Wilkes-Barre, PA — The Somebeachsomewhere gelding Filibuster Hanover showed there was still plenty of life in his six-year-old legs, as the winner of $1,770,006 produced a 1:48.1 lifetime best in winning an excellent $20,000 feature Saturday afternoon at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
There was a mad scramble for the lead in a :25.3 opening quarter, with Jesse Duke N (Anthony Napolitano) finally reaching the top in front of the stands. Driver Simon Allard, who had gotten an early forward position with “Filibuster,” was on the move before the :54.3 half cleared the pacesetter and started to draw away by the 1:20.4 three-quarters. No one mounted a threatening bid in the stretch, and the 2017 Little Brown Jug winner was 2-1/2 lengths clear of a closing Western Joe (Jim Mahron Jr.) at the finish for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Joseph Di Scala Jr. and J&T Silva Stables LLC.
Longtime Pocono lover Highalator (Richard Still) was allowed to stroll to the half in :56 in the $17,200 co-featured pace, and the son of Somebeachsomewhere was uncatchable from there, pacing home in :54.3 – :27.1 to complete a 1:50.3 mile two lengths to the good. Richard Still was in his usual spot in the sulky behind Highalator, a winner of $584,114 and 35 of 78 career starts (45%), for trainer Jenny Bier, who is co-owner with Joann Dombeck and Midsize Construction Inc.
Branquinho (Tom Jackson) posted a 1:49.2 victory, while Sweet Deisel (Marohn Jr.), Betterlatethnnever (Jason Bartlett) and Pyro (Allard) all won in 1:50 in contests below the top two levels on the high-quality Pocono card.
Two-year-old colt trotters will be featured on Sunday night at The Downs, as two-time Sire Stakes winners In Range and Captain Corey will square off in one of two divisions of the $206,722 final preliminary of the Pennsylvania-sired competition. It’s likely the pair will also be here on Saturday (Sept. 5) for their divisional Championship during the $1.2M+ Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Two-Year-Old Championship Card. There will also be a carryover of $146,852.91 in the Rainbow Pick 5, where a unique ticket picking the winners of the last five races is required to get the big money.