WILKES-BARRE PA – The Game Of Claims Series for pacers base-tagged at $10,000 and $7500 conducted their third and final preliminaries during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, giving indications of form ahead of their $20,000 and $15,000 Championships in seven days’ time.
The Rocknroll Hanover gelding Charger Blue Chip established himself as most likely to sit on the Championship throne with a 1:54.4 victory in Sunday’s single $10,000 division for the higher-priced series horses. Eric Goodell quarter-moved with the Marc Mosher trainee, who notched his second GOC victory for owners Edward and James Hall Jr. "Charger" held off the late kick of favored Grandpa Don, the second prelim winner who was reclaimed by the Marshall barn ahead of the Championship event.
There were two $7500 divisions for the other Game Of Claims group battling for Championship spots, both producing mild upsets. The Art Major gelding Autotune Hanover punched his ticket to the finale with a 1:55 triumph for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Robert Lounsbury, and owner Rick Howles, while in the second cut the Bettor’s Delight gelding Mystery Island won in identical time for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Darren Taneyhill, and owner Chelsey Wibert.
Always B Magic and Speedling, both double winners before not competing in the last prelim, tied as the unofficial points leaders for this group, with the next seven lined up behind them in the pursuit of the throne in the $15,000 final are Mystery Island, Some Gold, (tie) Dafinity and Naked City, Smart Talker, Autotune Hanover, and Tough Mudder.
Claiming activity, largely generated by the series: Sunday, six for $77,250; for the week, fifteen for $287,250; and for the six-day meet, sixty-two for $1,100,150.
Jim Morrill Jr. had four wins Sunday to lead the drivers colony for the night.