WILKES-BARRE PA – Trainer Ron Burke, who won three of four $30,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars contests for two-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, came back to add two more when four divisions of All-Star freshman male pacers went postward Sunday.
Tying for Sunday’s fastest All-Star performer was the Somebeachsomewhere – Michelle’s Jackpot colt Mac’s Big Boy, who was the first horse to show off the gate, but tucked and fell back as far as fifth down the back, got room deep in the Pocono Pike and squeezed through under Matt Kakaley’s guidance to win for the first time in a purse race in 1:53. Lyons Music, who was to the winner’s right in the Pike, ducking inside the pacesetter, was outdashed by ¾ of a length to the wire, with closer Tell Them Lou another neck back in third. Mac’s Big Boy, who had won a Gaitway qualifier in 1:55.3, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Wingfield Five LLC.
There wasn’t much ability difference showing among the four All-Star winners, as the other two stepped home first in 1:53.1. The other Burke Brigade winner was Cattlewash, who sat in the pocket behind Team Best, who like the winner had had two qualifying wins and then a fast victory in his purse bows This time it was the Somebeachsomewhere – Road Bet colt Cattlewash who had the most kick late, gaining into a :27 last quarter to put away his game foe by a half length. Cattlewash, who had won the fastest Sire Stakes opener in 1:52.1 and who was the first Burke favorite in his quintet of weekend winners, is owned by W J Donovan.
The other 1:53.1 winner was the Captaintreacherous – Lets Groove Tonite colt Captain Groovy, who ironically won his purse debut in a Stallion Series race with a time of 1:52, faster than any Sire stakes division. Here Captain Groovy took control of the situation early and really was not threatened in winning by two lengths over Caliber for driver Mark MacDonald and trainer Ray Schnittker, the latter co-owner with Ted Gewertz, Howard Taylor, and Mary Kinsey Arnold.
The $21,500 fast-class trot saw the Credit Winner gelding Such An Angel take a new mark of 1:51.3, which also equaled the fastest local trotting effort of the year as well as the divisional season’s record, posted twice by Rich And Miserable. Such An Angel didn’t look back in this contest, stepping home in 27.3 to leave behind a talented field while raising his earnings to $327,568 for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Hunter Oakes, and owner Sam Caruso Jr.