In changing weather, three impressive three-year-old male trotters won their respective $30,000 divisions of Pennsylvania All-Stars action during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Over a 'fast' track in the first division, raced before the rain came, Kosher Mahoney was let go at 7-1, was unbothered on the lead and came home in :56.3 with a :28.1 final frame to win in a new mark of 1:53.3 for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Symon Spicer and Keystone Stable. Favoured S I P made a brief break in the pocket early and did not have enough to recover; closest to the victorious Explosive Matter gelding at the finish was Dandy, whose vaunted late kick was not suited to the speed-favouring situation at that time and came up 1-1/4 lengths short to the winner of $131,527.
Just before the second division, the rain came, changed the track to 'sloppy +1,' lowered the temperature 13 degrees and changed the wind direction 180 degrees from a stretch headwind to a stretch tailwind – but Andrew McCarthy still won again, here with the Father Patrick gelding Ducasse in 1:54.4. The Nancy Takter trainee used a wind-aided last quarter of :27.4 in keeping Nice Guy Eddie 1-3/4 lengths in arrears, winning for the fourth time in five seasonal starts for Brixton Medical Inc., Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables and Fair Island Farm Inc.
The Bar Hopping gelding That Ole Bar Stool, going for his fourth straight win in the third division, was patiently guided to the lead by Matt Kakaley in front of the stands and looked to have a safe lead approaching mid-stretch. But remember that wind shift and stretch tailwind? That may have helped propel Parola Hanover, last and 4-1/2 lengths behind at head-stretch (after taking back early), to make a giant late move that came up a head shy. But That Ole Bar Stool weathered the late storm and now has wins in 10 2022 starts, his latest in 1:55 flat, for trainer Robert W. Clark and owners Clark Stables LLC and Tina Clark.
The stakes-winning drivers, Matt Kakaley and Andrew McCarthy, had the best nights among the drivers, each having three victories overall. Eleven of 13 favourites won, and 13 of 13 winners avoided the two-wide tier to start their second halves.
The racing week continues at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday and Tuesday, with cards beginning at 1:30 p.m. each day. Program pages are available on the PHHA website.