from the PHHA/Pocono
Wilkes-Barre, PA — Mike Simons stands on the doorstep of the milestone of 4,000 career driving victories, as he won three races on Monday (Oct. 8), including two at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
In the 15,840 feet his horses covered in those three winning miles for Simons, the aggregate margin of victory was about 40 inches — and with each race, the margin drew tighter.
Mike won in the afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia with trotter D’Dream for trainer Neal Ehrhart, going by a neck. At Pocono Monday night, Simons bookended the card with a pair of “Tom-trained horses,” taking the first with the Tom Gummerson-conditioned trotter El Pescadoro by a head, and then the last with pacer Griffon Hanover for trainer Tom Fanning by a nose.
The 57-year-old Simons, a resident of nearby Nazareth, Pa., has won 100 or more races every year since 2002 in a sulky career that started in the early 1980s. Mike led the driver win standings at Pocono in 2002, and in fact was only the second driver to win 200 races in a single season at Pocono, behind Walter Case Jr. His best year statistically came in 2007, when he won a total of 274 races and $2.9 million. Simons is known as “The Trot Man” because he seems to have a special affinity for getting success out of horses of that gait, and sometimes at large mutuels.
Unfortunately from the standpoint of Pocono, his base track for many years, when Simons gets win No. 4,000, it won’t be at the mountain oval, as The Downs will not be back in action until Saturday. Simons has a drive with Ask Queenie, a 9-2 proposition, in the distaff pacing feature at Monticello Tuesday afternoon, and then at Yonkers Tuesday night he has five horses listed, the one with the best chance of winning being the trotter Eldorado Of Gold S, listed at 7-2 in the fourth race. His next slated action beyond Tuesday is Thursday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.