WILKES-BARRE PA – Panettone Hanover became the only two-time winner in the first two preliminaries of the Bobby Weiss Series for three-year-old pacing colts Saturday afternoon at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, winning one of five $20,000 divisions in 1:52.2 as rain began to fall just before he post paraded in the tenth race.
The Captaintreacherous gelding has now won five of his last six starts, but he keeps his fans’ interest before usually delivering a victory. On Saturday, “Panettone” led at every pole and seemed confidently-handled by driver Simon Allard, but Hurrikane Hunter was humming late only to come up a nose shy, adding to the winner’s recent collection of three victories by a head and one by the luxurious margin of half a length. Ron Burke trains the gritty horse for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, William Switala and James Martin.
Allard/Burke teamed for another Weiss win behind the Stay Hungry colt Binge On Yankee, who raced on the engine and took a life mark of 1:51.2 for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Brad Grant, and Lawrence Kerr. With the chalk winning three Weiss contests, Binge On Yankee paid $14.00 and right behind him in the mutuel rank was $13.60 winner Poseidon Deo, another Captaintreacherous gelding who made a decisive backstretch move to the lead and lowered his best time to 1:51.3 (the track had been rerated “good” by then) for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Eddie Dennis, and owner Roy Parker Jr.
Rewarding the punters’ faith were the other two winners: Ghost Mark, a Revenge Shark gelding who equaled his mark of 1:51.3 for Buter, trainer Rob Harmon, and owners Kyle Larner and Brian Hochman; and the Huntsville gelding I Was Tricked, home in a lifetime best 1:52 for driver Jim Pantaleano, trainer Nicholas Devita, and the team of Devita Racing Stable Inc., David Hamm, Christopher Giaccio, and Glenn Phillips.
The top overnight event on the card went for $18,500, and the Sweet Lou gelding Phoenix Of Fluzzy parlayed a pocket trip into a head decision over His Beats Hanover in 1:52 for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Scott Blackler, and owner Chad Kowal.
Long before the rain came, Pocono posted its fastest miles of 2023 on both gaits, with both winners taking new speed badges and both being driven by Anthony Napolitano. The Luck Be Withyou gelding Luckbewithalex overcame a rough uncovered trip to win in 1:49.3 for trainer Lance Hudson and owner William Hartt, while on the trot the Walner gelding TNT Blue Chip won his fourth straight, this time in 1:52.4 for trainer Bruce Clarke, who is also the co-owner with Patricia Waldeck.
Sunday’s 6 p.m. card will be highlighted by two $20,000 divisions of the second preliminary of the Bobby Weiss Series for sophomore trotting colts, with Bestfriend Hanover and Moni Book looking to repeat their victories in the first leg – and they may well do it, since they are in different divisions. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.