WILKES-BARRE PA – Crazy Cute won easily in the $17,500 distaff pacing feature on Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono – and may have finished with some more left in the tank.
The 6-5 favorite, a daughter of Art Major who now has earnings of $304,805, left three-wide but backed off when seeing that A Better Game and Nuttinbuthebest to the left were similarly-minded; the latter took the lead near a :26.2 quarter, then posted midsplits of :55.2 and 1:23, with Crazy Cute making a big move towards the leader nearing the last-named split.
Around the far turn, the pacesetter and first-over were even, but soon after coming off the bend, Crazy Cute made powerful surge to quickly draw away, finishing under a George Napolitano Jr. hold and still stopping the timer in 1:51.1. Trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera owns the winner of two straight with Barbara Arnstine.
The American Harness Drivers Club of amateur horsemen made its way to Pocono on Sunday to contest two $11,000 trots. Both races were won by AHDC veteran Tony Ciuffetelli, who brought a pair of sharp horses with him from Saratoga en route to victory.
In the feature handicap division, Ciuffetelli was looking to tuck second with Magic MVP near the quarter when the hole was shut on him, and it may have been the best thing to happen to horse and driver, as they pressed on to command. Despite late pressure coming from every direction, they held on for a 1:58 victory over the 15-year-old favored TSM Photo Bugger, three-wide for close to three-eighths of the mile, by a nose; Chief Justice threaded between horses to miss the big prize by a head in finishing third. Gray Levine trains and owns the winning son of My MVP.
The pace was much less argued in the other AHDC division, with Ciuffetelli popping out of the pocket with The Big Muscle nearing the three-quarters and going on to defeat favored Worldsstonecold AS by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.3. Ciuffetelli owns and trains the successful Muscle Mass gelding.
The major fireworks at Pocono on Fourth Of July Monday will be provided by the first local stakes action for two-year-olds this year, as two $35,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars will be conducted for two-year-old trotting colts. The races begin on the Fourth at 1:30; program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.