Northern Major, QB Kemp win Pocono trots
November 14, 2018
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A trio of $15,000 conditioned events were featured on the penultimate card of 2018 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday night.
The first of two trots resulted in an easy victory for the Kadabra gelding Northern Major in 1:57.3. Matt Kakaley moved the winner to the front past a :29 quarter and put up splits of :59 and 1:28.1 before storming off by 5 1/2 lengths over closing Broadway Bruiser. The race favorite, Northern Major is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.
In the other trotting contest, the Triumphant Caviar sophomore gelding QB Kemp rallied from the pocket to record his second straight triumph, here in 1:57.1. Favored Bautista went to the top in a quick :27.4 on a cool night, rated the middle fractions to :57.1 and 1:27.2, but still could not withstand the rush from the two hole by QB Kemp, driven by Tyler Buter for trainer Rob Harmon and Harmon Racing Stable LLC.
The pacing event was for fillies and mares, with Don't Mach Mia surrendering the early lead to Parkin In Heaven in :28.1, brushing to the lead and posting middle fractions of :57 and 1:26, then holding off the pocket sitter to notch a neck triumph in 1:55.1. George Napolitano Jr. was in the sulky for trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen.
Earlier, pacer SB Ideal In Art, driver John Kakaley (Matt's father), and trainer Jim Ray became the first horse-driver-trainer combination to post two $50-plus victories in 2018 at Pocono when they teamed up for a $148.80 shocker in race two. The trio had clicked at a $58 price on July 31. Tempster Hanover is the only other horse to have two $50-plus wins at the meet, but he had changed hands between his May 8 and June 26 upsets. Trainer Ray tied for the top at Pocono with his second training bomber: Judy Welty, Jose Godinez, Alex Kavoleff, Jason Robinson, and Ron Burke also have two upset winners, with the last two joining Ray as both posting their double within the last month and having one of their twosome under question pay $100-plus.
The last card of the 2018 season will take place at The Downs on Saturday night, with the yet-undistributed year-end awards to be given. The world's fastest trotter and "home track" Breeders Crown winner, Homicide Hunter, will receive local Trotter of the Year honors, with the horse's trainer, Chris Oakes, also to be on hand to see his son Hunter Oakes get the award for posting the colony's top UTR. Rene Allard will be feted upon winning his fifth training win title in the last six years, while George Napolitano Jr. will sweep the driving dash title and UDR title for the sixth straight year. He has 13 Pocono dash crowns and 11 UDR championships to his credit, both obviously local records. (Pocono/PHHA)