WILKES-BARRE PA – In a very competitive $24,000 featured pace for mares Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono – so competitive that in a five-horse field nobody finished worse than a dead-heat for fourth – the Art Major mare Crazy Cute won for the second time in three starts in this company, here pacing her mile in 1:52.
Crazy Cute may have won the race when she made favorite April Ava, the winner in this company last week, work very hard to go past her early and get the lead before the :27 quarter. April Ava set midfractions of :56 and 1:24.3, with Bye Bye Felicia a hounding first-over presence, and in the stretch the track’s leading driver George Napolitano Jr. was able to direct Crazy Cute to the Pocono Pike and go on to a head victory over a game Bye Bye Felicia, with April Ava only a neck away from repeating. American Delight N, from second-over, and Pansy’s Image, who sat in and had no clearance in the lane, were another 1 1/2 lengths back tied for fourth.
The leading trainer at Pocono, Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, conditions the winner of $251,915 for himself and Barbara Arnstine. Garcia-Herrera would go on to sweep the Late Double by winning with Keystone Steam, driven by Jim Marohn Jr.; in an interesting parallel, “George Nap” and Garcia-Hererra’s trainer son Gilbert Garcia-Owen swept the Early Double during the afternoon at Philly.
Matt Kakaley, who seems like he’s been around forever yet still is only 33, had four wins on the card; 21-year-old Braxten Boyd, impressing more and more each day, brought three horses home first.
Younger horses will be featured in a trio of $13,000 contests on Pocono’s Monday card; program pages for the 12:30 card are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.