Fast winners in hot weather at Poconos

Wilkes-Barre, PA – A quartet of $15,000 events for up-and-coming horses, plus the debut of a very promising baby, highlighted the Tuesday (June 18) afternoon action at a sultry Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania.

There were two features on each gait. The quicker pace was captured by the Betting Line gelding Courtship, who came home in :54.3 to lower his mark to 1:50.1 for Morrison Racing Stables, Alexander Racing Stable LLC, and Jeff Bell while succeeding for the second straight start. Matt Kakaley was in the sulky for trainer Travis Alexander, just as he was on Monday night when Alexander picked up his 1000th career training victory with Pleaseletmeknow at Yonkers.

Courtship wins again at Pocono, this time in 1:50.1 in a pacing feature. Salonick photo.

Lovers Trouble lowered his mark by 3-2/5 seconds when the Tellitlikeitis gelding stopped the timer in 1:51 in the other pacing feature. Ridge Warren put the sophomore on the lead under the line the first time and then got successive :27.2 back quarters out of him to win for trainer Jenn Bongiorno and owners JB Racing and Evans Nation.

Both trotting feature winners were also driven by Matt Kakaley, with the quicker going to Cant Help Myself, a son of Helpisontheway who is currently in career form, as evidenced by his taking a lifetime mark of 1:53.3. The developing diamondgaiter hustled to command past the quarter and stayed in control throughout the rest of the mile, with Cant Help Myself posting his second straight score for trainer and owner Don Niccum.

The other top trot winner was the Walner sophomore filly Volcanic Blue Chip, who succeeded in 1:54.3 for Kakaley. Volcanic Blue Chip was an unusual entrant, a maiden in a “non-winners of four races” event, but she missed only a half-length in her Breeders Crown elimination last year and had earnings of $184,400 before tacking on the winner’s share of the purse here. Once she reached the lead in front of the stands the issue was never in doubt, as the Åke Svanstedt trainee won by open lengths for Brochart Stable Inc.

The talented two-year-old was the trotting filly Princess Jackie, a daughter of Greenshoe – Frisky Magic who followed up on two successful qualifiers with a 1:55.3 win in her first pari-mutuel race while finishing out in :28. Jim Marohn Jr. handled the driving for trainer and owner D. R. Ackerman.

Kakaley and Warren had driving triples, as did Tyler Buter, while Svanstedt had the sole training double of the day.

Racing resumes at Pocono on Saturday at 1 p.m., with the features being Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Pennsylvania Stallion Series second prelim round action for three-year-old pacing fillies. Free Pocono programs will be available at

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