WILKES-BARRE PA – Matt Kakaley closed out a storybook week at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania, one in which he went over $100,000,000 in career earnings, by notching his 6000th driving victory with Willing Hanover in the trotting division of three $15,000 conditioned featured races on Tuesday afternoon.
The 35-year-old Kakaley teamed with the Donato Hanover gelding to overcome an uncovered trip with ease, guiding him to a lifetime mark of 1:55 for trainer Tim Lancaster, also co-owner with Mark and Meghan Lancaster. After the race, family, friends and the horse’s connections joined with Matt in the winners circle (their first winners circle celebration of the week, as Matt went over $100 million by finishing second in a PA All-Stars contest Sunday).
There were also two pacing divisions of the feature. One went to the Betting Line mare Zeus Hanover, who was used early and late yet had enough to win a three-way photo in a lifetime best 1:52.3. Jim Marohn Jr. adapted to circumstances well in winning with the Lisa Martin trainee, who is owned by Mary Martin and Roger Dirlam.
The other sector also went in 1:52.3 and also saw a new mark taken, as the Stay Hungry sophomore gelding Full Support moved to the lead off the first turn and held off pocketpulling favorite Erinwood Yves for the victory. Matt Kakaley capped off his day with his third triumph on the card, tops among the local crew, for trainer Joe Pavia Jr. and the partnership of Steven Held, Joe Pavia Jr. Stable Inc., Bridgette Jablonsky, and PCW Racing LLC.
There were also three divisions of the top claiming handicap trot, each going for $15,500. Two of the winners were driven by Tyler Buter and trained by Jason Brewer, although Brewer lost both to $30,000 claims: Town Mister won in 1:55.3 as he departs the ownership of First Up Racing Stable, and Lady’s Image took a new mark of 1:54.2 before leaving the proprietorship of Ameer Najor. The other winner was 14-1 shot Mushana , piloted to a 1:55 victory by Marcus Miller and staying with trainer Steven Brabrook and owner Jaypaul Hoover.
Racing resumes on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Pocono with a strong card; on Sunday a 6 p.m., the card will feature the second preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts, with the four divisions of Sire Stakes horses containing many horses expected to contend for the “glamour division” national stakes, complemented by five divisions of Sire Stakes action. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available athttps://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.