Ontario-sired Sparky Mark ($14.20), the next-to-longest shot in the field, made every pole a winning one in the $25,000 Winners Over Pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, with all-time money champion Foiled Again having to go first-over after a rest of three weeks, finishing fifth, beaten less than four lengths in the 1:49.2 mile.
The red-hot Brothers Allard, driver Simon and trainer Rene, teamed up behind the victorious son of Astreos, who hit the quarter in :26.3 and the half in :55, “walkin’-horse” time over the speedy red clay surface. Foiled Again came first-over but could get no closer than the winner’s wheel at the 1:22.4 three-quarter pole, with Sparky Mark then turning on the sprint engine even further with a :26.4 dash home to win by a half-length over pocket-sitting Luck Be Withyou, a 2013 Breeders Crown winner at Pocono (like Foiled Again) making his 2015 debut here.
Kapildeo Singh and Michael Assante share ownership on Sparky Mark, who has over $930,000 in career earnings.
Foiled Again’s all-time money total now stands at $6,925,031 U.S., with his Pocono record 12-5-3-2-$759,636. The 11-year-old’s start on Saturday came a staggering 2,780 days since his first appearance at the mountain oval, when as a three-year-old the altered son of Dragon Again was third in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes on July 3, 2007.
Next Saturday is Kentucky Derby Day, which The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will celebrate with its only double-header of racing this season. The first race will go at 11:00 a.m., with the evening card set to go at 6:30 p.m.
The highlight of the afternoon card is the debut of the stakes season at Pocono, with a Pennsylvania All-Stars for PA-sired three-year-olds featured next weekend and the one after that – the three-year-old trotting colts will be in the Saturday afternoon spotlight. The evening card feature will be the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Pace, named after the longtime sportswriter and handicapper of the area.
(Standardbred Canada With files from PHHA / Pocono)