WILKES-BARRE PA – The Banker Volo gelding Itsonlymoneyhoney swung wide from second-over and was up late to catch pylonskimming Remarkable De Vie and win the $10,000 trotting feature during the first Monday card of the season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
SVF Blusingbride took over from fast starter Remarkable De Vie past a 28.3 opener over a “good” surface, then backed off the half to :59. Heavy favorite Hashtagmadeyalook came up first-over down the backstretch and to the 1:27.3 three-quarters, with Itsonlymoneyhoney tailing the chalk’s cover.
The draws for Saturday’s Championships in the higher-level Game Of Claims Pacing Series were held Monday, and even though all of the horses have to have shown good recent form just to qualify for the finals, handicapping still may be a bit difficult. In the $25,000 base-priced group, going for $50,000, eight of the nine entrants were claimed last time, while the $30,000 being chased by $15,000-level entrants will find seven of the nine starters having changed hands in the final prelim.
In the $50,000 Championship, points leader Melanie’s Tedy drew post five, by far the best starting slot early in the meet at Pocono with nearly 30% winners, and he will go for the barn of Dan Maier, tied with Steve Brabrook at the top of the trainers’ win list. In the $30,000 contest, top two point earners Sunset Braydon and Royal Heart will get their starts from the innermost spots on the gate; those looking for an “extra factor” can find two with Royal Heart: he won his Game Of Claims Championship last year while competing at this level, and he stays in the barn of trainer Travis Alexander off of a win last time.