WILKES-BARRE PA – Driver Tyler Buter drove both winners in the $11,700 features for two-year-old trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Monday afternoon.
Buter, who had three wins in all on the day, now has 3716 lifetime visits to Victory Lane. One of the baby trotters is conditioned by John Butenschoen; for him it was the 1800th triumph in her career. The other feature winner is trained by Tom Loughry Jr., who raised his lifetime win total to one – so we’ll write about that one first.
In the feature for fillies, Buter also used front-end tactics with another Walner offspring, Gracelyn Hanover (dam Gatka Hanover), and she dashed home 5¾ lengths clear in 1:57.1. The fleet filly, who had seconds in two NJSS prelims and who won the Garden State at The Meadowlands in her last start in 1:53.3, looks like another of the long list of talented babies coming out of the Butenschoen barn. She is raced under lease by Harmony Oaks Racing Stable Inc.
In the $11,200 fast-class trot, Winnerup followed the afternoon’s pattern of favorites getting the early advantage and staying there to the wire, crossing the line 5¾ lengths clear in 1:53.4. Matt Kakaley, who went Buter one better by posting four victories on the program, drove the winner of $321,185 for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC along with Phil Collura.
Hambletonian Oaks winner Bella Bellini makes her first start since that big win this Saturday afternoon at Pocono, taking on a field of seasoned hardhitters (average mark 1:51.2) in a $19,300 trotting event that will share the spotlight with a pair of $35,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies. Tuesday, the racing week closes with a trio of $15,300 headliners for developing horses aspiring to the higher rungs of the class ladder. Program pages for these cards are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.