Day At The Track

Benji's Best handles class hike at Pocono

12:19 PM 11 Aug 2019 NZST
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Benj's Best, harness racing
Benj's Best (#3) beats Another Daily Copy to the wire
Curtis Salonick photo

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Roll With Joe gelding Benji's Best, who snapped Atta Boy Dan's five-race winning streak in the top claiming handicap pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono last Saturday, handled the jump to the $21,500 conditioned company this Saturday, winning despite a first-over trip in 1:50.4.

Anthony Napolitano, who had four wins on the night as did his brother George, was fifth as Another Daily Copy took the field to the quarter in :27, then yielded to Soho Wallstreet A, who fronted the group to the half in :54.4. Benji's Best moved first-over and gained steadily to a 1:23.3 three-quarters, then continued his relentless grind, made the lead in the stretch, then held off the Pocono Pike charge of Another Daily Copy by a head, with Soho Wallstreet A staying on for third.

It was the fourth straight victory for Benji's Best, who was claimed for $25,000 on July 27 by the partnership of Ameer Najor and trainer Dan Maier, was passed up when offered for $30,000 last week, and now has earned $20,750 in his two starts for Team Najor-Maier and $150,769 lifetime.

Atta Boy Dan bounced right back from having his winning streak snapped, winning in the $20,000 claiming handicap pacing event in 1:49.4. Despite being outside past the 3/8 in making the lead from the outside post six for Anthony Napolitano, Atta Boy Dan had enough left late to withstand inside-shooting longshot Lucbobski, with Pembroke Wildcat third behind the ten-year-old Western Terror gelding.

Atta Boy Dan now has 12 victories in 23 seasonal starts, with earnings of $132,815 in 2019; his lifetime stats show 64 career triumphs and a bankroll of $876,417. He won on Saturday for owner/trainer Antonia Storer, but he was claimed from his ninth straight start (three of them for Storer), for the tenth time this meet for the local record $40,000, and for the twelfth time since he came in from The Meadows in May. His next start will be for Clifford Grundy, his third stint for that ownership.

From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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