WILKES-BARRE PA – On a warm April afternoon at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania, driver Jim Pantaleano won three of Tuesday’s five $20,000 divisions of the first preliminary leg of the Game Of Claims Trotting Series for $25,000 base-tag horses, including two horses trained by Scott Betts.
Pantaleano/Betts produced the fastest GOC winner in the Muscle Massive gelding Manofmanymuscles, who led the entire last half in lowering his mark by two seconds to 1:54.2 for owner Timothy Betts. The trainer/driver team also posted a victory with Worthy Of Honor, who covered the mile in 1:56.3.
Pantaleano’s other winner was Nice Stuff, now two for three in 2023 after a 1:56.3 success for trainer Laura Angle. The other two GOC winners in the initial prelim were It’s A Horse (1:54.3 for a new mark while handled by Matt Kakaley, who led the drivers overall with four victories) and Elegant Dulupin FR (1:56.2, Mark MacDonald).
None of the five winners was claimed out of the first leg; in fact, there were only two horses who changed hands in the five races, although that total will likely grow in subsequent rounds now that owners and trainers have seen a Pocono race from the horses, many of whom shipped in from points throughout the eastern half of North America.
The Bobby Weiss Series for developing three-year-olds, named after the legendary longtime Pocono trackman, get underway with a bang on Pocono’s next card of action, Saturday at 1 p.m. The three-year-old pacing colts, who will have their preliminaries and Championship on Saturdays, go in five $20,000 divisions of their first prelim; also Saturday this week will be two $20,000 sections of trotting colts, who will have their future prelims and final on Sunday but whose schedule was rewritten to accommodate those horsemen not wishing to race on Easter Sunday. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.