06/22/2013 11:21PM

Pocono: Foiled Again steals the show in Sun Stakes eliminations

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Mike Lizzi
Yannick Gingras drove three elimination winners on Saturday at Pocono, including Foiled Again.

With Mohegan Sun at Pocono’s Sun Stakes just a week away, Foiled Again proved that the sun has yet to set on him. The richest pacer of all time taught the youngsters a lesson in one of three $50,000 eliminations for the $500,000 Ben Franklin (June 29) on Saturday night. Yannick Gingras was back in the bike behind the nine-year-old son of Dragon Again and he perfectly steered the war-horse from a pocket trip to victory. In his 180th lifetime start, Foiled Again would pace the fastest winning mile of his career and the fastest ever mile at Pocono. The final time of 1:48 set a world record for older geldings as he bested a tenacious Modern Legend and a leg-weary pacesetter Pet Rock.

Levy champion Razzle Dazzle returned from a brief vacation and was able to convert on a pocket trip in 1:49 for driver Brian Sears in another Ben Franklin elimination. The six-year-old gamely held off a hard-charging Our Lucky Chip with pacesetter Up The Credit holding third and advancing to the final. In this event, Sweet Lou made an uncharacteristic break in stride while trying to squeeze into a two-hole before the quarter.

Youth was served in the first Franklin elimination when the four-year-old Dynamic Youth also converted a pocket trip for driver Andrew McCarthy. Dynamic Youth sat behind pacesetting favorite Betterthancheddar and moved up the passing lane for the score. Clear Vision rallied from second over for the place spot with Betterthancheddar gamely holding off Rockincam for the final berth.

Smilin Eli remained unbeaten in four career starts taking one of three $25,000 Earl Beal Memorial eliminations for three-year-old colt trotters. The son of Muscles Yankee overcame post eight with an impressive :26 3/5 opening quarter and cruised to victory over longshot Fico, with Picture This creeping up the rail for third. This division saw Jurgen Hanover’s seven race winning streak go down as the sophomore failed to fire off a cover trip.

Trainer Jimmy Takter scored a double in the remaining Beal eliminations. Dontyouforgetit and Gingras used the passing lane towards a 1:52 1/5 triumph over Possessed Fashion and pacesetter Celebrity Maserati. Corky rated a soft clip for driver Dave Miller and was a confident 1:52 4/5 winner. Royalty For Life made a miscue on the first turn yet recovered gamely for the place with Crystal Phenom holding the final berth.

Captaintreacherous may have given his 1-5 backers a bit of a scare but the North America Cup champion dug in again when it counted and scored in 1:48 4/5 over a threatening Vegas Vacation in one of three $25,000 eliminations for the Max Hempt Memorial. Rockin Amadeus finished third from the pocket. Captaintreacherous, with Tim Tetrick in the bike, was able to cruise to the lead in a soft :27 1/5 opener and then stalled the half to :55 4/5. With little movement in the field, Tetrick accelerated and was eventually joined by Vegas Vacation as the field neared the three quarter mark timed in 1:22 2/5. Brian Sears, driving Vegas Vacation for the first time, appeared to get within striking distance of Captaintreacherous but was unable to pass late.

Favorites failed to qualify for the Hempt final in the other two eliminations, as 2-5 shot Lonewolf Currier could not make up ground coming overland in a :53 2/5 final half. Emeritus Maximus posted the 8-1 upset over pacesetting Johny Rock in the 1:48 4/5 mile. Word Power, making just his fourth career start, was hard-used on the outside in the second half and refused to quit finishing third. Doug McNair drove the winner.

Sunfire Blue Chip was a rarity on the card, scoring a brilliant first over triumph (1:48 3/5) for Gingras and trainer Jim Takter. The improving son of American Ideal defeated Evenin Of Pleasure and pacesetting Martini Hanover in the process.

Ms Caila J Fra proved her victory in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final three weeks ago was no fluke, this time upsetting Shebestingin in the first of two $20,000 eliminations of the James Lynch Memorial for three-year-old pacing fillies. Catch-driver Simon Allard did his best to sting Shebestingin to the tune of a :26 1/5 opening quarter. That may have been the difference late with Ms Caila J Fra scoring in 1:49 3/5.

I Luv The Nitelife and driver Tim Tetrick made good on a 1-9 proposition in the other $20,000 Lynch division, scoring out of the pocket in 1:50 1/5. Last year’s division winner Somwherovrarainbow cut the pace under good rating but was unable to stall the winner or Nikki Beach and Charisma Hanover in the late stages. Those four will all return for the final.