WILKES-BARRE PA – The Delmarvalous mare April Ava used her early foot to maximum advantage in the $19,300 distaff feature pace during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, using the Pocono Pike to help notch a 1:51.3 victory.
Matt Kakaley, who had four wins during the card, hustled the winner of $184,406 away from the gate quickly, forcing favored Stonebridge Soul to work past a :26.3 quarter in order to make the lead. The chalk got a breather to the :56.1 half, then had to pick the pace up sharply as second choice Surreal Feeling came charging up to go head-to-head with the leader nearing and past the 1:24 three-quarters.
Silvermass Volo had not posted a victory since September 18, 2019, while the Muscle Massive gelding’s amateur driver Maria De Bruijn, a native of The Netherlands, had never won a North American race in limited opportunities. But the pair made it look like victory was simple and a natural thing to do in the $9900 Amateur Harness Drivers Club race, coming first-over after contested early fractions and then drawing away to win by 4¼ lengths in 1:56.3 for trainer Michael Heijnen and lessee Mr. Racing Inc.
During Monday’s 12:30 racing program, The Downs will host the third preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series for two-year-old pacing fillies. There will be three divisions of both series, and in the Sire Stakes the third race looks like the feature gathering, with Captain Cowgirl, undefeated in three lifetime starts and a Sire Stakes prelim winner already, having to overcome the outside post six and Jazzed, who starts from the other side of the gate and also has notched a Sire Stakes triumph in a 4-2-2-0 start to her career. Program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.