WILKES-BARRE PA – The Explosive Matter gelding Sortie made an explosive sortie around the second turn to the lead, then went on to capture the $12,500 featured trot on Tuesday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:54.2.
Driver Braxten Boyd had Sortie in midpack as they field passed the stands when, sensing a slow pace, he got his trotter fired up quickly and moved him to the lead entering the backstretch. A :27.2 burst in the third quarter left all but favored Vic’s Winner well behind, and through the stretch Sortie kept his only rival at bay, winning by 1¾ lengths for trainer Steve Brabrook and owner Jaypaul Hoover while boosting his career earnings to $417,805.
The two-year-old trotters made their first pari-mutuel starts at The Downs on Tuesday. First up were the colts, and they put on a good exhibition, with trainer/driver Tom Jackson able to keep the Trixton – Ophelia colt Optrix rolling after coming first-over late on the backstretch, scoring a 1:59.4 decision by a nose over favored Scotty Deo, with closer Kobe B just a head away from taking it all in third. Jackson also co-owns the gritty colt with Tyler Gunderson, Jenna Corneilson, and Howard Taylor.
The winner in the filly race went even quicker: a 1:58.4 was put up by the International Moni – Seaside miss Tipsy Moni, who had two back quarters of :29.1 to complete the engine victory. Tyler Buter drove the precocious youngster, who had won both her baby qualifiers in 2:02, for trainer/owner D. R. Ackerman.
George Napolitano Jr. swept the late double to handle four winners on the day; Matt Kakaley brought three horses home first. These two are now tied at the top of the Pocono drivers win standings at 116.
There’s top racing when Pocono resumes racing on Saturday at 1:30 and Sunday at 5:00. Saturday features a $27,500 winners-over pace, with Little Brown Jug winner Southwind Ozzi looking for his sixth win in his last seven starts, but needing to overcome the outside post eight. On Sunday over $200,000 in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series action is highlighted by divisional leader Treacherous Dragon, fresh off her win in the Fan Hanover final. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.