Saturday’s (Nov. 2) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Vernon Downs, Batavia Downs, Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Pompano Park.
Parker notches 5,000th win at Pocono
Wilkes Barre, PA --- Driver Howard Parker won a condition trot aboard Guiltywithanexcuse in Saturday night’s 14th and final race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to earn his 5,000th career victory.
Parker, who started his driving career in 1977 and has made Pocono his home track for the past few seasons, added to career earnings of over $45 million with the win. The entire racing department at Pocono would like to congratulate Howard on his amazing achievement.
-- Jim Beviglia
Newcomer Arockin Hanover captured the $12,000 Open pace, while drivers John MacDonald and Truman Gale each recorded four victories during Saturday night’s 13-race program at Vernon Downs.The Saratoga-shipper Arockin Hanover went off as the second choice in Saturday’s featured seventh session. As the favorite Sheer Brilliance cut fast fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:22.4, Arockin Hanover drafted along back in fourth place. Entering the homestretch, Arockin Hanover revved up and closed like a gate in the wind to not only overtake the pace-setter, but draw off to an eye-popping 3-3/4 length tally in 1:51. The fast-closing finish by the speedy 5-year-old gelding resulted in his second win in succession, eighth this season and 20th all time. Gale did the driving for trainer Jason Robinson as the bay son of Rocknroll Hanover-Artaffection raised his career bankroll to more than $377,100 for owner Robert D. Main.
It was déjà vu all over again in the Saturday night feature race at Batavia Downs when Dontgetinskyway, the 36-1 outsider in the field over eight, got up in the final strides to pull the shocker in the $8,500 Open pace. Friday night, Headingforaruckus scored the upset in the $8,500 Open trot at odds 19-1. Even more surprising was how the race unfolded. Last week’s Open winner, What The Sheik, brushed to the top heading to three-quarters, opened up what looked like an insurmountable four-length lead at the top of the stretch but suddenly took a bad step, in the sloppy conditions, and went off-stride. Reinsman Ray Fisher, Jr. was able to gather up What the Sheik quickly and get him pacing but he didn’t have enough momentum down the lane and he got collared by the longshot winner in 1:58.4. Naked News (Jim McNeight) rallied from last to be a fast-closing third. Dontgetinskyway was driven to victory by Dave McNeight III for trainer Dave McNeight, Jr. He’s owned by Limerick Racing of Hamburg. This was the 7th win of the year for Dontgetinskyway and the win put him over the $67,000 mark in 2013 earnings.
Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Another week another different winner of the Open Pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. It’s A Good Thing (Western Maverick) became the eighteenth different winner of the Open in the last nineteen weeks as he scored an impressive, first-over victory for driver Shawn Gray. It’s A Good Thing was making his local debut in the $15,000 feature for trainer Heidi Rohr and cruised by the race favorite front-runner en route to his sixth win of the year. It’s A Good Thing finished in a 27.3 final quarter to secure the score in the feature, holding off BJ’s Guy (Bruce Aldrich Jr) in the stretch. Duc Dorleans (Stephane Bouchard) finished third in the mile clocked in 1:52.3.
B N Bad scored an impressive win in Saturday’s feature event at Pompano Park. B N Bad, nailed near the wire as the favorite in his last two starts, didn't disappoint his $2 backers this time around in the $10,000 winner's over feature, scoring a decisive win measuring 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52.1--this time as the 2-1 second choice in the betting. The 6-year-old son of Soho, handled by Bruce Ranger for trainer Pete Pellegrino and the Baron Racing Stable, went to the top beginning with his initial stride out of the gate and led every step of the way, feeling only minimal pressure in the final turn before sprinting clear turning for home after clocking panels of :26.4, :55.4 and 1:23.3. Hurricane Scotty J and Matt Romano teamed up for the place honors while Freeneasy Hanover, driven by Wally Hennessey, finished third after being in the garden spot most of the mile. The 7-5 favorite, No Monkeys Allowed was fourth and never really prominent while Oh My Joepa, brushing up to challenge on the final turn, was fifth in the field of seven. In a post race interview, driver Ranger said, "This horse had :26 opening quarter speed so I wasn't that concerned with the quick first number and was able to rate him a bit to the half. I let him out a notch on the backside (:27.4) to try and discourage any threatening developments and he did this all on his own. It was a very solid performance…after all, he does have a mark of (1):49 and a piece. It was the seventh win of the year for B N Bad and 24th lifetime and sent his lifetime bounty to $345,648. B N Bad paid $6.20 to win.