WILKES-BARRE PA – Bet Eightthirtyone stormed home in the deep Pocono Pike to win the $13,000 pacing feature on Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:55.1.
The race was conducted as a downpour came through the area; though the rain soon stopped, this would be the last event before the track was rerated from “fast” to “sloppy.”
Marcus Miller got the victorious Betting Line gelding away third as Mister David C set the pace ahead of favored Stormy Beach, with second choice Letmecallyouback advancing via the always-tough tuck-then-first-over route and Ripplesonthebeach right on his back. As they turned for home, Stormy Beach ducked to the inside of the pacesetter, but it soon became clear that the horse with the most pace was the one right behind him, as Bet Eightthirtyone gave a sharp burst when shown inside clearance and reached the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Ripplesonthebeach, the only other horse moving with real velocity late.
Marcus Miller’s father Erv trains the winner, who notched his first success of the season while missing his lifetime best by only a tick for owner D R Van Witzenburg.
The sky was sunny, though the track remained sloppy, by the time that No Drama Please accounted for the $12,500 co-featured trot, brushing to the lead in front of the stands and keeping control for a 1:55 victory. Tom Fanning trains the Trixton gelding, now a winner of $396,838, for owner Joseph Smith. For driver George Napolitano Jr., the victory was one of four on the day.
Racing resumes at Pocono on Saturday at 1:30, with the usual pacing assortment of fast-class veterans and hard-knocking claimers in the predominance. Fans attending the Downs will also be able to wager on and watch the prestigious Hambletonian Day card from The Meadowlands.
On Sunday’s 5 p.m. program, there will be the third preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Pennsylvania Stallion Series events for two-year-old pacing males, with two Sire Stakes contests and five Stallion Series contests containing many colts of great promise. In the $162,620 Sire Stakes the only double Sire Stake winner, Ervin Hanover, is among the entrants, as is the interesting Lyons Stealth, who won two Stallion Series then has since gone on to win an Arden Downs event on Adios Day. Pocono program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.