WILKES-BARRE PA – The pairing of driver Simon Allard and trainer Ron Burke, now the leading trainer at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania, has really taken off in the last couple of days, and they combined to win the $18,500 pacing feature on Saturday afternoon, with the Bettor’s Delight gelding Bettors Donttell overcoming a rough trip to win in 1:48.3.
Many horses dashed away quickly, causing Bettors Donttell to tuck fourth, as Rockapelo took the lead before the :26.1 quarter only to yield to Luckbewithalex, who carried the field to a demanding :53.3 half. Allard had Bettors Donttell going up uncovered down the backstretch, challenging through and past the 1:21 three-quarters, then taking the lead and holding off closer Pat McGarry A by a length, with a shuffled-back Casual Cool gaining inside to be another neck back. Bettors Donttell is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
There were also two $18,500 events for the trotting set, with Dewey Arnold setting most of the pace in the faster division, then held off the potential pocket rocket Kenziesky Hanover by a nose while tying his mark of 1:52.2.
Kenziesky Hanover was out most of the :27.2 quarter to take the lead, only to yield back to the winner, who led through middle fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.4. Speed Away, the only other horse to keep with the top two, made a bid on the far turn that he couldn’t quite sustain to the wire, leaving the deep stretch battle to the winner and his quick-closing main foe. Jason Bartlett drove Dewey Arnold, an altered son of Deweycheatumnhowe, for trainer David Dewhurst, who is also co-owner with Phillip Hale.
The other big trot came down to a clash of the camps of the two other feature winners: Allard/Burke vs. Bartlett/Dewhurst-Hale. And for most of the way it looked like the latter combine would prevail, as Special Prosecutor set fractions of :27.4, :57.1, and 1:25.3, then opened up some space late on the turn. But the Triumphant Caviar gelding Yanks Dugout dug in in the two-hole, found another gear, and rapidly gained late to hang up a nose victory for Allard/Burke in 1:53.2. Yanks Dugout is owned by Ivan and John Duke Sugg.
Allard had six winners on Friday’s card at Philly and added on six more victories at Pocono today, two and five of them respectively for Burke. The ubiquitous Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC either owned outright or had a share in five of the seven Burke winners over the two days, including four of the five on Saturday.
Three $30,000 divisions of Pennsylvania All-Stars three-year-old trotting fillies headline the Sunday at 6 p.m. card, featuring such divisional stars as Bond and Railee Something. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.