WILKES-BARRE PA – Rodeo Rock posted the fastest clocking of the year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 1:49, in winning a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series for open pacers on Saturday night.
The altered son of Rock N Roll Heaven got away midpack in a field of seven as Tiger Thompson N, winning of the GNOS divisional leg at Philly last week, took the early lead via a :26.2 opener. With the leader applying the brakes, Rodeo Rock and driver Eric Goodell (a three-time winner on the evening) made a quick move at the 3/8 to pass the three horses in front of him, reaching the half in a “leisurely” :55.4.
The price of pacing went up dramatically down the back, as suddenly-uncovered favorite Dealt A Winner tried to challenge the leader down the back, but couldn’t really menace as Rodeo Rock went his third panel in :26.1 for a 1:22 tripping of the three-quarters timer, then added a :27 kicker to be an easy 1 ¾ length winner at the end while also establishing a new lifetime mark. Tiger Thompson N held on well for second, with 2019’s fastest pacer, Sweet Rock (1:48.1), another half length back while bagging the show dough.
In the $21,500 co-featured pace, Soho Wallstreet A and Ballerat Boomerang could not be separated by the photo finish camera at the end of a 1:51.3 mile. The If I Can Dream gelding Ballerat Boomerang put everybody in behind him early, then yielded in front of the stands to the Four Starzzz Shark gelding Soho Wallstreet A. Ballerat Boomerang and driver Matt Kakaley went to the Pocono Pike and appeared to get a nose advantage midstretch, but the favored Soho Wallstreet A and driver Pat Berry refused to give way and battled back for the tie. Soho Wallstreet A is trained by Scott Di Domenico for owner J G Racing Stable; Ballerat Boomerang is conditioned by Nick Surick for the Engel Stable of IL LLC and the J L Benson Stables Inc.
Pocono established a new seasonal record for dollars spent in claiming activity, as $347,750 was laid out for 15 horses who will find new homes, including a Pocono record of $40,000 being paid for Raksmach N for the second straight week. For the meet, $3,082,250 has changes hands as 170 horses have gone home to a different barn or trailer from which they came to the paddock.
Perennial Pocono driving leader George Napolitano Jr. brought home four winners on the Saturday night card.