Day At The Track

Mohegan Sun Pocono Week in Review

02:14 AM 19 Aug 2020 NZST
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Semi Tough, harness racing
Semi Tough was named The Downs Pacer of the Week
Besjon Doda photo


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

by Jim Beviglia, for The Downs








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