Day At The Track

Napolitano Jr "rolls a seven" in the slop

03:42 PM 10 Jul 2016 NZST
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George Napolitano Jr
George Napolitano Jr
WILKES-BARRE PA -Harness racing driver George Napolitano Jr., the all-time leading driver at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, took the Saturday spotlight by "storm," visiting Victory Lane in seven of the 13 races in which he drove.
 
Napolitano actually has his seventh win by race nine, having taken the first four races on the card over a track brought by rain to "sloppy" condition, then after the rain went drying out to "good" towards midcard. (There were no 1:47 miles, but even with two trots, the average time on the card in off going was 1:51.2.) Napolitano thus showed himself to be a real "mudder," but at times he looked like he didn't want to be out on the racetrack very long - he won four races by 5 lengths or more, including a 15 length victory with the trotter Fortunista.
 
"George Nap," who finished the evening with a 13-7-3-2-.684 tally, also doesn't much like looking at the racetrack scenery - in seven of his Saturday drives he was first at the ¾ pole, and incredibly in the other six, he was first-over (winning three times after using the overland route).
 
Napolitano tried to make the evening a "great eight" by sending 3-5 favorite Bushwacker, coming out of the Franklin competition, to the lead in the $18,000 tenth race featured pace, but they were caught in the stretch by Keystone Velocity, who came first-over with his own third quarter of 26.1 to argue with the leader, then drew away in the lane to win by 1½ lengths over the chalk in 1:49.3.
 
The victorious son of Western Hanover, now a winner of $453,471, is owned by Lauretta Galm, and is trained by Austin Brubacker, who earlier in the day, at the Gratz Fair, had the first purse drives of his career. Austin will long remember his first drive, and imagine this scenario: you have post six on a six-wide half-mile track, with a two-year-old trotter, in a field of eight - two trailers. Your horse has a horse break in his face on the first turn, and your horse suffers an "ix" - and is 39 lengths behind at the quarter! But Brubacker acquitted himself well, making up 23 lengths in the last ¾ and going three-wide at the ¾ to come back for a fifth-place check. It'll have to get easier for the young horseman.
 
PHHA / Pocono
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