WILKES-BARRE PA – Believer, the even-money favorite in the $12,500 featured trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday afternoon, may have lost some believers early as he was hung three-wide to a :27.2 quarter, but those who kept the faith cashed their tickets as the son of Cantab Hall took a new mark of 1:53.4.
Braxten Boyd drove his horse, coming off a win against similar at Yonkers, with aggression, but found others to his left with the same idea. He finally cleared to the lead early in the frontstretch after that tough opener, and didn’t let up a bit with middle fractions of :55.4 and 1:24.3. In the stretch Vic’s Winner proved to be the only major danger, but Boyd kept Believer together and they hit the wire a neck ahead of the challenger, pushing his earnings to $153,246 for trainer Randy Taft and Mali Norbye.
Tyler Buter won the last race of the day to end with three victories; the Napolitano brothers, Anthony and George Jr., joined Marcus Miller in posting doubles. George Napolitano Jr. has gone to the lead in the Pocono driving standings with a 108-104 edge over Matt Kakaley; the other three multiple winners on Tuesday are among the track’s leading half-dozen drivers. Gilbert Garcia-Herrera sent out a winner to boost his lead to 22 training wins, two ahead of Ron Burke and Darren Taneyhill.
There will be fourteen qualifiers for two-year-olds at Pocono on Wednesday morning, starting at 10 a.m. The next pari-mutuel action at the mountain oval will be on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.; on Sunday the Pennsylvania three-year-old trotting fillies come to town for the third round of their preliminary action, with all four Sire Stakes winners in the first two legs – Manon, Dreamonhigh, Samosa, and Palermo Hanover – set to race in one of two $67,991 divisions on the 5 p.m. card. Program pages for the betting races will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.