Hambletonian-caliber trotters square off in PA All-Stars

Wilkes-Barre, PA — Three impressive 3-year-old male trotters won their respective $30,000 divisions of Pennsylvania All-Stars action during the Sunday (May 22) twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Over a “fast” track in the first division, Kosher Mahoney was let go at 7-1, was unbothered on the lead, and came home in :28.1 to win in a new mark of 1:53.3 for driver Andy McCarthy, trainer Symon Spicer and Keystone Stable. Runner-up Dandy came up 1-1/4 lengths short of the victorious Explosive Matter gelding, while favorite S I P made a brief break in the pocket early and did not have enough to recover.

Just before the second division, rain caused the track to be downgraded to “sloppy,” the temperature dropped 13 degrees, and the wind changed direction from a stretch headwind to a stretch tailwind – but McCarthy still won again, doing so the Father Patrick gelding Ducasse in 1:54.4. The Nancy Takter trainee used a wind-aided last quarter of :27.4 to keep Nice Guy Eddie 1-3/4 lengths in arrears, winning for the fourth time in five seasonal starts for Brixton Medical Inc., Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables and Fair Island Farm Inc.

The Bar Hopping gelding That Old Bar Stool, going for his fourth straight win in the third division, was patiently guided to the lead by Matt Kakaley in front of the stands and looked to have a safe lead approaching mid-stretch — but Parola Hanover, last and 4-1/2 lengths behind at head-stretch mounted a giant late move aided by the stretch tailwind. Despite the late threat, That Old Bar Stool prevailed by a head for trainer Robert W. Clark and owners Clark Stables LLC and Tina Clark.

The stakes-winning drivers, Kakaley and McCarthy, had the best nights among the drivers, each having three victories overall. Eleven of 13 favorites won, and all 13 winners avoided the two-wide tier to start their second halves.

The racing week continues at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday (May 23) and Tuesday (May 24), with cards beginning at 1:30 p.m. each day. Program pages are available on the PHHA website.

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