The first qualifiers of the 2014 racing season were held on Tuesday morning, March 11th, and the weather cooperated as the horses hit the track starting at 10:00 a.m. The track was listed as fast as the mild temperature was a balmy 44 degrees under brilliant sunshine.
After a long, harsh seemingly endless winter, the track was in terrific shape.
In the first qualifier, Matt Kakaley and Match Play tripped the teletimer in 1:59 flat. Kakaley, regularly among the top 5 of the
driver colony at Pocono, was joined by drivers Mike Simons; Tyler Buter; Tom Jackson; Anthony Napolitano; Andrew McCarthy; Larry Stalbaum; and others in 11 qualifying races.
In the 8th qualifying race, Keystone Neptune paced to a final time of 1:54.4, the fastest of the morning races, with Anthony Napolitano in the bike. The pacer took over at the half and never looked back, winning by a 2 ¾ lengths over Quicksilvercandy A. In all, six out of the 11 qualifying races went in 1:57 or faster.
Qualifiers are also scheduled for Thursday, 3/13 and Thursday, 3/20. Opening night is Saturday, March 22nd. Racing nights are Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday with a Post Time of 6:30 p.m. Fridays are added in July and August; September through November, racing will take place Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
by Jennifer Starr, for Moheghan Sun at Pocono Downs