Harness Racing: Pocono's Mountain Of Stars

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

August 19th, 2021

The big bankrolls will be investing in star pacers and trotters again, this time on the five-eighths mountain trail at Pocono. Expensive stakes and consolations attract the best of the better and the better-that-want-to-be-best through the Aug. 21 program. As well, around the tracks there are overnights that need bettors’ attentions.

Always eclectic and to the point is our never-ending TwinSpires H2W (horses-to-watch list). With ceaseless arrogance it continues suggesting how to enhance your exotic combinations and fair-priced win, place and show finishes.



Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) for soph-colt trotters holds a single 10-horse event for leg five. Probable-favorite Brookview Bolt leaves from post 10, second tier but is by no means uncontested. The crowd exchanges may not include good chances for Bluebird Maverick, which is good for those of us who do appreciate the Swan For All colt. This could be a Swan For All trifecta as we see it and that is a stronger element in an INSS. The other Swan For Alls are the aforementioned probable favorite and Melanie Wrenn’s Swingforthefences.



Back from following all of the big soph-colt pacers at Northfield, finishing ninth at 76-1, Alilthudadownunda returns home where he has beaten everyone in the Minnesota-sired $17k feature. If you consider the Milstein a Key Race then it is one more reason “Alil” will romp again among his homies. With the best possibility to overthrow the divisional champ, and certainly hit the board, is SD Watch Me Now, with Maze close to beating him. Sans any chaos behind Alil, this is our trifecta.



The $300k Max Hempt Memorial puts into play soph-colt pacers that this season have become an ensemble of their division. No single pacer has taken a dominant role on the stakes stage. It may come down to a few steps making the difference so accept arguments from most public handicappers. The inside starters, Lawless Shadow and Southwind Gendry, leave from posts 1 and 2, respectively, and we see them completing the exacta.

Lawless Shadow’s disruptive trip in the Meadowlands Pace caused a DQ but we must remember he broke and still beat Charlie May. His big loss at Woodbine was another gallant try with trouble as he went three-quarters on the overland route, making the winner Bulldog Hanover look better than in any other situations (“Bulldog” is Woodbine’s leading contender for the North America Cup).

Southwind Gendry was a mighty finisher in the Adios, sitting last and closing fast enough to raise heartbeats in the Meadows stretch. Though he only made it to fourth it was dynamic. He won’t be 25-1 in this event but he will be in the thick of this.

Max Hempt (MH) Consolations – In the first MH Consolation ($200k) last week’s place-finishing Mysweetboymax — at 71-1 — in the Milstein at Northfield did not allow four turns to stop him from a three-wide brush that put the remainder of the field in shock.
Brett Pelling has already produced rough-and-ready stakes winners this season and in the second MH Consolation ($100k) he sends Dean B Hanover against eight others that have not lived up to par.



The $250k James Lynch Memorial for soph-filly pacers presents a challenge for the unbeaten Hot Mess Express — post 9. The Indiana-sired filly that invaded the national scene and won seven straight has to be sharper than usual at Pocono, where outside leavers drop like apples from a tin roof. This is a good time to try to beat her and we will try with Izpapalotl. She was fast and favored at Vernon against state-breds and maintained control easily once in charge. She should get the benefit of a trip that burns up the major gals here, with a price worth the shot.

James Lynch Consolation—The single $125k Lynch Consolation gives Pelling another shot at the bulk of a big purse with Staycation Hanover. She is on the also-eligible list for the main Lynch event, so it makes sense she may be the best here and Pelling may want her here to leave from post 1.



The $250k Delmonica Hanover features “Oaks” glamour-girl trotters—but not the Oaks winner. Still, the Oaks plays an important role here. Because we have labeled it a Key Race and there are three fillies from it entered here, we have to measure them against one another, not against the others.

Yo Ato Dream is the trio’s best. We caught on to her before the Oaks. She tops the other two in earnings and wins. Darlene Hanover and Flawless Country are about even with one another. There is the trifecta.

Delmonica Hanover Consolation—The $125k Consolation is a debatable race but we suggest Evening Stroll. The Jim Campbell-trained Cantab Hall product won four of 10 and is six across the board of 10 and although she lost to May Karp (a likely public choice in this race), racing with this bunch should wake her up a notch.



The $300k Earl Beale, Jr. Memorial greets Hambletonian warriors and a few stragglers. No matter, the shoeless wonder winner Captain Corey is here. Also from Ake Svanstedt is Hambo-elim winner Delayed Hanover and Johan Palema, who did not race to his early-season form.

Ake will have his trio travel from best to worst, which is in the order I introduced them. I still worry about Captain Corey making an inherited misstep (from his pacer-bred sire Googoo Gaagaa) but there is no way to determine his skipping — with or without shoes.

And how about that Spy Booth? He was smooth and all-out better than the rest in the Hambo final, completing the exacta at huge odds. Wouldn’t it be poetic if the exacta repeated the Hambo combo? I say we go for that and take Spy Booth nipping “Corey” closing late from the inside.

Earl Beal Jr. Consolation—This $200k spinoff is filled with a field that could barely be a Pocono Open Trot bunch. Another trio from Ake is among the nine but there is only a single win between them. Marcus Melander’s Magical Muscle Man is our decision to be very competitive but the public may notice his top win percentage and speed on a three-turn track, so don’t expect double digits if he wins.


8/20/21, Royale Big Guy R4; Pancetta R4
8/21/21, Mamama Moonshine R9

8/19/21, +Swan Prodigy R9

8/19/21, +Odds On Ocala R3

8/19/21, +Run Around John R6; Better Bangbang R7

8/21/21, Blue Ivy R8

8/19/21, +Finally Found Away R6
8/20/21, +Major Offense R1; Scirocco Patrick R11

8/19/21, +Happy Hooligan R3; Eataamswriteredy R6
8/20/21, Chav Hanover R7

8/22/21, Gemologist R1; +Classy Hill R11

Running Aces
8/19/21, +Oneida Blue Chip R5; Outlawintruigedbyu R7; +Brians Magic Girl R9

8/21/21, Flow With Joe R5; Shady City R8

8/20/21, +Stap Staring R6; Air Guitar R8; Hot Joe R10