WILKES-BARRE PA – Western Joe, hard-used to make the lead just before the half, showed no ill effects late, crossing the wire an easy 1:49.2 winner in the $21,500 fast-class featured pace on Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
A son of Western Ideal, Western Joe got away fourth in a 26.1 contested quarter, then had to work hard to clear the early leader Major Crocker A, finally doing so for driver Pat Berry near the :54 midpoint. The three-quarters came and went in 1:21.1 without a threat to the favored leader, and Western Joe had no anxious moments through the lane, with the razor-sharp Prairie Panther able to cut the winning margin down to 1½ lengths by the finish.
The track recordholder at 1¼ miles, Western Joe is trained by Christopher Choate for owners Anthony Ruggeri and Richard Tosies. He has now bankrolled $540,031 in his career.