WILKES-BARRE PA – The Chris Oakes stable sent out a trio of impressive winners in qualifying action on Wednesday morning at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, headed by the world’s fastest trotter, Homicide Hunter.
The seven-year-old altered son of Mr Cantab, who rewrote the standard for the gait with his 1:48.4 victory at Lexington last year and who won his 2018 Breeders Crown event at this track, showed he was coming to his sixth campaign in fine shape, rattling off splits of 29.1, 58.1, and 1:26.4 en route to a 10½-length victory under the guidance of Matt Kakaley.
Oakes also sent out a pair of impressive sophomore colts by American Ideal with fine maternal connections. The faster was American Mercury, who shows horses such as American Jewel, Luck Be Withyou, and Three Diamonds not far back along his maternal line, who went wire-to-wire in 1:52.4, last quarter 27.4, with Tyler Buter at the controls.
Buter, who posted his 3000th career driving win at Pocono on Sunday night, was also in charge of the Oakes trainee Shake That House, third in the Metro and a ¾ brother to Breeders Crown winner Split The House. Shake That House came his own back fractions in 55.2 – 27.3 to get to the wire first in 1:53.1.