Day At The Track

Northeast Series thriller to More The Better

05:02 PM 19 Aug 2018 NZST
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More The Better N, harness racing
More The Better N and driver Corey Callahan
Curtis Salonick photo

WILKES-BARRE PA - The recent New Zealand import More The Better N was placed just off a wicked middle half speed duel, then tipped wide into the lane and ran down the game pacesetter Highalator by a neck in a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) event for fast-class harness racing pacers Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, stopping the timer in 1:49.

Highalator was away quickly and put series pointleader Rodeo Romeo in the pocket behind him; not much past after a pedestrian (for these) 27.1 opening quarter, Split The House and driver Tyler Buter, sitting third and not relishing having to go first-over, made a quick move trying to get the lead. But Highalator and driver Eric Carlson were having none of that, and they fought in breakneck fashion from the 3/8 onward, neither giving much in a 53.3 middle half.

Driver Corey Callahan got to second-over position behind the parked Split The House down the backstretch with the victorious son of Bettor's Delight, then tipped wide for the stretch drive.

For a few steps it looked like the game Highalator might prevail against the wall of horses in contention behind him, but More The Better N found the best late pace to gain the photo victory, with Split The House, second to the winner's countryman Lazarus N at Hoosier last week, also holding gamely to be just another half-length back in third.

More The Better N now has a 4-2-1-1-$41,100 U.S. slate, with this 1:49 his fastest on this soil for trainer Ross Croghan and the Robert Cooper Stables LLC.

The victory also moved More The Better N up to seventh in the GNOS pointstandings, with next week being the final scheduled preliminary before the $100,000 GNOS divisional champions on Sunday, September 2 at Pocono, at a distance of 1¼ miles.

In the $20,000 claiming handicap pace co-feature, Pembroke Wildcat continued a rich vein of recent form, making the lead in front of the stands and then going on to a lifetime best of 1:50.3 triumph. The Western Maverick gelding, driven by Tyler Buter for owner/trainer Brittany Robertson, was 6¾ lengths clear of the rest of the field at the wire to boost his earnings to $316,427 lifetime - but the winner was claimed for $30,000 out of the race.

From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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