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With the temperature not breaking the mid-50s at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday (Oct. 18), the Betterthancheddar mare Lovely Donna was held in reserve most of the race, then came on strongly to win the $17,500 distaff pacing feature in 1:52.


Favoured Major Occasion A went to the early lead, and no one moved to challenge in the coolish temperatures during early fractions of :27.3 and :56. Past the five-eighths, Lovely Donna and driver Simon Allard were the first to go after the leader, and the winner of more than $200,000 rocketed out of fourth, hooked the leader past the 1:24.1 three-quarters, and then drew away easily for a two-length victory over Shouldabeenatd. Andrew Harris trains the winner, who made a successful invasion from Yonkers for owner Jeffrey Williamson of Blyth, Ont.


George Napolitano Jr., who became the 26th driver to go over $100 million in lifetime driving earnings on the Saturday card, was the day’s top driver with four visits to Victory Lane.


The claiming box is still very active at Pocono; six more horses changed hands today, bringing the total for the 131 days of racing so far to 577 purchases. Horsepeople have spent $11,068,325 acquiring fresh stock, with the record Pocono claiming price of $50,000 being reached five times.


There will be no claims added to that collection Tuesday at Pocono, as the card is full of conditioned events, including a pair of $17,000 contests for developing horses in the “non-winners of eight races” category: male pacers will go in race 10, while trotters will line up behind the gate in race 13. Program pages for the 12:30 p.m. card are available on the PHHA website.


(With files from PHHA/Pocono)