06/29/2017 3:56PM

Pocono: Brazuca takes her shot in $300,000 Lynch

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Brazuca is a quiet filly around the stable, but she is capable of making noise on the racetrack.

Unbeaten in three races this year, Brazuca heads to Saturday’s $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono off a 1:52 3/5 win in her elimination last weekend. She starts the final from post No. 5 with Corey Callahan driving for trainer Tom Cancelliere and is 5-1 on the morning line.

Tequila Monday and Agent Q, also elim winners, are 5-2 and 3-1, respectively, on the morning line. Fan Hanover Stakes winner Bettor’s Up, second to Agent Q last weekend, is 4-1.

[DRF HARNESS LIVE: Watch Live Video and get real-time insights for the the Sun Stakes Finals at Pocono on Saturday.]

The Lynch is one of four stakes at Pocono on Saturday, with the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers, $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for 3-year-old trotters.

Ariana G, the Dan Patch Award-winning filly who is 3-for-3 this season, is the favorite in the Beal as she looks to take down eight male rivals; North America Cup champion Fear The Dragon and stablemate Downbytheseaside are the top choices in the Hempt while elimination winners Mel Mara and Keystone Velocity lead the Franklin.

Brazuca, purchased by the Cancelliere brothers -- Tom and John -- for $65,000 at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale, is a daughter of stallion Bettor's Delight out of the stakes-winning mare Knock Three Times. Her family includes New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Doo Wop Hanover and Dorsoduro Hanover, who makes his debut Sunday in a Pennsylvania All-Stars division for 2-year-old male pacers.

Last year, Brazuca won five of 10 races, finished second twice, and earned $89,666. She was the Pennsylvania Stallion Series champion for 2-year-old female pacers and also won a Keystone Classic division over favorite Agent Q.

Brazuca prepped for her Lynch elim with two wins in the Stallion Series, the first at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:51 2/5 and the second at The Meadows in 1:51 3/5. Her Philly time is tied for sixth fastest of the year by a 3-year-old filly pacer.

“She’s a nice filly, coming along slower,” Tom Cancelliere said. “I started her in the Stallion Series and bravened her up a little bit, aiming for this race. I think she fits OK. She should be very respectable in this field.”

There often are times when Brazuca seems more interested in resting than racing. It was a trait that worried Cancelliere initially, but he has come to appreciate it.

“At The Meadows she slept all morning and then turns around and goes (1):51 3/5,” Cancelliere said. “It’s stuff that makes you nervous when you see it at first, but she’s just quiet. She’s very calm. You train her and she’s OK, but when she sees the gate all the lights come on and she wants to do it. You’ve got to love that.

“She’s the sweetest thing you’d ever want to be around.”

Brazuca is eligible to a number of stakes including the Pennsylvania All-Stars, Mistletoe Shalee, Adioo Volo, Shady Daisy, Jugette, Bluegrass, Glen Garnsey, and Breeders Crown.

“I chose not to go to Canada early with her because if you want to race all year it’s not easy,” Cancelliere said. “It’s not an easy schedule for a 3-year-old filly. There’s so much money; you can pick your spots. Hopefully everything will work out for her. I’m looking at the big picture, not just one race. I just want to keep her progressing in the right direction.”

Following her racing career, Brazuca is expected to join the brothers’ growing band of broodmares. But for now Cancelliere is focused on Saturday.

“I thought she raced well in her elimination,” Cancelliere said. “She’s going to be fine.”

Racing at Pocono begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The night’s stakes finals are races nine through 12. Following is the field for the James M. Lynch Memorial, which is race nine. 

PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line
1-Tequila Monday-Brian Sears-Chris Oakes-5/2
2-Big City Betty-Jim Marohn Jr.-Steve Salerno-20/1
3-Inverse Hanover-Tim Tetrick-R. Nifty Norman-10/1
4-Agent Q-David Miller-Aaron Lambert-3/1
5-Brazuca-Corey Callahan-Tom Cancelliere-5/1
6-Bettor’s Up-Doug McNair-Scott McEneny-4/1
7-Misqued-Steve Smith-John Balzer-15/1
8-Caviart Ally-Andy McCarthy-Noel Daley-12/1
9-Idyllic Beach-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-6/1

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com