WILKES-BARRE PA – The two-year-olds made their 2019 pari-mutuel debut at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on the Tuesday twilight card, with a $13,000 event for each gait sharing the feature spotlight with a trot and a mares pace for more experienced horses.
In the section for baby colts, the well-bred Can’t Say No was dismissed as the 38-1 longest shot on the board despite winning in his only qualifier, and he went out and trotted the fastest mile by a freshman on a 5/8-mile track this year, 1:57.2, besting favored Take Shape by four lengths and performing the quick mile when the track was still rated “good +1.”
Trainer/driver Ray Schnittker sent the Explosive Matter colt out of Fifty Shades, a half-sister to Muscle Hill, right down the road in :28.2, :59, and 1:28.2, with several different challenges coming at him at various points but failing to pass him. Schnittker also co-owns the impressive trotter with Steven Arnold, Arden Homestead Stables, and breeder Frederick Hertrich III.
The surface had been rerated to “fast” by the time for the other features. The $15,000 trot for “nw 4 races” was also taken by the Ray Schnittker stable, as the Donato Hanover sophomore filly Jezzys Legacy followed good cover, then closed strongly to post a 5¼ length triumph in 1:54.1, a lifetime best. Jezzys Legacy, a recent PA Stallion Series winner at the mountain oval, was driven by Tyler Buter, one of four for him on the card and one of eleven for him during the four-card Pocono racing week. Trainer Schnittker co-owns the winner of $122,376 with Little E, Ted Gewertz, and Mary Kinsey Arnold.
In the $14,000 distaff pace, the Four Starzzz Shark mare Vorst made two moves to control the pace, then went on to post her quickest winning mile ever, 1:51.3, while 3¾ lengths clear at the finish. Gilbert Garcia-Herrera owns and trains the winner of $365,641 driven by George Napolitano Jr., who also won eleven times at Pocono this racing week, and fifteen times since Saturday counting a quartet of victories at Philly last Sunday.