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Harrisburg, PA - The State Horse Racing Commission's Bureau of Standardbred Horse Racing today reminded Standardbred harness racing owners that 2019 Sire Stakes payments for 2-year-old and 3-year-old horses are due by March 15. The first payments due for 2-year-old horses are $150 for the Pari-mutuel Division and $50 for the Fair Division. This payment must be made for the horse to qualify for future opportunities in the PA Sire Stakes. The final payment of $500 for the Pari-mutuel Division for 3-year-olds is also due by March 15. In the Fair Division, if no 2-year-old sustaining fees were made in the prior year, a $750 late sustaining payment may be made by March 15 of the horse's 3-year-old season, as well as a sustaining fee of $150, payable by May 15. The Sire Stakes Sustaining Payment forms are available at www.agriculture.pa.gov. Search "sire stakes." Individuals can also contact Ryan Kell at rkell@pa.gov or 717-214-9053 to obtain payment forms. Learn more about the State Horse Racing Commission's work to reinvest in Pennsylvania racing and continue to develop Pennsylvania's reputation as a superior place to breed, train, race and enjoy horses. From the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is pleased to announce their 2019 harness racing season schedule.  The track in Northeast PA is looking forward to another tremendous season of racing. Opening night has been set for Saturday, March 16, and there will be a limited schedule in the month of March, with racing on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  Starting in April, the track will move to the full schedule of four days a week.  Post Time for Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season, with some exceptions, will be 7:00pm, and Mondays and Tuesdays will have a 4:00pm post.  During the months of March and April, fans will receive a free live racing program on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Opening night will also be 50/50 night.  Racing fans receive $100 in live racing vouchers for $50.  The very popular promotion will start with a line for wristbands at 4:00pm, and all fans receiving the wristbands at 5:00pm will receive this offer, while supplies last.  Stakes action kicks off on opening night with the Secretary’s Series for 4 and older, and the finals for the series starts Sunday, April 19th.  In addition, the Bobby Weiss Series returns Monday, April 1st, and continues throughout the spring.  Finals for the Bobby Weiss begin on Monday, April 29th.  Other stakes action in the spring and summer includes the PA All-Stars beginning on Saturday, May 11th; the PA Stallion Series starting May 19th; and the PA Sire Stakes kicking off on May 19th as well.  The prestigious $2 million Sun Stakes Saturday is June 29th,  featuring the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot; $500,000 Ben Franklin Free For All Pace; 500,000 Max Hempt Memorial Pace; and the $300,000 James Lynch Memorial Pace.  Eliminations will take place on Saturday, June 22nd. A double-header of live racing is once again planned for Kentucky Derby day, Saturday, May 4th, with a first post of 11:00am and the second card approximately 7:30pm.  Racing follows the Preakness Stakes on May 18th and Belmont Stakes on June 8th, and will also be an approximate Post Time of 7:30pm. Qualifying dates have been set for Tuesday, March 5th and Thursday, March 7th, and then every Wednesday thereafter for the remainder of the season. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono is extremely excited to welcome all horsemen and fans back for another season! by Jennifer Starr, for Pocono Downs

Horsemen are reminded that nominations should be postmarked by February 15 for the many and varied early and late closers that will highlight the 2019 racing season of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The famed northeastern Pennsylvania oval will begin the 134-day race meet on Saturday, March 16. Starting off the season - right from opening night -- will be a new late closer, The Secretary's Series, with 6 different divisions, and no nomination fees. An initial group of three divisions will be programmed for four year old & older horse & gelding pacers, mare pacers, and trotters in general, with separate mare divisions if entries warrant for the trotters. These three events will be for non-winners of $50,000 in 2018 for those that have started 10 or more times in 2018. The 3 preliminary legs will go for a purse of $12,500, with a final of $25,000 (there will be consolations for those classes that fill such a race). The second group for the same type of horses will be for non-winners of $75,000 in 2018 for those that have started 10 or more times in 2018. Purses for these events will be $17,500 for the preliminaries and a $30,000 final (again, consolations are part of the plans). If a horse won less than $50,000 in 2018 with the required ten starts, he or she can also enter the parallel division of this second late-closing series, to be raced entirely after the completion of the first group. The Bobby Weiss Late Closing Series for 3- & 4-year-old horses will return this season in April with four events for non-winners of 2 extended pari-mutuel races or $30,000 lifetime as of & including February 1, 2019. The separate events will be for male pacers, female pacers, male trotters and female trotters. Each Weiss will consist of three $15,000 legs and a $30,000 final. This year there will be consolations for each event. Returning this year will be the Great Northeast Series for open class horses for pacers, mare pacers and trotters. Legs will be going for $30,000, which will alternate between The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Harrah's Philadelphia from May to September. (The June 29 card at Pocono, the Sun Stakes Saturday card, will also contain the mares pace and open trotters events normally raced on Sundays at Pocono.) The $100,000 finals will be held on Monday, September 9 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono going a distance of 1 ¼ miles. In these late closers, each horse that actually starts will receive 25 points along with any points they get from their official placings in each leg (on a 50-25-12-8-5-4-3-2-1 finish position basis). All of the late closers will have no nominating fees, including the Weiss Series for the first time. The Pennsylvania All Stars, an early closer for Pennsylvania Sired 3-year-olds, will make their will be raced in 2019 in May and June, with their counterpart 2-year-old races in July. Nominations for the 3-year-old events of the Pennsylvania All Stars are due on February 15; nominations for the 2-year-old events are not due until March 15. Sun Stakes Saturday will, once again, usher in the summer portion of the racing season. The Championships for the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr Memorial 3-year-old open trot, $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial 3-year-old open pace, $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial 3-year-old filly pace and $500,000 Ben Franklin FFA Pace will be on Saturday, June 29. The eliminations for these races will be one week earlier on June 22. If entries for the eliminations warrant, there will be a $75,000 consolation for the Beal, Hempt and Franklin races and a $50,000 consolation for the Lynch. Complete racing conditions and payment information for all these racing events are listed on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono's website, on the Horsemen page. Jerry Connors Jr

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Saturday was closing night for the 2018 harness racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with ceremonies honoring some of the top horses and horsemen of the meet sharing the spotlight with the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series Eastern Regional Final #2. The Billings purse was $12,000, but you'd have thought they were going for a hundred times that as they were three-deep to a 27.4 quarter. Past that station, Winwood Scout, the favorite, kept On The Podium out in the 38-degree air, and the middle fractions of 57.2 and 1:27.2 were very demanding. With the best seat in the house behind the battle up front was driver David Offenberg and the Cantab Hall gelding Fiji, and when the outside horse melted back on the far turn, Fiji was ready to spring. Offenberg moved his horse outside at headstretch, but Winwood Scout was favored for good reason, and it took until the very last steps before "Dave The Rave" could nudge Fiji past the gallant Winwood Scout and driver Bob Davis, winning by the smallest possible margin in 1:57.1. For being named after a tropical island (which was the homeland of the famous Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka), Fiji is certainly a good cold weather performer - he also accounted for a Billings event in November of last year. The winner of $164,637 is trained by Eric Abbatiello for the Allister Stables LLC of Offenberg, and he may add to that total this year, as by virtue of winning this Billings Regional Final Championship, Offenberg has qualified for the $25,000 Billings Gold Cup at Yonkers on Sunday the 25th - and he may well take along the sharp and proven "winter warrior" Fiji. (Offenberg also looks like a "winter warrior" - he won the NAADA Final in December 2015 and the Silver Cup in November of that year, and he was second in the GSY Fall Final on Friday.) The equine honoree of the evening was Pocono Trotter of the Year Homicide Hunter, who locally won the Breeders Crown and set a world record for 1¼ miles in a year where he also became The World's Fastest Trotter with his 1:48.4 mile at Lexington. Chris Oakes, the horse's trainer and himself the winningest trainer of the year here three times, was on hand, and also took part in the ceremony honoring his 20YO son Hunter Oakes, who took the award for top UTR with a sparkling rating of .556. Rene Allard won his second straight training victory title and fifth in the last six years, finishing with 133 visits to Victory Lane, including on closing night. Allard's "handful" of training title ties him for the all-time lead at Pocono with a horseman whom some may have forgotten once had an active stable - George Napolitano Jr. (2001 and 2003-2006). "George Nap" of course also had his turn in the spotlight, winning the crowns for driving victories (366) and UDR (.374). George has now been the top driving dashwinner at Pocono twelve times, including the last seven consecutive seasons, and he won the last race of the year with Feeling Cam Lucky to finish with the second-most victories at Pocono in a year, behind only his own record of 407 in 2015. George's tenth UDR title at the mountain oval was his fifth in a row. One trophy not given was "Most Driving Wins with $50+ Longshots" - if they did, Jim Taggart Jr. solidified his hold on this honor, guiding home Roll Away Joe to a $51.20 victory for his seventh of the meet, two ahead of Tom Jackson and Anthony Napolitano. FINISHING LINES - It may have been Closing Night, but it appears that not too many stables will be shutting down for the year - there was $163,750 in claiming action on the last card of the meet, with nine horses changing hands. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Wilkes-Barre, Pa---In a thrilling stretch duel Dave "the Rave" Offenberg got his venerable trotter, Fiji, up in the final strides to collar Winwood Scout and driver "Buffalo Bob" Davis to reel in the lions share of the $12,000 purse offered in the Billings East Regional Final on Saturday night (Nov. 17) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In a field reduced to six starters, Offenberg and Fiji departed from the pole position and watched as "Buffalo Bob" Davis and Winwood Scout get in a speed duel with On The Podium ("Yankee Joe" Lee) as the two leaders trotted by the first panel in :27.4. They were still side-by-side as they headed for the halfway point with Lee looking for room along the pylons but with Uriel and "Annie Get Your Gun" Stoebe tight on his back second over, no room was to be had as the trotters along the pylons kept all the holes closed. When the field went by the half mile pole Winwood Scout was on the lead with Fiji tucked in nicely in the two hole and On The Podium and Uriel parked on the limb. Winwood Scout was in command as he passed the third stanza in 1:27.2 with On The Podium still second on the outside. But when the field headed for home, Offenberg,,who was in the catbird seat, rallied Fiji as On The Podium began to fade. In the deep stretch it was Winwood Scout and Fiji... and Fiji and Winwood Scout.., as the two trotters battled all the way to the wire and after the judges posted the tight win-photo the victory went to Fiji and Offeberg in a time of 1:57.1. Tony "the Capo" Verruso, up behind Peoplesayimnogood, trailed the leaders throughout and rambled home for the show dough. Fiji is owned by Offenberg's Allister Stables LLC and trained by Eric Abbatiello. It was the sixth victory for Fiji this year which raised his seasonal bankroll to nearly $50,000. For Offenberg he notched his fourth seasonal triumph and 55th of his amateur career. Offenberg now joins "Marvelous Marvin" Raber who won the Midwest Region Final last week with Mikey Hanover at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway and both drivers have earned the privilege to draw inside post positions in the $25,000 Delvin Miller Memorial Gold Cup Final at Yonkers Raceway on November 25. by John Manzi for the Billings Series    

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A trio of $15,000 conditioned events were featured on the penultimate card of 2018 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday night. The first of two trots resulted in an easy victory for the Kadabra gelding Northern Major in 1:57.3. Matt Kakaley moved the winner to the front past a 29 quarter and put up midsplits of 59 and 1:28.1 before storming off by 5½ lengths over closing Broadway Bruiser. The race favorite, Northern Major is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In the other trotting contest, the Triumphant Caviar sophomore gelding QB Kemp rallied from the pocket to record his second straight triumph, here in 1:57.1. Favored Bautista went to the top in a quick 27.4 on a cool night, rated the middle fractions to 57.1 and 1:27.2, but still could not withstand the rush from the two-hole by QB Kemp, driven by Tyler Buter for trainer Rob Harmon and Harmon Racing Stable LLC. The pacing event was for fillies and mares, with Don't Mach Mia surrendering the early lead to Parkin In Heaven in a 28.1, brushing to the lead and posting middle fractions of 57 and 1:26, then holding off the pocketsitter to notch a neck triumph in 1:55.1. George Napolitano Jr. was sulkysitting for trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. Earlier, pacer SB Ideal In Art, driver John Kakaley (Matt's father), and trainer Jim Ray became the first horse-driver-trainer combination to post two $50+ victories in 2018 at Pocono when they teamed up for a $148.80 shocker in race two. The trio had clicked at a $58.00 price on July 31. Tempster Hanover is the only other horse to have two $50+ wins at the meet, but he had changed hands between his May 8 and June 26 upsets. Trainer Ray tied for the top at Pocono with his second training bomber: Judy Welty, Jose Godinez, Alex Kavoleff, Jason Robinson, and Ron Burke also have two upset winners, with the last two joining Ray as both posting their double within the last month and having one of their twosome under question pay $100+. The last card of the 2018 season will take place at The Downs on Saturday night, with the yet-undistributed yearend awards to be given. The world's fastest trotter and "home track" Breeders Crown winner, Homicide Hunter, will receive local Trotter of the Year honors, with the horse's trainer, Chris Oakes, also to be on hand to see his son Hunter Oakes get the award for posting the colony's top UTR. Rene Allard will be feted upon winning his fifth training win title in the last six years, while George Napolitano Jr. will sweep the driving dash title and UDR title for the sixth straight year - "George Nap" has thirteen Pocono dash crowns and eleven UDR championships to his credit, both obviously local records. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Elysium Lindy took control from the pole early for driver Matt Kakaley, rated the half, then sprinted home to keep pocketsitting favorite Gruden at bay while winning the $30,000 Open trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Sunday. Kakaley discouraged any outside attempts to fire away hard, going at a 27.1 clip to the quarter, then rated the second quarter to hit the half in 57.1. From that point, nobody had enough speed to overhaul Elysium Lindy on a 32-degree night, with Gruden giving valiant chase up the Pocono Pike from the two-hole but coming up ¾ of a length shy. Elysium Lindy, an altered son of Cantab Hall, raised his earnings to $152,240 for the year and $318,835 lifetime for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership team of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Joseph DiScalia. After the race, driver Matt Kakaley did something that would normally be unusual - he took his helmet off. He gave it to the caretaker of Elysium Lindy, who wore it taking the victorious trotter back to the paddock, and Matt stayed in the winners circle, being joined by important Burke Brigade owner Phil Collura, to accept the honor of 2018 Pocono Pacer of the Year for the sophomore millionaire Dorsoduro Hanover. The Somebeachsomehwere gelding has posted a 19-10-5-1 scorecard so far in 2018 and has bankrolled $1,229,112, with his tally at Pocono alone reading 7-6-0-0-$469,120. Locally, Dorsoduro Hanover won a Pennsylvania All-Stars race, a leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and his divisional Championship, a Hempt elimination, and of course his Breeders Crown elimination and final, in the latter of which he took his lifetime mark of 1:49.4. (His only Pocono setback was a very honorable one, as he put up fractions of 26, 53, and 1:20.3, and then missed only a length in the Hempt Championship.) Kakaley was his regular driver for his trainer Burke and his owners, Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and the Wingfield Five LLC. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Onlyest One, a Bettor's Delight gelding racing for the first time for the meet's leading trainer Rene Allard after a claim, overcame a first-over journey to post a 1:52.3 victory in the $18,000 claiming handicap harness racing pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where the mercury was one degree above freezing for the evening's headliners. Now a 13-time winner in 2018 with earnings of $101,450 this year and $347,240 lifetime, The Onlyest One withstood Roll Away Joe by a length for driver Simon Allard while making a successful debut for Allard Racing Inc. Music Is Art may not have been the straightest pacer in the stretch drive of the $17,500 co-featured pace, but he was the fastest under the guidance of Anthony Napolitano to reach the wire first in 1:51.2. The son of Art Major was positioned second-over, swung wide entering the stretch - and kept going wider the closer he got to the line, winding up about 4 ½-wide at the wire but with a half-length lead over pacesetting I'm A Big Deal, a sophomore last seen in his Breeders Crown Final here. Music Is Art, trained by Mark Ford for owner Rick Berks, pushed his earnings to $91,863 this season and $196,790 lifetime. Ford, the Allard brothers, and George Napolitano Jr. each had a triple Saturday. Two horses were honored Saturday in the Hanover Shoe Farms winners circle at Pocono for seasonal accomplishments at the mountain oval. First to be spotlighted was another success story for the brothers Allard, Mare of the Year Eclipse Me N, who won half of her twelve 2018 starts at Pocono at the highest level of the conditioned ranks, including a Tuesday, August 28 victory - right back in two days after she had competed at the top level at Pocono on Sunday. For the year overall, Eclipse Me N, who raced in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers in the winter, has nine wins and $93,210; she took her mark of 1:50.1 on May 15 at Pocono for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Don Mac Lean, who imported her from New Zealand in May 2017. While the American Ideal gelding Ideal Kiss raced honorably at Pocono from May to November, his selection as Claimer of the Year was hugely based on his stint under the tutelage of Hunter Oakes, after Northfork Racing Stable claimed him for $30,000 on August 11. For Northfork/Oakes and driver George Napolitano Jr., still guiding the horse's fortunes, Ideal Kiss paced to a scorecard of 9-5-1-1 for earnings of $59,020 and a lifetime mark of 1:49.3 earned on September 1 - take that, you who say "Just a claimer" with a sneer. Ideal Kiss has raced this year to a total of 10 wins and $118,030 in earnings; his lifetime accumulation is $202,730. Tomorrow night Pocono Pacer of the Year Dorsoduro Hanover will be feted; on 2018 closing night next Saturday, Trotter of the Year Homicide Hunter will be honored -- quite a pair closing out the season at The Downs. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - There were four divisions of the "non-winners 4 races lifetime" condition going for $15,000 each as the top purse events on the Tuesday night card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Two of them were on the pace, with a favorite and a second choice taking the big end of the purse, and two were on the trot, where form took a bit of a holiday. The pacers hit the track first, and in the initial event for that gait Captain Deo, a sophomore son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the $1.9M-winning mare Worldly Beauty, justified his favoritism with a dominating 2¾ length tally for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Tony Alagna, and the ownership of Alagna Racing LLC, Joe Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners, and Captain Deo Partners. Captain Deo won on the engine in 1:51.1, which included a 30 second quarter in the second split - meaning in the other 3/4s Captain Deo flashed 1:21.1 speed. In the other pacing section, a distaff event, Saratoga invader Northern Swift equaled her lifetime mark of 1:53.3, overcoming a first-over journey for driver Matt Kakaley (who led the drivers' colony on Tuesday with four wins), trainer Jean Drolet, and the ownership of Funky Munky Stable LLC and Marthe Drolet. The victorious daughter of Mach Three won by 1¾ lengths over pocketsitting Don't Mach Mia, who photoed out favored Covfefe, who had set most of the pace, for second. On the trot, perhaps it was appropriate on Election Day that one of the winners would be QB Kemp, a Triumphant Caviar sophomore gelding named after the former pro football player turned politician. QB Kemp hung in there like a beleaguered quarterback or determined officeseeker, setting the pace while keeping favored Northern Major on the rim, yet still winning by two lengths while lowering his mark by two seconds to 1:56.1 as a 9-1 shot for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Rob Harmon, and Harmon Racing Stable LLC. A $21.00 win price, however, pales next to the $72.40 for $2 generated by the winner of the other featured trot, Nice Stuff. The Yankee Glide four-year-old mare, who started from the rail, got a literal break when a foe went offstride past the half, advanced to the pocket under the guidance of driver Tom Jackson, then rallied in the lane for a length win in 1:56.2. Acquired by trainer Bucky Angle and the ownership of Howard and Joshua Kaufman at the end of the summer, Nice Stuff now has won two of her last three starts after going 3-for-62 before her acquisition, and her surprise triumph here generated a $1295.00 1-4 exacta with 20-1 Campbellini, a single 50-cent 1-4-9 winning Trifecta ticket worth over $2900 with 21-1 Broadway Bruiser third, and a single 10-cent Superfecta ticket on a "1-4-9-all" payout also in the $2900 neighborhood. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Charmed Life boosted her lifetime earnings to $1,445,137 in winning the $17,500 featured harness racing trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:53.2 on Sunday night, and she did it in an unusual fashion for the mountain oval - she picked up the entire field from last. Driver Simon Allard, sulkysitting for brother/Pocono top trainer Rene, had drawn the outside post seven after a scratch, and was in no hurry with the veteran daughter of Majestic Son until down the backstretch, when he made a power three-wide move around stalled cover. Charmed Life had drawn within a length of the battling front duo, leader Crosbys Clam Bake and uncovered Silvermass Volo, by the top of the stretch, and she have enough kick in reserve to drew clear by 1¾ lengths over Crosbys Clam Bake, with Silvermass Volo another length back in third behind the winner, who is owned by Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and VIP Internet Stable LLC. There was a trio of $17,000 co-features on the Sunday card, and Pocono's top driver George Napolitano Jr. won both of the paces among the six victorious horses he guided on the evening. Mink Pink, sitting third on the rail entering the final turn, found a hole and Napolitano swung her wide in the distaff pace, with the American Ideal filly charging home swiftly to win by ¾ of a length in 1:52.1 for trainer Chris Oakes and Crawford Farms Racing. Napolitano, who has a frontracing style that usually works effectively at Pocono, also took the division for males from off the pace, and about as far off the pace as you can - last at the half after starting from the rail. But the Bettor's Delight gelding Bellows Binge had the necessary late step to catch 25-1 pacesetter Uffizi by a neck while stopping the timer in 1:52.3 for trainer Dirk Simpson and the ownership of Peter Karras and the Dirk Simpson Stable Inc. Lest anybody thinks that the Pocono oval had been totally converted from the speedfavoring track it had been on the Saturdays of Breeders Crown competition, a frontrunner did win the co-featured trot, which also fell to trainer Chris Oakes, but a different driving Napolitano - Anthony, who put a new mark of 1:53.1 on the Chapter Seven filly Eunice. "ANap" and Eunice controlled the pace and the sophomore won by almost seven lengths, her third straight triumph for Crawford Farms Racing (another feature doubler), Northfork Racing Stable, and the T L P Stable. And if anybody is trying to read the political tea leaves before the next Pocono card on Election Day Tuesday evening (the track is dark on Monday in November), we note the victory of Make America Great, a son of So Surreal, who took a maiden event. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Somebeachsomewhere gelding Dreams Beachboy made it two straight over The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono's oval, and four wins while not missing the board in his last eight starts, with a 1:51.2 victory in the $21,500 pacing feature on Saturday night. The track's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., worked out a pocket trip behind the pacesetting Sprinter N, while the latter, after getting to the quarter in 26.4, belied his name by resting to the half in 56.2. Down the backstretch first-over Music Is Art made life tougher on the leader, necessitating a 1:23.3 breaking of the beam at the ¾ pole, and the extra expenditure of energy helped set up the late rally of Dreams Beachboy, who won by a half-length over the tough Music Is Art, with Sprinter N another neck back in third. Trainer Deborah Burnet is 2-for-2 at Pocono this year, both with the victorious winner of $242,784, for Crawford Farms Racing. George Napolitano Jr.'s brother Anthony won the co-featured $16,000 claiming handicap pace, the night's opener, with the Bettor's Delight gelding The Onlyest One in 1:52.4. The winner visited Victory Lane for the twelfth time this season, backing out to follow cover from his third-in position, then catching pacesetting That Man Of Mine and pocketsitting Wick N by a neck, with the last two-named deadheating for the deuce. Laurie Patistas owns and trains The Onlyest One. There are only six more cards left in the 2018 Pocono Downs season: the following Sundays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays, as Mondays will go dark for the remaining seasonal action, which concludes November 17. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The annual Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Tuesday night (with Halloween Wednesday being a dark day on the schedule) attracted two gray horses, a white horse, and two roans for its 2018 edition. Getting his picture taken after the race was the sophomore roan colt Marc Mellow Man, who shaved over six seconds off his mark by posting a 1:54 victory. Marc Mellow Man, in rein to Tyler Buter, was the only horse not to put in a serious move in the first quarter of the race, which was reached in 26.1. The top was eventually claimed by 2-5 favorite Gypsy Leather, who cut middle fractions of 55.1 and 1:24.2 with White Rolls in behind him and $240,000 yearling purchase White Bliss on the outside pressing. Nearing the far turn Gotta Love Him moved outside and then three-wide off cover to join the main action. All this time the victorious son of Marced Card sat last, and he still was out four lengths nearing midstretch. But the constant battling took its toll on his foes, and Marc Mellow Man had only to swing wide for Buter and pace a strong last 1/16 to win going away by ¾ of a length. It was the 10th victory in the three-year-old's career, but his first at a pari-mutuel track, as owners Duane, Connie, and Roger Roland had raced him on their native Iowa fair circuit, then sent him east to trainer Rob Harmon - who all combined to with Marc Mellow Man at $46.00 as the longest shot on the board. Top purse event during Tuesday's action at The Downs was a $17,500 pace for fillies and mares, and Eclipse Me N was back in comfortable environs, which she celebrated with a 1:51.3 victory. Having been on the road at Hoosier and Batavia recently, and having been beaten here against tougher stock than she faced on this night, the victorious daughter of Real Desire posted her third straight win at this conditioned level, overcoming a first-over journey to win by three lengths. Simon Allard handled the winner of $185,119 for trainer/brother Rene and the ownership of Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Donald Mac Rae. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Fans trying to solve the $13,000 featured pace on Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono had a hard time in their deciding - one horse was sent away at 2-1, with three others at 5-2. That quartet finished 1-2-3-4, with the winner being the A Rocknroll Dance sophomore gelding Record Machine in 1:54 over a "good" track. Record Machine got the jump on his field early, moving to the lead after the 27.2, then getting a big-time breather to the 57.4 half. From there he was able to sprint home for driver Eric Carlson in 56.2, downing Bag Pipe Major by a length, with Atomic Seelster third and Just My Kinda Guy (the lukewarm 2-1 favorite) fourth. Gilbert Garcia-Owen trains the winenr of $65,775 this season for his father Gilbert Garcia-Herrera. The meet's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., had three sulky successes on the card; his brother Anthony, Matt Kakaley, and Ãke Svanstedt each had a brace. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley, who had a terrific Breeders Crown Championship night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday, didn't go off and celebrate at Disneyworld or anything like that - they were right back at the mountain oval on Sunday night and teamed for three winners, including the Cantab Hall gelding Elysium Lindy, who took the $21,500 trotting feature in 1:54. Kakaley hustled the winner of $289,035 to the lead past a 27.2 opener, rated the half to 56.4 and sped things up to still lead at the penultimate pole in 1:24.4. Race favorite Charmed Life, who had had no luck trying to come from behind against an anti-closer bias in her Breeders Crown elim last week, came on a ton in the stretch but wound up a nose behind the winenr, who is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Joseph Di Scala Jr. Another pairing who had a great Breeders Crown night - driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes--won the following contest after the featured trot; next in line was the $16,000 featured pace on the card, which was taken by another member of Team Oakes - 20-year-old Hunter Oakes, who scored his first driving victory in only his second start when he won behind the $715,307 winner Polak A in 1:51.1. Both father Chris and son Hunter rank among the top five trainers at The Downs. And we apologize in advance to our Down Under friends, but it is a news story of sorts that Lazurus won at Pocono on Sunday in 1:55.4. That would be the trotter Lazurus - not the Australasian star pacer Lazarus N, who had no luck in the Breeders Crown Open Pace the night before. Matt Kakaley also drove Lazurus, and in fact wound up the night with five victories. BREEDERS CROWN NITE QUIKSTAT SUMMARY - Seven of the twelve favorites emerged victorious - but then again, so did Lily Stride ($65.40) and Percy Blue Chip ($106.00) ... They, by the way, were the only two winners who were parked out at the ¾ call, with Lily Stride ducking inside and Percy Blue Chip going wide at headstretch: seven of the other ten were on the lead at the 3/4s, and the other three were in the pocket ... Contrast that fact with the fact that only three of the winners were on top at the ¼ -- in fact, three of the winners made moves from fifth or worse at the quarter to the lead at the half! From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

On a night that is typically named “Mischief Night”, the Grey Ghosts will take to the track at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono for the annual Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace.  The race will consist of all grey horses, and it is quite the eerie sight to see!  Tuesday, October 30th, will be a frightfully fun night at the track! Making his 6th start in this Halloween pace is Gotta Love Him for trainer Cindy Weitoish.  The 10-year-old veteran’s won this race in 2014 and 2015, and his owners are hoping that his first win this year will be by the light of the ghostly Halloween-eve moon.  Matt Kakaley drives the popular gelding, who brings his own cheering section, from post 1. White Rolls won this race in 2016 with driver Jim Marohn Jr., and this year, he will be driven by Pat Berry.  Amanda Malone trains the 5 year old.  Another returning “Grey Ghost” is White Bliss, who is snow-white in color and a true attraction to see!  Ake Svanstedt trains the 6 year old and Simon Allard picks up the drive.  Rounding out the field is Marc Mellow Man for Rob Harmon with Tyler Buter driving; and Gypsy Leather for William Adamczyk.  The horses are ready!  The Winner’s Circle is decorated. There will be face painting starting at 5:30pm, and children can paint a pumpkin, so bring the kids!  Plus, there will be free candy!  Don’t miss this fun Halloween event on Tuesday, October 30th!  Post time for the night is 7:00pm, and the Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace is race 4 on the card. by Jennifer Starr,, for Pocono Downs

Wilkes-Barre, PA - Favored McWicked ($3.80) moved to the lead at the five-eighths pole, easily putting away Lazarus N and then opening to win by four comfortable lengths in 1:49.3. Brian Sears drove McWicked for trainer Casie Coleman, as he won his second Breeders Crown trophy. Early leader Filibuster Hanover rallied for second, while Donttellmeagain finished third. Mcwicked has now earned over $3.7 million in his career after posting his 24th career win. "He's real easy to drive and he does everything you want. It's great to have the opportunity to drive such nice horses," said Sears, who won three Breeders Crown races Saturday night. "I always think he's gonna be good, but to think he is going to do what he did this year... I think he is better now than he was at three. He is a big team effort no doubt. I hope he is going to race next year, but that is not my call. It is up to Mr. James (owner Edward James of the SSG Stables.) I think he will be at stud, but I hope he will race, our team would really like that," explained trainer Casie Coleman. Filibuster Hanover took the field to the quarter in 26.1, but Lazarus N was immediately out and winging, taking the field past the half in 55.2. McWicked pulled up the backside and easily disposed of his challenger, rolling past three-quarters in 1:21.2 before Sears took his foot off the gas in the stretch. McWicked is a seven-year-old bay horse by McArdle, out of the Western Ideal mare Western Sahara. He was bred by Andray Farm of Punxutawney, Pennsylvania. By Keith Gisser, For The Breeders Crown      

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