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PASS Rookie Finals Set For Saturday

Published: September 3, 2020 1:09 pm ET

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The best of the Keystone State-sired two-year-olds will be at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this Saturday afternoon (Sept. 5) to contest their respective $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes finals.

The program will also showcase the $50,000 consolation races for each division.

Each of the PASS finals will feature nine-horse fields. The participants earned their way into their respective championships by accumulating points in four preliminary sire stakes rounds, which were contested at Pocono, Harrah’s Philadelphia, and the Meadows.

Summaries of the major contenders in each division appear below.

TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS (Race 9; consolation Race 3)

A coupled entry co-owned by trainer Åke Svanstedt, Captain Corey and Fly Light, have been installed as the early favourite. Svanstedt has no ownership in a third of his trainees in the race, Johan Palema, so that horse is not part of the coupled entry. Captain Corey, a Googoo Gaagaa – Luv U All colt, appears to be the stronger half of the duo, as he is undefeated after three lifetime starts, and the youngster has impressed many with his powerful yet effortless way of racing. He’ll start from Post 3.

His main rival appears to be In Range, the leading point-winner, who won three sire stakes preliminaries and was second, beaten only a length by Fly Light, in the other (interestingly, no sire stakes horse, two or three, was able to post a win in all four prelims). Trainer Marcus Melander, whose stable has been so dominant over the last couple of years, has asked Tim Tetrick to drive the Bar Hopping–Ilia colt, who will begin just outside of Captain Corey Saturday. Those two were the only three-time sire stakes prelims winners in this section (no one else in this division took more than one).

TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS (Race 10; consolation Race 8)

In a very competitive division, the top winners in the prelims took two events, and they are the morning line favourites.

Southwind Gendry (an Always B Miki–Gamblers Passion gelding) is the early choice for trainer Ron Burke, and David Miller will drive the freshman from Post 2. Southwind Gendry won his two preliminaries at the Meadows, but in his only other 'sires' start, at Pocono, he made a break in stride, and will be looking to atone for that miscue.

Second choice, quite possibly because of the difficult Post 8, is the Always B Miki–Beach Gal colt Always A Miki, who is trained by Nancy Takter and is set to be driven by Dexter Dunn. Always A Miki was the leading point-earner in the PASS prelims with two wins, a second, and a third, and he has won over the Pocono oval in both the sire stakes and in an All-Stars division.

Another Ron Burke trainee, the Sweet Lou–Lucys Pearl colt Lous Pearlman, was tabbed as a close third choice, based on his two sires winners and also victories in the All-Stars and in an Arden Downs division. Matt Kakaley is slated to guide Lous Pearlman as they start from Post 4.

TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES (Race 11; consolation Race 6)

Åke Svanstedt may be looking for a sweep of the juvenile trotting championships when the trainer-driver sends out the Southwind Frank-Aleah Hanover miss Flawless Country from Post 4. Flawless Country started her career with a pair of seconds in photo decisions, then went on to win her last three, including a sire stakes prelim at Pocono in her last start.

Insta Glam (Father Patrick–Hollywood Hill) is the second choice on the morning line from Post 6, sporting two PaSS wins and the hot team of trainer Nancy Takter and driver Tim Tetrick. Interestingly, the No. 1 point-earner in this division, the Donato Hanover–Dream Child filly You Ato Dream, earned that distinction without a prelim win, but after four seconds in the four preliminaries she may pick a propitious time to break her maiden as she starts from Post 2 for trainer/driver Jeff Gregory.

TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES (Race 12; consolation Race 5)

Grace Hill, a daughter of Always B Miki–Western Silk, was ranked as the early favourite in this division off the strength of winning all three of the PA Sire Stakes events she contested, including a start at Pocono. One liability may be the fact that the Pocono race, on August 10, was the filly’s last start, but trainer 'Nifty' Norman will work hard to have the filly in championship form as she starts from Post 4 for driver Dexter Dunn.

Divisional point-leader Marsala Hanover won at Pocono and also was victorious in the last PaSS prelim at the Meadows, giving her a consistent 4-2-1-1 record against this group, and has won her last three races overall. The daughter of Captaintreacherous–Marinade Hanover will begin from Post 2 for trainer Linda Toscano and driver Scott Zeron.

Post time for the Saturday Pocono card is set for 12:30 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Championship weekend continues the next afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia with the four finales for Sire Stakes three-year-olds, and concludes on Monday afternoon at The Meadows, with eight Stallion Series Championships.

(PHHA / Pocono)

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