WILKES-BARRE PA – Pocono Downs at Mohegan Sun Pennsylvania began its 2023 racing season on Saturday under seasonably nice conditions – temperatures above freezing, with no precipitation.
A pair of $17,000 events for developing horses were the top races on the inaugural card. In the division for pacers, Mind Hunter kept his record unblemished under the tutelage of trainer Per Engblom, winning his fifth straight race for Morrison Racing Stables. The Captaintreacherous gelding used engine tactics for driver George Napolitano Jr., racing gamely with a :55.2 last half to hold off threatening two-holer Phoenix Of Fluzzy, coming up the inside, by a neck in a 1:52.3 mile.
In the trotting feature, the Walner gelding El Toro Loco set the pace with consistent speed, going both halves in :58 to complete a 1¾ length tally in 1:56. Tyler Buter drove the state stakes graduate for trainer Tom Loughry Jr. and Lone Wolf Stable.
Matt Kakaley and George Napolitano Jr., 1-2 in the driving standings at the mountain oval in 2022, came out hot for the local 2023 season , garnering three victories each.
The very first horse to post parade at Pocono in 2023, Paternity Suit A, finished second behind Mac’s Marvel, who was the biggest price of the chalky day at $9.40. Paternity Suit A’s co-owner, Tim Bojarski, got an even nicer bit of news later in the afternoon, when during the U.S. Harness Writers Association’s directors meeting in Florida he was put on the summer election ballot for the Communicators Hall Of Fame.
The Downs will be right back in action on Sunday afternoon, with three $15,000 features headlining a 15-race card starting at 1 p.m. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.