WILKES-BARRE PA – Odds-on favorite Portulaca clicked in one of the two $15,000 featured trots at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania on Monday afternoon, but 18-1 shot Weather Vanes set the pace and held on for the victory in the other division.
Despite winning in this class last week, Weather Vanes, a son of Deweycheatumnhowe trained and owned by David Hoover, was let go at long odds, with the crowd favoring Canadian newcomer Evil Guy and Mandrill, winner of three straight and a full sister to Gimpanzee. Bur driver Jim Pantaleano never looked back with Weather Vanes, setting soft early fractions of :28.3 and :58.4 over a track just rerated to “sloppy,” actually opening a clear lead to the 1:27.2 three-quarters, and then able to withstand a relentless late charge from Mandrill to prevail by a nose while equaling her mark.
Back when the track was rated “fast” despite intermittent precipitation, the Donato Hanover sophomore filly Portulaca showed her appreciation of a drop from stakes company, also racing on the engine in splits of :28.2, :59, and 1:27.2, then maintained a length margin over pocketsitting Quarantina to the finish in 1:56.1. George Napolitano Jr. guided the winner for trainer Kathleen La Montagne, also co-owner with Donald La Montagne.
23-year-old Braxten Boyd, now up to fifth in the Pocono drivers standings, visited Victory Lane four times during the afternoon’s racing.
The racing week concludes at Pocono with a 1 p.m. program on Tuesday. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.