Wilkes-Barre, PA — Two-year-olds were in the spotlight Tuesday afternoon (June 30) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with American Courage fastest in the pacing contests in 1:54.1, while trotting speed honors were shared by Bacardi and Above The Clouds at 1:58.1.
Both of the trotting winners needed the photo finish camera to confirm their victories. The Southwind Frank–Strawberry Wine colt Bacardi raced in the pocket behind favored Sevenshadesofgrey, then methodically wore down the front runner to post a half-length victory for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Erv Miller, whose Ervin Miller Stable Inc. shares ownership of the winner with All-Wright Racing, Engel Stable of IL and Rock And Roll Stable Inc.
Three filly trotters were right on the wire in a contest taken by the Explosive Matter–Miss Michelle H miss Above The Clouds, who was game to the wire despite an uncovered journey to defeat Pocono Pike rusher Fox Valley Liza and pacesetter Myreanna for driver Corey Callahan, trainer John Butenschoen, and Bay Pond Racing Stable.
The American Ideal–Nota Fool Bluechip colt American Courage was well-placed off a backstretch duel, then swept around his field on the far turn en route to a six length victory. Matt Kakaley was in charge of the quick colt for trainer Travis Alexander and Fiddler’s Creek Stables.
Kakaley had the hot hands on the Tuesday card with four winners, only one of which was favored. In one race, after a foe was disqualified for going inside the pylons in the stretch, Diamondbeach and Kakaley lit up the toteboard with a $54.20 win payoff, giving Kakaley the local lead with three $50-plus “bombers” at Pocono this season.