WILKES-BARRE PA – The Rockin Image four-year-old gelding The Candyman Can was claimed for $50,000, a record at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, out of one the two $18,000 featured claiming handicap pacing events on Saturday afternoon, and he said goodbye to his old connections with a gritty victory in 1:51.
Braxten Boyd and The Candyman Can left from the outside post six, with Curious Cortez (winner of three of his last four at this level) firing away hard just to his left and Regal Son also out quickly to protect position from the rail. This left “The Candyman” in no man’s land, and after a :26.3 opener Boyd opted to press on and guide the pacer to the lead just before a :54.2 half. Regal Son came up to press the leader by the 1:22 three-quarters, and others were a late concern after the fast fractions, but The Candyman Can was game and held for a neck triumph over the first-up horse.
The other division of the high-priced claimer actually went faster, with another Rockin Image four-year-old gelding, Stellar BB, coming home strongly to stop the timer in 1:50.1. Matt Kakaley got the Ron Burke trainee away third, sat third while T J Blast and then Somebeach Baron were on the lead posting numbers of :26.3, :54.4, and 1:22, moved out on the far turn, and went by handily for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
A $17,500 first-class trot went to the Airzoom Lindy mare Moriartime, who boosted her earnings to $302,167 with a 1:54 victory. Once known as a “front-end” mare, Morairtime has been racing from off the pace in many recent starts for driver Jack Parker Jr., and here Parker came up first-over, took over entering the stretch, and won by a length over Kenogami Coco, a Quebec champion last year. Carol Jamieson-Parker conditions the talented mare for owner James Moore III.
Tomorrow’s 5:00 card will be the last Sunday racing of the year at Pocono, with the track reducing the racing to 12:30 starts on Saturdays, Mondays, and Tuesdays until the last card of the year on Saturday, October 30. Program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.