WILKES-BARRE PA – Before a rainshower changed the track at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono from “fast” to “sloppy,” Candy Trader and Captain Cook were victorious in the $13,000 pacing features on Tuesday afternoon.
Candy Trader was the heavy favorite in his division, and the Bettor’s Delight gelding made a big move in front of the stands to get control of the racetrack for Pocono’s leading driver, Matt Kakaley. Candy Trader shook off a persistent first-over attacker, then stayed clear by 1¾ lengths over pocketsitter My Boy Jack in a new lifetime mark of 1:53.1. Jennifer Bongiorno trained the winner for owners Glenn Goller, Abraham Basen, and David Postman, but the horse will be going to a new barn after a $27,500 claim.
The win of Captain Cook was an “opposite” of Candy Trader’s in most ways. The Captaintreacherous gelding, sent off at 11-1, was sixth at the half under the guidance of driver Marcus Miller, but he swung wide off cover for the stretch and held off Warrawee Xtreme, also in the wide flow, by a length in 1:54.1. A new lifetime mark was about the only thing Captain Cook shared with Candy Trader, including the fact that “the Captain” would be going “home” to familiar surroundings, those of trainer Bruce Clarke, co-owner with Patricia Waldeck.
The rain came by the time for the two $12,500 trotting co-features, making for off going. The faster clocking of 1:55 was recorded by the Explosive Matter gelding Sortie, who came uncovered down the back, rushed to the lead, and won by himself in 1:55. Braxten Boyd drove the winner of $429,830 for trainer Steven Brabrook and owner Jaypaul Hoover.
In the other top trot, the Conway Hall mare Sweet Heart AS started a three-wide sweep late in the backstretch and just kept on gaining to get home in 1:56, a half length ahead of pocketsitter Keegan Ho. Marcus Miller, top driver on the day with four visits to the winners circle, guided the distaff to the success for trainer Linda Schadel, co-owner with husband Tony Schadel.
Pocono will be back in action on Saturday at 1:30, with the likes of Backstreet Shadow, J M Mandamin, and Jack’s Legend N squaring off in the $25,000 fast-class pacing feature. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.