Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 484
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

WILKES-BARRE PA - Reclamation was a 1:51.2 winner in the $17,500 distaff featured pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Tuesday night, raising her harness racing scorecard to six wins in a row and 13-for-21 lifetime. The four-year-old daughter of A Rocknroll Dance, driven by Matt Kakaley (who had four successes on the card) for trainer Ron Burke, was on top at every call for the first time during her winning streak, clearing to the lead before the first quarter in :27. Once in command, Reclamation got to the half in :55.4, sped up to ward off first-over challenger Monica Gallagher to the 1:23.2 three-quarters, then in the stretch withstood the two mares directly behind her - Clear Idea gained from the pocket but missed by half a length, while third-in Sidewalk Dancer fanned wide and was ¾ of a length behind Clear Idea. This was Reclamation's third win in as many Pocono starts this year, but she'll have a new challenge in her next start for owners W J Donovan and Donal Murphy, as she has earned her way out of this classification. The Somebeachsomewhere mare Attention Hanover had to come uncovered into a :55.1 last half, but showed courage to post her first victory of the year in 1:53 in the $14,000 co-featured pace for females. Attention Hanover and driver Simon Allard got by pacesetting Intoview by three quarters of a length for trainer Steve Salerno, who also shares ownership in the mare with Dean Casaday. Two more claims on Tuesday, for a total of $39,000, ran the four-card weekly total over the half-million-dollar mark for the first time in the meet, with $544,500 paid out for sharp horses from Saturday to Tuesday, raising the meet total well over $4.1 million.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA - The A Rocknroll Dance four-year-old mare Reclamation, who started her harness racing career in Great Britain and broke her maiden in a race for a purse of U.S. $706, posted her fifth straight victory in the $17,500 distaff pacing feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on the Tuesday twilight card, showing large reserves of fortitude to down an ultra-game Juslikeaqueen by a nose in a career best of 1:50. Culinary Delight N forced Keystone Riptide in behind her going to the :26.2 quarter; Juslikeaqueen attempted a quarter move from third, but the pacesetter gave her the cold shoulder through hot middle fractions of :54.1 and 1:21.3. Reclamation had tucked fourth and then followed Juslikeaqueen outside, so she was getting a good cover trip. Around the far turn, Juslikeaqueen not only didn't back up, she actually forged to the lead, with Reclamation swinging wide to go after her. It literally took driver Matt Kakaley the length of the stretch to get Reclamation past Juslikeaqueen, but the young mare did so, notching her fifth win in six seasonal starts and her twelfth triumph in twenty lifetime races. Ron Burke handles the training of the winner for W J Donovan and Baltimore, Ireland's Donal Murphy. A final word about Juslikeaqueen - she went that gigantic mile having raced only once in the past 28 days. She'll certainly be tight for her next start - which will come this Sunday, when she will line up between Applebottom Jeans and Tequila Monday in a Great Northeast Open Series contest. Driver Matt Kakaley also accounted for the $14,000 co-featured distaff pace among his four wins on the night. In this subfeature Matt had to go first-over to wear down favored Brazuca with the Always A Virgin mare Neverforgetwhour, then hold off potential pocket rocket Intoview by ¾ of a length in 1:52.3. Team Lorentzon is in charge of the winner of $208,900, with Anette Lorentzon also the owner. Two claims for a total of $42,000 on the Tuesday card boosted the total number of relocations for the racing week to a 2019 record of 22; the $458,375 changing hands posted another seasonal high. For the year, there have been 197 claims at Pocono, producing a money turnover of $3,622,125. PHHA / Pocono   Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA - The A Rocknroll Dance mare Reclamation - foaled in Pennsylvania out of a Swedish-owned mare, sold at Lexington, then starting her career in Ireland and Wales before racing at Harrah's Philly and The Meadowlands - added another location to her already-stuffed harness racing itinerary, coming to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono for the Tuesday twilight card and promptly winning the $17,500 distaff pacing feature in 1:50.4. Despite 25 days between races, driver Matt Kakaley had no problem moving Reclamation frontward after a :26.4 opener, reaching the half in :54 and the three-quarters in 1:22.3, then finishing strongly to remain 1¼ lengths clear of another well-traveled mare, the New Zealand import American Express N. Reclamation has a 5-4-1-0 record this year and an enviable 19-11-6-1 lifetime tab, with her earnings of $72,405 sure to be rising nicely in short order for trainer Ron Burke and owners W J Donovan of Delray Beach FL and Donal Murphy of Baltimore ... Ireland. In a $15,000 trot, the Explosive Matter gelding Explosivebreakaway showed some of the talent of his full sister Phaetosive while easily winning in a lifetime best 1:54.2. Driver Tom Jackson moved the winner uncovered off the second turn and utilized the backstretch to go up to the leader and then go by, drawing off with a :28.2 last quarter to be seven lengths clear on the money. Fred Grant conditions the impressive sophomore, who has four wins and three seconds in seven lifetime starts, and he also co-owns him with Janice Rubin, Steve Katz, and Murray Brown. The Credit Winner gelding Such An Angel, who doesn't always put it all together but when he does can be quite devastating, came within a fifth of a second of the fastest local trotting mile of the year with a 1:52.1 victory, 8½ lengths to the good. That time also was within a fifth of the lifetime best of Such An Angel, who's now taken two of his last three and has earned $295,308 for trainer Hunter Oakes and owner Sam Caruso Jr. The only starter to be entered for an optional claiming price in the last race on the last day of the Pocono racing week, Rosy Outlook was haltered for $18,000, bringing the four-day raceweek's total of claiming investment to $419,250, a record for a week here this season; the total of 20 claims tied the weekly mark, now set in each of the last three weeks. For the year, 175 claims have resulted in $3,153,750 changing hands in the pursuit of winning racing stock.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA - Rodeo Rock posted the fastest clocking of the year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1:49, in winning a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series for open harness racing pacers on Saturday night. The altered son of Rock N Roll Heaven got away midpack in a field of seven as Tiger Thompson N, winning of the GNOS divisional leg at Philly last week, took the early lead via a :26.2 opener. With the leader applying the brakes, Rodeo Rock and driver Eric Goodell (a three-time winner on the evening) made a quick move at the 3/8 to pass the three horses in front of him, reaching the half in a "leisurely" :55.4. The price of pacing went up dramatically down the back, as suddenly-uncovered favorite Dealt A Winner tried to challenge the leader down the back, but couldn't really menace as Rodeo Rock went his third panel in :26.1 for a 1:22 tripping of the three-quarters timer, then added a :27 kicker to be an easy 1 ¾ length winner at the end while also establishing a new lifetime mark. Tiger Thompson N held on well for second, with 2019's fastest pacer, Sweet Rock (1:48.1), another half length back while bagging the show dough. Rodeo Rock is the third-leading moneywinning horse in North American this year with $264,400, the majority of which was banked in finishing second in the Levy Final on April 20. Trainer Robert Cleary, sending them out at nearly a 40% victory clip, conditions the career winner of $623,055 for Royal Wire Products Inc. In the $21,500 co-featured pace, Soho Wallstreet A and Ballerat Boomerang could not be separated by the photo finish camera at the end of a 1:51.3 mile. The If I Can Dream gelding Ballerat Boomerang put everybody in behind him early, then yielded in front of the stands to the Four Starzzz Shark gelding Soho Wallstreet A. Ballerat Boomerang and driver Matt Kakaley went to the Pocono Pike and appeared to get a nose advantage midstretch, but the favored Soho Wallstreet A and driver Pat Berry refused to give way and battled back for the tie. Soho Wallstreet A is trained by Scott Di Domenico for owner J G Racing Stable; Ballerat Boomerang is conditioned by Nick Surick for the Engel Stable of IL LLC and the J L Benson Stables Inc. Pocono established a new seasonal record for dollars spent in claiming activity, as $347,750 was laid out for 15 horses who will find new homes, including a Pocono record of $40,000 being paid for Raksmach N for the second straight week. For the meet, $3,082,250 has changes hands as 170 horses have gone home to a different barn or trailer from which they came to the paddock. Perennial Pocono driving leader George Napolitano Jr. brought home four winners on the Saturday night card.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

Hightstown, NJ — Filly pacer DD Delicious made a good impression on harness racing trainer Travis Alexander last season as a 2-year-old. Unfortunately for Alexander and the horse’s owner, the Mark Wasserman-led Fiddler’s Creek Stables, physical maturity issues prevented her from making an impression beyond the training center at Mark Ford’s farm in upstate New York. But by starting this spring with wins in her first two career races, DD Delicious looks as though she is out to remedy that situation. Her next opportunity to continue making a name for herself comes Tuesday (May 14) when she steps up from conditioned classes to state-bred stakes action as Yonkers Raceway hosts the first round of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. It will not be an easy test. DD Delicious competes in the first of two $85,250 divisions and faces a field that includes Zero Tolerance and St Somewhere, who were both winners on the Grand Circuit in 2018, as well as So Awesome, who lost last year’s New York Sire Stakes final by a nose to Money Shot Hanover. DD Delicious and driver Matt Kakaley are 5-1 on the morning line. Zero Tolerance, with David Miller driving for trainer Joe Holloway, is the 5-2 favorite. In her most recent start, DD Delicious won in 1:54.1 at Yonkers with Scott Zeron in the sulky. The filly won her debut in 1:53.3 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono with Kakaley at the lines. “I’m looking forward to seeing what my filly can do,” Alexander said. “I know Matt thinks a lot of her. She’s been a nice filly all along; I was really high on her last year. She’s not a flashy filly, she just goes about her work. “The best thing about her (previous race) at Yonkers was Scott said she got around the turns as quick as the straightaway. For her, that’s a little bit of an advantage. All the fillies in that race are very nice fillies. If I can get close, I’m not saying I can beat them, but I’ll be happy with a check.” DD Delicious, a daughter of Art Major out of D D Delightful, was bred by Fiddler’s Creek Stables. She impressed Alexander with her speed last year while training down but needed more time to mature physically before she could get to the races. “She had some growing up issues with her knees,” Wasserman said. “We try not to rush our horses. When a horse says they’re ready, then we do it. We turned her out and she came back great. She just needed time to grow up.” In addition to the New York Sire Stakes, DD Delicious is staked lightly on the Grand Circuit. “Sometimes hindsight is 20/20,” Wasserman said. “We didn’t stake her heavy but we’re very happy with where we are. I want to see if we’ve got a nice stakes filly. One step at a time. I’m really excited about (Tuesday). This is her first real challenge. It’s only her third race, but she’s been racing really well. She likes her job. She wants to go; she wants to race.” Said Alexander, “I was very fortunate that Fiddler’s Creek Stables had the patience to wait on her. She’s starting to show what I believed in all along.” Racing begins at 6:50 p.m. Tuesday at Yonkers. The New York Sire Stakes divisions are races nine and 10. Money Shot Hanover, with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Mark Harder, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the second division. For complete entries, click here.    by Ken Weingartner USTA Media Relations Manager

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Bettor's Delight mare Bettor's Up made her debut for Nick Surick a successful one, sweeping wide off cover and taking the $17,500 distaff pacing feature in the Tuesday harness racing twilight at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:51.4. Matt Kakaley guided the winner of $772,254, one of the best of her division in her filly stakes days, into second-over position, then tipped her three-wide approaching headstretch. Bettor's Up, now five, took it from there, pacing strongly through the stretch as the 2-1 favorite to defeat the longest shot on the board, Culinary Delight N, by 1¾ lengths. Trainer Surick got control of the winner after his Nick Surick Stable LLC acquired her after her last start. The sun shined bright on my old Wilkes-Barre home just before the $14,000 co-featured distaff pace after cloudiness and some rain, and the Sportswriter mare Write Me A Song wrote herself a new mark of 1:50.1 in going wire-to-wire. Driver Tyler Buter took control from the pole from the outset with Write Me A Song, hustling the winner of $243,777 through fractions of :26.2, :54.1, and 1:22.1 en route to a 2½ length victory for trainer Lance Hudson and owner William S. Hartt. There will be plenty of great racing the next two cards at Pocono, with the Pennsylvania All-Stars for three-year-old colt pacers going in three divisions on Saturday, and then $30,000 contests in the Great Northeast Open Series for open trotters and open mare pacers topping a fantastic Sunday night offering. PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA – The Chris Oakes stable sent out a trio of impressive winners in qualifying harness racing action on Wednesday morning at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, headed by the world’s fastest trotter, Homicide Hunter. The seven-year-old altered son of Mr Cantab, who rewrote the standard for the gait with his 1:48.4 victory at Lexington last year and who won his 2018 Breeders Crown event at this track, showed he was coming to his sixth campaign in fine shape, rattling off splits of 29.1, 58.1, and 1:26.4 en route to a 10½-length victory in 1:55.1 under the guidance of Matt Kakaley. Oakes also sent out a pair of impressive sophomore colts by American Ideal with fine maternal connections. The faster was American Mercury, who shows horses such as American Jewel, Luck Be Withyou, and Three Diamonds not far back along his maternal line, who went wire-to-wire in 1:52.4, last quarter 27.4, with Tyler Buter at the controls. Buter, who posted his 3000th career driving win at Pocono on Sunday night, was also in charge of the Oakes trainee Shake That House, third in the Metro and a ¾ brother to Breeders Crown winner Split The House. Shake That House came his own back fractions in 55.2 – 27.3 to get to the wire first in 1:53.1. PHHA / Pocono   Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA - Developing three- and four-year-olds of both gaits and sexes will begin contesting their $15,000 third and final preliminary legs of the Bobby Weiss Series at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono starting tonight (Monday), hoping to solidify places in the $30,000 series Championships (or perhaps a $15,000 consolation) that will begin in one week, Monday, April 22. The pacing fillies and mares will take to the track for Weiss harness racing action on Monday in three divisions. Undefeated in their first two preliminaries were Ghosttothepost, an American Ideal mare to be guided by George Napolitano Jr. for trainer Darren Ferrell from post five in the fifth race division, and the Art Major filly Ashlee Sparkles, who will begin from race two in the eleventh race Weiss contest for driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Blake MacIntosh. Both are morning line favorites in their respective divisions. There were six different winners in the first two preliminaries of the distaff trotting Weiss Series, with the only repeat winner the Explosive Matter filly Spring In Paris, who was game to win by a neck in each of her Weiss starts. During Tuesday's eleventh race cut of the third Weiss preliminary, she's be starting as the morning line choice from post five for trainer Steve LeBlanc, who doesn't disrupt a winning formula and again taps Andrew McCarthy for sulky action. This coming Saturday, pacing males will be contested their final Weiss preliminary action. The horse to watch in this section is the American Ideal four-year-old Turbo Hill, who closed in 26.3 in his second Weiss prelim to post a 1:51.2 victory. Trained and driven by Hunter Oakes, Turbo Hill is riding a six-race win streak, and he has won eight times in but nine career starts. The trotting male third round preliminaries will be held on Monday, April 22, as the Downs will be dark on Easter Sunday, April 21. My Lindy Winner, a four-year-old son of Credit Winner, will be the only horse bringing two straight Weiss victories with him, both times winning impressively to remain undefeated in five 2019 starts for trainer Rob Harmon, with Jim Morrill Jr. slated for sulky duty.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

East Rutherford, NJ – Many of the sport’s stars assembled at The Meadowlands for qualifiers on an overcast, windless Saturday morning over a track that may have been slightly dulled by overnight rains with the temperature at 10am in the mid 60’s. The card began with the Grand Circuit stakes winning Father Patrick filly Special Honor (Andy Miller) closing through the stretch to edge mile cutter Fate Smiled (Matt Kakaley) in 1:54.4 / 27.2. Can’t Touch It (Scott Zeron) held safe for third and Goldsmith Maid winner Sonnet Grace (Yannick Gingras) fourth in a conservative effort. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld bred and own the winner, trained by Julie Miller. Hall of Fame trainer Linda Toscano has a sharp looking prospect in the 3-year-old Muscle Hill colt Guaranteed (Tim Tetrick) who won his second qualifier in as many tries this morning by closing furiously under no urging into a 27.2 end of a 1:54.4 mile to nip Halliama (Trond Smedshammer) and Summit In Sight (A. Miller). The winner, unraced at two, was a $125,000 Lexington Select Yearling Sale (LSYS) purchase by Michael and William Pozefsky and Myron Eckstein from breeders Tommy B. Andersson and Courant AB. Matter Of Fact (Marcus Melander) who led throughout and the closing French Café (A. Miller) went under the wire together in 1:55.4 / 28.1 in race three with the latter prevailing by a nose. Golden Tricks (Ake Svanstedt) was third. French Café is another daughter of Father Patrick, a Katz & Libfeld homebred again stabled in the Julie Miller barn. Miss Trixton scored for Melander from just off the pace in 1:55.3 / 27.4 over Trix Are For Kids (Corey Callahan). The winner is a Trixton filly from million dollar winner Possess The Magic, a $105,000 LSYS purchase for the Order By Stable from breeder Hanover Shoe Farm. Last year’s International Trot winner Cruzado Dela Noche (Mattias Melander) was sharp in his 2019 bow leading all the way and trotting a 26.3 final quarter to hold off Top Flight Angel (A. Miller) in 1:53.3. Yes Mickey completed the three horse field. All three of these top trotters are eligible to the May 4 Cutler Memorial, the first major stake of the 2019 Meadowlands season. World record holder Ice Attraction (Andy McCarthy) is back for another season versus the top mare trotters and got her year underway with a front stepping 1:55.4 / 27.4 effort under her own power. Muscle M Up (Sarah Svanstedt) outmuscled EL Platinum and her husband Ake for the place with a nice stretch move. All three are trained in the Svanstedt barn and Ake owns the winner with Sipple, Burroughs and Little E. Dan Patch award winning 2-year-old pacing filly Warrawee Ubeaut (Gingras) got her sophomore season off to a great start as the fastest freshman in harness racing history by virtue of her 1:48.3 Red Mile win last fall scored from second over in 1:53.2 with her final quarter in the 26 second range. Stonebridge Soul (Dexter Dunn) went well to be second with She’s Allright (Kakaley) third. Warrawee Ubeaut is from the first crop of Sweet Lou and was a $70,000 LSYS buy Burke, Collura, Silva, Purnell & Libby and Weaver & Bruscemi from breeder Warrawee Farm. Yannick and Burke came right back with the good American Ideal soph filly pacer St Somewhere for a 1:53.4 / 27.2 decision over stablemate Sylph Hanover (Kakaley) and Fool Me Again (Dave Miller) who closed with good pace for third. St Somehwere shares her ownership group with Warrawee Ubeaut who bought her from breeder Crawford Farms in Lexington for $55,000. Kissin In The Sand was absolutely vicious in her return this morning, loping along through even fractions before dragging Scott Zeron home in 26.3 for a 1:51.2 mile. The Dan Patch 3-year-old filly pace champ won by open lengths over her nemesis from last season Youaremycandygirl (Gingras) who was reserved early and not asked by the driver. Kissin In The Sand is trained by Nancy Johansson for Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield. Captain Victorious (A. Miller) closed to a 1:52.1 / 26 win for the Millers, besting Caviart Rockland (Zeron) and Sugar Factory (D. Miller) in a race where all six looked good. The $40,000 (LSYS) White Birch Farm product races for Andy Miller Stable, Goehlen and Huffman. Love Me Some Lou (D. Miller) was a 1:52.2 / 26.4 winner for the Cancelliere brothers Tom (trainer) and John (owner). The Sweet Lou $95,000 LSYS buy sat just off the pace and roared by when asked. Blood Money (Zeron) and De Los Cielos Deo (Gingras) were next across the line. Spring Haven Farm bred the winner. The twelfth and final qualifier was easily the best race of the Meadowlands season to date, pari-mutuel or not and Filibuster Hanover (Gingras) emerged from the packet to go by the front running Delta Winner (D. Miller) in a 26.2 end to a 1:51.1 mile. The winner races out of the Ron Burke barn. Results and eventually race replays are available on The Meadowlands website. Live racing tonight at 7:15 with the World Harness Handicapping Championship taking place in the building. Walk-up registrations will be available until 7 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 201.842.5015 or go to this link.   Nick Salvi

WILKES-BARRE PA - Driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Ron Burke combined to take two of the four $15,000 first preliminaries in the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting distaffs during the Tuesday twilight harness racing card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The Cantab Hall filly Fade Into You made her 2019 debut a successful one, moving to the lead going past the grandstand the first time and continuing on to a three length victory in 1:57.3. A Pennsylvania Sire Stake winner at two, Fade Into You is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC , Phil Collura, and J&TSilva - Purnel & Libby. A race previous, Kakaley/Burke unveiled another nice sophomore making her 2019 bow, Run Lindy Run, who prevailed by two lengths in 1:56.4, which equaled the North American season's record for the division. Another daughter of Cantab Hall, Run Lindy Run also grabbed command early and continued nicely to the wire for Burke Racing Stable LLC. That 1:56.4 season's record had been established at Pocono on March 19 by Spring In Paris, and that Explosive Matter filly ran her seasonal scoreboard to two-for-two in winning another Weiss section in 1:57.1. Spring In Paris had opened a good-sized lead around the far turn, but then was called upon to handle a late rush by Altercation, which she did by a neck for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Steve LeBlanc, and the ownership of Leblanc Racing Inc., Glenn Dyke, and Douglas Johnson. Another daughter of Explosive Matter, the four-year-old mare Moshannon Magic, shipped over from The Meadows and immediately established good local form by winning in 1:59. George Napolitano Jr. guided Moshannon Magic first-over, and she trotted her own last half in 57.2 to catch favored pacesetter Royal Esteem by ¾ of a length for trainer Ray Romanetti and owner/wife Lori. Matt Kakaley, who in all had four winners on the card, also had sulky duty behind the World On Rocknroll mare Clarebear, who took the $14,000 distaff fast-class pace in 1:51.4 by two lengths. Sheldon Powell conditions the winner of $229,788 for Rushcreek Stables.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA - The $700,000 Bobby Weiss Series, the traditional early-season contests at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono that often bring a focus to developing harness racing stars, begins its annual competition on Monday and Tuesday with fillies and mares - pacers in three divisions on Monday, and trotters in four sections the next day. George Napolitano Jr., who has been burning up the racetrack both at Pocono and 100 miles south at the newly-opened meet at Harrah's Philly, is set to guide the morning line favorite in the first two cuts on Monday's twilight card. In race seven, he'll be handling Ashlee Sparkles for trainer Blake MacIntosh as that sophomore filly makes her seasonal bow off a very sharp 1:55.3 qualifier here. In the ninth, "GNap" has been tapped by trainer Randy Bendis to steer Sewonandsewforth, who missed by a head at 27-1 in her first contest as a three-year-old last week. In Monday's third division, the brother team of driver Simon and trainer Rene Allard will be the powers behind Lady Ella, a four-year-old mare who came to Pocono during opening week and paced off to an open-length victory in 1:54. The partnership of driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Ron Burke will have two of the four morning line favorites in Tuesday's Weiss trotting action. The sophomore filly Run Lindy Run, a winner in the Kentucky stakes program last season, will have to try to surmount the outside post seven as she makes her 2019 bow in the fourth race, while in the very next race another Kakaley/Burke three-year-old, Fade Into You, a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at two, also faces the starting gate for the first time this year - but she will be facing it from the opposite end than is her stablemate, as she has drawn the rail. Spring In Paris is the North American season's leader for three-year-old fillies on a 5/8-mile track by virtue of a 1:56.4 win at Pocono in her first start of the season; she'll be looking to make it two straight for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Steve LeBlanc in the eleventh race Weiss action. In race three, trainer Rich Gillock has picked Andy Miller, a noted handler of trotters, to guide Galary Girl, who has shown great speed when she has been able to mind her manners; she is rated the early choice based on her potential. "The boys" will be beginning their Weiss action this weekend, with pacers set for Saturday and trotters on Sunday. Each of the four sections of the Weiss Series will be conducted with three preliminary rounds, with the top performers returning for $30,000 Championships near the end of the month.   PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA - The four-year-old Credit Winner gelding Winning Shadow worked out a sweet pocket trip, then rallied up the famed Pocono Pike to win in 1:55.1 in the $21,500 featured trot Sunday evening at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Matt Kakaley, guiding his fourth winner of the night, blasted away at the start with Winning Shadow, making the lead then letting 2-5 favorite Trolley work his way to the top past a 28 quarter. Behind Trolley was Chestnut Schofeld, who set big fractions in his PcD harness racing debut last week, and that foe went up to challenge the chalk to the 56 half. (It should be pointed out here that it was 39 degrees at first post, 30 degrees colder than it had been the previous evening, so that 56 number was a big clocking indeed, and would be a major factor in the contest.) Down the backstretch Trolley retained the lead but could shake off the persistent challenge of Chestnut Schofeld neither before the 1:25.1 3/4s not around the final turn. Meanwhile Kakaley and Winning Shadow were shadowing the pacesetter from the pocket and awaiting inside clearance, which the pair found in early stretch and utilized to finish 1¼ lengths ahead of the dead-game Chestnut Schofeld. Two AM, locked behind horses until almost midstretch, angled wide and closed well for third ahead of Trolley, who paid too high a fare for controlling the pace. Winning Shadow was making his second start of the year after posting nine wins and a mark of 1:52.3 in 2018. Ron Burke trains the speedy trotter for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and J&T Silva - Purnel & Libby. The $17,000 co-featured trot saw the Muscle Hill gelding Muscle Fashion successfully handle a multi-level jump in company, winning in 1:56.1. Muscle Fashion returned off a two-month layoff at the start of the Pocono meet and has posted two wins and a second in quick order, here making a quick brush down the backstretch to the lead and withstanding Girl Talk, who was on his back, by 1½ lengths for owner/trainer Antonella Galie. George Napolitano Jr. "in the driving zone" recently, matched Kakaley's four wins on the Pocono card. The quartet gave him ten sulky successes on the day, following the six he posted in the afternoon at Harrah's Philly; it raised his Friday-Sunday "weekend win" total to 17; and it raised his 2019 Pocono total to 23 after only seven nights of racing. PHHA / Pocono   by Jerry Connors

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  

Matt Kakaley's drive to his first Breeders Crown winner's circle was as memorable as the stretch drive to victory, and even more emotional. Kakaley entered last Saturday's Breeders Crown finals at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in search of his first trophy. He ended the night with two. The second, not unexpectedly, came with favorite Dorsoduro Hanover in the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace. The first, though, was something of a surprise. It came six races earlier with 52-1 longshot Percy Bluechip in the 3-year-old filly pace. As the 30-year-old Kakaley returned to the winner's circle with Percy Bluechip, he could not help but think back to last March when he was injured in an accident at Yonkers. Kakaley was sidelined for two months and required three surgeries, including one for a broken orbital bone and another for a fractured collarbone. "The winner's circle was a little overwhelming for me, just full of emotion," Kakaley said. "Coming back, I was just thinking, man, seven months ago I was on the sidelines not even sure if I was going to be able to drive anymore. My eye was really bad. I don't think people really understand how bad it really was. The people that were around me were a great support system. Obviously everything came back and I'm OK, but at the time I was really worried. "It was a rush of emotions going back to the winner's circle. My grandparents were there, my parents, my daughter, my girlfriend, all my friends that I've hung around with that live here. It meant a lot." Kakaley, who has competed regularly at Pocono for the past eight years and won a driving title there in 2011, was winless in 42 Breeders Crown finals prior to breaking through with Percy Bluechip. Kakaley positioned the filly second on the outside behind favorite Kissin In The Sand, who was engaged in a battle with Youaremycandygirl through torrid early fractions. As the field turned for home, Kakaley dropped his whip but was still able to sweep by the leaders in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length over Kissin In The Sand. "Everything went perfect for that filly," Kakaley said. "It's nice for the horse when things go the right way for them to get the job done in the big race. They were rolling up front, big numbers, and she felt strong down the backstretch. In the last turn I had a lot of go. I thought I could get there. I lost my whip, but she just powered through and got up. She raced super." It was somewhat fitting Kakaley's first Breeders Crown win came with a longshot. Of his 42 previous drives in finals, 27 were at odds of 40-1 or longer and nine of his 11 on-the-board finishes were at odds of at least 27-1. Of course, the odds mattered little to Kakaley. "It's unexpected, so a little bit of a surprise factor maybe makes it a little bit better, but just winning a Breeders Crown race is amazing," Kakaley said. "I'm just so thankful for the opportunities I've gotten. It happened. Thank God. I finally got one." And then he got two. Dorsoduro Hanover, Kakaley's first favorite in a final, took the lead after three-eighths of a mile and cruised to victory by 3-1/2 lengths over Lather Up. The gelding has finished no worse than second in seven consecutive races, winning five. His victories in addition to the Breeders Crown include the Adios and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He was second in the Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug. "I was very confident with him," Kakaley said. "That was as good as he's been all year. Ronnie has done an amazing job keeping that horse fresh. He's danced every dance and showed up every time. He's a gamer, that's for sure." Ronnie is trainer Ron Burke, for whom Kakaley drives on a regular basis. Kakaley's two wins were part of a three-Crown night for the Burke Brigade. "I was fortunate to pick up the right horses at the right time and the horses were sharp going into the Breeders Crown," Kakaley said. "I was confident coming in. Ronnie has put me in these big races. I'm happy to get a couple tonight." And as the rain-soaked and mud-covered Kakaley turned to walk away on a 41-degree Pocono night, he flashed a big smile. "I can tell you this much," he said. "I'm not cold anymore." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

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

1 to 16 of 484
1 2 3 4 5 Next »