Checkmate Time now 3 for 4 after Pocono win
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Developing horses in the "non-winners of 7 races" class were gathered for twin $18,000 features Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with pacer Nocturnal Bluechip and trotter Checkmate Time emerging victorious.
The rains came, and the track had just been rerated to "sloppy," when the pacers came to the track, but the wet and muck had little effect on Nocturnal Bluechip, who won in 1:52. Driver Vinnie Ginsburg made every pole a winning one with the son of Bettor's Delight, triumphing by 1½ lengths over Bering Sea Hanover for trainer Scott Di Domenico and the NLG Racing Stable while raising his earnings to $248,675.
The recent addition of Lasix seems to have been a key in a recent surge of upward form for the sophomore Muscle Hill filly Checkmate Time, as the filly is now 3-for-4 in recent starts after triumphing in 1:56 here. Driver Donald Dupont patiently guided to the filly to the lead nearing the 3/8 pole, and the winner of $71,009 was not catchable from there, finishing 2½ lengths to the good of Ridgeway Springs for trainer Marie Dupont and owner/breeder Roy Dobbins.
Earlier, driver Earl Carlson and trainer Peter Foley combined for their second $100+ winner of the meet when Decision Day got home first, returning $124.40 to win, to complement the horsemen's collaboration on $118.40 bomber Cinnabar Hall on May 20. Carlson is the only driver at the meet with two $100 winners; on the trainer side, Foley tied Bob Bongiorno for that distinction. Decision Day got his maiden victory via a nose decision over Dreams Are True, who was driven by Eric Goodell and completed the "Detroit Eric" exacta of $399.40. (Pocono/PHHA)