WILKES-BARRE PA – On Higher Ground, who lowered the local seasonal standard on the trot to 1:51.4 last Saturday, lowered it again this Saturday afternoon, to 1:51.2, while lowering his own mark in the $25,000 Preferred handicap trot at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania.
The mare P L Notsonice was taking no prisoners early from the pole, going :27.1 to put Rich And Miserable in the pocket and On Higher Ground into third. In front of the stands the first time, Jason Bartlett gave the Cassis gelding the word and he quickly took off, making the lead into turn two before the :55.1 half.
The three-quarters was reached in a “moderate” 1:24.1, but there was nothing moderate about the :27.1 finishing split, in which On Higher Ground stormed off to win by 3½ lengths over P L Notsonice. The fast trotter has now won three straight for trainer Jennifer Bongiorno and owner Robert Weinstein.
There was also an $18,500 fast-class co-feature on each gait. The pacing co-feature rates the higher position in the story, as the 1:48.2 clocking put up by Jack’s Legend N equaled the fastest mile anywhere, on any size track, in North America so far this year.
Matt Kakaley directed the winner of $921,286 to the lead, and the Bettor’s Delight gelding posted fractions of :27.1, :55.1, and 1:22.3 before pacing home in a devastating :25.4 to leave a good field far behind for trainer Trevor Alexander and owners Symmetry Stables LLC. The 1:48.2 at press time has been reached by three horses in 2023, including South Beach Star here earlier in the meet.
In the trot, the Chapter Seven gelding Special Prosecutor rode a fine pocket trip behind fractions of :28.1, :56, and 1:24.1, then utilized the Pocono Pike and was up over closer Kinda Lucky Lindy by three parts of a length while taking a new mark of 1:52.4. Jason Bartlett, who swept the trotting highlights en route to tying with Simon Allard as leading driver on the day with three, handled the Saratoga invader for trainer David Dewhurst, who is also co-owner with Phillip Hale.
Racing will resume at Pocono at 6 p.m.; there are also Monday and Tuesday cards slated for 1 p.m. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.