High priced claimers headline Pocono Card

Wilkes-Barre, PA — Three $16,500 events for high-priced claiming pacers topped a competitive card at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania on Sunday (June 9) evening.

Topville Somrocket showed he was the best in one of the claiming feature pacers at Pocono on Sunday. Curtis Salonick photo.

One of the races was new to the Pocono condition sheet – an event for four- and five-year-old pacers with a base ticket of $40,000. It was won by the favorite Topville Somrocket, who was a pocket (som)rocket for driver George Napolitano Jr. in catching pacesetter South Point in 1:51.2 by three quarters of a length. The result was the good news for trainer Jeff Cullipher, the meet leader, and owner Pollack Racing LLC; after the race they learned that the five-year-old was claimed for $40,000, which (in the absence of definitive records) may tie a Pocono record, at least for the base price of a claim.

The other two features offered older performers in $30,000-$40,000 claiming handicap events. Like Topville Somrocket, these two winners were public choices; unlike that one, both of the older winners returned back to the same stall they left.

 The Shoobee’s Place gelding Shoobee Doo A overcame the outside post seven to author a 1:50.2 victory, his third consecutive success, in his section for driver Matt Kakaley and trainer/owner Besim Ozda, while A Fair Ol Dance N, an altered son of A Rocknroll Dance, took advantage of a two-hole trip in working his way to the win in 1:50.3 for driver Ridge Warren, trainer Ron Burke, and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC along with Kitefield Stable.

The races were run off quickly starting towards midcard due to a lighting issue in the developing dusk, with the fifth race off at 7:24 and the twelfth and final race just 81 minutes later at 8:45! This meant that the claiming box was given a hard and even more compacted workout than it would have normally gotten, on a night when thirteen horses changed hands at a price of $267,500.

The track’s top two drivers, Matt Kakaley and George Napolitano Jr., each had three victories on the “abbreviated” card, which meant that Kakaley retains a four-win advantage atop the local sulkysitters standings.

Monday’s (June 10) 1 p.m. card is headed by a pair of $15,000 trotting features; the racing week will then close Tuesday with another 1 p.m. start. Free Pocono programs are available at www.phha.org.

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