Connors’ Comments for Sunday, March 26, 2023


FIRST RACE – The warmest day of the year so far – temperatures in the mid-50s – and the wind “back at its normal stretch headwind” … ERINWOOD YVES went in fourth at the 1/8, could wait until the ¾ to move outside as there was no forward flow, followed cover on the turn then tipped wide, ate up the ground voraciously late to be just along. PANETTONE HANOVER was looped early, got command at the ¼, slowed the second quarter then sprinted in 27 hoping to get away, almost did but just missed. COALFORD BET ALINE made a big start to get by everybody early, yielded at the ¼ for the two-hole, kept up well in the 55 back half. WHISKEY BREAK gapped inside on the far turn, fair late. GONE BEFORE DAWN had an excess of cover, wide and paced his own last half in 54 in a solid try. ALADDIN HANOVER came out from third 5/8 and went in 26.4 down the back to try to get close, continued his efforts around the turn but then couldn’t sustain them. DANCING JOE moved outside off the second turn but never reached late-developing cover. SWEET SHUNEY MOON got an early spot, not heard from thereafter.


SECOND RACEVICIOUS CIRCLE was inside of the big leavers, saw them go by then moved at the quarter to regain the throttle, dashed clear down the back and wasn’t threatened despite the slowing last quarter. BETTE TINA was second-over, left uncovered far turn, so-so to get a DH2 with DIAMONDTOOTHGERTIE. The latter retucked around a gapper, moved out again on the turn, had some late gain to achieve the tie for second. ROCKNROLL NELLA was very wide early, challenged then settled for the pocket at the ¼, moved out down the back, gained some then flattened a little, far ahead of the rest. TIGERS WATCHING N left between horses to take the front, forced a tuck, then yielded to the winner 3/8, couldn’t keep pace from the 5/8 and fell back. NARINA HANOVER was never prominent. TSM WESTERN SOUL started gapping early.


THIRD RACE RIOT started uncovered just off turn two and went 27 with the wind to battle the leader, put that one away early stretch and was a very good winner. SPORTSMANSHIP came off the rail ¾, three-wide and closed nicely to be a very clear second. TODDLER TANTRUM was looped out of the gate, went on to get the lead at the ¼, slowed the half then added a second fast odd-numbered quarter down the back dueling with the winner, quite tired very late. BEACH BLANKET BOOK was last, outside down the back, wide, made up good ground while drifting way out towards the grandstand side. KIMANI N was outside early but had little to offer. SCRAPPIN GOLD yielded for the early pocket, vacated third-in past the 5/8 to follow cover but to no avail. IC A FREE SPIRIT gunned away for the lead, yielded, started to struggle to keep up 11/16. WILSONS VINNER had no impact in this contest.


FOURTH RACETHE GYPSY QUEEN IR got a very good second-over trip, rarin’ to go when tipped three-wide midturn, drew clear. CATIE FAYE HANOVER stayed in, went to the path behind the winner headstretch and outclosed the others. ST LADS BIJOU was outleft, slid into the early two-hole, came out of third with a rush 3/8 to get the lead by the half, not too far off second. BLANK CHEEK left well for the early top spot, yielded, back uncovered early backstretch and challenged, tired a bit late. YOUNONOTHINJON moved out from last before the ¾, weaved through stretch traffic with horse. FOX VALLEY CACHET, outside early, refused a three-tuck and pressed on to the front 3/8, yielded at the half, started unplugging on the far turn. SHES A BULLVILLE gapped. FOX VALLEY HADLEY was third-over, gapped then narrowed in 3/4, then gapped on the turn before breaking.


FIFTH RACEQUARANTINA gradually worked through past the start to the lead, forced an opponent to take a hole, rated quarter two, opened a big lead around the far turn, coasting late. GADOT HANOVER closed the gap to the winner after inheriting the pocket, couldn’t keep up far turn but was doing better late. STRIKING TACTFUL came out in a blindswitch far turn and was the distant third. RAVIOLI avoided incident. MY BELFAST ANGEL was always far back. LUCKY LIMERICK left, wanted the lead but had to settle for the two-hole, broke 5/16, recovered and was making up ground well before breaking again 5/8. MISCHIEVOUS G was always far back. BINGO BRAIN gapped throughout, then broke headstretch.


SIXTH RACEROCKIN THE BLAZE made his intentions clear throughout, forcing tucks, rating quarter two, then sprinting off the last 3/8 as if it were a drive in the park. ER VEGAS sat third, gapped the pocket horse early on the turn, then narrowed in some and went by that one late for the distant second. MY WISH CAME TRUE left, took the pocket 3/16, couldn’t stay with the winner 5/8, couldn’t hold second late but was an acre ahead of the rest. PLAY THE ACE gapped midrace inside, outfinished the others. RYCROFT N was wide early, spotted fifth 3/16, moved with ineffective cover but gapped it anyway, then was left raw ¾, little. ARTACHE HANOVER never entered the picture. HEARTLANDBANYSBRO started raw into turn two but never got anywhere near the winner, ducked in far turn, faded. LITTLE POWER was away last from the rail, no factor.


SEVENTH RACESYLVESTERAMERICAIT moved outside behind the first-over ¾, left raw when that one broke late turn, trotted by for the biggest price of the year at Pocono, $135.40. ONE AFTER NINE left quickly to take the top, yielded to the chalk 3/8, loose ¾, then suddenly with the lead late turn as the pacesetter and first-over next to him went offstride, held second as maybe a fast pace caught up with him. CHUCKY DE VIE was outleft and tucked third, came out in the stretch, evenly. SWEET HEART AS and DAGON HANOVER got the last checks. MASSIVE OPULENCE started a good uncovered move 5/8, alongside the pocketsitter midturn when the leader broke, suffered an “ix” in the momentary confusion while looking to have a good chance with the favorite out. ARGENTO had lost contact by the half. HARRY KNOWS IR defended the pocket, moved at the ¼ to the lead 3/8, opened up a big advantage to a fast ¾, but made a break just past midturn, just beyond where a lightpole shadow crossed the track (?), to the infield.


EIGHTH RACE HIGH IMPRESSION got an early forward spot then quarter-moved, overpowered these the last 5/16. IT’SGOODTOBEDAKING emerged uncovered early on turn two, grinded, never close but second over SPORTS BETTOR. The latter first sat in then backed out behind the cover of the place horse, was moving a little better late. MAJESTIC KIWI N was originally second-over but gapped early backstretch letting a horse out, next in line. WON LAST FEELING left for control, seated a rival, then yielded for the pocket, unplugged 11/16. JONAH was wide early, raced into the pocket 3/16, blocked on the far turn but then had little once clear. ISITFRIDAYYET never factored.


NINTH RACEFASHION KEN was looped but remained outside early, got in gear nearing the ¼ and took over 3/8 in a slow half, held off this crew in a fairly slow mile even for maiden trotters. TEST MY WILL was away well for the early pocket, yielded, backed out ¾, three-wide headstretch, had enough to grab second ahead of the inside-charging WENTWORTH HANOVER. The latter moved up from last two-wide, ducked in ¾ and finished steadily in the Pocono Pike to just miss the deuce. UNCLE NINO left well to take over early, yielded 3/8 for the pocket, couldn’t keep up the last 3/16. FAWN DE SIGN gapped, still got the last check. WINE BAR gapped down the backstretch. FULL SCALE was outside before the second turn, went three-wide around the parked horse 5/8 and continued to advance until past mid-far turn, then tired and got a little rough. IT IS WELL was caught three-wide most of the ¼, then got cover to the 3/8, then was left raw while not threatening before fading.


TENTH RACECLASSIFIEDMATERIAL was third-over, three-wide to the ¾ through the turn, benefited from the protracted front-end duel and finished the best. TERRITORY left, forced a tuck, momentarily bore wide late first turn but steadied, yielded 3/8 and stayed in the pocket, to the Pocono Pike, didn’t miss it all by much. MISTER DAYTONA N was fourth-over, gapped, wide in the stretch and came on with pace. BLOW A CLOUD N left, took the pocket 3/16, backed out to second-over 5/8, was blindswitched while slightly gapping, evenly late. MAKE SOME WAVES wasn’t fast away from the gate then rolled up, had cover until the chalk cleared past the 5/16, was head-to-head with that one in good fractions the rest of the way, held courageously. P L LEEROY came out of third just before the ¼ to the lead past the 5/16, had no rest battling the parked challenger the rest of the way, tired. BRUMBY never entered contention. DL’S BIG ELVIS disconnected in the last half.


ELEVENTH RACEMAN DONTFORGET ME left for the early pocket, moved before the ¼ to take the top off turn one then pushed her main foe almost to the second turn before releasing for the pocket, waited for the Pocono Pike, then utilized it well to take it all. FRANTASY HANOVER was outleft and settled third, pulled out 5/16 and worked to the lead towards the bottom curve, set the rest of the pace, just caught on the inside while far ahead of the rest. GEORGIE MARTIN N gapped inside down the back, stayed inside and just got third over PEARL HARBOUR N. The latter burst right to the lead, saw two go by in quarter two, couldn’t quite keep up late turn and couldn’t quite hold third. CRAZY CUTE gapped in last early, then followed cover 5/8 but never was prominent. THE STUNNING NUN N was raw at the half and moved up well in the third quarter and much of the turn, then tired. BETTERB CHEVRON N never was on the radar.


TWELFTH RACESOUTHWIND ARTURO got position leaving, stuck inside until headstretch then out in a blindswitch, saw room develop between horses midstretch and shot right through for an easy victory. HAND DOVER DAN had great cover, three-wide headstretch and may’ve drifted a little wider than that through the lane, steadily to grab second from RACER DAN. The latter was uncovered on turn two, made a big 27.2 move down the back to engage the leader, momentarily ahead midstretch, caught by closers but still an impressive showing. FIREINSIDEMYVEINS made the lead at the 1/8, slowed the half then had to pick it up 5/8 in the face of the tough first-over bid, not enough late. INFINITE ZETTE raced in the pocket, got a little loose late backstretch. DONZEL HANOVER joined a good outer tier but couldn’t stay with it. K J DIAMOND gapped out before the 5/8. RESOLVING broke nearing the backstretch before the start and ran the entire mile.


THIRTEENTH RACEPRAIRIE WESTERNGAL left well, pushed a foe, yielded but came on the retake 5/16 to take control again and rate the half, opened up down the back and was a very impressive winner. BELFAST N was uncovered from sixth at the half and roared up in 26.3 to get into the pocket late on the backstretch, to the Pocono Pike, couldn’t make any further inroads. SHES PUKKA N was three-wide to the first turn, then two-wide to command off that bend, yielded, couldn’t keep up late backstretch, stayed on evenly. A BETTOR GAME got early position, outside on the far turn, OK. BULLVILLE KARLA struggled from the 5/8. NONE OF THE LAST THREE were ever major contenders.


FOURTEENTH RACEBE BEST moved up to the top 3/16, yielded for the pocket, to the Pocono Pike and just by SPEAKING OF COFFEE very late. The latter made two speed moves to control the throttle, came up just shy. BETTOR B SAWYER sat in, didn’t appear to have a path between the top two late. SOME KINDA ANGEL started uncovered 3/8, did better from the 5/8 to mid-far turn, hung in there pretty well. SHADOW ONE was third-over behind dull cover, four-wide in the stretch and finished well. ICARUS FALLS N was shuffled, not a late factor. PLEASURE SEEKER was last most of the mile. FOR CHIPS SAKE was second-over at the 3/8, gapped cover late backstretch.


FIFTEENTH RACENICE GUY EDDIE got a great second-over trip from the 3/8 onward, tipped wide for the stretch and trotted right away from these. BY A HOFF HANOVER was looped and used to clear past the 1/8, got pressure from the half continuing down the back and into the turn, did well to hold off the others for second. LOUS LANCELOT stayed in, locked in on the turn, to the Pocono Pike and just missed second. CHARLIE BAR moved raw 3/8, battled the leader hard the third quarter and to midturn, lost a little momentum from there. GINA’S ON FIRE was three-wide to the first turn, looped a parked foe, let that one go past the ¼ to sit the pocket, struggled in the last ¼. PHANNYS MATTER looked at leaving but took back; that one and THE OTHER TWO were not heard from again.