by Frank Carulli
June 24, 2019
What do you get when a Triple Crown winner, Hambletonian champion, two-time Breeders Crown winner, 4-year-old millionaire mare and two others riding multiple-race winning streaks unite?
A ‘Classic’ for sure, or to be specific the $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic this Saturday at Northfield Park. Defending champ Marion Marauder, with a $3.1 million bankroll and 2016 Triple Crown on his resume, headlines the list of probable entries at the Tuesday draw.
But he will need his A-game to fend off: Pinkman, the 2015 Hambletonian winner and $2.5 million earner; Emoticon Hanover, who trotted to back-to-back Crown victories in 2017-18; Homicide Hunter, who blazed to a world-record 1:48.4 victory last year; Musical Rhythm, a winner of six consecutive races; and multiple stakes winner Guardian Angel AS, fresh off a three-peat in the $100,000 Maxie Lee Invitational at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
First race post time Saturday is 6 p.m. The under-card features multiple divisions of the Ohio Sires Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers and the finals of Northfield Park’s Spring Late Closers series.
SUN STAKES SATURDAY AT POCONO
More than $2 million will be on the line when the starting gate swings open on Sun Stakes Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. If last weekend’s eliminations are an indication, it could prove one of the most memorable racing nights of the year.
Western Fame carried his blinding speed to a 1:48.1 victory in the Ben Franklin prelims but, not to be outdone, Lather Up upset reigning Horse of the Year McWicked in 1:50.1 in the other elimination at the 5/8-mile oval.
Trainer Marcus Melander sent out Greenshoe and Green Manalish S to victories in the Earl Beal Memorial Trot eliminations, and trainer Tony Alagna did the same with Tall Drink Hanover and Odds On St Lucie in the James Lynch Memorial prelims.
Proof paced in 1:48.1, slightly faster than fellow Max Hempt Memorial elimination winners Captain Victorious and American