Burke Sweeps Pocono Trotting Co-Features

Published: March 30, 2024 10:44 pm EDT

Trainer Mickey Burke, leading all North American conditioners in wins through the first part of 2024, sent out both of the winners in the twin $22,973 trotting features on Saturday (March 30) afternoon at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania.

Manclane (pictured above), a son of Cantab Hall, stalked main rival Frank The Elder from the pocket, then caught that rival by 1-1/4 lengths while taking a new mark of 1:55.2 in one feature. Manclane was driven by Simon Allard and is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lombardo/Green Racing and Kitefield Stable. 

Burke and Weaver/Bruscemi were also the team behind the Justice Hall gelding Stormont Divide, who again surmounted the difficult tuck-then-first-over journey while stopping the timer in 1:55.4 for driver Matt Kakaley, with closer Partner Dolan finishing 1-3/4 lengths behind the winner, now four-for-four since shipping in.

The fastest trotter on Saturday at Pocono, though, was the Bar Hopping gelding Robbie Pev, who led at every pole as he sped around the mountain oval in 1:53.4, equalling P L Notsonice’s seasonal standard at Pocono, for trainer Jill Roland, owner Bernard O’Brien and driver George Napolitano Jr.; the last-named a five-time visitor to Victory Lane during the afternoon.

One of those triumphs came in the day’s first race behind the Western Vintage gelding Epic Ace, who won for third time in succession, here in 1:52, for trainer Gareth Dowse and P T Stable in one of two $22,297 claiming handicap paces for the highest-priced side-wheelers on the grounds. The other winner in this class was Tam Major A, a son of Art Major who was guided by Braxten Boyd to a 1:52.2 success for trainer Ruth Calcagni and LAV Racing Stable Inc. Both winners will now be spending time in new quarters after being claimed for $40,541 out of their respective races.

Racing at Pocono resumes at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 1, and that card on the first day of April will like its mates during the month be headlined by series action – either Game Of Claims events ($10,000 USD base-tag pacers on Monday, $25,000 USD base-priced trotters on Tuesday) or Bobby Weiss Series action for oncoming three-year-olds in all four combinations of sex and gait.

(PHHA / Pocono)

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