WILKES-BARRE PA – The male pacers had their Game Of Claims Series opportunities early in the meet at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono; starting this week, pacing mares and trotters will start their series, with the sidewheeling distaffs kicking off on Sunday.
The Napolitano brothers drove the winners of the two $10,000 divisions of the first prelim, for $10,000 base-price horses, with Anthony guiding the Hypnotic Blue Chip mare Melanie’s Filly right to the top en route to a 1:54 victory. But if trainer Daniel Maier and owner Antonia Storer want to see this mare racing for them in the $20,000 Championship event in three weeks, they’ll have to pony up some money – as the winner was haltered for the $12,000 price, mares getting their standard 20% price allowance. (And the base price goes up a bit each week in the Game Of Claims prelims.)
High-level trotters rounded out the Sunday Pocono action in a $17,500 contest, with a four-across-the-wire finish going to Presidente Zette, a son of Muscle Hill, who was just up in 1:54.3 for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and trainer/owner Cozette McAvoy. Presidente Zette won by a head, while a long photo separated the closely-placed noses of Two AM, Volare, and Broadway Mojo in that order.
A pair of victorious mares worth noting are the McArdle veteran Lispatty, who won her 2020 debut in 1:52.4 to boost her lifetime bankroll to $918,485, and the Kikikolt distaff Blackwell Ruby IR, who started her career on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean but has kept her winning ways, as she is now 5-for-6 this year and 11-for-15 lifetime after also winning in 1:52.4.