Stallion Series Championships At Pocono

Published: September 12, 2016 12:41 pm EDT

The Pennsylvania Stallion Series had its four $40,000 championship events for three-year-olds Sunday night (Sept. 11) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

The finalists had earned their way into the championship by collecting the most points in four preliminaries at the state’s various harness ovals. The sophomores’ two-year-old counterparts will contest their four championships on a 4:30 p.m. twilight card Monday at The Downs.

Filly pacer Terror At Night tied the 1:50.4 stakes record set by Antigua Hanover in 2013 also at Pocono. The daughter of Western Terror, driven by Brett Miller, took the lead away from favored Keystone Riptide early, kept Addy Girl outside on her challenge, and then powered off with a :27.3 last quarter to win by 4-1/4 lengths over Hug A Dragoness. That horse pulled out from behind pocketsitter Keystone Riptide on the turn and beat that foe to the wire for the distant second.

The winner reduced her lifetime best by more than a full second in the powerful triumph for trainer Les Givens and the partnership of Nantiocke Racing Inc., Edward Maas III, and Arlene Paisley. With three wins and a half-length loss in her four prelims to give her the highest point total, the most surprising thing about Terror At Night’s win is that she paid $9.00 as the fourth choice in a field of seven.

Nimble And Quick did come through in the colt pace championship. He won a championship in his two-year-old Stallion Series campaign and hit the board in five in his last seven starts to make him the 2-1 choice. The Western Ideal gelding delivered in 1:52, taking a fifth off the personal mark he set in his 2015 victory, and making him only the second repeat winner in the Stallion Series Championships, along with trotting filly Migisi (2010-2011), for trainer Richard Ringler and owners Pat Lachance and M & M Harness Racing LLC.

Nimble And Quick went out from post four for driver Matt Kakaley, ceding the lead at the three-sixteenths pole to Safensound Hanover, who took the field through splits of :26.4, :56.1, and 1:24.2. JJ Flynn was advancing uncovered from near the back, with Doubleshottahott in tow. Nimble And Quick went just inside Safensound Hanover in the Pocono Pike, with third-inside Rip This Joint deep in the Pike. JJ Flynn grinded on, with Doubleshottahott and then a wide-angling Don McWhite outside of him. After the stretch run, the charge ended with Nimble And Quick a half-length ahead of Rip This Joint, who won a three-way photo over third-place Safensound Hanover and Doubleshottashot. A neck behind them in fifth was JJ Flynn, who in turn had a neck on Don McWhite.

The filly trot was a wild affair, literally, from start to finish. South Side Hanover left strongly from post two, with rail horse Casey T maintaining a tight pocket early, forcing Ameliosi to remain outside without cover and Glidinthruparadise outside with cover. Ameliosi went up to challenge, but South Side Hanover controlled the throttle through hot splits of :26.4 and :55.2.

At the five-eighths pole, Glidinthruparadise went three-wide around Ameliosi, with Spirit Squad and Maker A Yankee on her tail, with “Glidin” in first-over position at the 1:24.1 three-quarter pole. She continued up to battle South Side Hanover, with Spirit Squad ducking into the pocket vacated by a tiring and eventually breaking Casey T.

In mid-stretch Glidinthruparadise got a short lead for driver Brian Zendt, with South Side Hanover still battling and Spirit Squad making a charge up the rail. The latter two hooked wheels, with the pair coming to an almost-walk in the last 100 feet. The lock-up allowed Glidinthruparadise, who may well have prevailed in any respect, to equal her mark of 1:54.3, 1-3/4 lengths clear over Maker A Yankee, an opportunistic second at 62-1 ( Marcus Miller), with South Side Hanover, whose wheel had been hooked from behind, holding a nose advantage over Spirit Squad at the finish. An inquiry into the event resulted in no placing.

Glidinthruparadise shows the deep legacy left by the late master horseman Walter “Boots” Dunn. His daughters, trainer Lisa Dunn and Leslie Dunn Zendt, now own the filly, and Boots bred his unraced mare Chowda to Yankee Glide, with the resultant foal now a Stallion Series Championship and winner of $93,563, just over half the bankroll of her full sister Boos Party Girl, who is another Dunn Stable product.

In the colt trot, Marty De Vie was outside to the three-sixteenths to gain the lead from Iholdon, the 6-5 choice over 7-5 Skeezix, and passed the quarter in :27.1 and the half in :56.4. The first challenge came from the uncovered Skeezix, who grinded up from fourth to be second at the 1:25.4 three-quarter marker and gained with every stride on the turn. Skeezix got by the pacesetter towards mid-stretch, then found a higher gear late and won by a comfortable 1-3/4 lengths over Iholdon. Blownoutofthewater stacked widest in the lane and finished third in the mile in 1:54.3. The winner equalled his lifetime best.

Pocono’s “Trot Man,” Mike Simons, had the driving assignment for trainer Roland Mallar and owner Michael Andrew, who also bred his unraced Valley Victory mare Queen Of Angels to SJs Caviar to produce the developing sophomore gelding with lifetime earnings of $84,920 after a limited freshman campaign.

(with files from PHHA/Pocono)