WILKES-BARRE PA – The first pari-mutuel racing card in the “second part” of the season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will take place this Saturday afternoon, with the first of fourteen races to be going postward at 12:30 p.m. (Pocono comes back with racing on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday at 12:30, with the Sunday card beginning at 7.)
Top event scheduled on the return card is a $17,200 contest for fast-class pacers, with the millionaire Rockin Ron drawing the rail in the field of seven. The Ron Burke trainee, who has amassed $1,660,449 so far in his career, gets a bit of relief in company here after running into a 1:49 mile by Bechers Brook A while finishing fifth, timed in 1:49.4, in his first post-pandemic outing.
Bakersfield, who himself has a bankroll in excess of $400,000 and a 1:49.1 lifetime mark at Philly, deserves a look from bettors if for no other reason than his trainer, Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, sent out five winners from ten starters during the first set of Pocono qualifiers last Saturday, with Bakersfield winning handily in 1:55.2.
Tyler Buter, who won the last pre-shutdown race at The Downs on March 9, has a chance to complete a “102-day consecutive driving double” with McBoogitty in the day’s first race – this pacer shows two seconds and a third in his last three starts against similar company, but he has not raced since the last weekend here before the hiatus.
In the second half of the double, much respect will go to Cattlewash, another Burke trainee, who will be making his sophomore debut after winning in excess of $300,000 as a baby and taking a mark of 1:50.3 at Lexington. Cattlewash will need to come back sharp to overcome the outermost draw in a field of nine talented youngsters.
On the trotting side, Lindsey’s Pride may be the horse to beat in an $11,200 contest after opening his 2020 account with two straight 1:55 qualifying wins at Wingate Farms Spa, an eastcentral Pennsylvania training facility which has raced qualifying events the last two Mondays for its local horsemen’s colony.
100 miles to the south of Pocono, Harrah’s Philadelphia will tomorrow be conducting the draw for its first racecard of the year, which will take place on Sunday afternoon (Philly will race Wednesday through Friday and Sunday at 12:40). Both Pocono and Harrah’s will be holding qualifying action tomorrow morning to help ensure the trotters and pacers can be primed as they start or restart their regular racing schedule.