Action from the Game of Claims Series continued on Saturday night (Feb. 29) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
The team behind the Captaintreacherous ridgling Trente Deo – trainer Bill Adamczyk, owner William Emmons, and driver Jim Morrill Jr. – showed just the right amount of patience with the four-year-old pacer, and they were rewarded by earning 'the throne' after winning the $50,000 championship of their Game of Claims Series.
Owner Emmons saw the pacer win his first start in the series and then took him out of his second Game Of Claims start which he also won, paying $33,000 (with the four-year-old allowance, the base price slightly elevated through all the series prelims). Emmons and Adamczyk, knowing the horse had enough points to make the final already, kept him out of the third leg, avoiding losing him to a claim. Their foresight paid off after Morrill gave the winner a second-over trip in the final, making a strong far-turn move with him that carried him to a 1:52.3 victory.
In the $30,000 Game Of Claims Championship for $15,000 base-price horses, Team Allard had just the right amount of skill and luck as the Royal Art gelding Royal Heart pushed his record to two-for-two for them with a 1:53.3 win. The Allard barn took the winner out of the second leg for $17,500, then raced him last week and had double fortune in that he both produced a rallying victory (ensuring his spot in the finale) and was also passed over in the claiming box. In the final, Simon Allard kept Royal Heart in the two-hole behind Horsing Around, the fastest pacer in the elims whom the Allards had lost via claim last week, then outmuscled that rival home here for brother-trainer-owner Rene Allard.
The Allards had the best night at Pocono on Saturday, with Simon winning four races and Rene conditioning three winners.
The $17,500 pace for fast-class horses saw the two horses handicapped with the outside posts, Twin B Tuffenuff and Atta Boy Dan, turn in a fierce stretch battle, with the former nosing out the latter in 1:52.3.
Twin B Tuffenuff took early command, got a :29.2 breather on the cold night, then sprinted home in :56/:27.2 to withstand the unrelenting grind of Atta Boy Dan, last year’s Pocono Pacer of the Year. The victorious son of Rock N Roll Heaven was driven by Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke's Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Coincidentally, the same owner/trainer partnership behind Twin B Tuffenuff were also for whom Atta Boy Dan had made consecutive starts in all but one in 115 races, with 41 wins and $659,026 in earnings, from 2014 until being claimed at Pocono last May.
FINISHING LINES – The Saturday/Sunday action at Pocono goes to its usual 7 p.m. post time starting tomorrow. Monday is added to the 2020 schedule this week, with first post at 4 p.m.
(With files from PHHA/Pocono)