Ideal Matters and Bettor Sweet turned in victorious performances to highlight an action-packed night of racing at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday), providing the perfect exclamation point to Back to the Track weekend. Both horses were driven to victory by Dave Palone.
Ideal Matters started the speedy festivities with a track record mile in the winners of over $25,000 lifetime pace. Palone sent the 4-year-old stallion from the barn of Noel Daley on a first-over journey to track down the sizzling pace set by Western Shore. He blew by in the stretch to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:49.2, which shattered the Pocono mark for 4-year-old pacing stallions of 1:50, which was set by Drop Red in October of 2010.
Later on in the $60,000 Open Pace, Palone sent Bettor Sweet to the front end and set some nasty fractions. The accomplished gelding, who is trained by Tom Cancelliere and was coming off a near-miss second in the $500,000 Ben Franklin at Chester, had to deal with a spirited charge in the passing lane by Golden Receiver, but the photo went his way. Bettor Sweet’s winning time of 1:48.3 missed the all-time track record by just one-fifth of a second.
In addition to the pacing fireworks, there were also two divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes held at Pocono on Saturday night for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. Each race carried a purse of just over $100,000.
In the first split, Magnum Kosmos was just able to hang on to a big lead to beat Orlando by a nose in 1:55.2. It was the third straight win at Pocono for the colt, who was driven by Palone for trainer Tony Dinges.
Opening Night, with Matt Kakaley in the bike for trainer Jim Campbell, came sweeping from off the pace to win the second Sire Stakes division going away. The colt won in 1:54.4, giving him two stakes wins in a row at Pocono. (Pocono)