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World Records Smashed At Pocono

Published: June 28, 2014 4:39 pm ET

Last Comment: June 29, 2014 8:03 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The fastest trotting mile in harness racing history over any size of racetrack, and the fastest mile ever over a five-eighths mile racetrack were just two of the standout performances as a multitude of North America's brightest stars invaded Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for Sun Stakes Saturday.

The card featured more than $2.2 million in purses and the lightning-fast Pocono oval helped establish or equal five world records. Trot Insider recapped the night's jaw-dropping action.

Sebastian K Trots In 1:49!

Sebastian K turned in the fastest trotting mile in the history of harness racing with a jaw-dropping 1:49 victory in the $100,000 Mohegan Sun Invitational Trot.

Trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt fired the Swedish trotting star off the gate from the outside post seven and carved out fractions of :26.2, :55.3 and 1:21.4 en route to the record-setting mile. Pocket-sitter Archangel (Yannick Gingras) broke stride around the final turn leaving the heavy 1-5 favourite all alone on top. Modern Family (Dave Palone) finished seven lengths behind in second and Arch Madness (Brian Sears) was third. Market Share (Tim Tetrick) advanced first over from sixth at the half to finish fourth.

As Sebastian K made his way back to the winner's circle to celebrate his 30th career victory, the crowd broke out in applause.

"We're very happy," said assistant trainer Bernie Noren. "It's an amazing mile for a horse like this. It's amazing to come here and do the world record. Ake is an incredible trainer and driver and the horse is a phenomenal animal. He really pushed him today to go for it."

The eight-year-old Korean-Gabriella K trotter is owned and bred by Knutsson Trotting Inc. He boasts a perfect record this year while competing in North America with the fastest four consecutive trotting miles in the sport's history.

Sebastian K will be pointed next to race in Canada in the Maple Leaf Trot.

Takter Trainees Finish 1-2 In World Record Mile

Harness racing's newest millionaire Father Patrick continued his undefeated three-year-old season with a 1:50.2 world record performance in the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot.

The time of the mile shaved two-fifths of a second off Googoo Gaagaa's world record for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings over a five-eighth-mile track. It's also just one-fifth of a second off the world record for three-year-old trotters over any size racetrack.

Leaving from post eight, Father Patrick and driver Yannick Gingras worked their way to the lead through the first quarter in :27.1 and cleared as the field moved in front of the grandstand. The heavy 1-2 favourite proceeded to the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:23, and was still clear on top entering the stretch. He then powered home for the two and three-quarter length victory over his advancing stablemate, Nuncio (John Campbell). Early leader Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) finished third.

"I was very happy with both my horses," said trainer Jimmy Takter after the race. "'Patrick' is a very unique horse. We compare him with other horses, but I've trained a lot of great horses and this is definitely the best horse I've developed.

"This horse, he trotted here a [1]:50.2 world record. I know this track is fantastic, but Yannick never even asked him -- he had the [ear] plugs left in him. He was sitting on a good second anyways. He is just a three-year-old. We saw the fastest trotter today in [1]:49 here and this is just a three-year-old. This is a heck of a performance."

Father Patrick is now perfect in five starts this year for the Father Patrick Stable. The Cantab Hall-Gala Dream colt also holds the 1:52.1 world record for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on a five-eighth-mile track, which he set at Pocono last October in his Breeders Crown elimination before capturing the final. Lifetime, he boasts a 15-for-16 record with his earnings climbing over the million-dollar mark.

"Ive been babying him all year," noted Gingras. "We qualified him really easy and raced him really conservative from the back. Last week when he raced he was good, but he wasn't Father Patrick good. All the credit goes to Jimmy. He did a couple little changes on him and he told me tonight he was ready to go and he sure was.

"He's a dream come true," added the Quebec native. "When I came to race in the U.S that's what I wanted. When I made the move to the Meadowlands, I made it to drive great horses and he's definitely the most talented horse I've driven."

Takter noted that Father Patrick will compete in the Stanley Dancer Memorial in two weeks and will be pointed towards the Hambletonian.

Another World Record For Sweet Lou

He's the fastest two-year-old pacer in harness racing, and now he can add the fastest pacer ever on a five-eighths mile track to his accolades with a dominant win in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Final.

Ron Pierce was intent on the lead with Sweet Lou, leaving from Post 4 but having to deal with speed to his inside with stablemates Bettors Edge (Matt Kakaley) and Allstar Legend (Scott Zeron) both gunning for command. Rail position helped Bettors Edge get there, but it took a :25.2 opener.

Pierce was still three-high in that first turn, looping a parked out Allstar Legend in front of the grandstand to clear by the three-eighths marker. The half was scorched in :53.3, and Allstar Legend was right back to challenge the pace.

Elim winner Domethatagain (Simon Allard) was second over but took his shot at Sweet Lou on the backstretch, applying more pressure to the favourite through the 1:20.1 third split. In the stretch, pocket-sitter Bettors Edge ducked to the passing lane and gave Sweet Lou a serious threat appearing to get almost nose-to-nose but Sweet Lou dug in and tripped the timer in a historic 1:47. Foiled Again ducked inside to nip Domethatagain for third.

The time of the mile shaved two-fifths of a second off the world record co-held by Dancin Yankee and Pet Rock. It's also just one-fifth of a second off the fastest mile time in a race over any size of racetrack.

“I let them pace up to me and then I started chasing my horse,” Pierce said. “I felt like, by far, he was the best horse in the race; the only way he was going to get beat tonight was if I messed up. I guess we can throw that ‘entrymates working together’ baloney out the window.”

Sweet Lou (Yankee Cruiser - Sweet Future) is now five-for-eight in 2014 and has won 27 lifetime races for Burke Racing Stable of Fredericktown, Penn., Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, Penn., Larry Karr of Randolph, N.J. and Phil Collura of Mountain Top, Penn. The winner's share of the purse pushed Sweet Lou's lifetime earnings over the $2.5 million mark.

“At the start of the race, I didn’t know if we were going to get around there for a second when he was three-wide, but Ronnie got him to the top,” Collura said. “Then at the top of the stretch, I thought, from where I was looking, that we might have been passed, but he dug right back in and he got it done.”

McWicked Sets World Record In Hempt

The record speed continued on Sun Stakes Saturday as favourite McWicked delivered a stunning 1:47.3 victory in the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial Pace.

The McArdle-Western Sahara colt shaved one-fifth of a second off the world record for three-year-old colts and geldings on a five-eighth-mile track. The former mark was set by Bolt The Duer in 2012 at The Meadows and equalled by Sunshine Beach last August at Pocono Downs.

McWicked and driver David Miller cleared to command over early leaver At Press Time (Yannick Gingras) past the :26.2 opening quarter and led the way through middle splits of :55 and 1:21.2. All Bets Off (Matt Kakakley) applied first over pressure with Allstar Partner (Corey Callahan) on his back. However, McWicked drew away from his rivals down the stretch for the two and a quarter length victory. At Press Time finished second from the pocket with All Bets Off settling for third.

McWicked provided owner Ed James of the S S G Stables with the perfect birthday present. The colt now boasts four wins in seven starts and over $400,000 in purse earnings this year while racing from the Casie Coleman stable.

"He was just awesome. I usually like him out of a hole, but he's good on the front too," said Coleman from the winner's circle. "I saw Dave when that horse was coming out of the two-hole and Dave spoke to him a little bit there and he had his whip tucked at the wire so I was pretty happy with the looks of that."

Sent postward as the 3-5 favourite after his 1:48 elimination win, McWicked paid $3 to win.

"I had a lot of confident in him and I just wanted to get him away from the gate and be in the clear and be the last one to the lead," said Miller. "It actually worked out a lot easier. We got to the half in :55 and that felt pretty good.

"He felt pretty good up the backstretch and around the last turn. He's been racing just unbelievable."

Following a rest from racing, McWicked's next major stake is expected to be the Adios.

Lynch Memorial To Fancy Desire

Fancy Desire avenged her loss in the Fan Hanover to Uffizi Hanover by winning the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial on Sun Stakes Saturday.

George Napolitano, Pocono's leading driver, hustled the three-year-old Real Desire filly off the wings and worked hard to clear for command in a :26.1 opening panel with Sayitall BB (Yannick Gingras) in the pocket.

Napolitano got a bit of a breather with a :55.3 half with Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell) coming first up. After a 1:22.2 three-quarters, that first-over bid faded and Fancy Desire tried to get some daylight on the pocket-sitter. Gingras angled Sayitall BB out for a late charge and had plenty of pace but could only get to a head of the leader at the wire, with the timer stopped at 1:49.2.

“I know fractions don’t bother her, she can go real fast,” Napolitano said. “I knew it was going to be a sprint.

“She’s a little horse and I know she can sprint. [Sayitall BB] was sprinting right with her, but she just kept sticking her nose out and got the job done. That’s what good horses do.”

Now four-for-nine on the season with her biggest win to date, Fancy Desire is owned by Robert Di Nozzi of Ossining, N.Y. and trained by Kevin Carr. She more than doubled her lifetime bankroll by pushing it to over $260,000.

“I was very confident,” Napolitano said. “She loves her work and it makes my job real easy.”

This was Napolitano's second Lynch win, the first coming 10 years ago in 2004 with Skydancer Hanover.

Post 8 No Problem For Dancin Yankee

The betting public had a hard time deciding between Clear Vision (Post 2) and Dancin Yankee (Post 8) in the $100,000 USTA Invitational Pace. When the windows closed, they chose Dancin Yankee. Those supporters were not disappointed.

Tyler Buter set up the world record holder behind Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras) second over while Clear Vision controlled the tempo through a :54 half and 1:20.2 three-quarters. When the field hit the head of the lane, Buter tipped Dancin Yankee off that cover and he responded with a punishing late kick to wear down the pacesetting Clear Vision in 1:47.3 -- just one-fifth off the world record he shares with Pet Rock over a five-eighths mile oval.

Thinking Out Loud (John Campbell) came flying from the back of the pack to nail Clear Vision for second.

Racing from the Amber Buter barn for owners Baron Racing Stable of Horsham, Penn. and Richard Lombardo of Solon, Ohio, Dancin Yankee has now won his last three starts -- and to show he's not a horse for a course, at three different tracks. He has 35 wins and more than $864,000 in lifetime earnings.

Monster Mile For Wind Of The North

Sun Stakes Saturday got off to an early fast start, as four-year-old trotting gelding Wind Of The North stormed to a 1:51 victory in the second half of the Daily Double, a $21,000 trot.

Driver David Miller, to be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame next weekend, left swiftly with the altered son of Cantab Hall to hit the quarter in :26.2, then yielded to Daylon Magician, who got the field to the half in :55.1.

Going to the three-quarters, Daylon Magician made a break and went to the infield, giving Wind Of The North clear sailing and inside positioning to the 1:23.1 third split, and Wind Of The North stormed home in :27.4 to finish the record mile, which shaded the former standard of Indian Summer, set here 51 weekends ago, by a tick.

Clifton Green of Pennsylvania is the trainer/lessee of Wind Of The North, who lowered his personal best by almost three seconds, from 1:53.4.

(photos courtesy Curtis Salonick)

June 29, 2014 - 8:03 pmIf the powers that be would

Dean Nixon SAID...

If the powers that be would like to see a successful racino model, look no further than Pocono. The track is immaculate, camera work excellent, the racing has something for everyone. A healthy claiming game, quality stakes, prompt payment of purses. No wonder on any given day you can see evidence in the Pocono race programs that are evidence of the Ontario exodus. Just think, Pennsylvania tailored their program based on what had originally been done here in Ontario.


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