THE weather looks sufficiently cold and gloomy on Halloween night, the perfect setting for the Grey Ghost and Poltergeist Pace at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono sponsored by the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.
Making his fifth appearance in this Halloween pace is Gotta Love Him for trainer Cindy Weitoish. The nine-year-old won this race in 2014 and 2015, and his owners are hoping that his first win this year will be by the light of the ghostly All Hallows’ Eve moon.
He has the third highest earnings in this field, currently at $208,515, and is 12/1 with driver Austin Siegelman.
White Rolls won this race in 2016 with driver Jim Marohn and the duo re-team for this year.
Michael Hall trains the four-year-old, with odds of 3/1.
Another returning “Grey Ghost” is Six Gun, which comes in from racing at Harrah’s Philadelphia. He’s now in the Paul Stratton barn, and has five wins in 26 this year; the gelding is at 5/1 and George Napolitano junior’s driver choice.
Simon Allard drives Donald Doc, new to Team Allard and to this race. The four-year-old is making his first start at Pocono after racing at Tioga. Another new face is Toejamminmomma for Valeriya Medik, one of three mares in this field, who qualified at Pocono on 10/18 and hadn’t raced since June 11th in the Open at Goshen, finishing fourth. Jim Taggart junior. steps in to drive. Anthony Ciuffetelli ships in with Forever Effie, who has been racing at Saratoga, and is 11 for 27 in the money this year. Andrew McCarthy drives.
Winter Blast at 6/1, returns from Canada for trainer Carmen Auciello, and had a start last week at Yonkers, finishing fifth on a sloppy track. Eric Carlson has the reins. On what will be Doug Hamilton’s last official night of training before he retires, Stirling Escort enters the race off a second at Pocono this past Saturday evening, and is 4/1 with driver Matt Kakaley.
Another new face is Gadsden Hanover trained by Mark Ford. Racing primarily at Yonkers, the mare is the morning line favorite at 5/2. Anthony Napolitano drives.
- JENNIFER STARR