Wilkes-Barre, PA--The recordbook again figured to take a pounding when the Pennsylvania Stallion Series Championships for 3-year-olds were featured at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Saturday night (Sept. 7), and it most certainly did.
The pacing gelding Shock It To ‘Em became the fastest-ever Stallion Championship winner when he beat world champion Ultimate Beachboy to the wire by a half-length in 1:50.1. The triumphant son of Western Terror made his main rival work hard for the lead, then sat the pocket, leaving him perfectly positioned to mount a victorious stretch charge that enabled him to also become only the second Stallion Series performer to sweep all four preliminaries and the Championship (2TC Smoother Ride achieved the feat last year).
Ron Pierce reclaimed the lead in the Stallion drivers all-time win column with his fifth victory in the competition; Chris Oakes (who also conditioned the 3-4 finishers in the race) trains Shock It To 'Em for Hauser Brothers Racing Enterprises LLC, Chuck Pompey, Susan Oakes, and Timothy Cable.
Two races earlier, Rossini claimed the title as fastest trotting Stallion Series champion with an open-length victory in a new personal best of 1:53. The Classic Photo gelding, undefeated in three Stallion prelims while skipping the other to try the Goodtimes final, worked to the lead past the quarter and was not seriously challenged thereafter. Rossini gave the team of driver Howard Parker, trainer Jim Raymer, and owner Harbor Racing Stable LLC (from the noted harness racing state of Texas) their second horse in as many nights who had parlayed No. 1 prelim status to the Stallion Championship (2TF Nitro Nittany did it Friday; Shock It To ‘Em, as mentioned above, was the other of the weekend’s three 2013 Stallion final winners in this category).
For 72 minutes, the Somebeachsomewhere pacing filly Antigua Hanover had the title as fastest Stallion Series champion (she raced before Shock It To ‘Em) after pocketrocketing to a new stakes and personal mark of 1:50.4. Tyler Buter, who like Howard Parker had never won a Stallion Championship before this weekend and who like Howard Parker (see above) won one both nights, handled sulky duties for trainer Amber Buter, and he co-owns the promising sophomore with Oldfield Farms LLC.
The first to get to Stallion Championship Victory Lane on the card was the Donato Hanover trotting miss Choose Happy, who also rung up a stakes and personal best with her 1:54.2 triumph. In deep stretch you knew that “driver Miller” was going to win the contest, but the photo finish camera showed a head decision for the grinding Choose Happy and Brett Miller over the Pocono Piker Gliding To Glory and Andy Miller, with Brett now equal with yet another Miller, David, in Stallion Series Championshps with three, behind Pierce’s five and Dave Palone’s four.
Trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. wisely altered course with this filly in the middle of her PA stakes campaign, abandoning the Sire Stakes (4-8) for the Stallion Series (1-1-Ch1), to the delight of owners Up Front Racing LLC, DM Stables LLC, and Miller’s Stable Inc. (yes, more Millers, Robert and Barbara).
FINISHING LINES – Final Stallion Series Championships speed count: fastest pace and trot ever; seven of eight divisional Championship records either rewritten or tied; and six of eight individual marks broken or equaled (the other two took their marks in Stallion prelims!) … Six of the weekend’s eight winners were also “PA-sired and –bred,” meaning that (figured at 2012 rates) their breeders earned $5600 paydays from their newly-crowned Stallion Series champions.