05/05/2016 10:01AM

Pocono: Zeron looks for Pennsylvania sweep on Saturday

Curtis Salonick
Call Me Queen Be has her work cut out for her versus Darlinonthebeach, Pure Country and others in the Miss Pennsylvania.

Driver Scott Zeron knows he’s up against it on Saturday night. One of the sport’s leading reinsman, Zeron has two contenders in the twin features on The Downs at Mohegan Sun at Pocono’s rich card. Lyons Snyder, third in one of the eliminations a week ago, drew post five in the inaugural $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic for sophomore pacing colts. Call Me Queen Be starts from the exact same spot a race earlier in the $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania.

“It was tough going up against the Burke Brigade last week,” said Zeron, referring to the two-ply attack he faced in the eliminations. “It’s going to be even tougher this week with four of them in the race.”

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While Zeron will have three Burke horses to his inside and one to his outside, he is more than happy to talk about the horse he’s driving in the name of Lyons Snyder.

“When Mark (trainer Silva) asked me to drive him a few weeks ago at The Meadowlands I asked him what he was expecting. He told me he wanted me to test the horse because he planned on entering him in this race,” Zeron said. “So I tested him and he impressed me.”

The 1:51 2/5 wire-to-wire victory at The Meadowlands gave Zeron the confidence he needed entering last week’s trials.

“I drove him with confidence,” said Zeron, “but I wasn’t happy getting into the three hole.” That trip was a result of Burke horses exchanging the lead. Zeron found himself with room to go inside in the stretch, but despite his horse having pace the son of Well Said finished third.

“I really couldn’t drive him in the stretch. He definitely had pace but he was difficult to steer,” said Zeron. Some young horses lack the experience to use the passing lane. “When horses train in groups they are always angled to the outside to pass. It’s different in a race.”

Regardless of the third-place finish, Zeron believes he has a legitimate chance in the final.

“No one in this field should be 1-9,” Zeron said. “Check Six (the colt Lyons Snyder finished behind) is a good horse but he just held on by a nose.”

Lyons Snyder was a $130,000 yearling purchase of Jeffrey Snyder and Geoffrey Lyons Mound, thus the name. He’s a half-brother to the high-caliber pacer Aracache Hanover.

“I never drove Aracache Hanover but I raced a lot against him. He was a big and powerful horse,” said Zeron. “This colt is bigger than he was and I think he’s still learning.”

Lyons Snyder’s main rivals are definitely inside of him with Big Top Hanover (post 1), J K Will Power (post 3) and Check Six (post 4) the heavy hitters from trainer Ron Burke inside.

Zeron found the winner’s circle a week ago with Call Me Queen Be in one of three eliminations for the Miss Pennsylvania. The Ross Croghan-trained filly took advantage of a pocket trip to score in 1:51 3/5 in her first start as a sophomore.

Call Me Queen Be faces a solid field in the evening’s 11th race. Likely favorites Darlinonthebeach with driver David Miller is directly inside of her in post four and the previously unbeaten Pure Country with Brett Miller has post six.

“I think Jimmy (trainer Takter) will have Pure Country sharper this week,” said Zeron of last year’s divisional champion that faded to third in last week’s trials.

“My filly is really quick at the start and can out-leave anyone.”

Call Me Queen Be took the field to the quarter in 26 1/5 to gain the pocket last week and Zeron most definitely wouldn’t mind sitting close up behind one of the favorites with the big money on the line.

The initial Miss Pennsylvania has some well-bred and talented pacing fillies in the line-up. Ivy League landed the rail for trainer Jimmy Takter. Yannick Gingras picks up the drive behind the daughter of the sensational See You At Peelers.

Newborn Sassy won eight of 10 starts as a juvenile and finished a credible second in last week’s trial behind Darlinonthebeach. Tim Tetrick will guide her from post two.

I Said Diamonds, a 1:51 winner in the third elimination division, landed post nine with Matt Kakaley in the bike.

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will hold a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. The evening program that features the Miss Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Classic finals has a 6:30 p.m. first post with 14 races carded.

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