WILKES-BARRE PA – Proud Mary came rollin’ on the river of slop in the Pocono Pike, but she was outfinished by Falana Hanover, who won the female section of the $16,000 tri-features for pacers at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania. The final clocking was 1:53.2 over a track rated “sloppy” most of the day.
Falana Hanover was set in motion uncovered by driver Tyler Buter down the backstretch, while Proud Mary and Matt Kakaley were content to follow the pacesetting favorite My Hungry Girl. In the stretch both went by the pacesetter, to each side, with Falana Hanover’s late steps giving her a nose advantage at the finish. Despite the sloppy going, the victorious sophomore daughter of Always B Miki missed her mark only by a tick for trainer Nifty Norman and the partnership of Pinske Stables, Enzed Racing Stable, Lawrence Means and Jerry Kovach.
The smallest possible margin was also the measure of victory in one of the two features for males, as Pacino Hanover and Zeus Hanover slugged it out before the camera gave the edge to the former, an American Ideal sophomore colt, in 1:51.4, a new mark. Pacino Hanover took over from Zeus Hanover approaching the half, then withstood that foe late for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Joe Pavia Jr., and owners Jablonsky Held Stable, Joseph and Vincent Barbera, and Todd Frocione.
Trainer Joe Pavia Jr. also accounted for the other feature for males, as the Captaintreacherous three-year-old gelding Cerulean Hanover backed out behind new backstretch leader Erinwood Yves, followed that one a ways, then came on and bested him by 1½ lengths in 1:52.3. Braxten Boyd handled the 27-1 upsetter for many members of Team Pacino Hanover: Jablonsky Held Stable, Joseph and Vincent Barbera, and Joe Pavia Jr. Stable.
Boyd, who also dead-heated for a win on the day, piloted “Cerulean” to a $56.40 payoff; earlier in the day, George Napolitano Jr. drove Gumption to a $50.60 upset. “George Nap” and Åke Svanstedt each drove three success stories over the sloppy going, with all three of Åke’s coming from his own barn.
Racing resumes on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Pocono, with an $18,500 fast-class pace likely to threaten 1:50 if Tuesday’s rain will stay away. There will also be a $1686.26 carryover in the Pick-4 wager that begins in the very first race. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.