TRAINER Rene Allard, leading conditioner at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono five of the last six seasons including the previous two, showed he should again be a major force during the early part of 2019 at the mountain oval as he harnessed three winners during the Thursday morning qualifying session.
The track was again rated “+2” in 20-degree temperatures even though the surface was today rated fast, but several horses looked in midseason form, especially those coming from Team Allard.
Rene’s brother Simon drove two of the barn’s winners, Bet On Brett (1:56.1) and Beach Boogie (1:57.1, his own last half 56.2); Simon was guiding another Allardite when Rene’s third winner, Nicol Shard, posted the fastest clocking of the day, 1:55.2 (56.4-28), going wire-to-wire for driver Tom Jackson.
Many of the horses who qualified two days ago and today are likely to be racing on Pocono’s first live card of the season on Saturday, March 16, which will be drawn on Monday.
Fast-class events for both trotters and pacers are on the inaugural card’s conditioned sheet, as is first round action in the new $850,000 Secretary Series, a multi-level affair to be conducted over the first two months of the 2019 Pocono schedule.
Opening night will find male pacers going in $12,500 first leg divisions of their Secretary’s Series action.
- JENNIFER STARR