Day At The Track

Great Northeast Series to Mach It So

12:29 PM 10 Jun 2018 NZST
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Mach It So, harness racing
Mach It So with owner/trainer Jeff Bamond, Jr.
Ken Weingartner photo

WILKES-BARRE PA - All the bettors' attention was focused on Rodeo Romeo and Rockeyed Optimist, 1-2 in the Great Northeast Open Series pacing standings and 1-2 at the post draw, but Mach It So, a winner here recently and still let go as the 11-1 third choice, set the pace and held off Rodeo Romeo by a head to win a $30,000 Great Northeast event at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night.

George Napolitano Jr., with five winners on the Pocono card joining the two he had at Philly this afternoon, gunned the Mach Three gelding at the start and easily beat 13 to the eighth to seat everyone behind him, with Rodeo Romeo in the pocket at the 26.1 quarter.

Favored Rockeyed Optimist started uncovered nearing the 55.2 half, but Mach It So had had a nice breather in quarter two and restarted the jets, blunting the first-over's bid by reaching the  in 1:22.

But Rodeo Romeo was still right there, and pulling out in the stretch he inched ever-closer to the leader. But the winner of $2,593,675 lifetime showed his heart was still in the right place at age 8, holding off the potential pocket rocket by a head for trainer Jeff Bamond Jr. and Bamond Racing LLC.

The $21,500 conditioned co-feature resulted in the fastest mile of the year on a 5/8-mile track (unless it was beaten elsewhere Saturday night), as 2015 freshman champion Boston Red Rocks followed cover behind wicked fractions , then stormed home (last quarter 26.3) to stop the timer in 1:48.2 in turning back Scott Rocks by 1¼ lengths.

The son of Rocknroll Hanover, now with a bankroll of $1,370,016, took a career mark with the impressive victory for driver Anthony Napolitano, trainer Jake Leamon, and owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks.

In the $20,000 claiming handicap pace, "George Nap" and trainer Hunter Oakes combined for their second joint win on the night, this with the Art Major gelding Major Trick in a career best 1:49.4. Oakes had had the horse for three straight wins, lost him via claim, took him right back, and immediately started the winner of $330,098 back on the winning track for owner Omar Beiler.

This was the last claiming event of the night; in all, 14 horses changed hands via the claim box, totaling $261,750 and bringing Pocono's two-week money exchange amount to $514,250 - just on the two Saturdays.

Finally, Walks Of Life remains the winningest horse in North America in 2018 with 13 visits to Victory Lane, and Saturday he was claimed for the 12th straight time, his fourth stay with Team Allard and approaching the local "record" of 13 straight claims put up by R Gauwitz Hanover in 2015.

Alas, the hard campaign might be catching up to him, as he set the pace as is customary, but had nothing left in the stretch and finished out of the money - the first time he hasn't been 1-2 since March 10, and the first time he didn't hit the board in 21 starts this year.

From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

 


 

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