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HARNESS RACING PACER OF THE WEEK: JUST N ACE Despite winning his previous two races at Pocono, this five-year-old gelding was a 9-1 at the windows for Saturday afternoon's $25,000 to $30,000 claiming handicap pace. Perhaps it was because, for one, he was moving up in class from the $20,000 claimers. And there was also the fact that Just N Ace was switching barns after a claim. Leaving from position #1 in a field of seven, Just N Ace didn't seem concerned at all about the lack of betting interest. Driver Larry Stalbaum sent him out to the front, rated him well, and let the gelding, now in the barn of trainer James Guagliardo, do the rest. Just N Ace easily dealt with a first-over challenge from Major Deception and rolled to his third consecutive win in 1:53:2 on a track listed in good condition. Honorable Mention: IYQ YQR (Anthony Napolitano, Marta Piotrow), who moved up in class on Saturday to win a $20,000 claimer in 1:52:1, giving him three victories in a row. Dafinaty (Anthony Napolitano, Tom Wine II), who rolled to his second straight claiming win on Sunday, delivering in 1:54. Talk Show Chica (Tom Jackson driver and trainer), a three-year-old filly who rolled to her second straight condition win on Sunday night, this time scoring in 1:53:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: STOP RESISTIN There are often concerns about a horse coming off a career-best mile, in that bettors worry that it won't be able to duplicate that performance. This four-year-old gelding trained by Steven Brabrook posted his career-best mile in a win in a claiming handicap trot on October 18 at Pocono in 1:54:3. On Sunday night, Stop Reistin faced the same $10,000 to $12,500 claiming handicap trotting group looking for two in a row. Leaving from post position #6 in a field of eight as a 2-1 second choice, Stop Resistin sat back off the early pace as a speed duel between Meetmeinthemiddle and EV's Girl developed. Driver Marcus Miller chose a three-wide path on the back stretch for the gelding and he zipped past the leaders. From there, Stop Resistin was clear of the field and won his second straight, managing to reset his career mark in the process with a 1:53:2. Honorable Mention Crossfit (Tyler Buter, Susan Marshall), who captured his second straight claiming handicap trot on Tuesday and matched his career-best in the process with a 1:54:2. Believer (Tom Jackson, Randy Taft), who followed up his maiden victory at Harrah's with a condition win at Pocono on Tuesday in a career-best 1:58:1. Rich And Miserable (Tyler Buter, Todd Buter), who came up with a victory in Saturday afternoon's featured condition trot at Pocono for a $14,000 purse in 1:53, which was the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: HATIKVAH Coming from off the pace with driver Mattias Melander, this trotter rallied for a condition win on Saturday at Pocono at 17-1, paying off $37.60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: TYLER BUTER Buter is closing out what might be his best ever season at Pocono pretty strong, as he churned out four wins on Saturday and then added multiple victories again on Sunday and Tuesday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CLAY FAUROT JR. Faurot did well by the veterans on Sunday night, picking up three training wins, all of which came with claiming pacers at least ten years old. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs                

PACER OF THE WEEK: SCOOTNROLL Unraced as a two-year-old, this sophomore gelding began his harness racing career this year with six straight wins in New York. Upon joining the John Hallett barn, he scored a win at Pocono to make it seven in a row before suffering his first loss by a neck to Billy Lincoln N on October 4. But Scootnroll rebounded by beating Billy Lincoln N and the rest of a non-winners of four group at Pocono on October 11 in a career-best 1:51. On Sunday night, he faced that same class from an outside post in a field of seven as an 8-5 second choice. With Tyler Buter in the bike, the gelding hustled to the front and had to deal with a strong first-over challenge from Diamond Head and a late move from his old foe Billy Lincoln N, who had the pocket trip. Scootnroll answered them all to pace away for his second straight victory and his ninth in ten career races, resetting his career mark in 1:50:2 in the process. Honorable Mention Just N Ace (Anthony Napolitano, Antonia Storer), who picked up his second straight claiming victory on Saturday, winning in 1:52:1. IYQ YQR (Anthony Napolitano, Marta Piotrow), who rolled to his second claiming win in a row on Saturday and did so in a career-best 1:50:2. Macheasy A (Tyelr Buter, Rob Harmon), whose first ever U.S. victory in a condition pace on Saturday came in 1:50:1, the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: EXPLOSIVEBREAKAWAY This four-year-old gelding trained by Fred Grant earned over six figures in 2019 and has been excellent in recent months. Coming into the featured condition trot for $17,200 at Pocono on Saturday, Explosivebreakaway had hit the board in his previous five races. with three victories in that span. He left from post position #2 as the 2-1 third choice in a field of seven on Saturday. The gelding stayed out of the early battle for the lead as Icanflylikeanangel set the pace. Driver Tom Jackson set Explosivebreakaway in motion second-over on the back stretch with cover behind race favorite Scirocco Rob. In the stretch, Explosivebreakaway came up three-wide and scrambled past Icanflylikeanangel to win in 1:53. Honorable Mention Goes Down Smooth (Tom Jackson, Ron Burke), whose condition victory on Saturday came in 1:52:4, which was the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono. Crossfit (Tyler Buter, Susan Marshall), who chalked up a claiming handicap win on Tuesday in 1:54:4. Dot Dot Dot dash (Chase Vandervort, William Vandervort Jr.), who rolled to a condition win on Sunday night in a career-best 1:54:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: JAMAICAN COWBOY With McGwire Sowers in the bike, this pacer came up late for a claiming victory on Sunday night at 24-1, paying $51.20 on a $2 win bet. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: TOM JACKSON In what was a relatively balanced week on the driving side at Pocono, Jackson stands out for his three wins, including a double on Saturday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RON BURKE The Burke barn has stood tall at the top of the trainers' standings all year long at Pocono, and two more victories on Saturday solidified that. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs                

PACER OF THE WEEK: CLOSING STATEMENT Coming into a $10,000 condition pace on Saturday afternoon, this five-year-old harness racing gelding trained by Randy Bendis had picked up back-to-back victories, one at the Meadows and one at Pocono. Closing Statement was stepping up in class for the race on Saturday. Perhaps that's why he went off at middling odds of 6-1 with the inside post in a field of seven. In the previous two wins, Closing Statement had lived up to his name with come-from-behind efforts. But driver Larry Stalbaum had other ideas on Saturday, sending the gelding to the front and setting nasty fractions. Closing Statement never let up, rolling to a romping victory in 1:49.3, which was a new career-best and the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. Honorable Mention R Gauwitz Hanover (Kevin Wallis, Kevin Reynolds Jr.), who picked up his second straight claiming win on Sunday night in 1:53.4. Scootnroll (Tyler Buter, John Hallett), who captured Sunday night's feature condition pace in a career-best 1:51.1, giving him wins in eight of his nine career races. Full View (Tyler Buter, Scott Blackler), who scored his second straight condition win on Tuesday afternoon, getting it done in 1:52.4, which matched his career-best. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MUSCLE M UP The featured $17,200 condition trot on Saturday afternoon was stacked with top competitors. Even though Muscle M Up, a five-year-old stallion trained by Ake Svanstedt, had won a featured trot in his last start at Pocono, he went off as a 5-2 third choice. Early on he sat third while Explosivebreakaway, the 9-5 favorite, set the pace. On the back stretch, driver Anthony Napolitano sent Muscle M Up first-over after Explosivebreakaway. The two hooked up for a great duel, with Muscle M Up eventually wearing down the favorite and getting the better of it. The stallion trotted away at the end to win by two lengths in 1:52.2, which was the fastest trotting time posted at Pocono this past week. Honorable Mention Sylvesteramericait (Mike Simons, Robert Baggitt Jr.) who came in from Harrah's for a condition victory on Saturday in 1:54.1, his second win in his last three races. Winning Legends (Justin Huckabone driver and trainer), whose win at Pocono in a condition on Saturday came in a career-best 1:53.2. Mighty Surf (Mike Simons, Jake Huff), a mare who handled a $20,000 claiming trotting group on Tuesday in 1:56.2 on an off-track. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: MAC ANOVER This one paid a nice price after scoring a condition pacing victory on Saturday with Simon Allard in the bike at 11-1, yielding a $24.80 payback on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: SIMON ALLARD Allard rolled to five wins on Saturday at Pocono, and then arrived late Sunday night to dash off victories in the last three races on the program. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: MARTA PIORTOW The Piotrow barn has been a factor all year long at Pocono, and she continues to roll as the season winds down after earning a training double on Sunday. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs                

PACER OF THE WEEK: SHES SPORTY A In the case of harness racing claiming handicaps, the best horses often have to deal with the toughest posts. Case in point: This six-year-old mare from the barn of trainer Gilberto Garcia-Herrera, who came into Sunday night's $10,000 to $12,500 claiming handicap pace with two straight wins, including one at The Downs. In that victory at Pocono, Shes Sporty A had to overcome a #9 post position. She was back in that spot trying to do it again on Sunday night, going off as the even-money favorite. Driver Anthony Napolitano was able to find her a nice spot in the pocket behind pacesetter Always Be Lucy. In the stretch, Shes Sporty A rolled past, once again handling the tough post and posting he victory in 1:52:3. Honorable Mention Rock The Town (Anthony Napolitano, Darren Taneyhill), who followed up a victory at Harrah's with a condition victory at Pocono on Saturday in 1:50:3. Joesstar Of Mia A (Anthony Napolitano, Steven Brabrook), who captured Saturday afternoon's $14,000 featured condition pace in 1:50:3. Billy Lincoln N (Marcus Miller, Tahnee Camilleri), who won Sunday night's featured condition pace in 1:52:2, beating previously unbeaten Scootnroll in the process. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: EV'S GIRL Trained by Brianne Good, this four-year-old mare surprised a $12,500 claiming trot group on September 28 at Pocono as a 24-1 winner. In that race, Ev's Girl came from well off the pace to get the victory in 1:56:4. On Sunday night, she was suddenly the belle of the bettors at Pocono, going off as a 7-5 betting favorite. Leaving from a #6 post in a field of eight, Ev's Girl decided to change her strategy from her previous win. Well, at least driver Anthony Napolitano did, sending the mare to the front end and dictating the pace. The bottom line was her second straight victory, as this time she came home in a new career-best time of 1:56. Honorable Mention Explosive Breakaway (Tom Jackson, Fred Grant), who followed up a win at Harrah's with a victory at Pocono on Saturday in a $14,000 condition trot in 1:54:2. Broadway Athena (Anthony Napolitano, Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who came off a victory at Harrah's to score a condition win on Saturday at Pocono in 1:53:2, the fastest trotting time of the week. Pilgrims Tide (Simon Allard, Shane Tritton), who dominated in the claiming handicap featured trot on Tuesday with a win in a career-best 1:54:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: ROCK THREE TIMES This veteran pacer driven by Anthony Napolitano in the bike came from well off the pace in a condition race on Tuesday for the win at 22-1, paying off $46.20 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO It was all A-Nap this past weekend at Pocono, as he tore it up to the tune of five driving wins apiece on Saturday and Sunday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: DARREN TANEYHILL Taneyhill enjoyed the best single-day performance of any trainer in 2020 at Pocono on Saturday when his trainees came up with four victories. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs            

PACER OF THE WEEK: JOHNNY Q This eight-year old harness racing gelding trained by Darren Taneyhill has done a lot of winning of late, all while raising his claiming price in the process. Coming into a $20,000 claimer on Saturday afternoon at Pocono, he had won back-to-back starts (one at Pocono, one at Harrah's) and four of his last five overall. On Saturday, Johnny Q had to deal with a #8 post in a field of nine, but still went off as the even-money betting favorite. Driver George Napolitano Jr. found a spot for the favorite behind Whats Inthe Esky A, who was a first-over challenger for pacesetter Wise Image. When Whats Inthe Esky A took the lead, he was ripe for the late move by Johnny Q, who rolled on past in the stretch. With the win in 1:50:4, he now has captured three in a row and five of his last six. Honorable Mention Bellows Binge (Matt Kakaley, Clay Faurot Jr.), who moved up in class for the new barn to win his second in his last three claimers at Pocono, getting it done on Saturday in a career-best 1:50:1. Ascaryone Hanover (Anthony Napolitano, Marta Piotrow), who rallied late for a win, his second straight, in a claimer on Monday afternoon, scoring in 1:54:1. Autotune Hanover (Matt Kakaley, John Hallett), who moved to two-for-two at Pocono since arriving from Tioga following a claiming victory on Monday in 1:55:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: THE LIONKING AS This five-year-old gelding trained and driven by Kevin Wallis was on the move up in class on Sunday night. He was coming off a win in his previous effort, a conquest in an $8,800 condition trot at Pocono on September 21 in 1:55:1. Sunday night proved a tougher test in a $10,000 group, as The Lionking AS left from post position #6 in a field of eight as a 7-2 second choice. Wallis was able to hustle The Lionking AS to the engine early, only for Hashtagmadeyalook to grab the lead from him. The gelding then waited for his opportunity in the pocket, which came when the stretch arrived and he moved into the passing lane. The Lionking AS rallied for the victory in 1:54:1 to give him two in a row. Honorable Mention Truemass Volo (Matt Kakaley, Wayne Short), who now has two straight victories on the Pocono oval after returning from Harrah's for a condition win on Saturday in 1:55:1. Joey Pro (Matt Kakaley, John Hallett), who took a big jump on the condition ladder on Sunday night and still came up with his second straight victory at Pocono, this one in 1:55. Fashionwoodchopper (George Napolitano Jr., John McDermott), who won his second straight condition race on Sunday night in less than a week at Pocono, delivering in 1:54. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SPANISH ART With a flying rally late in the mile, this claiming pacer driven by Simon Allard overcame an outside post for a victory on Saturday afternoon at 94-1, paying off $191.40 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. The meet's leading driver keeps rolling right along, as he kicked off this week with a six-win afternoon on Saturday and produced at least three wins in all four racing days on the Pocono schedule. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: BRIANNE GOOD Good had a day for the books on Monday, scoring three training victories, including wins at long odds of 23-1 and 24-1 among her successes. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs        

PACER OF THE WEEK: JUXTA COWGIRL The featured condition pace for harness racing fillies and mares on Sunday night at The Downs, which held a purse of $14,000, featured some intriguing competitors. Its Mesmerise N was looking for her fourth straight win, Eclipse Me N was Mare of the Year in 2019 at Pocono, and Queen Of The Pride was a big earner as a two and three-year-old. Juxta Cowgirl, who had won her last start at Pocono and was moving up in class for trainer Mike Watson, got away at 10-1 from the #3 post in a field of six. Driver Anthony Napolitano found Juxta Cowgirl a pocket spot behind pacesetting Eclipse Me N early. From there, the six-year-old mare bided her time as Eclipse Me N dealt with a first-over challenge from Its Mesmerise N. In the stretch, Napolitano coaxed Juxta Cowgirl into the passing line, where she fired past the leaders and picked up the upset victory in 1:51:2. Honorable Mention Kerford Road A (Tyler Buter, Rob Harmon), who defeated a pair of million-dollar earners in a condition pace on Saturday in 1:50:1, a new career-best and the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. Lachie Maguire N (Jim Marohn Jr., Justin Sodano), who won Saturday's featured claiming handicap pace in 1:51, ending the five-race winning streak of Bell I No in the process. Voracity (Todd McCarthy, David Russo), who tore up for a condition victory on Tuesday afternoon in 1:50:3. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: RICH AND MISERABLE A year ago, this five-year-old gelding trained by Todd Buter was the Trotter of the Year at Pocono as part of a 12-win season. On Saturday he returned from stints in New York and New Jersey to take on an $11,200 condition trotting group. Not surprisingly, the Pocono fans remembered him, making him the 3-5 favorite as he left from post position #6 in a field of eight. Driver Tyler Buter didn't wait long to make his move, sending Rich And Miserable from fourth to first on the front stretch. From there, the gelding remained in control, eventually coming home a winner by 2 ½ lengths over Lord Cromwell. The winning time for Rich And Miserable of 1:53:2 was the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono. Honorable Mention Uncle Hanover (Kevin Wallis, Kimberly Burris), who shipped in from Tioga to win a condition trot on Sunday night in 1:53:4. Need Luck N (Jordan Stratton, Jason Johnson), who arrived from Harrington and picked up a condition victory on Saturday in a career-best 1:55. Sir Cromwell (Marcus Miller, Edward Hart), who handled a condition field on Tuesday in a career-best 1:57, giving him wins in each of his last two races on the Pocono oval. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: VALRHONA Driven by Mike Simons, this condition pacer surprised the faithful with a gate-to-wire victory on Tuesday at 49-1, paying $101.60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MIKE SIMONS Simons' fans walked away much richer this week, as three of his four winning drives on Monday and Tuesday came with horses at 14-1, 20-1 and 49-1. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: ROB HARMON It was an excellent weekend at Pocono for the Harmon barn, as he churned out a training double on Saturday afternoon and then added another victory on Sunday night. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs        

This week's edition of the Week in Review focuses on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships which took place at Pocono Downs this past Saturday. Four championship races for two-year-olds were held, each carrying a purse of $253,000. Let's take a look at all the actiom. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS Captain Corey, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, came into the race as the one everybody had to beat. He had won the first three races of his career, all in Sire Stakes action in convincing fashion. The colt was part of an entry (along with Fly Light) that went off as the 1-9 favorite in the race. In previous races, Captain Corey had controlled the action on the front end. But in this one, he was forced to grind first-over as his stablemate Johan Palema set the pace. But Svanstedt was able to coax Captain Corey past in the stretch, as the colt came home a length-and-a-half in front in a career-best 1:53:4, which was also a Pennsylvania Championships record for the group. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS In a group that seemed a bit wide-open coming into the final, Southwind Gendry was bet down to a 4-5 favorite as he left from the #2 post. Trained by Ron Burke and driven by David Miller, the colt came into the race with wins in three of five starts. He stayed back early as Always A Miki set the pace. Miller found cover for Southwind Gendry on the back stretch behind the first-over move of Chase H Hanover. In the stretch, the favorite was able to move to the outside of that over and power past Chase H Hanover for the victory. The winning time for Southwind Gendry was 1:51:3. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES Ake Svanstedt was at it again with this group, sending out the 9-5 favorite Flawless Country from post position #4 in a field of nine. This filly followed up seconds in his first two career races with three consecutive victories. In the championship, she settled third in early, with Svanstedt patiently waiting as he watched the outer flow materialize. Luckily, the outer flow started to drop back. When the pocket horse moved to the outside, Flawless Country had the room that she needed. Full of trot, she zipped past the tiring leaders and held off fellow closer You Ato Dream to get the victory by a head in 1:54:3. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES After three straight favorites had won the first three championships, Grace Hill looked to make it four-for-four in this race after wins in three of four starts. She went off at 6-5. Meanwhile, Blue Diamond Eyes, again courtesy of David Miller in the bike and Ron Burke as trainer, was let go as the 4-1 third choce. Returning to Pennsylvania after a solid stint in Kentucky at the Red Mile, Blue Diamond Eyes settled quietly in the third-in spot. Grace Hill was able to briefly take the lead with her first-over jaunt, but Miller found room deep at the pylons in the stretch for his filly to close. Blue Diamond Eyes rallied for the tight victory as the favorite, getting it done in a career-best 1:51, which matched the Championship record for that grouping. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs          

PACER OF THE WEEK: TELL THEM LOU Moving up from overnight to stakes competition can be a bridge too far for a lot of horses. Tell Them Lou, a three-year-old gelding trained by Jim Campbell, was doing just that on Sunday night when he faced the Pennsylvania All-Stars for a purse of $35,000. Even though he had won his previous race, a non-winners of four, at Pocono in 1:51:1, bettors didn't give him much of a chance on Sunday, letting him go at 21-1. Driver Scott Zeron found Tell Them Lou a spot on the inside early, refusing to get caught up in the outer flow and taking his chances that things would open up late. They did just that, and the gelding seized his opportunity, powering past heavily-favored Cattlewash to spring the upset. Tell Them Lou paced the mile in a career-best 1:50:2. Honorable Mention Anne Bonney N (Scott Zeron, Paul Fusco), a mare who picked up her second consecutive condition win on Sunday night, doing so in a career-best 1:51. Razor's Edge (John Kakaley, Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who followed up a condition win in his last start at Pocono with a $25,000 claiming victory on Saturday in 1:52:2. Freedom Warrior (Joe Bongiorno, Jennifer Bongiorno), a three-year-old gelding who defeated a condition group on Saturday and did so in a career-best 1:49:3, which was also the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: SCIROCCO ROB There is always a worry when a horse goes a career-best effort in one start that it will have a hard time following up that performance in the next. Scirocco Rob was brilliant in his victory at Pocono on August 22, winning in 1:51:3, not only a career mark but also our fastest trotting time of the season at Pocono. The five-year-old gelding trained by Mark Silva was back at it on Saturday afternoon, moving up in class to boot to face a $14,000 condition group. Leaving from an inside post in a field of nine as a 1-5 favorite, Scirocco Rob found the pocket early behind pacesetter Max. Driver George Napolitano Jr. decided he wanted to control matters and moved the favorite to the lead on the front stretch. Scirocco Rob was rock-solid from there, fighting off Max in the stretch by a length-and-a-half for his second straight victory and posting a time of 1:52:3 in the process. Honorable Mention Consus Victory (Corey Callahan, Randy Bendis), who moved up in class on Sunday night and won his second straight condition race with a time of 1:55:3. Valley Of Sin (Tyler Buter, Jill Roland), who followed up a win at Harrah's with a condition win at Pocono on Monday, despite a #9 post, in 1:55:4. Nice Stuff (Simon Allard, Laura Angle), a mare who was able to move up in class and rally for her second straight condition win on Tuesday, this one in 1:55.4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SHOW ME THE MAGIC This pacer driven by Kevin Wallis came from way back on the final turn to spring the upset in a claimer on Monday at 75-1, paying off $159 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: SCOTT ZERON Zeron was feeling it on Sunday night, as his four-win evening included three in a row on the program at one point and then was capped off with a Pennsylvania All-Stars victory aboard Tell Them Lou. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: TEE WINE The entire Wine training family have been ripping off wins with regularity of late at Pocono, with Tee taking center stage on Saturday with a pair of victories. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Mohegan Sun        

PACER OF THE WEEK: SEMI TOUGH His name suggests that this four-year-old gelding trained by harness racing great Ron Burke is only partially rugged. But his career record suggests otherwise, after earning nearly $500,000 in the first two years racing. Semi Tough has been at it again lately, winning back to back starts at the Meadows and Yonkers coming into the featured $14,000 condition pace on Saturday afternoon at Pocono. Leaving from post position #5 in a field of nine as the 3-1 third choice on the board, Semi Tough was able to take the lead on the front stretch. Several horses took shots at that lead throughout the race, but driver Joe Bongiorno kept him afloat. In the end, Semi Tough gutted it out, holding off long-shot closers Branquinho and Ferdinand A for the victory, his third in a row, in 1:50;3. Honorable Mention Bakersfield (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who followed up a win at Harrah's at Philadelphia with a condition victory at Pocono on Saturday in 1:51:2. I'm Very Special (Tim Tetrick, Pete Pellegrino), a mare who shipped in from Yonkers to capture a rugged condition pace on Sunday in a career-best 1:50:4. Abuckabett Hanover (Andrew McCarthy, Tony Alagna), a two-year-old colt who picked up his maiden win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on Sunday in 1:51:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: VIC'S WINNER One upset can be a fluke, but two straight upsets can sometimes mean that they might not have been upsets in the first place. Vic's Winner was coming into a $14,000 condition trot on Saturday fresh off a surprising win in his last start at 23-1 in a career-best 1:52:4. Considering he was moving up in class on Saturday, Vic's Winner received even less consideration at the windows, going off at 30-1. Driver John Kakaley was able to position Vic's Winner in the pocket early behind pacesetter Waiting On A Woman. As other horses tried hard on the outside, the five-year-old gelding trained by Chris Lakata saved ground and energy before making a burst up the passing lane in the stretch. Vic's Winner took over the lead and held off Fashion Creditor by a half-length in 1:54 for his second straight victory at long odds. Honorable Mention Wisenheimer (George Nepolitano Jr., Jenny Melander), who returned to Pocono for his second straight victory on the oval, doing so in a condition trot on Saturday in 1:55:1. Flawless Countrry (Ake Svanstedt driver and trainer), a two-year-old filly who followed up two straight wins at the Meadows with a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes win at Pocono on Monday in a career-best 1:54:1. Zapaca (Tyler Buter, Dale Gilmour), who picked up his second consecutive condition win at Pocono on Tuesday, scoring in 1:55:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: VIC'S WINNER He was not only the trotter of the week, but, at 30-1, this trotter's $2 win ticket on Saturday at Pocono paid the most of any winning horse the past week, yielding $62.40. DRIVER OF THE WEEKP: DEXTER DUNN Dunn has enjoyed stakes action the past few weeks at Pocono, and he really rolled on Sunday night with two Stallion Series and one Sire Stakes win among the races held for the two-year-old male pacers. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: NIFTY NORMAN Norman dominated the action on Monday during the Stallion Series for two-year-old trotting fillies, as his trainees won three of the four divisions that were held. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs              

Here are the horses and drivers/trainer of week at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. PACER OF THE WEEK: BELL I NO The $30,000 to $40,000 claiming handicap harness racing pacers represent the best of the best in the claiming ranks at Pocono. And Bell I No has been hard to beat in that class of late. The eight-year-old gelding came into a start in that class on Saturday having picked up back-to-back victories in that group, with winning times of 1:51:3 and 1:50:2. Bell I No was the pacesetter in those previous two wins, but, on Saturday, driver George Napolitano Jr. was forced to come first-over with him to challenge Lachie MaGuire N. In this first start for new trainer Chuck Crissman Jr., Bell I No took the lead in the stretch and held off closing Rangers Sureshot to win by 1 ¼ lengths. His third straight win came as the 7-5 second betting choice and in a time of 1:50:4. Honorable Mention Pyro (Simon Allard, Ron Burke), who followed up two straight wins at the Meadows with a condition victory at Pocono on Saturday in 1:49, a new career-best. Ruthless Hanover (George Napoliotano Jr., Thomas Cancelliere), who scored his third consecutive win at Pocono with a victory in Stallion Series action for three-year-old male pacers on Tuesday with a career-best mile of 1:51. Doubleoffthewall (Matt Kakaley, Tom Fanning), who followed up her maiden victory at Pocono with a Stallion Series win on Monday against other 2-year-old fillies in a career-best 1:54. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MISSISSIPPI STORM Trained by Tom Fanning, this 5-year-old gelding was impressive in a victory in a $14,000 condition trot on July 18 at Pocono, as a 7-5 second choice, in 1:53:1. He struggled to a 7th place finish in tough company at the Meadowlands in his next start. On Saturday, Mississippi Storm returned to Pocono to face the $14,000 conditioners once again, leaving from the inside post in a field of nine as a 2-1 second choice. Driver Anthony Napolitano stayed patient with Mississippi Storm in a third-in position, even on the back stretch when it looked like he might be boxed in. But the inside opened up nicely around the final term. Full of trot at that point, Mississippi Storm powered through the passing lane past the leaders for the win in 1:52, a new career mark and the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono. Honorable Mention Kinetic King (Tyler Buter, Rob Harmon), who came off two straight victories at Tioga to capture a claiming trot at Pocono on Monday in 1:56:1 Theresademoninme (Tyler Buter, Dylan Davis), who handled a tough group of condition trotters on Saturday in 1:54:2. Alexandria Hanover (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who moved up in class to pick up her second consecutive condition won on Tuesday, doing so in a career mark of 1:56:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SUMMER ROCK More like Long Shot of the Year, as this pacing mare driven by Mark MacDonald rallied for a win on Monday in a claiming handicap at 170 to 1, paying off $342.40 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: SCOTT ZERON Zeron was all over the stakes action this week, going to town on Sunday and Monday with three Stallion Series and two Pennsylvania Sire Stakes victories. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: LINDA TOSCANO The Toscano barn is full of talented pacing fillies, as evidenced by three stakes wins at Pocono on Monday and Tuesday, including a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes victory with two-year-old Marsala Hanover. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs                

PACER OF THE WEEK: ATTA BOY DAN The 2019 Pacer of the Year at Pocono has begun to find his stride once again at his favorite track for trainer Pete Pellegrino. In his previous two races heading into a $11,200 condition pace on Saturday, Atta Boy Dan had picked up back to back victories from difficult #9 posts. His last victory even put the 11-year-old gelding over the $1 million mark in career earnings. On Saturday afternoon, Atta Boy Dan, the 9-5 second choice in a field of nine, left from the #6 post and had to work hard to get the lead on the first turn. Once there, however, he wouldn't let it go, pulling away from favorite Thatswhatisaid N and holding off closing Bettor Spirits N to win by a length-and-a-half. With driver George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, he paced the mile in 1:51:1 for his third straight win. Honorable Mention Royal Heart (Anthony Napolitano, Darren Taneyhill), who scored his second straight $20,000 claimers on Saturday afternoon, winning in 1:50:1. Bell I No (George Napolitano Jr., Tee Wine), who managed his second straight victory at the top of the claiming ladder at Pocono with a win on Saturday in 1:50:2. Golden Quest N (jim Marohn Jr., Mark Harder), a mare who captured her second straight condition win on Sunday night, getting it done in 1:53:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: BEGUIN DUGOUTIER F You don't see too many French-bred horses racing at the Pocono oval. But this 9-yeatr-gelding trained by Tee Wine is one of them. He came into his start against the $10,000 condition trotters on Sunday night off a sharp victory at Tioga, and, as a result, Beguin Dugoutier F was favored in the field of a nine at 9-5 from an inside post. Driver Simon Allard settled with Beguin Dugoutier F in 3rd early on while Meadowbranch Ricky set the pace. But the favorite made his move on the back stretch to take over a lead he would not relinquish. Beguin Dugoutier F ended up winning by a length-and-a-half over Marion Gondolier in 1:54:4, which made for a new career best. Honorable Mention: Vic's Winner (John Kakaley, Christopher Lakata), who picked up a condition win on Saturday in 1:52:4, which was a new career mark and was also the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono. Celebrity Miracle (Kevin Wallis, Jennifer Sansone), who followed up a victory at Harrah's with a condition win here on Sunday night in 1:55:4. Striking Encore (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), whose win in a $25,000 claiming trot on Tuesday in the slop in 1:56:2 gave her three victories in her last three races. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SAINT SEBASTIAN This trotter driven by Tom Jackson enjoyed a memorable maiden victory on Monday afternoon, winning at 55-1 for a $118.60 payback on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: KEVIN WALLS Kevin was Mr. Long Shot this past week, picking up a win with 10-1 shot Celebrity Miracle on Sunday and then following it up with 33-1 bomber Sweetonthebeack on Monday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: PETE PELLEGRINO Pellegrino has been delivering winners at a very high rate this summer at Pocono, and he continued to do so with three more training victories this past week, including a double on Monday. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs          

PACER OF THE WEEK: ANOTHER DAILY COPY On July 4, this seven-year-old gelding trained by Richard Johnson put up a fantastic effort to win a $10,000 condition pace at Pocono, overcoming the #9 post to go gate to wire in 1:50. He followed that up with a 4th at The Meadowlands in a very fast pace on July 18. On Saturday afternoon, he was back at it in the $10,000 condition group at Pocono, this time leaving from the inside post in a field of nine as a 1-5 favorite. Driver George Napolitano Jr. essentially cut Another Daily Copy loose on the front end of this mile, building a big lead. The gelding finished well ahead of second-place Rock The Town for a romping win. And the winning time of 1:48:4 for Another Daily Copy was not only a new career-best, but was also the fastest time of the 2020 Pocono meet to this point. Honorable Mention: Respect Our Flag (Joe Bongiorno, Jennifer Bongiorno), who moved up in class on Saturday night to pick up his second straight condition win on Saturday, this time in 1:49:4. Marsala Hanover (Jason Bartlett, Linda Toscano), who rolled to the fastest winning time among four Pennsylvania All-Stars races for two-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday with a victory in 1:52:1. Jereme's General (Anthony Napolitano, Darren Taneyhill), whose claiming handicap victory on Saturday in 1:51 gave wins in two of his last three starts. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MISS MCKEE The Pennsylvania All-Stars for three-year-old trotting fillies were held on Saturday at Pocono, with four $30,000 divisions taking place. In the last of those divisions, Miss McKee, who had already racked up two wins this summer at Pocono and was coming off a Stallion Series victory at Harrah's, went off as the 2-1 second choice in a field of eight. She won an early speed duel with Fifty Cent Piece, securing the lead around the first turn. Her biggest foe on the back stretch was Crucial, the race favorite who came at her first-over. But driver George Napolitano Jr. kept coaxing more from the filly, who fought off everybody to win by three-quarters of a length over Crucial. Miss McKee's winning time of 1:53 was a new career mark and also the fastest of the winning times among the All-Stars races. Honorable Mention: Amigo Volo (Dexter Dunn, Nifty Norman), who churned out the fastest winning time in two Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Sunday, getting it done in a career-best 1:52. Dune Hill (George Brennan, Ron Burke), who followed up a Stallion Series win at Harrah's with an All-Stars victory at Pocono on Saturday in 1:55. Fashion Charmer (Matt Kakaley, Jim Campbell), a filly who followed up ger maiden victory with another condition win on Tuesday, this one coming in a career-best 1:55. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: FAILSAFE Staging a furious rally, this trotter picked up a condition win on Monday with Anthony Napolitano in the bike at 46-1, paying $94.20 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: JOE BONGIORNO Bongiorno made the most of his appearance on Saturday afternoon by winning three times, including a pair of Pennsylvania All-Stars races. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: RON BURKE When there are stakes races at Pocono, it's a good bet that the Burke barn is involved, as evidenced by four stakes victories for the trainer on Saturday and Sunday. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs            

PACER OF THE WEEK: BRANQUINHO It can be difficult for a horse to come back strong after a career-best mile. That was the dilemma facing Branquinho, a four-year-old stallion from the Ray Schnittker barn who scored a win in a new career mark of 1:49:3 in his previous race at Pocono on July 11. On Saturday the stallion once again faced the non-winners of six condition, leaving from post position #6 in a field of eight as a 1-2 favorite. Any worries about lethargy from Branquinho were silenced when he brushed to the lead on the front stretch under the guidance of driver George Napolitano Jr.. Despite setting nasty fractions, he was still strong in the lane, holding off Captain Malicious to win by a comfortable 3 ¾ lengths. And even though it wasn't as quick as his previous victory, Branquinho's second straight win came in 1:50:3, the fastest pacing time of the week at Pocono. Honorable Mention Prairie Panther (Tyler Buter, Michael Deters), who continued to perform well among the highest ranks at Pocono with a victory on Saturday in a $14,000 condition pace in 1:51:2 Atta Boy Dan (George Napolitan Jr., Peter Pellegrino), whose second straight condition win on Monday, this one coming in 1:51:3, put him over $1 million in earnings in his career Father Sarducci (Joe Bongiorno, Jennifer Bongiorno), who has won two straight on the Pocono oval, with a second at Harrah's sandwiched between, after a condition win on Saturday afternoon in a career-best 1:51. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: BELLA AVA This mare from the Jenny Melander barn had already proven her bona fides with back to back victories in condition trots coming into Sunday night. After beating some more experienced horses in those races, the four-year-old mare faced horses more her own age on the Sunday program as she took on non-winners of four. Leaving from the inside post in a field of nine as an even-money favorite, she found an early pocket seat behind pacesetting Winter Olympics. When they hit the top of the stretch, Winter Olympics went on a break, leaving Bella Ava in a battle with first-over challenger Arclight Hanover. Driver David Miller called on Bella Ava for more and she responded, nipping Arclight Hanover by a head. Her winning time in this third straight victory at Pocono came in 1:54:2, which was a new career mark. Honorable Mention Mississippi Storm (Anthony Napolitano, Tom Fanbning), who captured his second win in his last three races with a condition victory on Saturday in 1:53:1 Crystal Fashion (Jordan Stratton, Jim Campbell), whose victory in Saturday's featured $17,200 trot came in 1:51:4, which was the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono Ineffable (Brian Sears, Marcus Melander), who posted the fastest winning time on Sunday night in four divisions of Pennsylvania All-Stars for two-year-old trotting fillies with a 1:56. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SHOW ME THE MAGIC This trotter with Anthony Napolitano in the bike led just every step of the way in a condition trot on Monday and did so at 25-1, paying off $52.40 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: BRIAN SEARS Sears made only one appearance this week but made his presence felt by churning out three wins on Sunday night, including a Pennsylvania All-Stars races aboard Ineffable. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JENNIFER BONGIORNO Bongiorno had the best day of any conditioner on Saturday, sending out five starters and producing three winners on the card, and then she added another training victory on Sunday. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Bevigila, for Pocono Downs        

PACER OF THE WEEK: DEALT A WINNER This accomplished veteran with over $1.3 million in earnings came into last week's $11,200 condition pace without a win in 2020. But he changed that in a big way last Saturday with a victory in a scorching 1:49:4, the first horse in the Pocono meet to break the 1:50 barrier. The eight-year-old gelding trained by Mark Silva was at it again this past weekend, moving up in class on Saturday to face the $14,000 condition pacers. In a race with a small field of five, it was no surprise that Dealt A Winner was made a 1-9 favorite. Nor was it a surprise that driver George Napolitano Jr. sent him to the front end. Although he faced a late challenge from pocket horse Elwell, Dealt A Winner delivered the goods and picked up his second straight win on the Pocono oval, this one in 1:50:3. Honorable Mention: Branquinho (George Napolitano Jr., Ray Schnitter), who scored a condition win on Saturday night in 1:49:3, a new career-best and fastest pacing time of the year to date at Pocono. Fulsome (Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke), who posted the fastest winning time of five divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars for two-year-old male pacers on Sunday night with a victory in 1:52:2. Blackwell Ruby IR (Jim Marohn Jr., Robert Cleary), a mare whose condition win on Sunday at Pocono in 1:52:4 gave her four straight wins dating back to March at Pocono and six victories in seven races overall in 2020. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: AXIOS Few horses on the grounds have been hotter of late than this nine-year-old gelding trained by Peter Pellegrino. Coming into a $15,000 claiming trot on Tuesday, Axios had ripped off three straight wins, two of them at Pocono (including one in March before the layoff) and one at Harrah's. On Tuesday, he went off as the favorite while leaving from post #7 in a field of nine. Driver George Napolitano Jr. sent Axios to the lead when the field hit the front stretch straightaway. From there, he rated the pace well, which meant that the gelding was ready late when Kaffir Kemp made a late charge from the pocket. Axios held off Kaffir Kemp by a length to win in 1:55:3, giving him four in a row. Honorable Mention: Big Oil (Andrew McCarthy, Julie Miller), who moved to two-for-two in 2020 with a victory in 1:53:2, the fastest time in three divisions on Saturday of the Pennsylvania All-Stars for three-year-old male trotters. Crossfit (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who followed up a win at the Meadowlands with a condition victory on Monday at Pocono in 1:55:1 Muscle High (Anthony Napolitano), who scored his second straight $12,500 claiming win on Monday, getting the job done in 1:55. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: JERERMES GENERAL Driven by Anthony Napolitano, this pacer stunned a claiming handicap group on Saturday afternoon at 21-1, paying off $44.80 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO Anthony was a consistent force as a driver this past week at Pocono, posting multiple victories on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: MARK SILVA Silva enjoyed a fantastic Saturday afternoon at Pocono, picking up a win with all three of the pacers (Da Magician, Dealt A Winner and Da Delightful) that he sent to the gate. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs        

Here is the first Week In Review for The Downs at Mohegan Sun. PACER OF THE WEEK: TURBO HILL This five-year-old stallion from the barn of trainer Jennifer Bongiorno came back off the layoff with a strong victory in a $17,500 condition pace in June 27 at Pocono. He was back at it again on Saturday against the same class, leaving from post position #5 in the nine-horse field as the 3-5 betting favorite. It was a contested pace and Turbo Hill found himself in between horses on the first turn, but driver George Napolitano Jr. maneuvered him to a pocket trip behind Soho Lennon. A speed duel raged in front of him, but Turbo Hill bided his time until the stretch when he made his move in the passing lane. Although there were other closers lining up, the favorite took advantage of the positioning and came home a winner by a length in the feature over Declan Seelster. Turbo Hill paced the mile in 1:51:3 for his second straight win against excellent competition on the Pocono oval. Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Dealt A Winner (George Napolitano Jr., Mark Silva), who scored a condition win on Saturday in 1:49:4, the fastest time of the 2020 meet at Pocono to date; Lespndnitetogeta N (Jordan Stratton, Shane Tritton), whose condition win on Saturday in a career-best 1:50:4 moved his record to two victories in two US races; and Blackwell Ruby IR (Jim Marohn Jr., Robert Cleary), a mare who overcame a four-month layoff to pick up her third straight win at Pocono on Sunday night in a condition pace with a career-best 1:51:2. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: PAT MATTERS Last week this five-year-old mare handled a $14,000 condition trotting group for a win in 1:53:4. Even though she was moving up in class on Saturday to face a $17,200 condition field, she was still made the 1-2 betting favorite in the field of nine. Leaving from post position #5, Pat Matters launched a bid for the lead on the front stretch and took it away from Explosivebreakaway just shy of the clubhouse turn. Driver George Napolitano Jr. was able to gain some separation with Pat Matters on the back stretch. That was crucial, as Stormy Kromer surged late first-over but came up a nose short. In hanging on for the victory, Pat Matters trotted the mile in 1:51:4, a new career-best and the fastest trotting time so far in the 2020 meet at Pocono. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Bella Ava (Matt Kakaley, Jenny Melander), a mare who moved up in class to pick up her second straight condition win on Sunday night, this one coming in 1:55:3; In Range (Tim Tetrick, Marcus Melander), who, in his debut, posted the fastest winning time (1:55:1) out of three divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars on Tuesday for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings; and Axios (George Napolitano Jr., Peter Pellegrino), whose victory in a claimer on Tuesday in 1:56 gave him three wins in a row, two of which have occurred at Pocono. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: D'DREAM With Billy Carter in the bike, this mare rallied from out of the clouds on Sunday night for a condition win at 43-1, paying off $88.60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR George Nap took firm control of the race for most wins in 2020 by a driver on Saturday afternoon with an eight-victory explosion. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: MARCUS MELANDER In three divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars races for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Monday, Melander has two of the three winners (In Range and Bidensky.) That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs        

We have slowly worked our way into the 2020 season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, racing just two nights a week throughout the month of February, a much earlier start to the season than normal. But the action hit the ground running, in large part due to the Game of Claims series, a fun late closer affair making its debut at Pocono this year. Each weekend in February at Pocono, four different groups of claimers met in preliminary legs with the intent of making the high-stakes finals. They were eligible to be claimed in those preliminaries, with the claiming price rising each week to make it more expensive for owners who wanted to jump in late on a hot horse. The finals took place this past Saturday and Sunday. Let's see who came out on top. CLAIMING PRICE $15,000 to $20,000 (Final Purse $30,000) Royal Heart went off as the 9-5 betting favorite after winning his previous leg. He grabbed a pocket seat early behind second choice Horsing Around, who came in with wins in both of his previous Game of Claims races with front-end speed. But Horsing Around couldn't get away with an easy lead in the Saturday night final, as he was hounded by a first-over effort from Pop's Romeo. Even though Horsing Around fended off that effort, it left him vulnerable in the stretch drive. That's when driver Simon Allard tipped Royal Heart to the outside and he came up strong to win it by a half-length in 1:53:3 over Horsing Around. American Music finished third. Royal Heart moved to two-for-two since joining the Rene Allard barn. CLAIMING PRICE $25,000 to $30,000 (Final Purse $50,000) After winning the first two legs of the series, Trente Deo took last week off after being claimed and joining the barn of trainer William Adamczyk. He went off as the 2-1 second choice in Saturday night's final, with Polak A getting the favorite's attention at 9-5. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. had Trente Deo in motion first-over pretty early in the mile, but that proved to be the right move when he picked up cover from Classy Hill on the back stretch. When the rounded the final turn, Trente Deo shrugged off the cover and came charging up at Polak A, who was setting the pace. Trente Deo blew right past Polak A and then held off late kick from What's Goin On to finish second, with Beach Pro nabbing the show. Trente Deo won by 1 ½ lengths in 1:52:3 to finish a perfect three-for-three in the series. CLAIMING PRICE $7,500 to $11,000 (Purse: $15,000) In his back-to-back wins in preliminary legs, Always B Magic benefitted from inside post positions and pocket trips. For the final on Sunday night, he had to leave from post position #5 in a field of nine, still a good spot but a decidedly different look. Tough Mudder set the pace, while driver George Napolitano Jr. decided on a first-over path for Always B Magic, the even-money favorite, when he couldn't get the pocket. It was by no means an easy journey for Always B Magic, considering he was parked out for two of the three turns. He eventually wore down Tough Mudder, but Naked City came up strong late after the favorite provided his cover. Always B Magic managed to gut it out to win it by a nose for new trainer Susan Marshall, staying perfect in the series with a winning time of 1:55. Naked City just missed in second while Mystery Island picked up the show. CLAIMING PRICE $10,000 to $15,000 (Purse: $20,000) In the preliminary legs of this group, Charger Blue Chip was arguably the top performer, going win, show, win in the three races. Yet he found himself at 9-1 on the odds board in Sunday's final, primarily because he was saddled with the outside #9 post. Driver Jim Marohn Jr. drove him aggressively, sending him early and retaking the lead from Carmens Best on the front stretch. A lot of times a speed duel like that would leave a horse vulnerable to closers. And, indeed, Grandpa Don, the 7-5 favorite, came up with a first-over threat. But Marohn kept summoning up reserves of energy from Charger Blue Chip, leaving Grandpa Don and the rest of the field struggling in his wake. Charger Blue Chip, trained by Marc Mosher, came home a 2 ¼-length winner in 1:54:1, with Grandpa Don second and Carmens Best third. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs          

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