Don’tmesswithles, Tennessee Smooth Pocono winners

Wilkes-Barre, PA — Don’tmesswithles and Tennessee Smooth emerged victorious in the twin $16,000 featured paces for developing horses on Tuesday afternoon (May 14) at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania.

In their last meeting, Don’tmesswithles, a Captaintreacherous gelding, yielded the lead to High Voltage Deo and gave futile pursuit to a 1:49.3 mile, the fastest of season. This time, Don’tmesswithles made the early lead and his opponent charged up to challenge only to make a momentary break just before clearing, and driver Jim Pantaleano urged Don’tmesswithles on to keep his rival parked past a :26.4 quarter before ceding command. High Voltage Deo reset and went on to post middle splits of :55.4 and 1:23 while facing pressure. The exertions took their toll on the leader as Don’tmesswithles dashed to the Pocono Pike and got up by three-quarters of a length in a lifetime best 1:50.3 for trainer Howard Birney and owner Walter Birney Jr.

Don’tmesswithles rallied up the inside to beat High Voltage Deo in a Tuesday feature at Pocono. Curtis Salonick photo.

The other feature field of six saw several exchanges of the lead through and past a :27 opener, with Reggie The Fourth, a Weiss Series champion, seizing the throttle and putting up fractions of :56.2 and 1:24.1. Tennessee Smooth, a Well Said gelding trained by Brandy Wine for Brett Boyd Racing Inc. and Geoff Howles, was sitting last when pulling outside up the backstretch, and when he failed to catch cover, he simply powered on first-up for driver Braxten Boyd, working to the leader on the far turn and then beating him out by three parts of a length in a new mark of 1:52.

Beach Cowgirl, a Captaintreacherous mare who set a world record of 1:50 in winning her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship at Harrah’s Philadelphia as an undefeated freshman, delivered an authoritative 1:50.3 win in a $14,500 distaff pace, regaining the lead near the quarter and drawing away by 3-14 lengths with back splits of :54.1 and :27. Ron Burke now trains the winner for Joseph DiScala Jr., Zippett Racing Stable and Scarlett Stables LLC.

All three feature-winning drivers recorded doubles, as did Marcus Miller, but they had one fewer visit to Victory Lane than George Napolitano Jr. Jacob Hartline had the only training double.

This weekend, Pocono will host many of North America’s premier 3-year-old males, with Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action during Saturday afternoon’s (May 18) card, including last year’s divisional champion Captain Albano and Breeders Crown winner Gem Quality, while Hambletonian-hopeful trotters will meet Sunday evening (May 19) in three divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event. Free Pocono programs are available at

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