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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Ken Weingartner, USTA — Harness racing’s top-ranked stars, No. 1 Sylvia Hanover and No. 2 Confederate, will headline this weekend’s loaded Sun Stakes Saturday card at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania, where a total of $2.3 million in purses will be offered for the day.

The Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters, James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and Delmonica Hanover for 3-year-old female trotters all will feature main events plus two consolation divisions. Filling out the 14-race card are the Always B Miki Invitational for older pacers and Sebastian K Invitational for older trotters.

Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono Downs.

Sylvia Hanover is 6-for-6 this year and brings a 13-race win streak to the $250,000 Lynch Memorial. She most recently won the Shady Daisy on Aug. 5 at The Meadowlands, which pushed her lifetime earnings to $1 million. For her career, the Mark and Shawn Steacy-trained filly has 14 wins and a second in 15 starts. She received Dan Patch and O’Brien awards at age 2.

Her rivals in the eight-horse field include Charleston and Twin B Joe Fresh, who finished second and third, respectively, behind Sylvia Hanover in the Fan Hanover Stakes on June 17 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Confederate brings a three-race win streak to the $300,000 Hempt Memorial. His recent victories include the Cane Pace on Aug. 5 and the Meadowlands Pace on July 15, both at The Meadowlands. His only setback in six races for trainer Brett Pelling this season came by a head in the North America Cup on June 17 at Mohawk. He has hit the board in all 13 lifetime starts, winning 10 and earning $1.13 million.

The field also includes Meadowlands Pace runner-up Hungry Angel Boy, Cane and Meadowlands Pace third-place-finisher Christchurch, and Dan Patch/O’Brien winner Stockade Seelster.

Heaven Hanover, who won the Hambletonian Oaks on Aug. 5 at The Meadowlands, leads the way in the $250,000 Delmonica Hanover. Heaven Hanover has finished no worse than third in her past five starts, winning three. Her victories during that span include a division of the Delvin Miller Memorial on July 15 at the Big M.

Also in the field are NY NY Mile winner Secret Volo, Delvin Miller Memorial division winner Quick Stop, and Hambletonian Oaks runner-up Bond.

Hambletonian Stakes runner-up Oh Well, as well as the event’s third- and fourth-place finishers, Up Your Deo and Celebrity Bambino, will meet in the $300,000 Beal Memorial.

Oh Well, who has earned $1.14 million in his career, has one win and six seconds in seven races this season. His victory came in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 15 at The Meadowlands.

Up Your Deo counts the MGM Yonkers Trot among his three triumphs this year while Celebrity Bambino was a Hambletonian elimination winner.

The $100,000 Sebastian K includes Hillexotic, who won the Maxie Lee Memorial on May 28 at Harrah’s Philadelphia with a world-record performance, as well as 2021 Trotter of the Year Jujubee and Vincennes winner Lovedbythemasses.

The $100,000 Always B Miki includes Sam McKee Memorial division winner Allywag Hanover, Graduate Series champion Stonebridge Helios, and $2-million-earner Tattoo Artist.

For complete entries and post positions for Sun Stakes Saturday, click here.

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