WILKES-BARRE PA – Longtime Pennsylvania horsemen Don and Dave Wiest and Ed Kimmel developed a champion two-year-old trotter last season in the filly Love Muffin, sold to Team Orange Crush over the winter after becoming the Pennsylvania Stallion Series championship, and now the winner of two Sire Stakes at three and in to go. Now it looks like the longtime partners may be ready for another good season with baby trotters, as they took events for both sexes as The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono hosted the two-year-olds for the first time on Wednesday morning.
First up was the filly Gumdrop Hanover, who came a last half in :58.1 to win her bow in 2:01.4 for Kimmel and co-owner/trainer/driver David Wiest. The baby is a daughter of Bar Hopping out of Grits ‘N Seven, a half-sister to $1.6M-winning champion Royalty For Life.
Zeus Hanover became the first 2:00 two-year-old at Pocono by rallying in :58 - :29 from the pocket to win in 1:59.4 for driver Mike Simons, trainer Lisa Martin, and owners Maty Martin and Roger Dirlam. The colt is a son of Betting Line out of Zellweger Bluechip, a half sister to millionaire Fashion Delight.
Driver Jim Meittinis made his first visit to Pocono in five years a successful one, driving the Artspeak filly At My Peak to victory in 2:02.1 for trainer Randy Taft and owner Phillip Mcguire. At My Peak’s third dam is the Hall Of Fame broodmare Lady Ashlee Ann, the dam of Betterthancheddar and Courtly Choice.
The American Ideal sophomore colt American Courage sped to a 1:52.2 win in a qualifier, with back fractions of :55 - :27.1, for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Travis Alexander, and Fiddler’s Creek Stables LLC.
The youngster has lost only once in nine career starts, and was a winner in a Reynolds Stake in his only 2021 start.