08/20/2016 10:48PM

Pocono: Southwind Frank steals Colonial Trot

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Nikki Sherman
Southwind Frank reversed the finish order of the Hambletonian over Marion Marauder (#2)

Southwind Frank literally stole the $500,000 Colonial on Saturday evening at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but in the winner’s circle after the race you could see the win was a bit bittersweet.

Sutton was fastest off the gate at the start as Southwind Frank settled into the pocket briefly in an opening quarter of 27 1/5. Bar Hopping, another leaver from the outside, settled in third early on.

Driver Yannick Gingras was quickly on the move and sent Southwind Frank to the front after the first call. The duo somehow got away with a very slow 56 4/5 half as Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder began to turn up the heat on the rim.

With the fractions slow, the one-two finishers in the Hambletonian locked up down the backstretch past a 1:24 3/5 three-quarter clocking and continued on into the stretch, but this time Southwind Frank turned the tables and held on gamely by a half-length for the win. Bar Hopping out-kicked Sutton for third.

“I’m happy, don’t get me wrong, we just won a $500,000 race. I just hope one day I finally get my horse back,” said Gingras. “I don’t think he is near 100%, but he is a great, great horse. Honestly, I always respected him and I always thought so much of him, but last week in the Hambletionian, he really showed me so much guts and determination. I was really proud of him.

“Right now something is holding him back a little bit and it is definitely disappointing. I’ve said all along that he is a Father Patrick and maybe at the start of the year he could’ve been Muscle Hill. I really believe he has that kind of ability.”

Southwind Frank ($4.60) won for the sixth time in nine starts this year for owner Southwind Frank Partners. The 3-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy bumped his yearly earnings to $910,023 and sits at just under $1.7 million for his career.

The Ron Burke trainee is eligible to the Yonkers Trot. Eliminations are scheduled for next Saturday with the final on September 3.