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More Pocono Qualifiers In The Books

Published: March 14, 2018 4:29 pm ET

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‘Team Allard’ continued its torrid form on Wednesday (March 14) during qualifying action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

The qualifiers made up the third and final session prior to this Saturday’s 2018 opening night at the track.

Trainer Rene Allard – the winner of four of the last five conditioning crowns at Pocono – sent out six winners during the session to run his ‘three-card’ count to 14. His brother, driver Simon Allard, drove all six of Rene’s winners. Simon also crossed the wire first on two occasions for trainer Pierre Paradis, which resulted in an eight-bagger for the session and 16 wins overall (from the 33 pre-season qualifying races).

The fastest of Wednesday’s 13 races – which were conducted in temperatures that crept up to freezing by midcard – was won by the intriguing Art Dancer, who was home first in 1:54.1 for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Mark Harder. The three-year-old altered son of A Rocknroll Dance won his only start at age two – a 1:53.4 victory in July – but he showed no signs of the big layoff, as Miller pulled him out past the half, and the pair came home in :56.2 to finish clear of the competition.

Tomorrow (Thursday), Pocono will hold a press conference at noon which will spotlight the highlights of the 2018 season, the biggest of which will be October 27’s $6M Breeders Crown Championship night, which will find the top horses advancing from the previous week’s eliminations aiming for the big money and year-end honours in their various divisions.

Then, on Saturday, will come the opening card of the 2018 season at the mountain oval (the first of 14 races has been slotted for 7 p.m.). The Napolitano brothers, Anthony and George, are each favoured to guide home a winner in four of the contests, and Simon Allard has been tabbed as the likely chalk twice.

(With files from PHHA / Pocono)

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