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Campbell Trainees Upset In PA All-Stars

Published: July 9, 2017 11:39 pm ET

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The Pennsylvania All-Stars series moved into its three-year-old phase on Sunday night (July 9) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with sophomore colts on each gait racing in four $30,000 divisions.

On the trotting side, the still-hot team of driver Corey Callahan and trainer John Butenschoen collaborated on two winners -- but since Hall of Fame driver David Miller doesn’t pay $169.40 to win very much, let’s start with the story of his victory behind Thisguyisonfire in a new mark of 1:54.

Miller got about as good a trip as you can get from sitting eighth at the three-eighths with the Yankee Glide colt, following lively cover, then catching fire late to wear down Sir John F by a neck. Two other names you normally don’t associate with longshots, trainer Jim Campbell and the Fashion Farms LLC ownership of Hall of Fame ballot candidate Jules Siegel, are the rest of the crew behind Thisguyisonfire, whose mutuel easily surpassed the previous seasonal high of $119.20 set by Threeupthreedown -- and may have been an overlay based on paper, as the colt now has four wins in seven seasonal starts, with a Stallion Series to his credit before adding the All-Stars credential.

In contrast to the Thisguyisonfire mutuel bombshell, the two winners on which Callahan and Butenschoen combined returned a combined total of $6.80 to win. Giveitgasandgo, the 2016 Pennsylvania Sire Stake champion, went to the top, fought off a backstretch challenger, and won by two lengths in 1:54.2 for the ownership of Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, David Miller, Lawrence Means, and the VIP Internet Stable LLC. His stablemate Dover Dan, like Giveitgasandgo a PA Sire Stakes winner in 2017, had a hard leave-then-first-over journey, but he was still able to go clear by two and a quarter lengths in 1:53.3 for owners William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick.

Two AM, last year’s PA Stallion Series champion, raised his lifetime record to seven for 10 after a second-over trip, taking a new mark of 1:54. Tyler Buter sulky-sat behind the gelded son of Muscle Massive for trainer Todd Buter and owners Lynette Buter, Gene Oldford Farms LLC, and William and Carol Fuchs. Off these very nice victories, all four braintrusts may be giving a special race just 27 days from tonight a long hard look.

Turning to the pacing side -- hey, didn’t we read above that you usually don’t associate trainer Jim Campbell with long-priced winners? Maybe it only happens when there’s a Miller in the bike -- as in the race after the toteboard-busting Thisguyisonfire won for David Miller, Brett Miller and Campbell combined behind the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Jo Pas Somebeach, making the most of a pocket journey to catch favoured Summer Side by a half-length while taking a new mark of 1:51.2 for the Emposimato Stables. (Confounding the form was the order of the day for Brett Miller -- he had four winners at Philly in the afternoon, and they paid in order $10.80, $19.00, $24.20, and $60.20.)

At the other end of the win pool spectrum, the Dragon Again gelding Donttellmeagain, the 2016 Stallion Series champion, was bet to 1-20 by the public, and he justified their faith easily, controlling the pace then storming home in :54.3 – :26.4 to complete a 1:51.2 mile. Tim Tetrick drove the third-place finisher in the recent Hempt Championship to victory for trainer Jo Anne Looney-King and the Paton Racing Stables Inc.

Eddard Hanover lowered his mark a tick to 1:50.4 in capturing his All-Stars division for driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Ron Burke. Another altered son of Dragon Again, Eddard Hanover used a pocket trip to hit paydirt for Burke Racing Stable LLC, JJK Stables, Lawrence Karr, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.

Rounding out the evening’s All-Stars pacing action, the Somebeachsomewhere colt Highalator visited the winner's circle for the 11th time this season while taking a new mark of 1:50.3. Photobombr Hanover put a scare into the winner by putting a neck up past mid-turn, but it is not unprecedented for Highalator to rally back in the last eighth of the mile after being passed relatively late in the race, and the game three-year-old fought back under George Napolitano Jr.’s encouragement to take a half-length decision for trainer Jenny Bier. Highalator started the year with just more than $7,000 on his card, but he’s earned over $118,078 as 2017 just passes the mid-year mark for owners/breeders Daryl Bier and Charles Dombeck.

All-Star sophomore fillies command the spotlight the next two nights at Pocono: four divisions of pacers on Monday night, and then five of trotters on Tuesday.


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