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Dan Patch Winner To Qualify Tuesday

Published: March 5, 2018 4:21 pm ET

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The first qualifying session of the year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will take place tomorrow morning (Tuesday, March 6), as 12 races are scheduled to head postward. The first race is scheduled to head behind the starting gate at 10 a.m.

Ten-year-old Keystone Velocity, who is coming off of the best campaign of his career, has drawn the outside Post 8 for the last of the qualifying dashes (Race 12).

Keystone Velocity won $783,442 last season and was named the United States’ 2017 Older Pacing Horse of the Year in balloting by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.

In receiving his trophy last week in Florida, trainer Rene Allard aid that ‘Velocity’ would be pointed for the Levy Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway, where he is the defending champion after having posted an 11-1 upset triumph on April 22 last year. The Levy Series will start a week from Saturday, ironically also the first night of live racing at Pocono this year.

Rene’s brother, Simon, will be guiding Keystone Velocity in the Tuesday qualifier for Allard Racing Inc., Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr., and the VIP Internet Stable.

The most accomplished horse as far as 2018 stats in the Tuesday qualifying races is Pepper Guy, a sophomore gelding who is perfect in three starts this season after having won half of eight starts in his freshman season. Matt Kakaley, who is perennially high in the Pocono standings and currently in the North American top five in driver money-winnings, has the steer behind Pepper Guy. The duo is scheduled to start from Post 5 in Race 5.

Anthony Napolitano and Jim Marohn Jr., who are currently ‘1-2’ in the driving standings at the Meadowlands Racetrack, will both be at the mountain oval for Tuesday’s morning session.

More Pocono qualifiers are scheduled for this Thursday, and then the schedule for the qualifiers will shift to its usual once-a-week Wednesday schedule. The draw for the opening night card (Saturday, March 17) will take place next Monday (March 13), as the Pocono action will follow the same draw and racing schedule as last season. One thing that will change, though, is post time – with the exception of rare special event cards, the first race at Pocono will be programmed for 7 p.m. each racing night.

(With files from PHHA / Pocono)

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