06/27/2013 10:02AM

Pocono: Holloway's Lynch starter Shebestingin is his best horse since Jenna's Beach Boy

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Ken Weingartner
Shebestingin is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line in the $300,000 James Lynch Memorial on Saturday.

Saturday’s $300,000 James Lynch Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono is the lowest purse among the four signature events highlighting Sun Stakes Night, but to the three-year-old fillies in attendance, it’s one of the biggest races of the season. Less than a handful of stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies will go for that much money this season and that’s one of the biggest reasons why the owners of Shebestingin elected to supplement to the race for a $15,000 buy-in as well as an additional $2,000 starting fee.

“I didn’t think that Chris’ filly (I Luv The Nitelife) would enter this race. I thought coming off the Fan Hanover in Canada that they would probably skip this race and get her ready for the Mistletoe Shalee (eliminations at the Meadowlands July 6 if necessary),” said Joe Holloway, trainer of Shebestingin.

“Don’t get me wrong, I think my filly is the best and I would have wanted her in this race regardless,” Holloway said in a definitive tone.

The fact is that Shebestingin may be the most talented three-year-old filly in North America. With limited Grand Circuit exposure to date, she’s proven to be as fast and gritty as any other.

In last week’s elimination, the daughter of Bettors Delight had to work intently just to clear the lead in a :26 1/5 opening quarter. She set the remainder of the fractions for driver David Miller and then was nipped on the wire by a perfectly driven Ms Caila J Fra and driver Simon Allard.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch + wager on the Saturday Sun Stakes Finals card at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs]

“I thought Simon drove his horse the right way in parking us,” said Holloway, giving kudos to the winner but not necessarily agreeing which horse is the best.

“I really don’t think that Shebestingin is at her best on the front end,” said Holloway. Yet it’s hard to believe she’s at her worst either, considering in 10 career starts she’s won eight times and lost only two races in close photos. Ironically, both losses have come at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, one earlier this year in the final of the Weiss series where Jerseylicious outsprinted her in a spectacular mile.

Shebestingin has been installed as the 3-1 second choice in the Lynch, which goes as race nine on the 16-race card with a first post at 6:30pm. She drew post five and will start inside probable favorite and Fan Hanover champion I Luv The Nitelife (post 8) and outside Ms Caila J Fra (post 3).

Holloway makes no bones about it when it comes to where Shebestingin fits in the long list of top horses he’s had.

“I haven’t had one this good since 1996 when I had Jenna's Beach Boy and Shes A Great Lady,” said Holloway.

Val D’or Farms, Ted Gewertz and L & L Devisser LLC share ownership in the filly.

While Holloway is not about to tell Dave Miller how to drive the filly, he’s hopeful that a close-up trip might develop on Saturday night.

“I’d sure like to see her coming out of a hole. With her speed I don’t think there’s another filly that can hold her off,” Holloway said.

The Lynch shapes up as not only a great race on paper but a great betting event as well. Adding some power to the mix is Charisma Hanover, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Dragon Again that enters the race with five wins in six starts this year for the Burke Stable. Charisma Hanover was most impressive in her elimination, overcoming post eight with an early leave and then racing without cover more than the final half to finish third behind I Luv The Nitelife. Matt Kakaley will once again guide her this week from post four.

Last year’s juvenile filly champion, Somwherovrarainbow couldn’t hold on while on the front end in last week’s elimination for young pilot Montrell Teague. The daughter of champions Somebeachsomewhere and Rainbow Blue is certainly capable of an improved performance in the final from post six.

Whether Simon Allard can get another pocket trip for Ms Caila J Fra in the final is a major question. The improving homebred has won her last three races all coming out of the two-hole in the stretch. The New Jersey Sire Stakes champion has never had to tackle a field with this depth before.

Despite the draw, I Luv The Nitelife has done nothing wrong during her brilliant career to suggest she won’t be a player in this race. The Rocknroll Hanover-sired filly showed that she could leave and rate kindly in the pocket last week. Once called upon she rallied sharply for the score.

There’s a saying put your money where your mouth is. The owners of Shebestingin have responded and now we’ll see if they will be proven right.