Day At The Track

Five first-time winners in Stallion Series

06:28 PM 14 Aug 2017 NZST
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Hold It Hanover
Hold It Hanover
Curtis Salonick Photo

WILKES-BARRE PA - On Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 11-1 shot Concerto overcame pacesetting favorite Brazuca, the only filly to have won in both of the previous Pennsylvania Stallion Series for three-year-old pacing distaffs, surmounting a first-over trip to tally in 1:53.1 - but the night's harness racing action still left Brazuca as the only StS double divisional winner, as five first-time winners accounted for all the stakes victories.

Tim Tetrick pulled Concerto from fourth at the 5/8 to journey up uncovered at Brazuca (Corey Callahan), and these two (and their similarly-clad drivers) slugged it out from midturn to the wire, leaving the others far behind. And tonight the battle of daughters of Bettor's Delight saw Concerto hit the high note, coming home in 55.2 - 27.2 to subdue her game rival in the last 50 feet, winning by a neck despite reporting back with broken equipment. Kelvin Harrison trains the determined winner for Ronald Mario.

Pocono's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., drove three of the first-time Stallion success stories, with the trio winning by a combined 10½ lengths and all in charge of their races from before the half. The fastest of the GNap trio was the Somebeachsomewhere filly Hold It Hanover, who came under the care of trainer Michael Hall at the beginning of July and now has won five straight, this one in 1:51 in taking a new lifetime mark for ubiquitous owner Howard Taylor.

Napolitano's other winning duo were the Western Terror filly Freakonomics, who equaled her mark of 1:51.2 for trainer Ross Croghan and the ownership of Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham, and another daughter of Bettor's Delight, Bridge To Tomorrow, who won in 1:53.2 for trainer Nifty Norman and Bay Pond Racing Stable.

George Napolitano Jr. ended the night with eight driving victories.

Norman also had the other Stallion Series "firster," Perplexed, who gave Somebeachsomewhere a siring double as well as she was driven by David Miller to a 1:52.3 triumph for Cool Cat Racing Inc.

Brazuca is the only horse who has earned enough points that she can't be toppled from a berth behind the gate in the Stallion Series Championship, but with nine horses with 10 points of the ninth and final starting spot in the final, the last prelim for this division, set for August 26 at The Meadows, should provide some exciting, competitive racing.

PHHA / Pocono

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