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JL Cruze Returns To Winning Ways

Published: July 17, 2016 11:20 pm ET

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JL Cruze, 2015’s champion Older Male Trotter in the U.S., got his 2016 campaign again headed in the right direction with a 1:53 victory in the $25,000 Winners Over feature Sunday night (July 17) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

John Campbell had his usual seat behind the altered five-year-old son of Crazed, and he guided him to the lead past the :27.2 opening quarter, then backed off the half to :57.1. From there, “JL” cruzed home in :55.4, winning by two lengths over the out-at-every-call Crazshana, completing the Crazed-sired Exacta, with Il Sogno Dream another half-length back in third after going first-over.

This season, JL Cruze opened his campaign with three straight victories, but he had gone “only” one-for-five since then before this race –- if you count a second to Rose Run Parker, still 2016’s fastest North American trotter (1:50.4), and a fourth in the Cutler and a fifth in the Lee, in the “only” category. But perhaps his win at Pocono will mark a turnaround back towards his championship form for the Eric Ell-trained trotter, owned by Wm. Kenneth Wood, William Dittmar Jr., and Stephen Iaquinta, and now the winner of $101,430 this year and $763,615 lifetime.

If you like two-year-old trotting stakes fillies, Pocono is the place to be for you the next two nights –- eight divisions of Pennsylvania Stallion Series action top the bill on Monday, while the next night will feature five divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes racing.

(With files from PHHA/Pocono)

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