Trainer Ron Burke sent out winners in three of the four $30,000 divisions of Pennsylvania All-Stars competition at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night.
Simon Allard drove two of the successful freshman fillies for Burke, including the fastest winner, Shouldabeenatd, whose 1:52.3 winning time was a North American season’s record.
Allard left with the Sweet Lou–Breakheart Pass filly then let Lyons Sentinel go to the top before the :27.2 quarter; that one in turn gave way to favoured Firefly in front of the stands, and she went on to the half in :56, with Shouldabeenatd coming back for more first-over and battling the leader to the 1:24.1 three-quarters.
Neither of the front enders gave an inch around the turn and into the stretch, where Lyons Sentinel joined them in the Pocono Pike. Shouldabeenatd showed tenacity late in putting up a head decision over Lyons Sentinel, with Firefly fading slightly late to be another length back. The winner, who had a 1:54.1 qualifying win at The Meadowlands and was second in her purse bow, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
The former season’s record of 1:53.2 had been equalled by another Burke/Allard combination earlier, when the A Rocknroll Dance–Liscaramore miss Dance Club notched her first purse win after a 1:57 Gaitway off track qualifier. Dance Club, who had a 1:57 sloppy track win in a Gaitway qualifier, made two early moves then sat in the two-hole while All In Fun and favoured Wayside duelled on the front end, then cleared in the lane and paced off to win by 1-3/4 lengths over All In Fun for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc and David Wills.
Mike Simons was in the sulky for Burke when the Somebeachsomewhere–Palazzo Princess distaff Sailaja Deo took her All-Stars event in 1:56 in her purse debut, coming after a 1:55 qualifying win at Gaitway. Simons had Sailaja Deo in the pocket behind pacesetting favourite Silver Tail, shifted outside when first-over Blood Red got by the pacesetter late on the turn, then ducked back inside and caught Blood Red by a head for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, Lawrence Karr, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby.
None of the Burke winners was favoured by the Pocono faithful, but the fourth divisional winner, the Captaintreacherous–Cashaway filly Lyons Monatize, did reward the crowd backing her as she won by the largest margin, 2-1/2 lengths, in 1:55.1 for driver Jim Morrill, Jr. The Gareth Dowse trainee stepped home in :27.4 with no pressure to take her initial purse start (she had won a Pocono qualifier in the same time as this victory) for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound.
In a $21,500 fast-class co-featured pace, Soho Wallstreet A had three wins in this class showing in his lines, yet he still got away at 5-1, then rallied from the pocket to post a 1:50.2 triumph. Pat Berry guided the Four Starzzz Shark gelding, now a winner of $331,613, for trainer Scott Di Domenico and J G Racing Stable.
Morrill and Burke both recorded five victories on the night, combining with Always At My Place and Mystery Island after the All-Stars races had been completed. Burke Racing Stable LLC owns a share of all of the Burke quintet.
(PHHA / Pocono)