WILKES-BARRE PA – The Muscle Massive gelding Two AM won his fourth straight trip over the red oval at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, showing a powerful last sixteenth to catch pacesetting The Veteran by a neck in 1:53.1 in Sunday night’s $21,500 feature.
Driver Tyler Buter pushed the favored The Veteran with his second choice to a :27.2 quarter; the chalk got moderate middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.1 with no outside pressure. Outside pressure for the leader, in fact, did not come until early stretch when Buter moved Two AM to the outside, and despite trotting a :28 last quarter The Veteran could not withstand the winner of $401,135 lifetime in a hard-knocking stretch battle. While not particularly successful away from the local scene, Two AM has not lost at Pocono since April 21, all at high levels, for trainer Todd Buter and the ownership of Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs.
The promising trotter Explosive Breakaway, an altered sophomore son of Explosive Matter – Phaeton and thus a full brother to top mare Phaetosive, went wire-to-wire in a $17,000 trot, stepping home in :56.3 to defeat pocketsitter The Lionking AS by ¾ of a length in 1:55.1; favored Max made an early break but then recovered nicely to be third. Tom Jackson drove the winner, who has won three of five starts at both two and three including a PA Sire Stake here on June 2, is co-owned by trainer Fred Grant along with Janice Rubin, Steve Katz, and Murray Brown.
Trainers Mike Watson and Travis Alexander both had winners in consecutive races – Watson used the catch-driving brothers of Anthony and George Napolitano, while Alexander used the father-son combination of John and Matt Kakaley.