Connors’ Comments for Monday, March 6, 2023


FIRST RACE – Mid 40s; stretch tailwind today, though diminished towards the end of the card … KILOWATT KID N left well, yielded at the 3/16 for the pocket, worked hard and got by IM A GIGOLO N in the last 100 feet. The latter left briskly to 3/16 command in a fast quarter, kept going at a good clip, just missed in a big outing. SHANE ADAM tucked third, sat third-inside, held that position in a photo over REGAL ESCAPE. The latter was third-over, three-wide midturn, came on solidly. SEND IT IN JEROME stayed in, was not prominent. BIG BOSS HILL was raw on turn two, raced up to get to the leader’s wheel 5/8, but then never got closer before fading. MAJOR SHOW gapped second-over. AFLAME HANOVER was last at every call.


SECOND RACEASKMELATER HANOVER left like a shot and had an open lead during fast fractions most of the way, drew off as the meet’s longest price at $74.00. TRUMAN JR HANOVER raced up to the pocket at the 1/8, struggled a little to keep up with the marauding front-ender, had enough to maintain second. CHIEF JUSTICE came outside midturn, was gaining nicely late. MY BOY CHRISTIAN moved out 5/8, circled the tiring first-over ¾ but couldn’t gain once back to two-wide. MISTER BOINGA moved second-over, ducked back in 5/8, little late. WILLIE B WORTHY and FASHION CANTAB never factored. NASEY was double-looped leaving and tucked third 3/16, moved out off the second turn but was soon going backwards.


THIRD RACEREDHOT ROMEO settled in third at the 1/8, then gapped before tightening in, uncovered 5/8 and challenged, took command at headstretch, and – oh, brother! – held off POINTSMAN to his inside. The latter left well for the pocket, lost a little ground coming into the stretch, moved out behind the winner then ducked inside him towards midstretch, couldn’t quite make up enough ground. THOR raced second-over, three-wide headstretch, close at the finish. WHERES MY MONEY took the inner route until mid-far turn, angled wide and was gaining well at the end. NIGHT EXPLORER gapped inside, little late. FRITZIE PIC UP MAN streaked out to the lead before turn one, cut the pace, was challenged by the winner, had very little left in the drive.


FOURTH RACEBAR COINS tucked third early, moved around the big gapper past the 5/8 and gradually ate into the leader’s margin, caught that one in time. THE BLACK ACE was all by himself most of the way in fast time for this kind in these conditions, was being coaxed home but couldn’t quite last to the line, tons ahead of the rest. DONATELLO HANOVER followed cover, wide headstretch, just got the very distant third. TOP TUXEDO came outside late backstretch but couldn’t catch up. MEGA POINT left for the pocket, got bottomed out chasing the wicked tempo. SANTA MONICA AS jumped approaching turn one. GATSBY was last in the main pack when going offstride before the ½. QUINNPATRICKSHEA broke entering the first curve.


FIFTH RACE – Another two-horse stretch duel … SCRAPPIN GOLD left enough to defend the pocket, stayed in the hole until well into the lane, then outkicked PANTHEON HANOVER to the line in a good time in this situation. The latter was urged leaving, set the pace, oceans ahead of the others. HEAVEN’S SUPERSTAR was looped early and tucked third before the 3/16, then kept close until the last 3/16. ON THE TAKE stayed on the rail, came back with “b.e.” IMIDEAL HANOVER came out from last 11/16 but didn’t make any inroads.


SIXTH RACESAY YOU DO had the early pocket, inherited the lead just before the half as the pacesetter “ex”d, saw REDWHITE N GOO come out on the turn and get to even terms late turn, but stayed steady to the line and got the job done. The latter sat third then moved up to second with the breaker, looked menacing coming out on the two-hole midturn, but drifted wide in the lane and couldn’t quite reach. RUFFLES N LACE stayed out of trouble. REAL MC COY also stayed flat. CELEBRITY SERENA was not a factor when breaking headstretch. JUSTIFY went offstride coming off the second turn. MASSIVE OPULENCE left sharply for the lead, had a strap visibly dislodged coming out of the first turn, then made an “ex” entering turn two, was taken to the infield, and was pulled up.


SEVENTH RACECALVERY HILL followed cover outside on the turn, was briefly blindswitched, then found room early stretch and had the most late for Team DiBenedetto. CAVIART SKIPPER moved out of third at the ¾, battled, may never have been ahead but went on with determination. WESTERN THUNDER looked at leaving but then took back to last in the short field, outside on the turn and wide towards midstretch, narrowed in. I SOAR HIM FIRST went to the lead just past the 3/16, set the pace without pressure, couldn’t hold the advantage to the line. CASINO BAGS ANSO left from the rail then yielded for the pocket, a bit loose most of the way, to the Pocono Pike, no gain.


EIGHTH RACEMONTEVERDI settled in third past the 1/8, waited until midturn then came out, just caught BLOGMASTER late. The latter was three-wide to turn one, in front past the 1/8, set the pace without challenge, just missed in the last steps. CREATE MYSTIQUE was away for the pocket, had a great trip, no excuse in the Pocono Pike. STEEL SCHOONER came from far back uncovered, tucked in on the far turn, a better mile than it may appear on paper. SUNDAE FUNDAY started gapping at the 3/8. GLIDE IN THE WIND was trapped inside, but didn’t have quickstep once clear. GAAREAT GAAZOO couldn’t go with cover; KEYSTONE SERGEANT tried to circle poor cover ¾ but could not.


NINTH RACEBELIEVEINTHESPIRIT was uncovered to the second turn, went 28 down the back to clear 3/4 and then draw away. PHILOSOPHIZER left and got the pocket, was locked in on the far turn, to the Pocono Pike and had some decent rally for second. DISMISSAL SLIP sat in then backed out to third-over 9/16, wide far turn, OK for third. SOMWHERENBROOKLN N was inside and shuffled to last, angled to four-wide headstretch but couldn’t get too much closer. BRIGADOON was four-wide early, then to two-wide to the lead to the 3/16, rated the half, couldn’t handle the winner to the ¾ and faded – the seventeenth straight Game Of Claims favorite to lose. SKYWAY BILLY had excellent cover but failed to continue to gain once left uncovered ¾.


TENTH RACERACER DAN was second-over, gapped during the third quarter, but got closer on the turn, went wide in the stretch, and outtrotted these to the line. THE AMERICAN EAGLE gapped a bit from the 3/16 to the half, then came uncovered, challenged, steadily although outkicked for the win. U BAKE THE CAKE looked at leaving but took back, stayed inside, to the deep Pocono Pike and was going well late. DIEHARD SEELSTER was three-wide to the first turn to the lead 3/16, didn’t surrender the lead until deep stretch but then tired. WAVELIKEAQUEEN left and sat in the two-hole from the 3/16, inside the pacesetter in the stretch but not a great response. COUNT JOGGING was gapping in last when breaking.


ELEVENTH RACECONGRESSIONAL was four-wide early and three-wide to the first curve, then two-wide to the lead 3/16, was not challenged until the far turn, then left these behind with a powerful 28 finish. RUSTY BEACH took back early and spotted, stayed connected, got to the pocket as the 2-3 horses went outside, did well in the Pocono Pike to photo COALFORD BET ALINE for second. The latter was three-wide early then two-wide to make the front at the 1/8, yielded for the pocket, came outside midturn but couldn’t cut into the winner’s margin. MIDTEEN sat third, came out with cover on the turn, didn’t find best strides until late. PARK STREET BLUES was behind dull cover as the back four were well off the top four ¾, swung wide and got the last check. RAYRAY moved out off turn two but had little. THE OTHER TWO gapped.


TWELFTH RACENICE STUFF came out raw at the ¾ and made her way forward, able to outtrot this field to the line. TRICKY DICK moved outside 11/16 and caught cover ¾, closed steadily and just gained second over ARCH CREDIT. The latter was three-wide leaving to the front at the 1/8, yielded off the first turn for the pocket, to the Pocono Pike, got a brief lead, not quite enough. KEEGAN HO angled out on the far turn, stacked widest and had finishing trot. TEDDY BROSEVELT and SUM FOR ALL both stayed in and couldn’t make their presence felt. AWSOME PAUL was looped, bypassed a two-hole tuck to get the top off the first turn, had no pressure on the lead until the far turn, but came up empty. KEYSTONE THUNDER was last at every call.


THIRTEENTH RACESUPER GIRL was very wide early then got to two-wide at the 1/8, rushed up to take over off the first turn, sprinted home in 56.1 – 27.4 to hold off a foe to either side. ALWAYS B NAUGHTY hit the front at the 1/8 then yielded for the two-hole and stayed tight, to the Pocono Pike and appeared to flounder a little, then found a high gear and was narrowing in well late. MARGOT HANOVER spotted fourth, uncovered ¾ and made up ground, may have gotten to second briefly towards deep stretch, held well. HAILEY’S SISTER left and yielded, stayed connected until around the far turn. MOLLY MCARDLE gapped early, along for the last check. KALYPSO came out 5/8 but couldn’t reach the main action in the sprint home. ALEXA’S SUNSHINE offered little. RELENTLESS JULIE had just moved uncovered going into the second curve when she broke.


FOURTEENTH RACEMUSHANA left amidst a bunch, went right to the lead and didn’t want to give it up, was pressed by the parked horse, but disposed of that one and the rest of the field from past the ¾. PRIMO PADRE moved to second-over behind the parked horse, three-wide nearing midturn, clearly second. CHOCO CHARLIE was buried inside then got some room when a foe broke on the far turn, to the Pocono Pike and was doing OK finishing. LADY’S IMAGE left and took the pocket, no response in the last 5/16. SPREE was three-wide to the 3/16 then two-wide, could find no hole so had to stay on the rim, fell back towards the ¾ after the hard trip. ARGENTO gapped outside. LIFEINTHESLAMMER slid into a three-tuck at the 1/8, was under a hold, shuffled from the ¾ and finally made a break nearing the top of the stretch, being taken to the infield. SECRET OR NOT broke as the gate sprang.


FIFTEENTH RACEWAIMAC ATTACK N was three-wide to the 1/8 then two-wide to get the lead past that point, rated the half then charged home enough to not be threatened. IC A FREE SPIRIT spotted third, kept close throughout, moved to the Pocono Pike and was an OK second. A STUD NAMED SAM left well, then yielded for a two-hole ride, outside headstretch but didn’t have the needed late steps. LOVE YOURSELF gapped at a couple of points, evenly late. SKY CAPTAIN had to swing wide from last, some late speed. BUTTER UP went out to second-over just past the 5/8, three-wide late turn but had little to offer. COLLEGE HANOVER was uncovered into the second bend, paced in 27.1 down the back to get close to the leader, but then his bid ended.