WILKES-BARRE PA – The Game Of Claims Pacing Series will again be featured this racing week at The Downs at Mohegan Sun, with 58 of the amazing 60 horses claimed during opening weekend (for $1,001,500) returning for second preliminary round action for their new connections.
There is a slight “bump-up” in claiming price each prelim week of the Game Of Claims, so this Saturday afternoon seven $25,000 divisions will feature horses with a baseline tag of $27,500. Only the thirteenth race, the last prelim at this level, features a matchup of two winners from opening week – one who was not claimed, I Get That, who paid $83.20 in winning for trainer Mark Akins and draws post four here; and one who was taken, American Ideal, who will begin from post six for trainer Daniel Renaud.
Sunday’s twilight card at 5 p.m. has four $10,000 divisions for horses with a $12,500 price before any allowances, and all four of this level’s winners in round one have drawn into separate divisions this time. Such is not the case in the five $7500 divisions for $9000 base-tag performers that evening; the eighth race section, for example, will match three first leg winners who did not have to adjust to new surroundings, but here will have to adjust to starting on the right-hand side of the gate: Dontcallmefrancis (post six, trainer David Russo), Onlythetuffsurvive (post seven, trainer Marc Mosher), and Pop Icon (post nine, trainer Dennis A. Laterza).
Since Pocono lost its scheduled opening card on February 6, a special card has been added for this Monday, February 22, with a 12:30 post time, with overnight horses featured during the program.
FINISHING LINES – Horsemen are reminded that nominations for the Game Of Claims Series for trotters starting with a base price of $15,000 are due by this Saturday, February 20. … Veteran John Kakaley drove three winners during the Wednesday morning qualifiers at Pocono. John is the father of Matt Kakaley, who won seven races here on opening weekend; Matt also grabbed himself a qualifying victory.