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Posts drawn for Sun Stakes eliminations on Saturday at Pocono
Monday, June 18, 2018 - from the PHHA/Pocono

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Wilkes-Barre, PA --- The elimination races for the $2 million Sun Stakes Saturday card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono have been drawn. The elimination races will be conducted this Saturday (June 23), with those advancing to the championships going for the big money on Saturday (June 30).

A tremendous amount of subplots already suggest themselves from the elimination draws: the undefeated filly Manchego taking on the boys in the Beal Trot; arguably the three best colts drawing posts 6-7-8 in the same elimination of the Hempt Pace; and Filibuster Hanover again testing older stock as he looks to keep his seasonal tally unbeaten in the Franklin Pace.

Here is a brief preview of the four major races, with a listing of the fields by post position, horse, driver, trainer and morning line odds at the end of each section.

Earl Beal 3-year-old Open Trot (this Saturday $25,000 eliminations in races 3, 5, 11; top three advance to June 30’s $500,000 championship)

Manchego, perfect in 14 starts thus far in her career, with both her starts in 2018 winning ones at Pocono, will test the boys in this important stepping stone towards the Hambletonian and the rest of the sophomore riches. Manchego has done well in the barrier draw, getting post five, by far the winningest starting slot at Pocono, for trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras. It was that team that tried the filly Ariana G in the Beal last year, and she gave a great race but wound up third over an off track in the championship.

Manchego will have to face champion colts at two from both sides of the border, and here the gate, in this race 11 elim: Alarm Detector, seven for nine last year and coming off a third in the Goodtimes final for trainer Benoit Baillargeon and driver Trevor Henry. He has the inside post. Stuck with the outside post eight is Fourth Dimension (trainer Marcus Melander, driver Brian Sears), eight for 11 in 2017 and second in his recent seasonal bow.
New York star Six Pack, undefeated in three seasonal outings including the Empire Breeders Classic final, will go in race five from post six in a field of seven for trainer/driver Åke Svanstedt. Two top Pennsylvania horses going against him are Moosonee (post two, trainer Chris Beaver, driver Aaron Merriman), a double stakes winner this year, and Fashionwoodchopper (post five, trainer Jim Campbell, driver David Miller), the 2017 Sire Stakes champion.
The Beal action starts from race three, with Patent Leather (post one, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick) back on the track after winning a Pennsylvania All-Stars race in 1:52.3 Sunday, just six nights before the Beal elims. Sire Stakes winners in Ohio (Mission Accepted, post four, trainer Jeff Conger, driver Ryan Stahl) and New York (Voss Volo, post seven, trainer John Butenschoen, driver Corey Callahan) certainly figure as contenders.

Beal Elimination (Race 3)
1 - Patent Leather, Tim Tetrick, Jim Campbell, 5-2
2 - Tito, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller, 8-1
3 - Lawmaker, Anthony MacDonald, Andrew Harris, 6-1
4 - Mission Accepted, Ryan Stahl, Jeff Conger, 3-1
5 - Winning Shadow, David Miller, Jake Huff, 12-1
6 - Whats The Word, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 7-2
7 - Voss Volo, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 9-2

Beal Elimination (Race 5)
1 - Missle Hill, Doug McNair, Tony Alagna, 5-1
2 - Moosonee, Aaron Merriman, Chris Beaver, 7-2
3 - Evaluate, Tim Tetrick, Marcus Melander, 3-1
4 - Rich And Miserable, Tyler Buter, Todd Buter, 10-1
5 - Fashionwoodchopper, David Miller, Jim Campbell, 6-1
6 - Six Pack, Åke Svanstedt, Åke Svanstedt, 2-1
7 - Scirocco Rob, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1

Beal Elimination (Race 11)
1 - Alarm Detector, Trevor Henry, Benoit Baillargeon, 3-1
2 - Gemologist, Åke Svanstedt, Åke Svanstedt, 15-1
3 - Crystal Fashion, Tim Tetrick, Jim Campbell, 4-1
4 - Mississippi Storm, David Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1
5 - Manchego, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 2-1
6 - Fashion Forever, Corey Callahan, Jim Campbell, 10-1
7 - Fiftydallarbill, Brett Miller, Bill Crone, 8-1
8 - Fourth Dimension, Brian Sears, Marcus Melander, 5-1

Max C. Hempt 3-year-old Colt Pace (this Saturday $25,000 eliminations in races 6, 9, 12; top three advance to June 30’s $500,000 championship)

The racing gods left no margin for error in the 12th race elimination of the Hempt. Only the top three horses in the eight-horse elim will advance, and the threesome many would rate as the top trio in the land drew the three outermost slots: Done Well (post six, trainer Brian Brown, driver Tim Tetrick), Lather Up (post seven, trainer Clyde Francis, driver Montrell Teague), and Courtly Choice (post eight, trainer Blake MacIntosh, driver Mark MacDonald). Lather Up, a perfect 6-for-6 this year, will likely emerge as the chalk off his easy win last Saturday in the North America Cup final; a win might not come so easily in this collection.

In the race six elim, New York Sire Stakes winners Keystone Tenacious (post four, trainer Paul Kelley, driver Mark MacDonald) and Springsteen (post six, trainer Rene Allard, driver Simon Allard) will be challenged by fast Ohio Sires winner Cinnamack (post three, trainer Brian Brown, driver David Miller) and Dorsoduro Hanover (post five, trainer Ron Burke, driver Matt Kakaley), who was the early leader pro tem in this division until getting a horrible trip in his NA Cup elim and not making the final.

Race nine sees Stay Hungry trying to rebound from a fourth-place finish in the NA Cup final after getting a golden second-over trip. To come back to winning ways, he’ll have to overcome the outside post eight for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Doug McNair, along with foes such as I’m A Big Deal (post five, trainer Chris Ryder, driver George Napolitano Jr.), an impressive Sire Stakes winner here a couple of starts back.

Hempt Elimination (Race 6) 
1 - This Is The Plan, Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder, 5-1
2 - Daddyofemall, Mike Wilder, Dan Altmeyer, 12-1
3 - Cinnamack, Scott Zeron, Brian Brown, 4-1
4 - Keystone Tenacious, Mark MacDonald, Paul Kelley, 6-1
5 - Dorsoduro Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 5-2
6 - Springsteen, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 3-1
7 - Stendahl Hanover, Marcus Miller, Eddie Sager, 20-1
8 - Decoy, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 10-1
9 - Closing Statement, Brian Sears, Joe Holloway, 15-1

Hempt Elimination (Race 9)
1 - Whos Better, Tim Tetrick, Brian Brown, 15-1
2 - Sometimesawinner, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1
3 - Shnitzledosomethin, David Miller, Dylan Davis, 6-1
4 - Hitman Hill, Brett Miller, Chris Oakes, 3-1
5 - I'm A Big Deal, George Napolitano Jr., Chris Ryder, 4-1
6 - Points North, Andrew McCarthy, Nifty Norman, 9-2
7 - Grand Teton, Scott Zeron, Jimmy Takter, 12-1
8 - Stay Hungry, Doug McNair, Tony Alagna, 5-2

Hempt Elimination (Race 12) 
1 - Rock Lights, George Napolitano Jr., Katricia Adams, 15-1
2 - Babes Dig Me, Brett Miller, Tony Alagna, 12-1
3 - Heavenly Sound, Andrew McCarthy, Bruce Saunders, 10-1
4 - Nutcracker Sweet, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 8-1
5 - Wes Delight, Corey Callahan, Mark Harder, 4-1
6 - Done Well, Tim Tetrick, Brian Brown, 3-1
7 - Lather Up, Montrell Teague, Clyde Francis, 2-1
8 - Courtly Choice, Mark MacDonald, Blake MacIntosh, 5-1

Ben Franklin FFA Pace (this Saturday $35,000 eliminations in races 2, 4, 10; top three advance to June 30’s $500,000 championship)

Filibuster Hanover, who has handled the often-difficult step up from age three to age four quite well so far, will try to run his seasonal undefeated string to six as he starts from post six in the 10th race Franklin elim for trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. Filibuster Hanover has already shown he could handle older company with a win in the Commodore Barry Pace at Harrah's Philadelphia at the end of May. Sure to attract support is Sintra (post one, trainer David Menary, driver Jody Jamieson) off a 1:48 victory in the Mohawk Gold Cup last week.

The horse who finished second to Sintra, McWicked, just might be the most intriguing horse in all of these Franklin elims. Last week he was 16 lengths out at the quarter, yet rallied to be beaten only 2-3/4 lengths, which calculates to a last three-quarters in 1:18.4 — and three-wide on the far turn. The career winner of more than $2 million starts from post four for trainer Casie Coleman and driver Brian Sears in the race four elimination.

Heaven Rocks A, a champion in Australasia who was second to Filibuster Hanover in the Commodore Barry and then came back to win in 1:50 at Harrah's Philadelphia, may be getting better and better with each start; in his race two elimination, he’ll try to sustain his improvement from post four for trainer Ross Croghan and driver David Miller. Western Fame (post five, trainer Jimmy Takter, driver Andrew McCarthy) will draw respect off a 1:49.1–:26.1 win last week at The Meadowlands.

Franklin Elimination (Race 2) 
1 - Easy Lover Hanover, Doug McNair, Ben Wallace, 8-1
2 - Check Six, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 9-2
3 - Missile J, Matt Kakaley, Scott DiDomenico, 6-1
4 - Heaven Rocks A, David Miller, Ross Croghan, 5-2
5 - Western Fame, Andrew McCarthy, Jimmy Takter, 3-1
6 - Split The House, George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes, 7-2
7 - Donttellmeagain, Tim Tetrick, Jim King Jr., 12-1

Franklin Elimination (Race 4) 
1 - Rockin Ron, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 5-2
2 - Scott Rocks, George Napolitano Jr., Hunter Oakes, 7-2
3 - Waikiki Beach A, Scott Zeron, Ross Croghan, 6-1
4 - McWicked, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman, 2-1
5 - Mach It So, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr., 5-1
6 - Mac's Jackpot, Brett Miller, Jeffrey Smith, 10-1

Franklin Elimination (Race 10)
1 - Sintra, Jody Jamieson, David Menary, 3-1
2 - Boogie Shuffle, David Miller, Mark Harder, 8-1
3 - Christen Me N, Tim Tetrick, Jim King Jr., 12-1
4 - All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 7-2
5 - Dealt A Winner, Brett Miller, Mark Silva, 9-2
6 - Filibuster Hanover, Ron Burke, Yannick Gingras, 5-2
7 - Funknwaffles, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 6-1

James Lynch 3-year-old Filly Pace (this Saturday $20,000 eliminations in races 7 and 8; top four and the faster fifth-place finisher advance to June 30’s $300,000 championship)

The main question to be asked ahead of the Lynch is “Which Youaremycandygirl will show up this week?” The one who won nine of 11 at two and was divisional champion, or the one who has won only one of three seasonal starts? Trainer Ron Burke has been diligently working to get the most successful answer to that question, as the filly starts in the race seven elimination from post two for driver Yannick Gingras. Lismore champion Alexa’s Power (post three, trainer Jim Campbell, driver Tim Tetrick) and New Jersey Sires Stakes final winner Hypnotic Tale (post five, trainer Linda Toscano, driver David Miller) will be among the many seeking out the answer to that puzzle.

In the race eight elim, Kissin In The Sand (post three, trainer Nancy Johansson, driver Scott Zeron) may become the public’s choice after a very good second in the Fan Hanover final last Saturday. Two of Pennsylvania’s best had the misfortune to draw outside posts in the eight-horse field: Serene Stride (post seven, trainer Mark Harder, driver Corey Callahan) and Sidewalk Dancer (post eight, trainer Chris Oakes, driver Brett Miller).

Lynch Elimination (Race 7)
1 - Carlo's Superstar, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1
2 - Youaremycandygirl, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-2
3 - Alexa's Power, Tim Tetrick, Jim Campbell, 3-1
4 - Double A Mint, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 9-2
5 - Hypnotic Tale, David Miller, Linda Toscano, 4-1
6 - Pass Line Bluechip, Montrell Teague, Wayne Givens, 6-1
7 - Majorsspeciallady, Brett Miller, Ron Burke, 10-1
8 - Ideal Talker, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1

Lynch Elimination (Race 8)
1 - Python Blue Chip, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 10-1
2 - I'm Trigger Happy, David Miller, Tony O'Sullivan, 9-2
3 - Kissin In The Sand, Scott Zeron, Nancy Johansson, 5-2
4 - Solitary, Marcus Miller, Nick Surick, 12-1
5 - Cuts Like A Knife, Tim Tetrick, Bruce Saunders, 15-1
6 - Sansovia Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1
7 - Serene Stride, Corey Callahan, Mark Harder, 4-1
8 - Sidewalk Dancer, Brett Miller, Chris Oakes, 3-1

One final note; you won’t want to miss the first race, a $30,000 open pace in the Great Northeast Open Series, with two $2-million-plus winners: Bettors Edge (post one, trainer Jennifer Lappe, driver Scott Zeron) and another Takter trainee taking on “the boys,” Pure Country (post three, driver Yannick Gingras). Add Rockeyed Optimist, Rodeo Romeo and others to the mix, and you have a field with 151 lifetime wins and a combined bankroll of $6.3 million, with an average mark of 1:48.4. This curtain-raiser at Pocono on Saturday is slated for 7 p.m.

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