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Stakes Freshmen Flood Pocono

Published: July 3, 2016 11:42 pm ET

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Drivers Marcus Miller and Tim Tetrick both won three $20,000 first round divisions of Pennsylvania Stallion Series action for two-year-old pacing colts Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but it was a member of that dying-off 'breed,' the trainer/driver -- Pat Lachance -- who guided the fastest freshman, Fullback, a 1:53.2 winner.

Lachance had the early lead with the winning Bettors Delight colt, then yielded to favoured Jo Pas Somebeach. In the stretch, Fullback came home like Jim Brown bulling his way to the end zone, closing into a :27.2 last quarter to beat out the pacesetter by a length and (like all the Stallion Series winners) taking a new mark for Lachance and the ownership of Down Easters Alroy Chow, Stanley Sclar, and “transplant” Del Cote.

Fullback returned 8-1 at the mutuel wickets; there was one other non-favourite among the septet of winners, and if given a choice of that horse’s handler between Miller and Tetrick, one would logically go for Miller, who guided two $50+ horses home the previous night. And indeed it was Marcus Miller beating out the chalk Artists Ruffles with the Dragon Again gelding Epic Union, also an 8-1 proposition, coming from second-over to win in 1:55.3 for trainer Erv Miller (at Goshen with daughter Hannah as she was honoured as Amateur Driver of the Year) and owners David and John Prushnok, Ervin Miller Stable Inc., and Paymaq Racing.

Father/trainer Erv Miller and driver/son Marcus also clicked with another son of Dragon Again, the colt Maconupwiththedragon, who led coast-to-coast in 1:53.4, with back fractions of :56.1 and :27.4, for owner Ronald Michelon. Marcus’s third Stallion Series winner was behind the Les Givens-trained Ponder colt Ponderingjacksfame, another who led at every call, coming home in 27.3 to complete a 1:53.3 package fort Nanticoke Racing Inc., Jim Magno, and Joe Fonte.

Tetrick’s Stallion Series triple, all behind favourites as the paragraphs above imply, included back-to-back wins for trainer Jo Ann Looney-King and owner Paton Racing Stable Inc., with both timed in 1:54.2. First up was the Well Said gelding Hulk Hanover, who marched to the front in front of the stands en route to victory; the other gave Dragon Again his third siring credit as the gelding Donttellmeagain became the only winner to run his record to two-for-two with an early move en route to the biggest victory margin, six lengths.

Tetrick’s third triumph in the stake was behind Outcry, a colt who gave Well Said two winners in the first round action when he went to the lead early, backed off the half, then blitzed home clear in 1:57.3 for conditioner Mark Harder and owners Rick Phillips, Peter Venturini, and Deena Frost.

Miller and Tetrick made the Pocono winners circle their own gladiator ring on Sunday, each winning five times in the first 12 races, with one-race visits from Lachance and Andrew McCarthy. Both were on the track trying to score the knockout blow in the 13th and final race, and both were at their “preferred” odds -- Tetrick as second choice, Upset King Marcus at 24-1 -- but David Miller ruined this showdown by checking home first, with Tetrick and Miller at honours-even with their quintuples.

(with files from PHHA/Pocono)


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