Sun Stakes Saturday At Pocono Promises Fast Miles With Big Purses For Finals And Consolations

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June 29th, 2017

The July 4 weekend will be colorful in the Pennsylvania mountains as Pocono Downs presents its Sun Stakes Saturday on the month’s first day. After a mixture of results in last weeks elims, top trotters and pacers compete for the big finals’ prizes, along with healthy consolation events.

The classy Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial Final for soph trotters will be the focus of this week’s Hambletonian Trail. Our TwinSpires-exclusive blog analyzes all of the races involving possible candidates for the August-classics, honing in on great wagering opportunities. Especially exciting this year is the presence of a filly that has already beaten the boys.

That same night at Northfield, the $185,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic hosts top older square-steppers.

With the wind on our backs after a few successes, the Freshmen Frolic section continues here, to sensationalize on the early two-year-old races around the continent. There are also a few feature stakes for the green ones.

The weekly H2W (the horses-to-watch) list is posted again, to, so do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections when playing your bets. Of course, remember to be fully armed with a plentiful TwinSpires betting account.


The “Lynch” Memorial Consolation precedes the final. Worth $50,000, these are nine of the soph-filly pacers that raced in the elims last week. In one of those events we were looking for a price with a surprise, Ron Burke’s Pittstop Danika. We didn’t expect her going off at 48-1—that was a major overlay for us, even with the tough competition (the obvious top two choices). She should be one of the top choices here but this field presents less of a challenge and that could make the difference. Gauge the odds by your own measure but she could win this easily and be worth a low price.

The $300,000 Lynch final looks like a rough-and-tumble mile. Agent Q, as we surmised her last two races, has been impressing her foes, the top two, Tequila Monday and Idyllic Beach. The former gets the rail here and should suck in most of the win money. The latter drew badly with post 9. The bet could wind up to be Bettor’s Up, who managed to squeak by Agent Q in the Fan Hanover and could be a very good price here, considering that money could spread out between as many as six. 


A $75,000 Max Hempt Memorial Consolation gathers nine on the program. The big surprise last week was the break by top choice, Every Way Out, who shows up here due to the mistake. Pacing smoothly, he should top this group easily. However, there are contenders that will offer better prices for their chances.

There is much speed in this field and that could afford a closer a late brush that could nail the duelers. One impressive trip last week went to Highalator. He closed well in a strong second half and could certainly catch tiring front-pacers and do so at a huge price.

The $500,000 Hempt final may not be imbalanced in the win pool due to Fear The Dragon. Last week’s first defeat for the monstrous pacer will turn some bettors to that winner, Miso Fast. As well, bettors will side with Downbytheseaside, regardless of post 8, since he is so very fast and should secure a front spot early. However, this group should still fear “Fear,” and bettors should be satisfied if he winds up even money or more because that will still be a bargain. In fact, if Downbytheseaside has to race mid-pack or worse and use his talent late, he could be second and provide a surprisingly good exacta considering the combo.


Older pacers have a consolation event, the $75,000 Ben Franklin FFA, and there is a lot of speed offered at the gate’s departure. There could be a few theories on which other horses could benefit from such a scenario but unfortunately this is a group of older pacers that can handle changing styles under particular circumstances. But the speed projection does give an edge to Dude’s The Man, a pacer that has always done well taking advantage of burnout speed. As well, he should be a decent price.

The $500,000 Franklin Final has a sharp contender that the crowd may dismiss. Rock N’Roll World stayed out of his elim early in the going, watching the other six, led by big favorite Mel Mara, battle with no affect since Mel Mara was marvelously dominant. But he made up significant ground, just as he should do here where there is more speed and Mel Mara won’t be as dominant.


On July 1, Northfield’s the $185,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic is headed by Resolve, who picked up the rail in the eight-horse field and faces off against Crazy Wow to his right. This could spark any number of arguments but only price will rule our decision to wager, even if it is against those two. We feel considering the pair capturing all of the attention, Midwest monster Homicide Hunter may be in a good position to pull an upset and at a price you would not ordinarily be offered.


Two-year-old races at the beginning of each season are the most difficult events for handicappers to forecast winners, no less value. Every season’s start for us means extra work on sire productivity, so we can make wise wagers in freshman races. If you handicap the races below, be sure to respect those listed as contenders.

June 29
Hoosier, Brysen R4; AJ’s Pearl R11
Saratoga, Chasing The Storm R1

June 30
Meadowlands, Michelle’s Jazz R4; Grand Dad Joe R8
Philadelphia, Mr Maryland R12
Scarborough, Mr Blakely R7
Buffalo, Sassy Massy R2; Byway R4; Red Reign R6; Pittstop Emerald R7

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


6/30/17, +Buckeye Badler R4; +Roman Conqueror R5

7/2/17, +Motor Shark R5

7/1/17, +Ashlynn Grace R2; +Skade R6

6/29/17, Blazing By R3; HP Rubis Joyce R6; Jeb R11

6/30/17, +Just Fred R5; Atomic Art R9
7/1/17, +JBs Shooting Star R1

7/1/17, Pierce R10

7/1/17, Roll With Howie R1

6/30/17, +Sandbetweenurtoes R7

6/29/17, TKRs Metro Specs R7

7/1/17, +Miss Explosion R4; Exhibitionist R7

7/2/17, Mullet Blue Chip R5; Miss Valene R6; Rock N Heels R10

6/29/17, +Moms Crossroads R4

6/29/17, Dolce Seelster R3; Come On Eileen R5

Running Aces
7/1/17, +Eccentric R2; +Greybeard R5; +Tame The Dice R6

6/30/17, +Whosjoedaddy R1
7/1/17, Show Me Up R6

7/1/17, +Glow Again R1; +Western R10; +PH Powerplay R11
7/2/17, +Western R10; +PH Powerplay R11

6/29/17, I’m Shameless R7; Big Bad Arcster R10

6/30/17, +Egosnattitudes R7

6/30/17, +Next Success R3; Prairie Sweetheart R6; +Venus Delight R8