06/25/2016 7:25PM

Pocono: Control The Moment, Racing Hill prevail in Hempt eliminations

Curtis Salonick
Control The Moment's first appearance in the United States was a successful one

Form from the North America Cup carried over to the two $25,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial eliminations on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono as Racing Hill and Control The Moment, who were second and third in the event last Saturday at Mohawk, were victorious.

In the first elimination, Control The Moment (Randy Waples) took control early from post four and led through panels of 26 1/5, 55 1/5, and 1:22.3.  Boston Red Rocks (Tim Tetrick), who was fourth in the North America Cup and had the pocket trip tonight, took a shot up the inside in the lane, but Control The Moment kept going to win by half a length in 1:49 3/5.  JK Will Power (Yannick Gingras) and More Dragon (Matt Kakaley) rounded out the horses to advance to the final.

Brad Maxwell trains Control The Moment, a Well Said colt, for owner Control The Moment Stable.  This was his ninth win from 13 starts, and he has now earned $462,095.  The 4-5 wagering choice, Control The Moment paid $3.60.

The other elimination saw Big Top Hanover (Gingras) in front at the 26 second opening quarter, but he was overtaken by both Katie's Rocker (Dave Miller) and Racing Hill (Brett Miller) prior to the 55 2/5 half.  Talk Show (Scott Zeron) then attacked first-over out of fifth in the backstretch, and he put a nose in front of Racing Hill at the 1:22 three-quarters.

Racing Hill fought back on the inside on the final turn to regain a clear lead over Talk Show, and then Racing Hill pulled away through the stretch to win by three lengths in 1:49 1/5.  Katie's Rocker held second, and Big Top Hanover finished third.  Western Fame (George Napolitano Jr.) was fourth, and Talk Show wound up fifth.  By virtue of being the faster fifth-place finisher from the two eliminations, Talk Show moved on to the final.

The winner, a colt by Roll With Joe, is trained by Tony Alagna for owner/breeder Tom Hill.  Racing Hill is now a six-time winner from 15 attempts, and he has banked $333,666.  Sent off at 1-5, Racing Hill returned $2.60.