Wilkes-Barre, PA — The Sportswriter mare Kendra N teamed with driver Jordan Stratton to take advantage of a wild front-end battle in the $17,200 mares pacing feature on the Sunday (Aug. 2) twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, closing the best of all to take a new mark of 1:51.
Summer Charm was sent to the lead early and hit the quarter in 26. Favored Bettor Joy N attempted to quarter-move but was given the cold shoulder by the pacesetter into a strong wind, and with Shecandance N keeping the pocket tight, the raging duel took the front of the field by the half in a punishing :53.2.
Dibaba N, who had gapped behind the fast early fireworks, got in gear down the backstretch and swept the embattled front horses going to the 1:21 three-quarters, with Kendra N hot on her tail. Kendra N was left uncovered on the far turn, but she had by far the most energy left late, winning by 4-1/2 lengths over a resurgent Summer Charm, with Dibaba N third.
Kendra N is now 5-3-1-1-$35,997 since being imported from New Zealand by trainer Peter Tritton and Vonknoblauch Stable, and she may be making her way to even higher company soon.
If the feature race was hotly-contested early, the $14,000 distaff co-feature pace was a cavalry charge late, with the first seven separated by less than two lengths at the finish. The American Ideal mare Topville Angelina came uncovered into a :56.1 last half to emerge most photogenic in 1:53.1 for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Herrera.