A record-setting night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday June 23, began with the first elimination for the Ben Franklin, a free-for-all pace which Pocono will host for the first time next week. George Brennan drove Aracache Hanover, trained by Gregg McNair, to the Pocono all-time mark for aged pacing stallions with a victory in 1:48.1. The previous mark of 1:48.2 was set by Vlos in 2010 and matched by Transcending this May. From that elimination, Meirs Hanover (second), Bettor Sweet (third), Clear Vision (fourth), and Razzle Dazzle (fifth) also made the Franklin final.
In the second elimination, Bettarthancheddar, with Brennan in the bike again, this time for Casie Coleman, chased down We Will See late for a victory in 1:48.3. Along with Bettarthancheddar and We Will See, third-place Foiled Again and fourth-place Rockincam are headed to the Franklin final.
In the second elimination for the Max C. Hempt Memorial, a 3-year-old open pace, Hurrikane Kingcole powered to a romping win in 1:48.1, breaking Shadow Play's track record of 1:48.2 and matching the world record for 3-year-old colts on a five-eighths mile oval. From that split, I Like Dreamin and Hillbilly Hanover, who finished 2nd and 3rd, will race in next week's final.
The first Hempt split was captured by I Fought Dalaw, with David Miller in the bike for Sam DePinto, in 1:49.3. One Through Ten and Mc Attaboy made the final by finishing second and third in that split.
Bolt The Duer, with Mark MacDonald driving for trainer Peter Foley, won the final Hempt split in 1:48.3. All Star Legend, who finished second in that split, and A Rocknroll Dance, who finished 3rd, are headed to the Hempt final next week as well.
One more record came courtesy of American Jewel, the star 3-year-old filly trained by Jimmy Takter. With Tetrick in the bike, she captured her elimination for the James M. Lynch Memorial stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies in 1:49.2. That's a new Pocono mark for the age group, breaking the 1:49.3 staandard set by the great Southwind Tempo, and matches the world record on a 5/8-mile oval. Joining her in next week's Lynch final from her split are Economy Terror, Marty Party, Lightning Paige, and Destiny's Chance, who finished 2nd through 5th, respectively, in the race.
In the night's other Lynch elimination, Darena Hanover, with Yannick Gingras in the bike for Ron Burke, scored in 1:50:2. Her fellow finalists are Sarandon Blue Chip (2nd), Shelliscape (3rd), and Major Look (4th.)
The finals for the Ben Franklin, Hempt, and Lynch will all take place in a mega-card on Saturday night, June 30 at Pocono, with approximately $1.6 million on the line during the night. (Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs)