WILKES-BARRE PA – The Windsong Espoir gelding Clarion Hall made a successful debut for the barn of Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, the leading trainer at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with driver Anthony Napolitano finding enough room up the inside to reduce the trotter’s mark to 1:54.4 in winning the $12,800 claiming handicap trot Monday.
Clarion Hall got early position then stayed inside and found himself shuffled back through quite a few lead changes, entering the stretch in the difficult fourth-inside position. However, the pace had been hot, and Napolitano was able to rally his charge up the Pocono Pike to catch the pacesetting Stop Resistin right on the money.
In the $11,200 co-featured fast-class trot, the Trixton gelding No Drama Please was reserved off a fast pace, then narrowed in through the last quarter to catch pacesetter Blenheim in 1:54. No Drama Please has now won both starts since coming back from a three-month respite, with Matt Kakaley handling him here for trainer Tom Fanning and owner Joseph Smith.
Good younger horses will contest three $15,300 features on the Tuesday card at Pocono, which starts at 12:30 p.m.; in addition, the Rainbow Pick 5 carryover will be $61,677.50. When the track resumes racing Saturday, there will be three $30,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars divisions for three-year-old trotting colts, with quality sophomores such as Inaminute Hanover, winner of three straight and from the connections of 2019 Hambletonian winner Forbidden Trade, and Whiskey Blu, unraced at two but with nine wins and two seconds in eleven 2021 starts for trainer Ron Burke. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.