Close stretch battles in Pocono features

Wilkes-Barre, PA — The two $15,300 features at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday afternoon (June 1) produced exciting multi-horse finishes, with 47-1 shot Reigning Deo reaching by a nose in the last stride to win the day’s top pace in 1:51.2, and odds-on favorite King Alphonso getting up by a nose in the final step of the featured trot to win in 1:53.4.

Reigning Deo (foreground) posted a 47-1 upset over a tightly-compacted field at the end of the pacing feature Tuesday at Pocono. Curtis Salonick photo.

The pacing contest saw five lead changes in a race where the main pack consisted of six horses (a seventh made a break): Im A Gigolo N was first to the top, Bettorbuckleup and favored Blank Stare were both on the move near the :27.3 quarter, and Blank Stare reached the top before the :55.3 half. Tell Them Lou moved up and provided cover to Reigning Deo to the 1:23.1 three-quarters and beyond; Bettorbuckleup lifted up the Pocono Pike for a short late lead, but Reigning Deo sustained his bid off cover and got the nod on the money while taking a new mark. Tell Them Lou was only a neck behind, and a neck ahead of fourth-place Im A Gigolo N.

For driver Jack Pelling and trainer Juan Cano, the victory with the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding, owned by Brian Gordon and Pelling Racing LLC, was the first at Pocono in their respective careers.

On the trot, King Alphonso atypically raced from far behind as Can’t Say No made two pace-controlling moves and posted fractions of :26.4, :56.1 and 1:24.3. The son of Muscle Hill stalked a stern challenge from first-up Yankee Girlfriend — which carried her to a small lead — before Jim Pantaleano rallied him off the dueling leaders to reach the finish line a nose to the good. The game Can’t Say No finished second for the fourth straight time, three of them by a head or less; Yankee Girlfriend missed by only a head. King Alphonso won his second straight for trainer Christen Pantaleano and owner Matthew Morrison.

Two-year-olds make their first appearance this year at The Downs during Wednesday morning’s (June 2) qualifying session, with four races divided by gait and sex.

Racing returns to Pocono on Saturday (June 5) at 12:30 p.m. with an $86,772.47 Rainbow Pick-5 carryover.

Back to Top

Share via