Terror At Night emerged as the only three-time winner from the preliminary rounds of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for three-year-old pacing fillies, which held its fourth and final preliminary Sunday night over “good” going at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Terror At Night and Yannick Gingras had the top in their division in :26.3, and the favourite then yielded to second choice Square Dancer, who got the field by the half in :55.1. Terror At Night moved back to command before the 1:23.1 three-quarters and drew off late, winning by four lengths in 1:51.4, equalling her lifetime mark. The daughter of Western Terror, whose only loss in the competition was a second, a half-length back, to $229.20 bomber Shortstory Hanover at Philly on July 13, is trained by Les Givens for owners Nanticoke Racing Inc., Edward Mass III, and Arlene Paisley.
The filly many were touting as the best in the Stallion Series was Kryptos, who had been third behind Pure Country despite a rough trip in a Sire Stakes, and then was a safe winner in her only Stallion Series action. But the 2-5 favourite was caught by a nose by 9-1 shot Hug A Dragoness, who had the early lead, yielded and was shuffled back, then was moved back outside by driver Matt Kakaley, just catching the chalk in the shadow of the wire in a 1:52.4 mile. Trainer Ron Burke is the co-owner of the winner with Sylvia Burke.
Though Kryptos may have been edged out for trainer Nikolas Drennan, the conditioner bounced right back with the Somebeachsomewhere filly Keystone Riptide, who did not seem to mind first-over duty as she drew off to win by three and a half lengths in 1:52.3 for driver George Napolitano Jr. The winner had two wins and a second in her four preliminaries for owners Joseph Davino, Patrick O’Brien, and Brad Shackman.
As far as the fastest (1:51.3) of Sunday’s four stakes visitors to Victory Lane, the Yankee Cruiser filly Graceful Vision, she may well find herself on the outside looking in come the $40,000 PA Stallion Series Championship on Sunday, September 11 at Pocono. Despite successful pocket rocket tactics to tally by one and a half lengths here for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Erv Miller, the latter co-owner with John Kolipoulos, the 9-2 shot had only had one start, a fifth, in the Series before this one, and may have found her form too late to qualify for the final.
Terror At Night, as could be expected, was the leading point-winner with 130 points; the unofficial list of those behind her gaining automatic qualification to the Championship if declaring in are: Keystone Riptide (105), Corona Again (89), Naps Beach Girl (80), Dismissal (72, the only other two-time prelim winner), Hug A Dragoness (64), and Kryptos (60). If these point totals are verified by the PA Harness Commission and everybody declares in, there will need to be a shake of the pills to select two fillies to field the final field of nine –- the three tied for the next spot, at 54 points, are Addy Girl, Hooves On First, and Shortstory Hanover.
Sunday’s two featured trots at Pocono warrant attention. In the $27,500 Winners Over Handicap Trot, 2015 U.S. Trotter of the Year Pinkman left strongly for the lead, but had a horrible trip -- three-wide most of a :27.1 quarter, not clearing until midway from there to the :56.4 half, and then again under attack from pocket-pulling Armor Hanover, who broke late on the backstretch, and then Rose Run Parker, who was following “Armor's” cover and then found himself raw before the 1:25.1 three-quarters. The 6-5 chalk Pinkman submitted after the heavy pressure as 9-5 Rose Run Parker went by early stretch, then held off the late inside charge of Homicide Hunter by a half-length, with Fashion Creditor and Tweet Me also closing to be within a length of the wire, in that order and ahead of Pinkman. The Jailhouse Jesse gelding Rose Run Parker saw his earnings climb to $741,990 for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
In a $20,000 conditioned trot, the “Obrigado Man,” trainer Paul Kelley, has another nice one in Crazy About Pat, a Crazed gelding who quarter-moved to command for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and took his second race in his three Pocono starts, tonight just a tick off his 1:53.1 mark set here on July 24. The Patricia Stable owns the career winner of $675,499, a 31 percent career winner (28-for-91).
(With files from PHHA/Pocono)