Developing Horses Impress; McDaniel Scores First Win

Train Station
Published: February 19, 2024 11:43 pm EST

Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania featured a trio of $20,270 events for developing horses on its Monday, Feb. 19 card, the second of the year at the mountain oval.

The faster winner in the two pacing divisions was Train Station, a son of Roll With Joe who was victorious in his second straight start, here in 1:54.2 despite cold and windy conditions. Jason Bartlett got the Per Engblom trainee to the top in front of the stands and rated the pace, then stepped him home in :27.3 to hold a 1-1/4-length lead at the finish over Dark As Night, who necked El Yerno for second. Morrison Racing Stable shares ownership in the visitor to Victory Lane with Brian Gordon. 

In the other pacing headliner, Fade To Light utilized the Pocono Pike to chase down a hard-used Rusty Beach by a neck in 1:54.4. Anthony Napolitano, posting his second driving triple in as many 2024 cards at Pocono to take the early meet lead, sulkysat behind the Bettors Delight gelding for trainer Jose Godinez and the dual ownership of Godinez Racing Stable LLC and Jhonatan Garcia Guia. 

On the trotting side, Gatsby sat a nice two-hole journey, then rallied up the inside to catch pacesetting chalk Chef Rocco by three-quarters of a length in 1:57.4. Braxten Boyd, who joined “A-Nap” and Ridge Warren with three victories each, drove the Cantab Hall gelding to the win for trainer Joe Karrat and owner Christopher Zollo. 

On the training side, 29-year-old Lesley McDaniel, who came to Pocono from Hawkinsville, Georgia via Maine, recorded the first victory in his young career when he had the veteran Mister Big gelding My Mind Is Madeup ready after 72 days away, winning a 1:55.1 contest for driver Simon Allard and owner Jose Cervantes.

Pocono will again race on Saturday, Feb. 24 and Monday, Feb. 26 this coming week, both cards beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday’s feature, slotted as the fifth of 14 races, is a $22,973 trot for horses looking to soon earn their way into the uppermost ranks. The likely favourite is this race, Buddy Earl (post six, Matt Kakaley scheduled to drive), has been following just that pattern – after two strong victories in early February at The Meadowlands, the latter in 1:53.2, he stepped up to the Open ranks last time and was a very creditable third after a first-over journey.

(With files from PHHA / Pocono)

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.