WILKES BARRE PA – In a classic stretch slugfest, the Sweet Lou gelding Tito Rocks nosed out Whos Better in 1:50.4 to win the $14,000 fast-class pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday afternoon.
Tito Rocks got away fourth for driver Tyler Buter, while Whos Better and George Napolitano Jr. took the early lead and set fractions of :27.1 and :55.2. Buter had Tito Rocks quickly in high gear moving raw nearing the five-eighths, with the 9-5 favorite pacing his individual third quarter in :26 to engage 2-1 pacesetter Whos Better past the three-quarters in 1:22.2. Their battle continued all the way to the wire, where Tito Rocks proved slightly more photogenic for trainer Bob Cleary and Royal Wire Products Inc.
Before Nicholas Beach’s win Saturday, his lifetime earnings were $70,450 – less than the $71,680 seasonal total of the Changeover gelding Glengarry Knight N, who jumped to the #2 spot in earnings among North American pacers at press time with a 1:52 win in the fastest of three divisions of the high-end claiming pacers. Now 3-for-4 since joining the William Adamczyk barn after a claim by William Emmons, Glengarry Knight N, the winner of the richest Game Of Claims Championship earlier this year, overcame the outside post nine for driver Simon Allard, who led the driving colony here Saturday with three wins.
Heading the Saturday trainers was Darren Taneyhill, who visited Victory Lane after three different drivers guided his horses to victory (and would have been there a fourth time if one of his horses hadn’t had headstretch steering problems and was set back, with $174.00 bomber Rockin Inthe Hills the main beneficiary). Taneyhill, who is now tied with Jennifer Bongiorno for the meet lead with 12 wins, also sent out the fastest winner of the day, the Rocknroll Hanover gelding Rock The Town, who toured the Pocono oval in 1:50.3 for driver Anthony Napolitano and owner Mark Jakubik.
The next two cards at Pocono, Sunday at 5 p.m. and Monday at 12:30 p.m., feature many three-year-olds tuning up for the $700,000 Bobby Weiss Series for up-and-coming three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits; Monday’s card also features the $30,000 Game Of Claims Trotting Series Championship. Program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.