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White Tiger Equals World Record

Published: August 19, 2018 11:24 pm ET

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There were three divisions of the fourth and final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday night (August 19).

All three races came down to stretch duels between two contenders, and all three times the odds-on favourite came up shy by a neck. Taken collectively, the three miles were the three fastest produced by baby male trotters in North America this year on a five-eighth-mile track.

And there’s one more “three” in the background – the Muscle Hill-Louise Kemp colt Prospect Hill, after winning in all four of the prelim legs, could now become only the third two-year-old trotting colt on record in the 25-year history of the PA Sire Stakes to sweep the prelims and then take his Championship, joining Stormin Norman and Billy Flynn. That date with destiny is at The Meadows on Saturday afternoon, September 1.

At Pocono on Sunday, Prospect Hill made the lead at the :28 quarter, then proceeded to the half in :57, just as Green Manalishi S charged to him in his uncovered attack. The two colts were both sent off at 4-5, with “Manalishi” having $58 more support (between the two of them they had 86 per cent of the win pool), and the two were virtually inseparable on the racetrack as well the last half (the three-quarter time was 1:26), with Prospect Hill going a little bit better late to win in 1:55, a season’s record for his division. Prospect Hill has now won five stakes races in his last five starts, adding on a Pennsylvania All-Stars division to his four PASS wins, for driver Andy Miller, trainer Julie Miller, and the ownership of Stroy Inc.

Eighteen minutes earlier, the other 1:55 winner was the Muscle Massive-Just Not Into You gelding White Tiger, and that clocking was not only a season’s record, and a Pocono track record (old mark was 1:55.1, It Really Matters, 2013), but it also equalled the world record for two-year-old trotting geldings on a five-eighth-mile track, giving all three Pennsylvania tracks a share of this mark, as Correctamundo first achieved the feat in 2009 at The Meadows and was matched by Mississippi Storm at Harrah’s Philadelphia last season. The Andrew Harris trainee, now a two-time Sire Stakes winner, followed the cover of favourite Gerry, then relentlessly pursued him until gaining the late advantage, becoming the best four-legged advertisement imaginable for driver/entrepreneur Anthony MacDonald and Thestable White Tiger Group.

In the third division, Demon Onthe Hill was trying to join Prospect Hill as a four-time Sire Stakes prelim winner, but instead it was the Cantab Hall-Oh Oh Hereshecomes colt Osterc who joined him as a three-time prelim victor after a 1:55.2 mile. Osterc brushed to the lead down the backstretch for driver Yannick Gingras while simultaneously getting a :30.1 breather, and Demon Onthe Hill, chasing him, could not quite reach in the :28.4 last quarter. Osterc ran his lifetime record to four-for-five after winning his third straight Sire Stakes start for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter and Goran Falk.

The Harness Bureau of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission is the official keeper of PA-sired competition points, but an unofficial tally of the standings after the races yielded these ten as the leading point-winners: 1. Prospect Hill, 2. Demon Onthe Hill, 3. Osterc, 4. White Tiger, 5. (tie) Flippen Creek and Stonebridge Symba, 7. Fashion Possessed, 8. Ginger Tree Skyr, 9. Klutzy, 10. Mass Fortune K.

Monday evening’s feature at The Downs will be six divisions of the last Stallion Series prelim for the baby diamondgaited colt, with the final field for their Championship (Philly, Labor Day Monday) currently far from being decided.

(PHHA/Pocono)


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