WILKES-BARRE PA – On a Monday afternoon at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania where horses racing up front did not do too well late, the best illustration of that concept came in the $20,000 Championship of the Game Of Pacing Claims Series for $10,000-base claimers, where Southwind Dredge was last at every call but the most important one, thundering by his field to reach the wire first in 1:54.2.
The favored Globaldomination N went to the lead and set a moderate pace, but watching the far turn it was evident that much of the power was out very wide on that bend. Southwind Dredge was widest of all, five-deep as they swung for home, and he was full of pace to defeat Riot, who also closed well but not as well as the winning son of Bettor’s Delight, by a length. Tyler Buter drove the winner for trainer Jason Brewer and owner Barry Franklin.
C Is For Cookie completed a sweep of her three preliminaries in her Weiss Series division for pacing fillies with a 1:52.2 success in her $20,000 division for trainer Linda Toscano and Birnam Wood Farms. The Betting Line filly, out of the dam of Sweet Lou and Bettors Sweet, has been a push-button horse for driver Scott Zeron, responding to requests for a bit more with long and powerful strides.
Relentless Julie tried to equal C Is For Cookie as a Weiss prelim sweeper, but Lodestar beat her out by a head in 1:53.2, a career best for the Stay Hungry miss who won her seasonal debut and is now undefeated in three lifetime trips to the gate. Marcus Miller handled the driving for trainer Juan Cano and Hot Lead Farm.
The other Weiss section proved the fastest of Monday’s three cuts, with the Heston Blue Chip filly Square Deal equaling her lifetime best of 1:52.1 for driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Michael Hall, the latter co-owner with Let It Ride Stables Inc.
Also of interest was the career debut of the Chapter Seven sophomore filly Mandrill, a $750,000 yearling largely because she is a full sister to 2020 Trotter of the Year Gimpanzee (a mandrill is a member of that animal family as well). Mandrill looked like a seasoned pro in her bow, coming first-over and still being able to power home 3¼ lengths clear in 1:56.4. Mattias Melander drove the promising miss for trainer/brother Marcus and S R F Stable.
The week-ending card at Pocono on Tuesday begins at 1 p.m., with three-year-old trotting fillies contesting their final preliminary leg of their Weiss Series action, looking to confirm spots in their $50,000 Championship a week from Tuesday. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.