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Aiming For Another Pocono Upset

Published: June 30, 2016 9:25 am ET

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Three seasons ago, Mark Steacy’s Sunshine Beach triumphed over Captaintreacherous in the 2013 Battle of Brandywine in an epic and memorable duel. Steacy returns to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono with Lindwood Beachgirl, a lightly-raced filly that will attempt to claim the $300,000 James Lynch Final at Pocono Downs on Saturday, July 2.

“I wouldn’t say it’s impossible,” Steacy said on the filly’s chances. “We still got a ways to go, but I don’t think she has peaked yet.”

Lindwood Beachgirl, a three-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Real Desire mare Thou Shalt Not, has raced just ten times in her career -- three of which came towards the end of last season. She is owned by Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc., David McDonald, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable, and Conrad Leber.

“Early in the spring she had a hairline fracture in one of her hinds.” Steacy said. “It wasn’t real serious, but it was serious enough that she lost a couple of months.”

Starting off her three-year-old campaign with four wins, Lindwood Beachgirl made her first stakes start in the Fan Hanover, where she finished seventh in the final after a brave first-over bid. In nearly every other start this season, she has raced from off the pace.

“The biggest reason she has raced off the pace until now is probably because she’s so green,” Steacy said. “I’m sure she’ll have no problem, if she ever got the chance to race on the front. She’s up against some pretty classy fillies that will also be close to the lead.”

With the possibility of a strong pace, Lindwood Beachgirl could be positioned to fly from off the pace.

“It’ll be up to Yannick [Gingras],” Steacy said on how Lindwood Beachgirl would race. “This’ll be Yannick’s second time sitting behind her. He can drive her however he wants; he knows how to win races.”

Yannick drove Lindwood Beachgirl in the James Lynch elimination, where she finished fourth from post nine.

“She handled the track well,” Steacy said. “It’s always tough from the nine hole at Pocono. She had to move three-wide around dead cover in the last turn, and still managed to finish well.”

Lindwood Beachgirl goes up against Pure Country, the Fan Hanover winner and 5-2 morning-line favourite, as well as Darlinonthebeach, the Fan Hanover runner-up at 3-1 morning-line second choice.

“She’s probably the greenest filly of them all,” Steacy said of the half-sister to Lost For Words ($917,221). “I’m hoping that with every start she’ll improve. She has the breeding to be a great filly. That’s not to say she can’t win the race, but it will be very difficult.

“It was different with Sunshine Beach,” Steacy also said. “He was a little more seasoned. His win was a little bit of a surprise, but I knew he had the talent.”

Lindwood Beachgirl has won five races in 10 starts with one second and one third, earning $56,210.

“There are a lot of good pacing fillies this year,” Steacy said. “I think mine’s one of them. As long as mine stays healthy, she’ll go right with them. She’s bigger and stronger than her brother, so I’m hoping she improves as the season goes.”

Lindwood Beachgirl will start from post four in the James Lynch final. She is listed on the morning line at 12-1.

The $500,000 Ben Franklin free-for-all pace highlights the 14-race Sun Stakes Saturday card. The Franklin fanaticism has run rampant throughout harness racing, with it being deemed potentially the greatest race of all time.

“I’m definitely going to watch it,” Steacy said. “It should be a really exciting race. I think Always B Miki will be everyone’s pick, but Freaky Feet Pete raced well last week, and I’m sure Wiggle It Jiggleit will be involved. It’s not going to be a walk in the park for any of them.”

Below is the Lynch Memorial field followed by the fields for the remaining stakes Saturday at Pocono:

$300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial (Race 9; estimated post time 9:08 p.m.)
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML
1 – JK Fannie – Jim Morrill Jr. – Nancy Johansson – 10/1
2 – I Said Diamonds – Matt Kakaley – Matias Ruiz – 5/1
3 – Newborn Sassy – Tim Tetrick – Jo Ann Looney-King – 4/1
4 – Lindwood Beachgirl – Yannick Gingras – Mark Steacy – 12/1
5 – Skinny Dipper – Scott Zeron – Ross Croghan – 20/1
6 – Darlinonthebeach – David Miller – Nancy Johansson – 3/1
7 – Pure Country – Brett Miller – Jimmy Takter – 5/2
8 – Blue Moon Stride – Andrew McCarthy – Mark Harder – 6/1
9 – Penpal – Pat Lachance – Pat Lachance – 15/1

$500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial (Race 10; estimated post time 9:31 p.m.)
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML
1 – More Dragon – Jim Morrill Jr. – Ron Burke – 20/1
2 – Racing Hill – Brett Miller – Tony Alagna – 5/2
3 – Western Fame – George Napolitano Jr. – Jimmy Takter – 12/1
4 – JK Will Power – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 6/1
5 – Talk Show – Scott Zeron – Steve Elliott – 8/1
6 – Boston Red Rocks – Tim Tetrick – Steve Elliott – 5/1
7 – Katies Rocker – David Miller – Jim Campbell – 4/1
8 – Control The Moment – Randy Waples – Brad Maxwell – 7/2
9 – Big Top Hanover – Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke – 15/1

$500,000 Ben Franklin (Race 11; estimated post time 9:55 p.m.)
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML
1 – Mel Mara – Corey Callahan – Dylan Davis – 6/1
2 – Shamballa – Scott Zeron – Rick Zeron – 8/1
3 – Wiggle It Jiggleit – Montrell Teague – Clyde Francis – 5/2
4 – State Treasurer – Tim Tetrick – Ian Moore – 15/1
5 – Sunfire Blue Chip – Brett Miller – Jimmy Takter – 12/1
6 – Freaky Feet Pete – Trace Tetrick – Larry Rheinheimer – 3/1
7 – Always B Miki – David Miller – Jimmy Takter – 4/1
8 – All Bets Off – Matt Kakaley – Ron Burke – 20/1
9 – Rock N Roll World – Jim Morrill Jr. – Ron Burke – 30/1
10 – Always At My Place – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 10/1
Always At My Place starts from the second tier

$500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial (Race 12; estimated post time 10:20 p.m.)
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML
1 – Reigning Moni – Scott Zeron – Jimmy Takter – 10/1
2 – Hollywood Highway – John Campbell – Staffan Lind – 15/1
3 – Truemass Volo – Eric Goodell – Douglas Hamilton – 12/1
4 – Dayson – Jim Morrill Jr. – Ron Burke – 3/1
5 – Trolley – Marcus Miller – Erv Miller – 6/1
6 – Brooklyn Hill – David Miller – Jonas Czernyson – 5/1
7 – Southwind Frank – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 5/2
8 – Dice Man – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 20/1
9 – Bar Hopping – Tim Tetrick – Jimmy Takter – 4/1

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Ray Cotolo)


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