Now that the freshman class has been slugging it out for a month or so, I thought I’d take an anecdotal look at some of the better/more interesting two-year-old pacers that have emerged during this early part of their season.The Western Hanover stallion, Badlands Hanover, is making a fine first year showing in the Ontario Sire Stakes program. Love Canal is an outstanding filly. She won the $130,000 ONSS Gold Final at Mohawk in 52.3, after winning her elimination the previous week. The Tony O’Sullivan trained filly is out of A Votre Pante, who won the Bluegrass, Courageous Lady and Nadia. And another Badlands Hanover miss, It’s No Secret, was second in that GF, after winning her elimination.
Badlands has also produced the top colt, Tarpon Hanover, an $82,000 yearling who is half to Tarver Hanover. Tarpon, who races for Dave Menary, won the Gold Final by five at Mohawk in 51. 4, paying a miserly $3.60. Badlands was moved to Ontario to take advantage of the rich SS program, and the looming downsizing of said program takes some of the joy out of his early season success for the folks at Winbak. Although the fact that he stands for a reasonable fee of $6,000 and is proving himself to be a very capable open stallion helps somewhat.Dragon Again is also stepping to the fore with his freshman class. Sam De Pinto’s Double The Dragon, a $60,000 yearling, won a $30,000 division of the PA All-Stars as well as a $70,000 PASS pace at Harrahs. In that race Pierce took him first up past the half and eventually ran down the tough SBSW colt, Cowboy Terrier. Just as the older Dragon’s have always been both fast and nail tough, this year’s two-year-old crop seems to embody those same characteristics.
Our Dragon King is another tough Dragon who has relocated from Chicago. He won his $65,000 division of the Albatross at The Meadows the other night in wire to wire fashion, in 53.4. He took pressure from the vaunted SBSW colt, Lonewolf Courier—who eventually broke stride—as well as Spartacus PV, but he shrugged it off and drew clear by two lengths at the end. This half-brother to Glass Pack and Doubletrouble won the $28,000 Hanover at Balmoral before coming East. He left hard and closed in that one, winning by five in 53.1.Dedi’s Dragon broke stride in his first two starts, but Saturday night he came up the LL for Jim Morrill to win a division of the Albatross in 52.3 over the pacesetter, Santa Fe Beachboy (SBSW). He’s in the Burke stable.
Delaware Hanover, an $80,000 yearling purchase, is another good Dragon colt. He won a $70,000 division of the PASS at Harrahs and finished second in the Albatross on Saturday.The Dragon colt, Evenin Of Pleasure, won the second leg of the Dreammaker at Mohawk in 53.4, last quarter in 26.4. Dovuto Hanover is another promising colt, as is Talbotcreek Armani, a son of Luck Of Michelle. He was a $47,000 yearling purchase.
Mistresstothestars and Southwind Siren are a couple of good Dragon fillies. The former won the $64,000 Sand Tart at The Meadows for Ron Burke. Casie Coleman trains Siren, a half-sister to Southwind Swallow. She has a couple of wins in Ontario for Scott Zeron.Christian Cullen, the New Zealand stallion who has been so instrumental in keeping the Volomite line running through Direct Scooter alive in recent years, has some nice youngsters from his stint in Pennsylvania. Good Day Mate, a half-brother to Put On A Show and Showherthemoney, came up the LL to beat the fast SBSW colt, Sir Richard Z Tam, in a division of the Albatross the other night. His winning time of 52.2 established a new mark for that race. And the Christian Cullen gelding, Lex Vegas, was placed first in his division of the Albatross when Cowboy Terrier was disqualified for interference. Handsoffmycupcake is a nice filly. She won a $65,000 division of the Sand Tart.
Bettor’s Delight, who has moved on to Winbak of Ontario, still has a crop racing in the NYSS in 2012. The move itself, which in light of the ONSS debacle could prove problematic, has him standing in Ontario for a hefty fee of $14,000. His younger brother, Roll With Joe, has replaced him at Blue Chip for $7,000.Shebestingin is an outstanding Bettor’s Delight filly. She won a division of the Geers the other night at Tioga by open lengths in 53.4, at 1-5 odds for David Miller. Previous to that, the Joe Holloway trainee, who belongs to Ted Gewertz, won the Razzle Hanover division of the Simpson and the Lorraine division of the Reynolds.
Thirty Two Red is a fast and versatile Bettor’s Delight colt. He has gate speed to spare. He won at Goshen in 56.3, beat Doctor Butch at Monticello and took a $60,000 NYSS pace at Buffalo. Ray Schnittker trains.Art Major also has some good New York colts. The contingent from the Empire State always get shorted when the love is handed out because those colts and fillies spend so much time on the half-milers. Tough to compete time-wise with their big track counterparts.
Doctor Butch, a Linda Toscano trainee who belongs to Ken Jacobs, was the 6-5 favorite from the eight in the Sheppard the other night, but he was beaten up leaving and eventually ran out of gas, finishing second to another Art Major colt, Hail The Taxi. Doctor Butch was a $55,000 yearling purchase while Taxi brought $65,000. Taxi is Mr. Underestimated. He finished second to Butch at 29-1 in his Sheppard elimination, and won the final at 35-1 from the seven, in 54.1. He’s a Fashion Farms colt, trained by Jim Campbell. Deny Deny Deny is another accomplished Toscano/Jacobs Art Major colt. He won a $62,000 SS pace at Buffalo in 58.2.Mach Pride is a top shelf Mach Three colt. He won a $130,000 Gold Final at Rideau Carleton Sunday in 52.3, at 2-5 odds. He also won another couple of Gold eliminations and was second choice to Tarpon Hanover in his GF win. He finished third in that one. Ron Burke’s Adventurepan is a nice Mach Three filly.
Source Of Pride, a full brother to American Jewel, broke in the Bret Hanover, but he redeemed himself in his division of the Reynolds, blowing past the field in the final eighth and winning in 52.4 for Tim Tetrick. Jimmy Takter trains for Brittany Farms. And Ron Burke’s Americasgottalent won a NYSS pace at Monticello, finished second in his Sheppard elimination and third in the final.Lonewolf Courier, Francis Azur’s son of The Panderosa, broke in the Albatross the other night, but the full brother to Lookout Hanover has plenty of talent. He won a $70,000 PASS pace at Harrahs a couple of weeks ago in 52.3.
Don’t Ya Know is a nice Western Ideal colt who just won a division of the Geers for Joe Holloway and David Miller.Troon, a gelded son of Rocknroll, won the Bret Hanover and a leg of the NJSS. Rocky Mountain Guy, a $75,000 Rocknroll yearling out of an unraced half-sister to Glowing Report, won a division of The Reynolds in 52.4.
There are always surprises. Right On Molly, a Stonebridge Regal filly who won a Gold Final at Rideau Carleton Sunday, with ease in 53.2 , would be one. The $5,000 yearling purchase is out of a Western Hanover mare, Right On, who hasn’t produced much. However, her second dam is full to Bo Knows Jate, a $900,000 winner in the early 1990s, and her third dam, the Adios Harry filly, Bit O’Sugar, won the Bronx Filly, Shady Daisy and Lady Maud. Her fourth dam, Steinway, produced the excellent filly, Harry’s Laura, who also won the Bronx Filly, Shady Daisy and Lady Maud. It took a while for that speed to move on down the line but it is now coming to light via Right On Molly.Another surprise is the Lislea filly, Summertime Lea, who just won a NYSS pace at Buffalo in 56.3 for Jim Morrill, at 1-9. She previously took another SS race at Tioga in 55.1, bet down to 1-5 and winning by four lengths. Lislea is a brother to Lis Mara and Lis Again. Lea’s dam, Donna Summer, is half to The Firepan, Indulge Me and Bikini Line, the dam of the Eternal Camnation and Tarport Hap winner, Thong.
I suppose we could also call the Western Terror colt, Shock It To ‘em, a surprise because he was racing in the lower tier Pennsylvania Stallion Series when he won by twelve in 53.2, breaking the stakes record by one and three-fifths seconds. The dam and the colt were owned by Bulletproof.What about SBSW? Almost forgot. Apprentice Hanover, Santa Fe Beachboy, Cowboy Terrier, Sir Richard Z Tam and See And Ski are some of the better colts, while Somestreetsomewhere, Parlee Beach and Nikki Beach are three of the top fillies.
Cowboy Terrier crossed the finish line first in the Albatross the other night but Ray Schnittker had a world of trouble keeping him straight down the stretch, so he was placed third. He had previously won in the PA All-Stars at 1-9. Tetrick, who had been driving him, was up at Mohawk Saturday. Getting Schnittker out of the bike should get Cowboy back on track. He’s a first foal. His second dam is a sister to Northern Luck.Sir Richard Z Tam is also very fast. He cut out a stakes record mile in the Albatross on Saturday only to have Good Day Mate sneak up the LL and take the win. Previously he won a $70,000 SS pace at Harrahs at 1-5 in 51.4. His dam is an unraced daughter of the great Worldly Beauty.
Apprentice Vacation won his first time out at Mohawk in 53, beating Vegas Vacation. His dam is a Half million dollar winner who won the BC and the Lynch.Nikki Beach, a Tony Alagna trainee for Brittany Farms, won the Reynolds in wire to wire fashion with ease by two lengths in 53.2. Her second dam is full to Artiscape and her third dam is the OTRA millionaires Delinquent Account.
Somestreetsomewhere is the first foal of the $800,000 winner, Street Dancer. She took the Overbid, Cape and Cutter and The Cinderella. Street won a division of the Sand Tart.