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‘Sun Stakes Saturday’ Elims Drawn

Published: June 17, 2019 2:24 pm ET

Last Comment: June 18, 2019 10:52 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The fields for the elimination races for Sun Stakes Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono have been drawn.

The top finishers in the eliminations this Saturday (June 22) will come back a week later to compete in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Free-For-All Pace, the $500,000 Earl Beal Three-Year-Old Trot, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace, and the $300,000 James Lynch Three-Year-Old Filly Pace.

There are three eliminations for both of the sophomore pacing events, and the top three finishers will advance to the big-money final. In regard to the Beal Trot and the Franklin Pace, there are two eliminations, with the top four finishers (plus the fifth-place finisher with the highest 2019 earnings) advancing to the championship events.

A look at the horses in the eliminations of each of the four Sun Stakes Saturday events appear below.

($35,000 eliminations in races 8 and 10)

McWicked, 2018’s Harness Horse of the Year, the defending Franklin champion and the winner of last season’s Breeders Crown at Pocono, heads the free-for-all contingent. A winner of $3,918,456, the son of McArdle won his 2019 debut, then came back for a creditable third after taking four weeks off last Saturday, and is quite likely to be tighter for this Saturday’s action. He’ll start from Post 3 in the eight-horse tenth race elimination, with Brian Sears driving for trainer Casie Coleman and the S S G Stables.

Springsteen will make his 2019 debut from Post 1 for the brother team of trainer Rene and driver Simon Allard. He won the Hempt Pace during last year’s Sun Stakes Saturday card. Starting between Springsteen and McWicked will be Lather Up, a top performer when minding his manners for driver Montrell Teague and trainer Clyde Francis.

In the eighth race first Franklin elimination, Highalator will come back to Pocono on a five-race winning streak. A son of Somebeachsomewhere owned by trainer Jenny Bier in partnership with Joann Dombeck and Midsize Construction Inc., Highalator, as fierce a stretch competitor as has been seen at Pocono in a long time, will look to raise his lifetime tally at the mountain oval to 13 wins from 20 starts as he will begin from Post 4 in the nine-horse field for driver Richard Still.

Western Fame, who ran roughshod through the Levy Series and has earned $448,800 already this year, will return to the races after a month-and-a-half freshening, and he’ll start from Post 2 for trainer Rene Allard and driver Daniel Dube.

($25,000 eliminations in races 2 and 12)

Father Patrick colt Greenshoe, who has stamped himself as one of the early favourites for the Hambletonian, is at the front of the class of the trotters assembling for the Beal off of three astounding lines – a 1:51.2 win in a New Jersey Sire Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack on May 17, a 1:50.2 triumph in the NJSS final two weeks later, and then a 1:52 qualifier at Pocono on June 12. The Marcus Melander trainee, owned by Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, and Morten Langli, will begin from Post 5 in the twelfth race second elimination for driver Brian Sears.

The biggest threat to Greenshoe could come from Osterc, the 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion who is 3-for-4 to start this year, including two PASS prelims and the Dexter Cup. He’ll start from Post 4 for trainer Per Engblom, with Yannick Gingras listed as driver.

In the second race first Beal elim, the Muscle Hill colt Green Manalishi S, another from the potent stable of Marcus Melander, will make his seasonal debut from Post 5, with Tim Tetrick scheduled to drive for owners Courant Inc. Green Manalishi S was five times first and five times second in ten starts as a freshman, earning $510,557.

White Tiger, who equalled the five-eights-mile track world record for freshman geldings with a 1:55 win at Pocono last year, figures to be competitive in the elims for trainer Andrew Harris and driver David Miller. He will start from Post 3. White Tiger opened his season with two wins before falling victim to broken equipment in his latest outing.

($25,000 eliminations in races 1, 4, and 7)

Proof, the 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, will draw his share of attention in the fourth race second Hempt elimination. The A Rocknroll Dance colt, trained by Brian Brown for Diamond Creek Racing, got his first 2019 win in his fourth start last time out, but he had been competitive in sire stakes races prior to the breakthrough win. David Miller is listed to guide Proof from Post 3.

Starting from the rail in the first race first elimination is another 2018 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, Aflame Hanover, whose 1:51.4 triumph in the PA Fair Championship was the fastest final victory of all-time, even quicker than any three-year-old. The Russell Hanover gelding, a ‘local product’ trained by Linda Schadel and co-owned by her and her husband Tony, comes off a fourth in the North America Cup final, and Andrew McCarthy has gotten along well with the sophomore since taking over driving duties two races ago.

In the seventh race third elimination, there are stakes winners from Delaware (Goldberg), New Jersey and Kentucky (Hurrikane Emperor), along with recent sub-1:50 overnight winners in Lyons JohnnyJnr and Captain Trevor. A handicapper could make a good case for many of the horses in this competitive field.

($20,000 eliminations in races 3, 5, and 11)

One of the surer bets on Sun Stakes Saturday elimination night is that there will be a great deal of attention on the eleventh race third Lynch elimination, as Warrawee Ubeaut and Treacherous Reign have at each other again after the latter beat the former by a nose in a thrilling Fan Hanover final in Ontario last weekend.

The Sweet Lou filly Warrawee Ubeaut, the fastest two-year-old of all-time at 1:48.3 and last year’s divisional champ, will be out for revenge from the rail in the seven-horse field for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Ron Burke, and owners Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. The Captaintreacherous miss Treacherous Reign, undefeated in four starts this year, will start from Post 3 for driver Dexter Dunn, trainer Tony Alagna, and the combine of Alagna Racing LLC, Big Als Stables, Let It Ride Stables Inc., and Dana Parham.

Another daughter of Captaintreacherous, Philly Hanover, will be handled by Dexter Dunn from Post 2 in the third race first Lynch elim. The Ron Coyne trainee, owned by Ron Coyne Stables Inc. and Blair Corbeil, has recorded four wins and a second from five starts this year, the second coming to Warrawee Ubeaut, and she is a double PASS winner

Zero Tolerance has had zero tolerance for her New York Sire Stakes rivals this year, as she won her three NYSS starts by a combined 16 and three-quarter lengths. The job may not be as easy in the fifth race second Lynch elim, but the Heston Blue Chip filly is the likely favourite from Post 4 for driver David Miller, trainer Joe Holloway, and the ownership of Val D’Or Farms and Ted Gewertz.

The gigantic Saturday Pocono card also has a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) pace as Race 9, with the two inside starting slots to be filled by Courtly Choice, who has carried his three-year-old form over to his present age four, and None Bettor A, the imported upstart who earned his sixth consecutive victory in the Battle Of Lake Erie on June 8. Both already have GNOS wins to their credit.

First post for this Saturday’s 14-race card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is scheduled for 7 p.m.

(PHHA / Pocono)

June 18, 2019 - 10:52 amThe only notable faces who

Mike Mobley SAID...

The only notable faces who raced last week at Mohawk and will be racing on Sat. night at Pocono are McWicked, Warrawee Ubeaut, and Treacherous Reign. Not a single notable glamour boy will be making the trip. Also, surprisingly, Courtly Choice will race at Pocono on Saturday, but he's not entered in The Franklin.

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