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Pocono Flooded With Baby Races

Published: June 5, 2019 1:35 pm ET

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The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono hosted its first two-year-old qualifying races of the season on Wednesday morning (June 5) and most of the sex/gait divisions were dominated by one particular barn per section.

Ray Schnittker won the races for pacing colts in which he had a horse, while Chuck Connor Jr. and Charlie Norris won the paces and trots, respectively on the filly side. When it came to the trotting colt ranks, Schnittker and Norris each had a winner.

Fastest, and perhaps most impressive, of all the baby winners was Cigars And Port, a So Surreal colt out of Sweet On Art, whose first foal, Wild West Show, has produced Huntsville and two other $500K winners in Cowboy Terrier and Stevensville. Schnittker, who drove all of his winning trainees, put Cigars And Port on the lead, got to the half in 1:00.4, then buzzed him home in :55.3 to win all alone in 1:56.2. Schnittker owns the precocious colt with Nolamaura Racing, Ted Gewertz, and Steven Arnold.

Schnittker’s other winner in the pacing colt ranks was the American Ideal-Gray Ghost colt Teton Sunset, who set the pace and stepped home in :28.4 to complete a 2:01.1 mile. The third winner in the division was the Rock N Roll Heaven – Sunduel A gelding Follow Your Heart for trainer/driver Aaron Lambert, who paced his back fractions in :57.3 - :28.1 out of the pocket to stop the clock in 2:00.4.

The faster of the Chuck Connor Jr. freshman pacing fillies was the Heston Blue Chip – Paper Cut miss Chili Pepper, who was a clear winner for her owner/trainer/driver Janice Connor in 1:58.1. Just a tick behind was the Sunshine Beach – Oceans Motion filly Robmotion Blue Chip, owned by Janice Connor, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., and Robert Lovell, whose 1:58.2 tally featured closing numbers of :57.1- :28.1.

Schnittker notched his third colt win of the day when the action shifted back to trotters, as he guided the Explosive Matter – Fifty Shades colt Cant Say No to a 2:03.4 victory with a:29.4 rally out of the pocket. Trainer/driver Charlie Norris then brought out the Chapter Seven – Amitys Lalabye miss Sing Me A Lalabye, who went to the lead past the quarter and finished out in 2:02.4.

Norris had seven of the ten fillies entered in the two-year-old filly trots – and finished ‘1-2-3’ in one and ‘1-2-3-4’ in the other. The faster winner for Norris beat the times posted by ‘the boys,’ as Mizzy Brenda K – by Donato Hanover out of owner Bob Key’s ‘foundation mare’ Winning Missbrenda (dam of millionaires Win Missy B and Winning Mister) – showed good front-end speed in a 2:02.1 triumph, which equalled the season’s mark for the division. The other winner for ‘Team Norris’ was the Conway Hall – Rucoucou distaffer Sweet Sofie T, who was home first in 2:03.1.

(With files from PHHA / Pocono)

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