WILKES=BARRE PA – 2021 Messenger winner American Courage took the first step of this season’s campaign by coming home in :27 to post a 1:52.2 victory in a Wednesday qualifying race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Teaming with the hottest combination at the track, driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Mike Spaccarelli Jr., the son of American Ideal easily overcame his outermost draw to set the pace and was never threatened. The winner of 12 of 19 races, who took his mark of 1:49.4 here at Pocono last year, is owned by Fiddler’s Creek Stables LLC.
The sponsorship behind American Courage won three races during the mountain morning session, including with the four-year-old Credit Winner gelding Dee’s Red Delicious. A winner of the Kindergarten Final at two, Dee’s Red Delicious came out of the pocket and won in 1:55.1.
Another stakes performer to tally on Wednesday was the Walner filly Brickhouse Babe, second to Venerable in last year’s Doherty Final despite starting from post ten. Here she took advantage of a two-hole journey while winning in 1:56.1 for driver Mark MacDonald and trainer Ray Schnittker, the latter co-owner with Mary Kinsey Arnold, Steve Jones, and Paul Bordogna.