WILKES-BARRE PA – Three divisions of three-year-old trotting colts took to a “sloppy” track at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday evening to contest $30,000 sections of a Pennsylvania All-Stars contest.
Goes Down Smooth, winner of the Walner final and a Pennsylvania Sire Stake before being plagued by some bad luck in June, returned to top form in an impressive way, winning his All-Stars division in a lifetime best 1:53.1 in the off going. Matt Kakaley moved the Muscle Hill gelding to the lead past the :28.3 quarter , reached the half in :56.4, opened up a big lead to the 1:24.1 three-quarters, then coasted home 6¾ lengths ahead of Faithfulandtrue. Goes Down Smooth has now own half of his ten seasonal starts for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, William Switala, James Martin, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
The Explosive Matter gelding Chiplosive had notched his latest victory with the guidance of George Napolitano Jr., so trainer Trond Smedshammer tapped Pocono’s leading driver to handle the sophomore in the third All-Star cut, and the reunited pair brought off a 1:56 victory under the off conditions. Chiplosive went sent to the front well before the :28 quarter, then benefited from some confusion directly behind him approaching the finish line for the first time and took advantage by putting up mild middle fractions of :57.2 and 1:26.3. The winner, now victorious in half of eight starts this year, stayed safely in front to the wire though tiring in the mire, with Final Claim closing to within ¾ of a length at the finish, a neck ahead of Consus Victory. Purple Haze Stables LLC owns the winner.
Prairie Panther, winner of two straight Open handicaps at Tioga, brought his winning ways over the state line and won the $21,500 fast-class pace in 1:51.2. The Royal Millennium gelding, owned by trainer Mike Deters in partnership with Laurie Lee Poulin, made two moves in the race, grinding down favored pacesetter, than withstanding a clearing-too-late Soho Wallstreet A by 1¼ lengths to raise his career win percentage over 50% (29-for-57). Matt Kakaley recorded his fourth winner of the card, tying George Napolitano Jr. for nightly honors.
Pocono’s “Poster Boys of Claiming,” Rock The Town and Atta Boy Dan, both won their $20,000 divisions of the top claiming handicap pace in identical 1:51.2 clockings through the muck. They both started from the far outside post, and both were again claimed for the $40,000 top tag – within each horse’s last seven starts, Rock The Town has been claimed five times (7-3-3-0-$46,000) and Atta Boy Dan six times (7-4-1-1-$48,400, his four wins coming with four different trainers). Eight transactions in four claiming races grossed $221,250 exchanged.