First 2-year-olds of 2024 at Pocono impressive

Wilkes-Barre PA — Two-year-olds made their first appearance at an eastern Pennsylvania racetrack this year during a Wednesday morning (May 29) qualifying session at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania.

The team of driver Scott Zeron and trainer Jared Bako won five of the events, including a near sweep on the pacing side, while the Todd Schadel barn produced the fastest trotter of each sex.

Zeron/Bako swept the pacing filly contests, the faster with the Huntsville–Code One Hanover miss Cowgirl Hanover, who went wire-to-wire in 1:58.1-:28 for owner NY Seb Inc.

They also came together for a 2:00.3-:28.4 win by Th Cha Cha Cha, a Dancin Lou–Pasta Blue Chip miss owned by David Kryway.

The fastest clocking of the freshman session, 1:57.3, was produced by two males from Team Zeron/Bako. Sire Dancin Lou and owner David Kryway again combined behind the gelding Stonebridge Wizard (dam Odds On Magic), who used engine tactics and came home in :28 for the victory.

Matching his clocking was the Courtly Choice–Fashion Guru gelding Fast Choice, who came from behind and put in a final quarter of :27.1 to triumph for owners Ashley Bako and Randy Zane.

Also successful was the American Ideal–Mako Wish colt Brayden’s Bandit, moving early and going on to success in 2:00.3-:28.3 for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Tom Jackson, and owner Peter Scamurra.

Todd Schadel now has a sub-2:00 2-year-old trotter to his seasonal credit after the Bar Hopping–Promisemethis gelding Set The Bar wired his field in 1:59.3-:28.3, with driver/trainer Schadel, also co-owner with his wife Christine and Rick and Regina Beinhauer.

Encomium, an International Moni–Enfilade colt, came home in :29.4 to be successful in his bow in 2:03.1 for driver Braxten Boyd, trainer Mahlon Martin, and LCT Stable.

The quickest of the two filly trot winners was the Cantab Hall–Setntheworldonfire miss Shalamar Hanover, coming out of the pocket to win in 2:04.4 for trainer/driver Schadel, with his wife Christine also co-owning.

Team Zeron/Bako saw their Devious Man–Paya La Renta filly Paya La Diva recover from an early miscue, coming her own final quarter in :29.2 to stop the timer in 2:05.2; trainer Bako is the co-owner with Carmen Iannacone.

Replays of the races are available at

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