.3, with Morrill Jr. in the bike for trainer Ryan Maxwell. Dovuto Hanover is ranked at #9 in the Trot 2013 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book.
Last year's Goodtimes Stakes winner, Beer Summit, proved to be the fastest trotter of the day's session courtesy of his 1:55.3 win. The four-year-old horse chugged along in the pocket past a 1:00 half, then burst from the hole and threw successive personal quarters of :28 and :27.2. Andrew McCarthy handled the driving duties for trainer Noel Daley.
McCarthy was also behind Dynamic Youth, the 2012 Cane Pace winner and major late-season factor among the top sophomores. Dynamic Youth employed a two-move trip and won in 1:53.2 off a :27.1 final quarter for trainer Aaron Lambert.