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Princess Fabulosa takes hard-earned win in Tuesday Pocono feature
Princess Fabulosa takes hard-earned win in Tuesday Pocono feature

Princess Fabulosa had gone six straight tough trips before she raced in the $17,500 featured distaff pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday night (June 26) and all she could come away with were four seconds and two thirds. The game daughter of Well Said again had a difficult journey at The Downs, but this time she was able to get to the wire first in 1:52.

Brett Miller guided the favorite to a mid-pack tuck as Juxta Cowgirl went to the lead in the :26.4 opening quarter. Miller had Princess Fabulosa out and rolling before the :56.2 half, and she continued to steadily gain raw through and past the 1:24 three-quarter pole. It wasn’t until deep stretch that Princess Fabulosa finally put away the stubborn pacesetter, but she then had to worry about second-over Juslikeaqueen, who finished well but came up a head short, with Juxta Cowgirl another half-length back in third.

The persistent winner, now with a bankroll of $227,190, is trained by Mark Silva and owned by Lewis Whitaker Jr. and Charles Rowe.

In a pari-mutuel event for 2-year-old pacing fillies, Brett Miller sent the McArdle–Lionness Hanover filly Queen Of The Pride to the lead past the quarter, got intense pressure from first-over challenger Lady Driver down the backstretch and through the turn, but had a :27 last quarter in reserve to leave that foe 1-1/2 lengths behind at the finish. Her time was 1:56 in her pari-mutuel debut, though she had gone two ticks faster in a qualifying race six days ago for trainer Kevin Lare and owner Frank Chick.

Two Pocono longshot specialists were the winning team behind $58.80 upsetter Dunn Dealin in the sixth race -- Jim Taggart Jr. and trainer Judy Welty. She became the first conditioner to have a pair of bombers to her credit in 2018.

Taggart, a 48-year-old who has won more than 4,500 races, added a note of the dramatic in the 12th race, as his nearly 8-1 shot Angel’s Pride could not be separated from Skinny Dipper (Eric Carlson) for the win at the end of a 1:52.1 mile.

And then in the finale, Taggart, among the top ten drivers at both The Downs and Monticello, rallied the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Tempster Hanover from second-over, going by pacesetting favorite Allstar Partner, who earlier in the meet had been claimed for $39,000 to tie the highest claim price ever paid at Pocono. Tempster Hanover, himself a $20,000 claim in May, overpowered his field by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52 for Taggart and trainer Joe Pavia Jr. -- and, overlooked after a scratch and so-so recent form, bounced back and paid $203.40 to win. This was the second-highest price of the season, after a $250.80 return by Highland Dynamite (Simon Allard) in a PA All-Stars event, and it gave Taggart a meet-leading fourth victory with a $50-plus longshot.

And it’s not like Tempster Hanover has never been an upsetter, and a late-night one to boot. He paid $57.40 on May 8 in the next-to-last race of the card, and now $203.40 in the night’s getaway event to be the only $50-plus repeat winner at the meet.

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