Friday's (Aug. 22) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Hoosier Park, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Tioga Downs.
Don’t Spank Me repeats in Hoosier feature
Anderson, IN --- Don’t Spank Me, driven by Andy Shetler, utilized her customary late charge to prevail in the featured event of the evening, a $22,000 Fillies and Mares Invitational pace, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 22. The 1:51.2 victory was a new lifetime best and the third win at this level in the last four outings for Don’t Spank Me.
Leaving from post seven in the talented field of nine, Don’t Spank Me was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in eighth while a host of others left alertly. Latenite Rendevous and Ross Leonard were the first to get a call through the opening panel in :26.3 while Nutmegs Yankee and Terry Cullipher were well placed in the pocket second.
Peter Wrenn had Miss Millie out and firing early down the backside and the duo found the front through the second panel in :55.2. Miss Millie continued to call the shots around the third station in 1:23.3 but Blissful Romance and Ricky Macomber Jr. were applying pressure to their outside with the rest of the field also closing in.
As the field turned for home, Don’t Spank Me was perfectly placed second-over and had her sights set on the leader. Just as Miss Millie began to tire on the front, Don’t Spank Me found another gear and exploded past her rivals halfway down the stretch.
Using a :27.1 final panel, Don’t Spank Me finished four lengths in front of American Girl and Sam Widger who closed gamely to finish second. Latenite Rendezvous also rallied late in the lane to round out the trifecta. As the 8-5 favorite, Don’t Spank Me returned $5.20 to her backers at the window.
“She’s a fun mare to drive,” Shetler noted in the winner’s circle. “She’s the type of mare that if you put her in position to win, she will do the rest. She raced big again tonight.”
Trained, owned and bred by Wayne Carter, Don’t Spank Me notched fifth first win of the season from 15 starts. The 4-year-old daughter of Capital Request-Catalog has now won 13 of 36 lifetime outings while amassing $170,337.
Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, August 23 with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. The 14-race card will be highlighted by the $22,000 Invitational pace. With an extended stakes scheduled offered for the 2014 live racing season, the live racing season will be conducted through November 15, 2014.
-- Emily Gaskin
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs
It was the battle of the $2 million “ladies” in Friday’s feature race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, a Preferred Handicap for Fillies and Mares. Seven fillies and mares went to the gate in the race, the 10th on the card, with a purse of $25,000. The skies opened up prior to the race, but that didn’t stop this field from jetting out of the gate. George Napolitano Jr. gunned Show Runner (Little Steven-Peace Runner) out of the gate, followed by Rocklamation (Rocknroll Hanover-Art Sale) with Andrew McCarthy in the bike, and Anndrovette (Riverboat King-Easy Miss), but Anndrovette, piloted by Hall of Famer Ron Pierce took over approaching the half-mile post. Fractions were 25.3; 54.3; 122.3; and the $2.9 million mare Anndrovette held on over a fast-charging Rocklamation for the win in 1:50.4. Lucy’s Pearl (Well Said-Remember When) was third, driven by Corey Callahan. The victory was the 14th start this season and the 5th win for the 7-year-old mare, trained by P J Fraley.
Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Crazy About Pat (Crazed) pulled off a mild upset in the $14,000 featured trotting race on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Paul Kelley trainee won his previous start which was his first for new connections and on Friday battled some of the top local trotters. Benefiting from an early speed duel, Crazy About Pat and reinsman Shawn Gray moved three-wide at the three-quarter pole and out-trotted his rivals home to win in 1:55.3. The 4-year-old trotter moved his career earnings to over the $400,000 mark with his win that came at odds of 7-1. Longshot Walltocousins (Joe Bongiorno) held second while Slugfest (Jay Randall) closed for third. The victory was one of three on the night for Shawn Gray.
Driver Aaron Byron had the hot hand at Tioga Downs on Friday (August 22) evening, taking five of the evening's ten races. Among his triumphs was a 1:52.1 win in the $15,000 Mares Open Handicap Pace with Inittowinafortune ($6.20). After establishing the lead with the 4-year-old Cams Fortune mare, Byron yielded to the pocket, allowing Southwind Trini (Jim Meittinis) to set steady fractions of :27.3, :56 and 1:24. With the first-over De Vins Girl (John Cummings, Jr.) fading on the approach to the far turn, and even-money favorite Pan Luis Obispo (Vinny Ginsburg) commencing a three-wide bid off stalled cover, Byron was able to wedge out of the pocket with Inittowinafortune. The Michael Russo trainee struck the front in the final sixteenth, driven clear to a 1-1/2 length win over Southwind Trini. Pan Luis Obispo stayed on for third. Byron also teamed up with Odds On Aventure (1:54), Belle Boyd (1:53.3), Shutthefrontdoor (1:54.1), and Rompaway Brandon (1:57.1) to complete his quintet of wins on the evening.