WILKES BARRE PA – The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono got its “2020 Meet 2.0” underway on Saturday afternoon after a 103-day delay because of the health restrictions – and driver Tyler Buter, who won the last local race before the layoff, came back red-hot with five driving victories, including the four upper-class races described here.
Prairie Panther was sent right to the lead by Buter in the $17,200 featured pace, forcing tucks before a :26.3 quarter then getting a breather to a :56 half. Our Max Phactor N made the leader pick up the pace with an uncovered challenge, and the two battled to a 1:23.1 three-quarters and all the way through the last quarter, with Prairie Panther staying a neck to the good in the 1:51 mile. The victorious Royal Millennium gelding certainly has the winning habit, as he posted his 37th career triumph in 76 races for trainer Mike Deters, co-owner with Laurie Lee Poulin.
A pair of $11,200 events topped the day’s trotting action. In the first, the Muscle Massive gelding Two AM raised his lifetime bankroll to $455,285 with a sharp 1:53.3 victory despite the outside post eight for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Todd Buter, and owners Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. The second diamondgaited event saw driver Buter complete a sweep of the top trots with the Explosive Matter gelding Marion Gondolier, who rallied steadily behind a fast pace and was along late in 1:54.3 for trainer Mike Watson and owner Cliff Grundy.
Racing resumes on Sunday night with a first post at 7 p.m. – the only occasion where the Sunday action will start at this time. The Pocono basic schedule for now will consist of Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday racing at 12:30 p.m., and future Sunday cards beginning at 5 p.m.