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WILKES-BARRE, PA - Two-year-olds were in the spotlight Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with American Courage fastest in the pacing contests in 1:54.1, while trotting speed honors were shared by Bacardi and Above The Clouds at 1:58.1. Both of the trotting winners needed the photo finish camera to confirm their victories. The Southwind Frank - Strawberry Wine colt Bacardi raced in the pocket behind favored Sevenshadesofgrey, then methodically wore down the frontrunner to post a half-length victory for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Erv Miller, whose Ervin Miller Stable Inc. shares ownership of the winner with All-Wright Racing LLC, the Engel Stable of IL LLC, and the Rock And Roll Stable Inc. Three baby filly trotters were right on the wire together in a contest taken by the Explosive Matter - Miss Michelle H miss Above The Clouds, who was game to the wire despite an uncovered journey to defeat Pocono Pike rusher Fox Valley Liza and pacesetter Myreanna for driver Corey Callahan, trainer John Butenschoen, and the Bay Pond Racing Stable. The American Ideal - Nota Fool Bluechip colt American Courage was well-placed off a backstretch duel, then swept around his field on the far turn en route to a six length victory. Matt Kakaley was in charge of the quick colt for trainer Travis Alexander and the Fiddler's Creek Stables LLC. Kakaley had the hot hands on the Tuesday card with four winners, only one of which was favored. In one race, after a foe was disqualified for going inside the pylons in the stretch, Diamondbeach and Kakaley lit up the tote board with a $54.20 win payoff, giving Matt the local lead with three $50+ "bombers" at Pocono this season. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA – Over a surface that had improved from “sloppy” to “good” to “fast” by the time the $14,000 featured mares pace took to the track on the Sunday twilight harness racing card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Baron Remy showed no rust after 3½ months away from the races, going on to a 1:51.2 victory. Andrew McCarthy made a three-wide move late on the backstretch with the Yankee Cruiser mare to gain contention after a fast pace, and Baron Remy was more than equal to the challenge, getting to two-wide on the turn and then proving her superiority late. The Ron Burke trainee, owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr (who had his namesake horse win at Philly earlier in the day), now sports earnings of $629,122. A couple of three-year-olds marked themselves as ones to watch while the track was still “sloppy.” Right now the Captaintreacherous filly Party Girl Hill must be thought of as “ceiling unlimited,” as after coming home in :53.2 and :53.1 in Meadowlands qualifiers and then winning her purse bow in 1:50.2 - :52.4 - :26, Party Girl Hill was sent to Pocono by trainer Chris Ryder and handled the stepup from “nw1” to “nw4” with aplomb, dominating her field in 1:52.4. Jim Morrill Jr. guided the developing miss to an easy victory for owner Tom Hill. The Yankee Glide colt Hell Patrol seems to be finding top form at a good time, as he was guided to the top by Mattias Melander and rattled down the road in a 1:55.1 mile. Yet another in the seemingly-endless line of quality diamondgaiters from the barn of Marcus Melander, Hell Patrol is owned by Courant Inc.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Rich And Miserable, the 2019 Trotter of the Year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, returned to northeast Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon and immediately resumed his winning ways, posting a 1:52.4 victory over a good harness racing track in the $20,000 winners-over contest. Driver Tyler Buter wound up in third early with the gelded son of Explosive Matter as favored Obrigado put up hot early fractions of :26.4 and :55.2, not having to move outside until approaching the 1:23.3 three-quarters. Rich And Miserable quickly got in gear and went by the leader fairly easily for his 17th win in 49 lifetime starts, good for $417,922. Todd Buter trains the successful trotter for Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. Rich And Miserable Like Rich And Miserable, Turbo Hill was a 12-time winner in 2019, and like that trotter the son of American Ideal won the feature on his gait on the Saturday Pocono program. Boosting his lifetime bankroll to $207,145, Turbo Hill raced in the pocket, went to the Pocono Pike to gain the stretch lead, then held off a closing Skyway Quinton to his left to post a 1:50.3 victory in the $17,200 contest for owner Tom Hill. Turbo Hill Trainer Jennifer Bongiorno rang up her third victory on the card, and George Napolitano Jr. visited the winners circle (he's actually doing that even though there is currently no ceremony, with no fans) for the fifth time on the card. PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Harness racing trainer Erv Miller, fourth on the statistics list in both lifetime conditioning victories and money won, sent out four successful two-year-olds, a pair of males on each gait, during harness racing qualifiers for babies at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Fastest performer in the early action was Carrythetorchman, a colt by American Ideal out of Kattimon, who has produced two $400G winners already. She may have three to her credit if this baby continues to show top speed, as he made two moves to the lead then stepped home in :55.4 to win in 1:57, taking his second straight qualifier for Miller, driver Atlee Bender, and owners Ronald Michelon and the War Horse Stables. The other victorious Miller pacer was the Art Major - Wenditions colt Not Today, who overcame the outside post nine in 1:58.4 for Erv and driver/son Marcus Miller and the ownership of Michael Anderson, Louis Willinger, and George Golemes. Erv Miller also sent out the fastest trotting male in the Chapter Seven - Chandler T gelding Cschapeterone, whom Atlee Bender steered to success in 2:01.1 for the Ervin Miller Stable, Tangie Massie, Louis Willinger, and Harvey Eisman. Stablemate Mystical King was just a tick behind Cschapeterone in completing the Erv Miller quadruple for driver Marcus Miller and the partnership of the Ervin Miller Stable, Mystical Marker Farms, and Harmony Oaks Racing Stable. Trainer Jenny Melander sent out two successful trotting filly freshman winners, with the Cantab Hall - All That Sparkles miss Myreanna taking speed honors with a wire-to-wire 1:59.2 win for driver Matt Kakaley and the JPS Racing Stables LLC. Jenny herself handled the Cantab Hall - Tymal Elvira distaff Two Piece Tanlines and probably didn't like being thirteen lengths behind at the three-quarters, but the front-end speed gave way and Melander guided her baby home first in 2:03.2 for Melander Racing Inc., John Devito and Michael and Gary Card. Finally, quickest of the freshman pacing fillies was the Roll With Joe - Special Sweetheart freshman Special Olivia, who went to the lead down the backstretch and carried her speed to the wire in a 1:58.1 win for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Rob Harmon, and owner John Fleischman. For full results of todays qualifiers click here PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Tuesday marked the first time in 2020 that harness racing two-year-olds went before the bettors at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with paces for both sexes offered. The Always B Miki - Jan It Jackson colt Billy Clyde, a half-brother to Semi Tough, won his pari-mutuel debut in 1:55.4 after posting a 1:55.1 clocking in a Meadowlands qualifier. Mark MacDonald moved the freshman to the front passing the stands, rated the pace to the three-quarters, then rushed the colt home in :27.4 for trainer Ray Schnittker, who is also co-owner with Dr. John Egloff. Heading the fillies section was Bossy Linda, a daughter of Roll With Joe - Ideal Ginny (a full sister to four $450G+ winners), who went to the top and stayed in command with some Marcus Miller reminding in 1:56, bettering her 1:57.4 time posted in her initial outing in a Wingate Farm qualifier. Marcus's father Erv Miller is developing the baby nicely for owners D R Van Witzenburg and George Golemes. Most impressive among the "older set" was Caliber, who won off a familiar pattern - a Ron Burke trainee in his seasonal debut after a useful qualifier. Driver Matt Kakaley, who had four wins during the program, occasionally had to remind his charge to stay in high gear, but Caliber certainly did that, lowering his mark to 1:50.4 with a :55.1 back half. A sophomore gelding by Sweet Lou out of world champion Allstar Rating (his third dam is also a world champion, Delinquent Account), Caliber appears to have good things in front of him for Diamond Creek Racing.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - A pair of well-bred three-year-old harness racing maidens making their 2020 purse debut - the pacer coming off three qualifying wins, the trotter making his pari-mutuel bow - posted win times surpassed by nobody on their respective gaits on Monday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. First up was Party Whip, a Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Hedgie Blue Chip, a full sister to the $1.7M winner Hypnotic Blue Chip. The youngster was looped out of the gate then raced up to the lead, set a fast pace with pressure from odds-on Lou's Sweetrevenge, yet still was able to hold off that rival by a length in 1:51.4. The pairing of driver Corey Callahan and trainer John Butenschoen added another victory to their recent form skein as Party Whip won for William Wiswell, Jean Goehnlen, and Eugene Schick. Party Whip Trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt is known for having his charges ready to fire as soon as they get to the races, and such was the case here with Harley K, a colt by Sebastian K S (with whom Ãke set the world record for 5/8-mile tracks right here). Harley K went first-over, showed a touch of greenness drifting out a bit towards headstretch (where the Pocono paddock is), but was straightened out by Svanstedt to catch a tough Solar by a head in 1:54.2. Out of Caviar Session, a full sister to world champions Triumphant Caviar and Centurion ATM, the promising sophomore is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., Little E LLC, and Kenneth Kjellgren. Harley K PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - Trainer Ron Burke, building on his victory with Backstreet Shadow in the Roll With Joe Pace at Tioga in the afternoon, unleashed a trio of quality sophomore stakes fillies who were all victorious in their 2020 harness racing debuts Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Most impressive was the Muscle Hill trotting filly Sans Defaut, who lived up to her name (which translates from the French as "flawless") while taking a new mark of 1:53.2. Sans Defaut made a second move uncovered, went to the lead nearing headstretch, and finished well in hand for driver Matt Kakaley and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Crawford Farms Racing, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. Most of the ownership of Sans Defaut also own the Father Patrick filly Crucial, who worked to the lead early, rated the half, then powered home to a 1:55.4 victory. Burke / Weaver-Bruscemi and Silva-Silva/ Purnel & Libby share ownership of the fast miss with William Donovan. The Burke Brigade also revealed its pacing potential when the Sweet Lou filly Shouldabeenatd equaled her lifetime mark of 1:52.2 in his first 2020 purse start. Shouldabeenatd flashed home in :55 while rallying out of the pocket and winning under a hold for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and the "core" Burke / Weaver-Bruscemi partnership. Another impressive sophomore returnee was the Bolt The Duer gelding Blank Stare, who moved to the lead in front of the stands then motored home in :55 - :27.1 to take a new mark of 1:51.2. John Butenschoen conditions the promising three-year-old for Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, James Crawford IV, and In Over My Head Stable. Top purse event was a $14,000 mare pace, and the veteran McArdle mare Lispatty did not let a long uncovered journey bother her, going her last half in :54.2 coverless to win in 1:52.4. Driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera have been an overpowering duo as eastern Pennsylvania racing resumes as Lispatty pushed her earnings over $925,000 for owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. PHHA / Pocono

WILKES BARRE PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono got its "2020 Meet 2.0" underway on Saturday afternoon after a 103-day delay because of the health restrictions - and harness racing driver Tyler Buter, who won the last local race before the layoff, came back red-hot with five driving victories, including the four upper-class races described here. Prairie Panther was sent right to the lead by Buter in the $17,200 featured pace, forcing tucks before a :26.3 quarter then getting a breather to a :56 half. Our Max Phactor N made the leader pick up the pace with an uncovered challenge, and the two battled to a 1:23.1 three-quarters and all the way through the last quarter, with Prairie Panther staying a neck to the good in the 1:51 mile. The victorious Royal Millennium gelding certainly has the winning habit, as he posted his 37th career triumph in 76 races for trainer Mike Deters, co-owner with Laurie Lee Poulin. Fastest winner on the Saturday afternoon card was the unusually-named Irish-bred Gentlemanjim II IE ("ie" is the internet country code for the Republic of Ireland). The Kikikolt gelding, in only his second U.S. start, stormed the third quarter in 26.1 for Buter to clear to the lead and drew off to a new mile mark of 1:50.4. Gentlemanjim II IE appears to be one from whom more will be heard for trainer Robert Cleary, who leases a share of the horse with owner/lessee John Richardson. A pair of $11,200 events topped the day's trotting action. In the first, the Muscle Massive gelding Two AM raised his lifetime bankroll to $455,285 with a sharp 1:53.3 victory despite the outside post eight for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Todd Buter, and owners Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. The second diamondgaited event saw driver Buter complete a sweep of the top trots with the Explosive Matter gelding Marion Gondolier, who rallied steadily behind a fast pace and was along late in 1:54.3 for trainer Mike Watson and owner Cliff Grundy. Racing resumes on Sunday night with a first post at 7 p.m. - the only occasion where the Sunday action will start at this time. The Pocono basic schedule for now will consist of Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday racing at 12:30 p.m., and future Sunday cards beginning at 5 p.m. PHHA / Pocono

HARRISBURG PA - Two-year-olds went behind the gate for the first time in 2020 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, while 100 miles south trotters and pacers saw their first harness racing action of the year at Harrah's Philadelphia, both in morning qualifying sessions. During the Pocono babies action, the hot barn was that of Todd Schadel, co-owner of Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo, as Schadel guided all three winners on the trotting gait. The faster of two victorious rides behind colts for Todd was Top Me Off, by first-year sire Bar Hopping out of Chiptomylou, who went wire-to-wire in 2:00.2, last half 58.1, for the ownership of Todd and his wife Christine in partnership with Rick and Regina Beinhauer. In the lone diamondgaited filly sector, the Cantab Hall - Chez Lucie miss Cheesy Hanover made two moves and stepped home in 29 to complete a 2:02 victory. Trainer / driver Schadel also co-owns Cheesy Hanover, along with Hall of Famer Jim Simpson. On the pace, Schadel set the pace with Shakealeg Hanover in the fastest freshman race, but the pair were run down late by Dillinger in 1:59.4, the faster mile in the colt division. Dillinger is by Always B Miki, the Horse of the Year who has his first crop at the races this year, out of Bodacious Hanover, whose mother is Bunny Lake and whose half-brother is the promising two-year-old of 2019, Lake Charles. Mark MacDonald guided Dillinger for trainer Ray Schnittker, who is co-owner in partnership with Hall of Famer Ted Gewertz, Max J. Hempt, and Steven Arnold. The Rock N Roll Heaven - Toy Delight pacing filly Jubilee Queen made two moves to control the pace for driver Matt Kakaley, going on nice to win in 2:00 for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Kevin Lare, and owners Frank Chick and David Hamm in the faster of two sections for the baby fillies. In the inaugural morning session of the year at Philly, the fastest heats were saved for last. Quickest mile of the day, 1:52.4, was turned in by the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Shadow Cat, who sat behind pacesetting Mindtrip, then despite being unraced since last July 27 gained into a 27.4 last quarter to win for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Josh Green, and new owners Howard Taylor and the David Rovine Stable LLC. The quickest Philly trotter, the Kadabra gelding Tony Soprano, had missed even more time - 370 days since his last race -- and also made his bow for new connections, provisional driver / trainer David Hoover and owner Jaypaul Hoover, and he was likewise victorious, triumphing on the engine in 1:57.2. Philly begins its 2020 pari-mutuel meet on Sunday at 12:40, however, the Wednesday thru Friday cards will be going at the regular 12:25 post time. Pocono, after a 102-day break due to the COVID shutdown, starts its purse program back up a day earlier, with Pocono featuring racing on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday at 12:30 and Sunday at 7:00.   Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association

WILKES-BARRE PA - The first pari-mutuel racing card in the "second part" of the season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will take place this Saturday afternoon, with the first of fourteen races to be going postward at 12:30 p.m. (Pocono comes back with racing on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday at 12:30, with the Sunday card beginning at 7.) Top event scheduled on the return card is a $17,200 contest for fast-class pacers, with the millionaire Rockin Ron drawing the rail in the field of seven. The Ron Burke trainee, who has amassed $1,660,449 so far in his harness racing career, gets a bit of relief in company here after running into a 1:49 mile by Bechers Brook A while finishing fifth, timed in 1:49.4, in his first post-pandemic outing. Bakersfield, who himself has a bankroll in excess of $400,000 and a 1:49.1 lifetime mark at Philly, deserves a look from bettors if for no other reason than his trainer, Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, sent out five winners from ten starters during the first set of Pocono qualifiers last Saturday, with Bakersfield winning handily in 1:55.2. Tyler Buter, who won the last pre-shutdown race at The Downs on March 9, has a chance to complete a "102-day consecutive driving double" with McBoogitty in the day's first race - this pacer shows two seconds and a third in his last three starts against similar company, but he has not raced since the last weekend here before the hiatus. In the second half of the double, much respect will go to Cattlewash, another Burke trainee, who will be making his sophomore debut after winning in excess of $300,000 as a baby and taking a mark of 1:50.3 at Lexington. Cattlewash will need to come back sharp to overcome the outermost draw in a field of nine talented youngsters. On the trotting side, Lindsey's Pride may be the horse to beat in an $11,200 contest after opening his 2020 account with two straight 1:55 qualifying wins at Wingate Farms Spa, an eastcentral Pennsylvania training facility which has raced qualifying events the last two Mondays for its local horsemen's colony. 100 miles to the south of Pocono, Harrah's Philadelphia will tomorrow be conducting the draw for its first racecard of the year, which will take place on Sunday afternoon (Philly will race Wednesday through Friday and Sunday at 12:40). Both Pocono and Harrah's will be holding qualifying action tomorrow morning to help ensure the trotters and pacers can be primed as they start or restart their regular racing schedule.   Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA - After a 95-day absence due to the virus pandemic, the trotters and pacers were again in harness racing competition over the famed red 5/8-mile oval at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday, with sixteen qualifying races restarting the season. Coming out red-hot was trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, who won with half of the ten horses he started - and also owned all of three of them and two in partnership with Michi Abday. Perennial Pocono driving champion George Napolitano Jr. guided four of the five Garcia-Herrera charges to victory - and he was second driving another Garcia-Herrera horse in the one other triumph for the sharp barn. The most impressive winning equine of the day was one who had just been acquired by his connections seven days before. The six-year-old American Ideal gelding Uffizi, a three-quarter brother to $1.6 million-winning world champion Artspeak, came uncovered from fifth for driver Billy Carter, brushed to the lead after pacing his third quarter in 27.3, and went on to a 1:53 victory, justifying the faith in the well-bred pacer shown by trainer Neal Ehrhart and owner Jonathan Lapp Jr. Pocono will be holding qualifiers this week at 10 a.m. on Tuesday (two-year-olds) and Wednesday (all ages of horses). The 2020 pari-mutuel season, interrupted after twelve cards by health restrictions, will resume a week from today (June 20). Pocono will race on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. as it reopens, forming an afternoon seven-day bloc with the horsemen's association's "sister track," Harrah's Philadelphia, which will race on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday at 12:40 p.m. PHHA / Pocono

Wilkes-Barre, PA — After receiving sign off from the PA Department of Health, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will resume live harness racing without spectators. Qualifying races will be held at Mohegan Sun Pocono as follows: • Saturday (June 13) at 10:00 a.m. for 3-year-old and older horses. Entries must be received by 11:00 a.m. on Friday (June 12). • Tuesday (June 16) at 10:00 a.m. for 2-year-old horses. Entries must be received by 11:00 a.m. on Monday (June 15). • Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. for all ages. Entries must be received by 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday (June 16). Only horses entered in qualifying races will be allowed on the grounds at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on those days. Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission is temporarily modifying the 45-day rule. Horses who have started and have a clean line after February 1, 2020, will not have to qualify. This will only be in effect for a period of 2 weeks once the first live race resumes. After that, the 45-day rule will be in effect. The live racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will resume on Saturday (June 20). The live racing schedule will be: • Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday – post time 12:30 p.m. • Sunday – post time 7:00 p.m. Beginning with the Saturday (June 13) qualifiers, there will be new protocols for paddock personnel: • Face masks are REQUIRED at all times in the paddock. • Temperature scans will be conducted at the stable gate before entering the backstretch. • Numbered races will be changed to accomplish social distancing. Please be aware of the altered race numbers upon entrance to the paddock. • Drivers must show up wearing driving colors. Access to the Drivers’ Room will be extremely limited. Showers will NOT be available. • No owners, visitors, or guests will be allowed access to any areas including, but not limited to, the paddock, track apron, or drivers’ room until further notice. by PHHA/Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

Separate posts on social media Wednesday night (June 10) announced that the three Pennsylvania harness racing tracks — The Meadows, Harrah’s Philadelphia and The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono — were informed with an email from the state’s Secretary of Health Rachel Levine that they have been cleared to resume racing. Levine emphasized that the plan for the safety procedures for dealing with the COVID-19 virus from each track was approved and that it must be “implemented and maintained.” The announcement regarding The Meadows was on State Representative Tim O’Neal’s Facebook page and a similar post about Harrah’s Philadelphia and Pocono appeared on the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association Facebook page shortly after. Each track will announce their own plan for reopening. To read Levine’s letter to The Meadows, click here. USTA Communications Department

WILKES-BARRE PA - Tyler Buter guided five winners during the Wednesday morning harness racing qualifying session at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, while Mark MacDonald, just a week into his comeback since his injuries last summer, showed he is back in form with three victories. MacDonald handled the fastest winner of the session, the Mach Three gelding Highrthananeagle A. The six-year-old had not raced since November and was making his U.S. debut, but the Rob Harmon trainee made two moves, including going first-over, to win in 1:55.1 for the ownership of Harmon Racing Stable LLC, Lightning 5 Racing Stable, and Joel Kahan. The Cantab Hall gelding Macmorris Hanover, an earner of $120,000 at three last year in his first season at the races, showed he may be a trotter to reckon with in the higher classes as Buter put him on the lead and won by over five lengths in 1:56.1 in his 2020 bow. Bob Baggitt Jr. conditions the promising horse for the ownership of Ben Mudry, Douglas Millard, Timothy Murray, and Howard Taylor.   PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Harness racing driver Anthony Napolitano, who won one of the two divisions of the first prelim of the Game Of Claim Series for pacing mares on Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, went himself one better by sweeping the two $15,000 divisions of the first prelim of the Game Of Claims Series for $15,000-base trotters Monday. Tactically "Anthony Nap" was well-diversified. In the first division, he sent Manwithamission, a gelded son of Manofmanymissions (a 2010 Breeders Crown winner here) to control the pace with two moves, then stepped home in 1:56.3 for trainer Steve Salerno and owner Jack Piatt III - who promptly lost the horse to a claim in the chess game that is the Game Of Claims prelims. For Manwithamission, it was his fifth winning effort in seven 2020 starts. Steve Salerno had even better luck in the second Game Of Claims divisions - the Uncle Peter gelding ELO Hanover, whom he co-owns with trainer Emily Bost, not only won in 1:57.2, but they did not lose him to a claim. Napolitano brought this one from far back off of cover, tipping wide and getting by a contentious bunch late. The most impressive winner on the Pocono card was a maiden pacer making his second career start 236 days after making his first. But the Somebeachsomewhere - Allamerican Memoir sophomore colt Remember The Beach (a full brother to $900G+-winning world champion Beach Memories) certainly had the pedigree to improve from freshman to sophomore status, as indeed he did, winning in 1:52.4 for driver Josert Fonseca, trainer Nancy Takter, and owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. Fonseca put rivals in behind in a hot :26 opener, yielded to favored Devil Or Angel and sat on his back through middle splits of :54.4 and 1:23.2, then came out nearing headstretch and took right over, suggesting more success may be in his immediate future. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The male harness racing pacers had their Game Of Claims Series opportunities early in the meet at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono; starting this week, pacing mares and trotters will start their series, with the sidewheeling distaffs kicking off on Sunday. The Napolitano brothers drove the winners of the two $10,000 divisions of the first prelim, for $10,000 base-price horses, with Anthony guiding the Hypnotic Blue Chip mare Melanie's Filly right to the top en route to a 1:54 victory. But if trainer Daniel Maier and owner Antonia Storer want to see this mare racing for them in the $20,000 Championship event in three weeks, they'll have to pony up some money - as the winner was haltered for the $12,000 price, mares getting their standard 20% price allowance. (And the base price goes up a bit each week in the Game Of Claims prelims.) Brother George's 1:54.3 winner in the other first round prelim, the Rockin Image mare Summer Rock, also will not be returning to the connections of trainer Robert Lounsbury and owner Robert Main - such is the competitive nature of Pocono horsemen, especially with the prospect of a shot at big money just down the line. In all, four of the mares in the series were claimed, with six claims total on the night, for $70,500. High-level trotters rounded out the Sunday Pocono action in a $17,500 contest, with a four-across-the-wire finish going to Presidente Zette, a son of Muscle Hill, who was just up in 1:54.3 for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and trainer/owner Cozette McAvoy. Presidente Zette won by a head, while a long photo separated the closely-placed noses of Two AM, Volare, and Broadway Mojo in that order. A pair of victorious mares worth noting are the McArdle veteran Lispatty, who won her 2020 debut in 1:52.4 to boost her lifetime bankroll to $918,485, and the Kikikolt distaff Blackwell Ruby IR, who started her career on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean but has kept her winning ways, as she is now 5-for-6 this year and 11-for-15 lifetime after also winning in 1:52.4. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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