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Power Packed Northeast Opens On Tap

Published: May 16, 2019 1:35 pm ET

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The Great Northeast Open Series will have $30,000 events for open-calibre horses on both gaits this weekend, with pacers going during a post-Preakness Saturday night (May 18) program at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and trotters getting their turn the next afternoon (Sunday, May 19) at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

The three morning-line choices in the Great Northeast pace will be starting in inverse order from the rail in their Pocono event. Sweet Rock (post 3, Eric Carlson, 5-2) was second to first-leg Great Northeast winner Highalator in a 1:48.3 mile at The Meadowlands last week. Dealt A Winner (post 2, George Napolitano Jr., 3-1) was a close fifth in that race as he rounds into top form, and Rodeo Rock (post 1, Eric Goodell), gets a big improvement in post as he makes his second start since finishing second in the Levy Final on April 20.

Not to be overlooked, but a bit of an outsider in more than one sense of the word, is Tiger Thompson N, who won last week’s event at Harrah's Philadelphia. The import has won four of his last five races, including his last start when he rode a perfect pocket trip to victory in 1:50.3 over a sloppy track. Driver Pat Berry may need more than a bit of racing luck for Tiger Thompson N, as they start from post 6 in the field of seven at early odds of 9-2.

On Sunday afternoon, millionaire Meladys Monet has been named the 2-1 morning-line choice, beginning from post 5 for driver Jordan Stratton. Meladys Monet won the first leg of the series at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:52.4 before taking last week off, but this 10-year-old has been known to hold his form for long stretches at a time.

He will need to be on his game, because the next two rated rivals are Top Flight Angel (post 3, Marcus Miller, 5-2) and Homicide Hunter (post 1, Yannick Gingras, 7-2). Top Flight Angel comes in from Yonkers and a second-place finish behind Will Take Charge, while Homicide Hunter, the world’s fastest trotter by virtue of his 1:48.4 win at Lexington last year, couldn’t have had worse luck in his 2019 debut last week, tucking in from post 8 and then getting stuck inside and never getting into the flow of the race. An improved race is very likely to result from Homicide Hunter on Sunday afternoon.

These two classes, plus the mares open pace, will all have a chance to race for Great Northeast points next Sunday (May 26) at Harrah's Philadelphia, as the track presents its three showcase $100,000 Invitationals: the Maxie Lee Open Trot, the Commodore Barry Open Pace, and the Betsy Ross Mares Open Pace. To make that day even more thrilling for race fans, there will be Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action for the best Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacing colts and geldings mixed into the blockbuster card.


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