Bigtown Hero set a new world record for aged geldings on the pace in a Preferred Handicap victory on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried a purse of $25,000.
Leaving from post position No. 4 in a field of seven as the 8-5 second choice, Bigtown Hero (American Ideal-Art Account), a six-year-old gelding from the Rene Allard barn, burned his way to the early lead. Driver Ron Pierce decided to cut the gelding loose, creating unforgiving fractions of :26.3, :53.3, and 1:19.4 and a huge lead.
In the stretch, Bigtown Hero started to slow slightly, allowing for wild closing rallies by second-place Aslan and third-place Dancin Yankee, the 4-5 favourite, that came up a half-length short of the winner. The winning time of 1:47.3 shattered the mark of 1:48 for aged geldings on a five-eighth-mile oval, which was set by Foiled Again in June of 2013 at Pocono and then matched a week later at the track by Abelard Hanover.
Bigtown Hero, owned by Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin of Quebec, was this year's Gold Cup & Saucer champion and was fresh off an Open Handicap win at Yonkers and now has nine wins in 27 2014 races. It was his 24th career victory, pushing his lifetime earnings to $191,104.
Earlier in the night at Pocono in a $25,000 Preferred Trot, Sevruga (S Js Caviar-Stunning Lindsey), a six-year-old gelding from the Kevin Carr stable, scored his first win since the spring by flashing early speed that held up in the final strides. The 3-5 favourite in a field of six, Sevruga, with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, led at every pole and dug deep late to hold off Wind Of The North by a nose in 1:52:1. Not Afraid finished third.
(With files from Pocono Downs)