WILKES-BARRE PA – The Game Of Claims Series for $7500 base-priced horses conducted its first preliminary in four $7500 divisions on Monday afternoon at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania. And the highly-regarded horses at the widnows continued to take a shellacking in the claiming ranks –the chalk won in the GOC’s first Saturday prelim, and then the favorites amazingly lost the remaining seventeen contests for the selling pacers!
Even Monday’s fastest series winner at 1:53.4, the Art Major gelding Scrappin Gold, wasn’t the favorite though he won at even money, as second-place Pantheon Hanover went off at 4-5. The hot team of driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Travis Alexander combined behind the winner, but they and Fiddler’s Creek Stables LLC were the only winners to lose their horse via the claiming route.
Redhot Romeo (driver George Napolitano Jr., 1:55.4), Calvery Hill (Kyle DiBenedetto, 1:56.3), and Believeinthespirit (Anthony Napolitano, 1:55.1) all went back to familiar surroundings after their victories. Four horses were taken via the claiming box on Monday, meaning that the Game Of Claims first prelims generated 38 claims worth $733,750.
In the overnight feature, a $15,000 trot, the Dover Dan gelding Racer Dan came from well off the pace for driver Marcus Miller to overhaul the first-over grinder The American Eagle by a length in a lifetime best of 1:55.3. Steven Brabrook trains the sharp diamondgaiter for owner Nichole Webster-White.
Tyler Buter visited Victory Lane four times on Monday afternoon, giving him fifteen driving triumphs during the first seven days of the meet; he and Anthony Napolitano are tied for second, three wins behind Matt Kakaley.
Second preliminary round action in the Game Of Claims Series will be featured on the upcoming Saturday – Sunday – Monday cards starting at 1 p.m. The likely fancied horses in Saturday’s GOC second prelim action, eight $20,000 divisions for base-priced $27,500 horses, will be rooting as hard as the fans for a turnaround for horses attracting plenty of support. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.