by Ken Weingartner
Casie Coleman has said previously that Betting Line is the best horse she’s ever had.
On Saturday, the colt gave the trainer another reason to believe it.
Betting Line paced the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track, romping to a four length win over Racing Hill in 1:47.2 in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Control The Moment finished third and Boston Red Rocks was fourth.
It was Betting Line’s ninth consecutive victory. His only loss this year, a second-place finish, came against older horses in his first race of the season.
|Betting Line paced the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track, romping to a four length win over Racing Hill in 1:47.2.|
In the Battle of the Brandywine, Racing Hill led to the opening quarter in :26.1, with Control The Moment second and Betting Line third. Driver David Miller fired Betting Line to the front prior to the halfway point, reached in :53.4, and led comfortably to three-quarters in 1:20.1.
Betting Line, the 1-2 favorite, was never threatened in the stretch and coasted to the wire.
“I wasn’t real happy at first with getting away third with Racing Hill up front,” Coleman said. “I wasn’t sure what Brett (Miller with Racing Hill) would do because that horse loves the front and wasn’t sure he might take us more than he did when we came. But :53.4 is pretty good to the half. Betting Line is better off a helmet, but it worked out.
“It’s cold, it’s windy; I was not expecting a mile like that tonight, that’s for sure. I knew he was going to be really good, but with the way it’s cooled off, I didn’t think we would go a world record. He was extremely impressive.”
The previous world record of 1:47.3 was held by a former Coleman trainee, McWicked. The clocking also was established at Pocono, in the 2014 Hempt Memorial.
“Honestly, with all the horses I’ve had, and I’ve said this for a while, I think Betting Line is the best one I’ve had,” Coleman said. “McWicked was a really nice horse. (World champions) Sportswriter and Betterthancheddar were better than what Wicked was. But this horse is showing he’s even better than them.”
Betting Line has won 15 of 22 career races and earned $1.38 million. The son of Bettor’s Delight-Heather’s Western is owned by Coleman’s West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol.
“He’s always been a powerful colt,” Colemand said. “He raced great all last season; he races like a gorilla every time he races pretty much. He went some tough trips as a 2-year-old, but he always gave everything he had right to the wire. Never once have I been disappointed with this horse.”
Dr J Hanover, the impeccably-bred (Somebeachsomewhere-So Perfect) $300,000 yearling, streaked to his fifth straight victory in taking the $200,000 Consolation I in 1:50.1, lowering his mark by over a second and a half.
Scott Zeron sent the late-developing colt to the lead well before the 26.1 opener, then let quarter-mover JJ Flynn brush around him to the top in front of the stands, that one putting up middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.
Zeron had Dr J Hanover out and on the bit just past mid-turn to go after the pacesetter, with third-inside Safensound Hanover dipping down to the Pocono Pike as JJ Flynn backed off a bit, giving Dr J Hanover his biggest challenge.
But the good Doctor, at 3-1 the third choice here, stayed strong to the wire, winning by a length, with JJ Flynn another 1-3/4 lengths back in third.
Tony Alagna conditions the winner, improving greatly with every start, for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, John Cancelliere, and Dr J Partners.
Nocturnal Bluechip was hustled out of the gate by driver Tim Tetrick, yielded to favored Spider Man Hanover to sit the pocket, then stormed up the famed Pocono Pike to be an easy winner in the $100,000 Battle of the Brandywine Consolation II in 1:51.2.
After opening in 26, Spider Man Hanover got a relative breather on the lead, posting middle fractions of :55.1 and 1:23, but he came up empty in the lane and Nocturnal Blue Chip stormed up the inside to win by 1-1/4 lengths. The 35-1 shot Inspiration View, four-wide headstretch and still sixth 100 feet out, was along for second, a half-length ahead of last year’s PA Sire Stakes champion Ideal Jimmy, who also shot up the Pike.
A son of Bettor’s Delight, Nocturnal Bluechip was sent off as the 5-2 second choice and delivered his first victory of the season for trainer Mark Steacy, also co-owner with NLG Racing Stable.
Southwind Frank stops Marion Marauder in Colonial
Southwind Frank turned the tables on rival Marion Marauder, winning Saturday’s $500,000 Colonial for 3-year-old trotters by a half-length in 1:52.4. Bar Hopping finished third and Sutton was fourth.
Marion Marauder got the better of Southwind Frank in the Aug. 6 Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, beating him by a nose, but this time the winner’s circle trip went to Southwind Frank.
|Southwind Frank held off Marion Marauder in the Colonial.|
In the Colonial, Sutton took the lead as the field left the gate, with Southwind Frank second as they reached the opening quarter in :27.1. Yannick Gingras moved Southwind Frank, the 6-5 favorite, to the front exiting the first turn and led the field to the half in :56.4.
By then, the 8-5 Marion Marauder and driver Scott Zeron already were on the move first up, but were unable to get past Southwind Frank. The time to three-quarters was 1:24.3.
“I was glad to be inside on the (first) turn and save a little ground,” said Gingras, driving Southwind Frank for trainer Ron Burke. “I wanted to control the race, so I moved to the lead. I got some decent fractions and that definitely didn’t hurt.
“At the half, when (Marion Marauder) came, I would have liked to had him a little further away than first over. But I kicked the plugs on my horse on the backstretch and in the last turn he felt pretty strong trot-wise. In the stretch, there were no anxious moments. It was half a length, but it was a measured half a length.”
Despite the victory, Gingras thought Southwind Frank was not at his best.
“He was better (tonight); I don’t know about much better,” Gingras said. “I think he’s a better horse than this even. I just believe in this horse so much and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Southwind Frank. That just goes to show you how dominant of a horse he is. He still gets the job done.”
Southwind Frank has won six of nine races this year and earned $910,023. For his career, the son of Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy has won 17 of 21 starts and banked $1.69 million.
The colt is owned by the Southwind Frank Partners.
With three different leaders in the last 50 yards of the $200,000 Consolation I, it wasn’t until the shadow of the wire until the Yankee Glide colt Lagerfeld finally took final control to win by a neck over Iron Mine Bucky in 1:53.2, a personal best, with Hollywood Highway just another half-length back in third.
Iron Mine Bucky was out to the entire :27.4 quarter to get the lead, then hung early challenger Dominion Beach through fast middle splits of :55.2 and 1:23.3, with Hollywood Highway and Lagerfeld racing two-three along the inside behind the duel, moving inside and outside, respectively, for the stretch drive.
Hollywood Highway surged to the lead midstretch but couldn’t sustain his bid, with Iron Mine Bucky fighting back to the front, but Yannick Gingras had enough trotter in the last strides to earn the triumph. Lagerfeld, who won the 2015 PA Sire Stakes championship and a 9-2 proposition here, is trained by Jimmy Takter, and with this win he topped the half-million dollar mark career-wise, with his total now at $522,443 for the ownership of Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman.
Mavens Way surged past stablemate Double L Lindy in the final strides to win the $100,000 Consolation II by a neck in 1:54.1. Lima Cadillac was third. Driven by trainer Ake Svanstedt, Mavens Way won for the second time in seven races this year and pushed his seasonal earnings to $93,447. The colt is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Mal and Janet Burroughs, T L P Stable and Esa Hietakangas. The son of Muscle Hill-Doris Deo has won three of 16 lifetime starts and earned $141,724.
Mavens Way, the 9-5 favorite, was sixth in the first half of the race as Lima Cadillac took the field to the marker in :56.4. Mavens Way worked his way to the front heading around the last turn, but went wide and hung in the stretch, allowing Double L Lindy to take the lead on the inside. Mavens Way’s late burst, though, secured the victory.
Darlinonthebeach romps to 1:49.3 score in Valley Forge
Darlinonthebeach took the lead after the opening quarter-mile and set all the fractions from there, winning Saturday’s $350,000 Valley Forge for 3-year-old female pacers by 4-1/4 lengths over Call Me Queen Be in 1:49.3. Blue Moon Stride finished third, followed by Pure Country.
|Curtis Salonick photos|
|Darlinonthebeach was a 1:49.3 winner in the Valley Forge.|
Blue Moon Stride went to the front at the start, with Darlinonthebeach and driver David Miller settling in third as the field paced around the first turn and reached the quarter in :26.1. Darlinonthebeach, the 6-5 second choice behind Pure Country, was on the move coming off the turn and reached the lead on her way to the half in :54.4.
From there, Darlinonthebeach reached three-quarters in 1:21.4 and came home a convincing winner for trainer Nancy Johansson and breeder/owner White Birch Farm.
Pure Country, a slight even-money favorite over Darlinonthebeach, was parked outside from post nine and unable to gain ground in the stretch.
“I was going to wait and see what happened off the gate,” Miller said. “Really, only a couple of them left and I figured I could get the lead pretty easily so I went ahead and moved her right away. She’s settled down quite a bit and lets me do what I need to do with her. She’s been racing great doing that.”
Darlinonthebeach won for the third consecutive time and has finished no worse than second in four races since suffering from atrial fibrillation in the Lynch Memorial on July 2 at Pocono.
“She’s just been very sharp the last three starts and she’s holding her form really good,” Miller said. “I’ve always had a lot of confidence in her. She just ran into a few hiccups there, but she’s stuck with it, she’s getting through it, and now she’s getting what she deserves.”
Darlinonthebeach has won eight of 13 races this year and earned $447,881. For her career, the homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Darlin’s Delight has won 10 of 23 starts and banked $663,272.
Graceful Vision took the lead after the opening quarter, fended off a backstretch challenge from favorite Skinny Dipper, and cruised to a 5-1/4 length win in 1:50.3 in the $150,000 Valley Forge Consolation I. Heels On The Beach was second and Marty Party Two was third.
Marcus Miller drove Graceful Vision for his father, trainer and co-owner Erv Miller. The daughter of Yankee Cruiser-Vision Of Grace is also owned by John Koliopoulos. She has won four of 12 races this season and five of 16 lifetime, pushing her career earnings to $114,330.
Graceful Vision was sent off at odds of 7-2. The top four finishers were driven by Millers — with Brett Miller behind Heels On The Beach, David Miller with Marty Party Two, and Andy Miller with Arrow Hanover.
— PHHA/Pocono also contributed to this report