Driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Ron Burke teamed to take both the $20,000 featured trot and an $18,000 co-featured pace over a 'sloppy' track on Sunday night (May 14) at The Downs and Mohegan Sun Pocono.
In the top-level trot, the Jailhouse Jesse gelding Rose Run Parker was sent to the top from the outside post eight by Kakaley, making the lead at the :27.4 first pole, then hanging up middle numbers of :56.4 and 1:24.3 before holding off a tough challenge from Classicality by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.2, with favoured Rock Of Cashel third. Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Rose Run Parker sure does know how to find his way home first -- this was his 42nd win in only 68 career outings, during which he has accounted for $853,065.
In the $18,000 pacing event, the Roll With Joe colt Miso Fast, third in his Breeders Crown Final last year, showed in his second start of the year that he is coming into top form, rallying from the pocket on Sunday to take a one and three-quarter length decision in 1:52.3. Kakaley and Burke are also the braintrust behind this promising sophomore, a 2017 North America Cup eligible who is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables LLC.
In the $18,000 trot, the mare Spicedbourbongirl reinforced the adage “It’s hard to suffer interference if you’re in front,” sprinting right to command and then taking advantage of trouble encountered by the two favourites to win by six and a quarter lengths in 1:54.4 over a sloppy track. Last year’s Matron and Valley Victory winner Snowstorm Hanover, making his seasonal debut, erred late on the first turn; favoured Libertarian skirted that incident with relative ease, but then himself went offstride advancing on the leader off turn two. That left the door open for Spicedbourbongirl, and the Cantab Hall mare went through in style for trainer/driver Jeff Gregory, with her bankroll swelling to $218,793 for the Jesmeral Stable and Jeff Gregory Inc.
(With files from PHHA / Pocono)