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WILKES-BARRE PA – Homicide Hunter and Call Me Queen Be won the $25,000 winners-over features over a sloppy track at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Sunday, but the big news continued to be the hot longshot hands of harness racing driver Anthony Napolitano – who for the third straight card brought home a $50+ winner.   Anthony started his current streak in the last race of last week’s racing, capturing Tuesday’s 14th event with Ideal Fashion at $68.00. He struck again on Saturday with eleventh race bomber Perseverant ($53.80), and the localites who had climbed on the ANap bandwagon didn’t have to wait long for their reward on Sunday, as in the first race he rallied Serious Savannah from far back to light up the tote board at $58.20. Anthony now has 1/3 (5 of 15) of the $50+ winners so far in 2017 at the mountain oval.   Homicide Hunter, the second-fastest trotter ever on a North American 5/8-mile track by virtue of his resounding 1:50.1 triumph here last year, continued Saturday’s success in the winners-over ranks for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes. The pair had tallied with Scott Rocks and Split The House the day before, and on Sunday their streak ran to three when the Mr Cantab gelding Homicide Hunter made the lead at the ¼ and then drew off to a 1:54.1 triumph in the off going.  Homicide Hunter now has a bankroll of $752,163, and he is owned by Crawford Farms Racing.   In the pacing mares winners-over event, Call Me Queen Be notched her first victory since winning last year’s Breeders Crown 3PF Championship, with the Somebeachsomewhere mare stopping the timer in 1:53.2 for trainer Ross Croghan and owners Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham. Jim Marohn Jr. got the millionaire right to the front despite the outermost post nine, yielded to quarter-mover Regil Elektra, and then went to the Pocono Pike and made up ground into the 55.4 last half, withstanding the relentless first-over charge of Frost Damage Blues by ¾ of a length.   PHHA / Pocono  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 7, 2017) - Forgotten on the tote board in a talented and deep field, J A T O scored a 25/1 harness racing upset in the $20,000 featured trot at the Meadowlands on Friday night. J A T O, the former two-time New York County Fair Sire Stake champion, has blossomed into a high-level trotter in the barn of leading trainer Ron Burke. Favored Melady's Monet moved to the front from his outside post position before a half mile in :56. Meanwhile, Anthony Napolitano, who is expected to become a Friday night regular in the Meadowlands driving colony, had J A T O perfectly positioned in a second-over trip following Crosbys Clam Bake. Past three-quarters in 1:25.1, Napolitano tipped J A T O three wide and grinded by Melady's Monet in deep stretch to win by a neck in 1:54.1. B Yoyo rallied for third with Muscle Diamond fourth. J A T O paid $52.60 for a $2 win bet and keyed a $2 trifecta worth $1,906.40. It was J A T O's 33rd lifetime win from 52 career starts. His earnings move to $155,648 for owners Our Horse Cents Stables, Burke Racing, J&T Silva Stables, and Rossie Smith. J A T O In the co-feature, Penpal turned in another jaw-dropping performance for trainer/driver Pat Lachance. The stakes-placed 4-year-old mare settled in last for the first half mile before launching an eye-catching move three-wide to make the front by the top of the stretch. From there, the career earner of more than $300,000 opened up to win by two lengths in 1:51.4, last quarter in :27.1. Penpal is nominated to The Golden Girls, Lady Liberty, and TVG Mares Pace. David Miller and Jim Marohn, Jr. posted driving doubles. Total handle was $2,507,013. Racing resumes Saturday with an 11-race program headlined by a $20,000 conditioned pace. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

WILKES-BARRE PA - Sweet Beach, unraced in 21 days and with only one trip behind in the gate in the last 41, paced back to his pedigree (and rumored sharp training reports) in taking the final harness racing feature race of the year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, a $20,000 conditioned pace, in 1:51.2 over "sloppy +1" going in 40 degree temperatures. The five-year-old altered son of Somebeachsomewhere - Sweet Paprika, she a half-sister to Sweet Lou and Bettor Sweet with $6.2M in racetrack earnings, profited from an early break by favorite Alta Jerome N, taking early command then letting Theartofconfusion A go to the top past the quarter. Driver Anthony Napolitano bided his time with Sweet Beach, then came out of the 2-hole and wore down the pacesetter by a half-length for his second straight win, having taken his mark of 1:50 in his last race. Tom Cancelliere trains the talented pacer for brother/owner John. Rangers Sureshot, claimed by Ron Burke last week for $17,500, stepped up to $25,000/$30,000 company on Saturday and took the $18,000 high-level claiming handicap pace in 1:52.3, just a tick off his lifetime mark. Driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Chris Oakes, who won both the dash winning and percentage titles in their respective categories, were trying for their sixth straight win in this class and had favored Freeneasy Hanover on the lead, but the victorious Palone Ranger gelding made a big sweeping move late on the backstretch to join the leader on the turn, and Rangers Sureshot proved a half-length better tonight than the gritty Freeneasy Hanover. Matt Kakaley handled the sulky duties behind Rangers Sureshot for trainer Burke and Burke Racing Stable LLC / Weaver Bruscemi LLC - and that trio went home with both the first and second-place finishers in the race, as they claimed Freeneasy Hanover for $25,000 as well. Earlier, Windsun Stetson joined Terror Aint A Fool as the only two-time "bombers" of the Pocono meet when he won race two for driver Eric Carlson and paid $50.20, as Windsun Stetson had paid $72.20 in victory only three weeks earlier. Carlson wound up with four of the last six $50+ horses in 2016 at Pocono - while Terror Aint A Fool can add the two longshot victoires here to the distinction of being the first $50+ horse at The Meadows in 2016!   PHHA / Pocono    

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Napolitano brothers, George Jr. and Anthony, added to their 1-2 standings in the 2016 drivers' victory race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Monday night, each winning three races on the 15 race harness racing card.   Anthony had the early hot hand, winning with Gurl Band K (3rd), Crazy Smart (5th), and Sure You Are (6th), while George caught fire late and tallied with Black Queen (8th), Charles Ray (11th), and Undercover Beauty (14th). Anthony holds an 11-8 edge for the three cards so far this racing week at Pocono, but for the month of October, George is slightly ahead, 19-17, in the 7 cards (99 races) conducted so far.   And there is a driver who has more October wins at Pocono than either George or Anthony! Simon Allard won only once on Monday, with Yolo Hanover (11th), but that victory was his 20th of the month so far - nearly three visits to Victory Lane per card. Among the three, they have taken 56 of the 99 races conducted so far in October at the mountain oval.   PHHA / Pocono    

WILKES-BARRE PA - Wilberforce rolled to his third straight harness racing victory on Sunday night, never looking back in the $20,000 conditioned trotting feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and crossing the wire 2¼ lengths to the good in 1:53.3.   Driver Eric Carlson wasn't fastest away with the gelded son of Caviar Crown, but he used the track geometry advantage of starting from the rail to maximum effect, never letting his outside early pursuers get around him and then forcing them to drop in behind by the 27.2 quarter under pain of being parked the duration. From there things were fairly easy for Wilberforce, as he notched middle splits of 56.2 and 1:25, then trotted home strongly for his tenth triumph of the year. Uncle Hanover came up the Pocono Pike to take away second late from pocketsitting Stonebridge Combat behind the winner, who pushed his seasonal earnings over $100,000 for trainer Kris Rickert, co-owner with Dale Wareham.   The three-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding Double L Lindy, unraced at two, has really found his trotting form in recent starts and went even faster than the feature horses, posting a 1:53 win on a 53-degree night in a $16,000 event. A winner of only one of his first 11 career starts, Double L Lindy has now won four straight, including this smashing mile which saw him 19¾ lengths to the good at the wire. Anthony Napolitano, who had posted ten victories in his last three Pocono cards at press time, handled the promising youngster for trainer Ake Svanstedt and the ownership of Lindy Farms of CT, Joe Sbrocco, Paul Van Camp, and Little E LLC.   In the $18,000 featured pace, Michael's Victory ran his current winning streak to three with a 1:51.3 victory, overcoming a first-over trip and holding off second-over Perfect Bet by a head. Simon Allard, also with les mains chaudes recently (23 victories in October), sulkysat behind the sophomore Rocknroll Hanover gelding, whose dam Michell's Victory is a ¾ sister to the $1.3M-winning Rare Jewel, for trainer Mark Silva and owner Jeffrey Snyder.   PHHA / Pocono      

WILKES-BARRE PA - Allbeef N Nobull and Bourbon Bay, which sounds like a very good dinner, were the winners of the $15,500 featured harness racing events on the pace and trot, respectively, on Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Allbeef N Nobull swung four-wide headstretch from third-over and, still some 3 1/2 lengths out approaching midstretch, took advantage of a big late kick and a helping tailwind to run down YS Lotus in the final strides to post a neck tally in 1:51.2. The son of McArdle showed precociousness since his earliest racetrack days, where on July 9 of his freshman year he debuted with a 1:59.2 - 28.4 win at the Martinville IL Fair, and he has continued that ability to run his bankroll to $288,872 one start shy of his fiftieth race, winning tonight for driver Mike Simons, trainer Ron Burke, and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Donald Eamon, Howard Taylor, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In contrast to the hard late charge Allbeef N Nobull put in to gain his victory, the Sand Vic gelding Bourbon Bay had an easier time in taking his feature, leaving in 27 to discourage any early challengers, continuing on quickly and hitting the wire in the clear while posting a time of 1:52.3. Anthony Napolitano had sulky duty behind the winner of $238,048 for trainer Ake Svanstedt, who assumed the trotter's training four starts back and already has rung up two wins and a third with him for Our Horse Cents Stables, JT45, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Rossie Smith. FINISHING LINES - Pocono's and Philadelphia's strength were evident through the Grand Circuit card at Lexington's Red Mile on Saturday. Huntsville and Downbytheseaside, respectively 1-2 in the recent Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship and both by Somebeachsomewhere, both equaled the world record for two-year-olds of 1:49 first set by Pocono's co-track recordholder Sweet Lou; in another division of this two-year-old colt pacing stake, the Dragon Again gelding Dragnet Alert, trained by Oakes, set a divisional world record of 1:49.2. The other division of this stakes was won by Chip Walther, trained by Erv Miller and driven by his son Marcus, King of the Pocono Longshots - who paid $84.80, or less than half of what baby filly Zane Hanover paid ($189.80) for Miller and Miller in a division of the filly stake one race before Chip Walther won! The Napolitano brothers were dominant at Pocono Saturday, with Anthony recording five victories and George Jr., one ahead of his brother atop the local driving standings, visiting Victory Lane four times. Jim Marohn Jr. continued a hot recent hand with three scores; the evening's other two winners were driven by Mike Simons and Eric Carlson, and the way the aforementioned trio were going, it may not be surprising to learn that Carlson and Simons handled the two longest-priced horses of the night. PHHA / Pocono      

WILKES-BARRE PA - It may not be the optimal way to get tight - making two moves in a Sire Stakes race against Valley Forge harness racing winner Darlinonthebeach - but the McArdle filly Lispatty was certainly ready in her next start, the $15,500 featured distaff pace on Tuesday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, quarter-moving to the lead and then winning by five lengths in 1:50, knocking over two seconds off her lifetime mark.   Envious Hanover and Single Me were a distant next-closest at the wire to Lispatty, who was driven by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, who was completing a training double, with his winning chargers driven by different Napolitano brothers - George had guided the early winner. Lispatty, who has an outside chance to make her Sire Stakes final and a very good chance to make her Sires consolation, is owned by Garcia-Herrera's son Gilbert Garcia-Owen, who got his trainer's license recently and is doing well guiding the fortunes of the Garcia-Herrera string at Philadelphia.   The 1:50 clocking of Lispatty was bettered in a $14,000 conditioned pace for females, as Gallie Bythe Beach posted her second straight victory, with her Tuesday time of 1:49.1 just a tick off her lifetime mark. Mike Simons moved the impeccably-bred (Somebeachsomewhere-Galleria) mare to the lead past the quarter, and Gallie Bythe Beach took it from there, storming home in 54.2 to win by six lengths for trainer John Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC, who saw their mare come within an eyelash of the $750,000 career earnings plateau ($749,898 is now her actual number).   PHHA / Pocono      

WILKES-BARRE PA - On Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Anthony Napolitano returned to nighttime sulky action for the first time since a racing accident here on May 31, and there were no signs of rust visible on his driving skills - in fact, in races three through ten at The Downs Saturday, if your last name wasn't "Napolitano" you did not gain admittance to the harness racing winners circle, as big brother George won five of the octet of contests, and Anthony triumphed in the other three.   The last in this string of Napolitano victories went to George, again the winningest driver at the mountain oval, and the Rocknroll Hanover gelding Bushwacker in the $18,000 pacing feature, setting the pace and coming home with a pair of 27.2 back quarters to win in 1:50. Life wasn't easy in the stretch for the 1 to 2 favorite, however, as Dreams Beachboy - and "Ant'ny Nap" - made a charge up the Pocono Pike, but came up a half-length short to the Chris Ryder trainee, who boosted his earnings to the very brink of half-million-dollar status -- $499,587 - for owner Henderson Farms.   Anthony got revenge on George, and added a fourth winner on the night, by taking the $15,500 featured trot with Armor Hanover, an altered seven-year-old son of SJ's Caviar who won in 1:52 to not only take a new mark but also equal the national season's record. George set the pace with Cufflink Hanover, the favorite and a three-year-old taking on older stock, but "Armor" and Anthony blew right past them down the backstretch and went on to win by six lengths, with Valley Of Sin edging Cufflink Hanover for the deuce. Trainer Doug Berkeley has apparently found the key to the winner of two straight, who had made breaks in three of four starts before his current modest win string, and Doug shares ownership with Leslie Berkeley.   It looked as if the 1:48.4 posted by Soho in the first race, a $15,500 pace, would stand as the quickest mile of the night, but then in the twelfth race Andrew McCarthy, who swept the early Daily Double, then guided the Always A Virgin gelding Vague Traces to a scintillating win in 1:48.2, a new mark and not a bad mile for a horse who came east to be under Ross Croghan's care five starts back and started out in "nw $3000 L5." But the potential has always been there for Vague Traces - he won his first baby qualifier in 1:55.2, as year-older stablemate He's Watching looked on and nodded approvingly, and then last year at three he twice finished third behind two other Indiana-sired horses of some renown, Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete, as they traded late-season wins at Hoosier. Off this mile, with Vague Traces coming his own back half in 52.3, coverless brush to the lead included, and winning by 7¾ lengths, the Phil Wiley-owned warrior might develop into a horse not out of place in this year's magnificent FFA crop, headed by the two aforenamed Hoosier horses - and the one who was a year ahead of them, "Miki" something or other.   (And THEN ... all of the above writing was finished as the 15th and final race was going to the gate, and what happened in that $14,000 trot? We kid you not -- the brothers Napolitano finished in a dead-heat for win, giving George six wins on the night and Anthony [he of the supposed "rust"] five! The camera was called on but could not separate George's favored Zooming and Anthony's second choice Upfront Billy, who crossed the aperture of light together in 1:53.3, coming within 3/5 of a second of the world record for a "heater" on a five-eighth mile track and obliterating the old trot DH mark at the only oval to have three triple -dead-heats for win in harness racing history.)   Pocono / PHHA

Stirling Debutant, 1-for-25 in two seasons of harness racing entering the 2016 campaign, completed a clean sweep of the Bobby Weiss Trotting Series for distaffs at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, taking all four preliminary legs and then romping to a 1:57.3 victory over sloppy going in the $30,000 series Championship on Tuesday night to keep her seasonal record unblemished after those five starts.   Stirling Debutant tucked third late on the first turn, then was moved uncovered by red-hot driver Anthony Napolitano before the half to gain on runaway leader Coherent, a maiden who had had gaiting problems but showed no misbehavior and much speed while posting an astounding 27.1 opening quarter over the offtrack, carrying on to the half in 56.4. But reality in the form of the 1-9 favorite set in late on the backstretch as Stirling Debutant cleared to the lead well before the 1:26.2 3/4s, coasting home to win by 12½ lengths over Squeals Of Delight, with Amorous Flirt, Coherent, and Baba Daba Do picking up the other checks in that order.   The chalkplayers, who had wagered $5165 of a $6708 win pool and $6139 of a $6861 show pool on the favorite, had a few anxious moments after the race, as driver Marcus Miller made an objection against Anthony Napolitano and Stirling Debutant, claiming that they had caused his charge Grandma Jan's Gems, who finished sixth, to go offstride around turn one. If the objection had been allowed, the maintenance department may not have had enough light bulbs for the increased demand from the tote board (Squeals Of Delight 39-1, Amorous Flirt 41-1, Coherent 40-1, Baba Daba Do 60-1), but after reviewing replays the judges let the finish under the wire stand as official.   A four-year-old daughter of Credit Winner, Stirling Debutant had been trained by Christie Collins for owners J M F Racing LLC in the four prelims, but in the week before the final she was purchased by the combine of Randy Bendis, Thomas Pollack, Jack Piatt II, and R. Lewis Hauber, and transferred to the barn of former Downs training leader Steve Salerno. And whatever technique the old team found to turn around Stirling Debutant, it continued in the Weiss Final for her new connections.   Finishing seventh and last in the Weiss Final was 7-1 second choice Ready Any Time, who made a break before the first turn. Her driver was David Miller, and the incident was about the only false step put in by a Miller-driven horse on Tuesday. David entered the night with $199,964,811 in career driving earnings, and was looking to join his fellow Hall of Famers John Campbell ($295.9M) and Ron Pierce ($215.3M) as the only members of the $200 Million Drivers Club.   In his pre-Weiss drives, Miller posted a 7-3-3-1 tally, good for $29,320, putting him at $199,994,131, and if his filly could have lived up to the morning line (and the tote board) and finish second in the $30,000 Weiss Championship, the $7500 check would have put Miller over his goal. Instead, the break took out his best chance at reaching the magic $200M number this night, and despite a second ($2125) and a third ($1020) in post-Weiss drives, he came up just shy, with Miller's nightly earnings $32,465 (10-3-4-2) and his career tally oh-so-close to getting him the keys to the club at $199,997,276 (in hand-kept records to be verified by the USTA). The native Buckeye will be taking his familiar purple and white colors (garnished with a reddish-brown on this card while racing over the sloppy oval) to Harrah's Philadelphia tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon, where the morning line projects him to earn over $8,000 and thus reaching the exclusive $200 Million Club and joining Campbell and Pierce.   **********   Pocono's next racing action will take place on Saturday; while the Thoroughbred world conducts its famous Kentucky Derby, Pocono will feature its only doubleheader program of the year. The first card of ten races is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.; the highlight of the sunshine racing will be three $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars race for state-sired three-year-old trotting colts, headed by last year's two-year-old Sire Stakes champion, Lagerfeld, making his seasonal debut.   After the completion of the early card, the focus will go over to the runners until the Derby is conducted, and then a 14-race evening program will begin soon after the Derby is official, with an anticipated start of 7 p.m. Highlighting the nighttime action will be the inaugural edition of two races for the best Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacers, the $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic for males and the $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania for females.   The fields for these two races were decided by elimination races held last Saturday, with an open post draw for the finals. Driver Yannick Gingras handled both Classic elim winners for trainer Ron Burke, and he chose to go with the faster elimination winner, Check Six (1:50.4, post four, 5-2), with David Miller picked to guide JK Will Power (1:51.1, post three, 3-1).   Also a highlight of the evening card is the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Invitational Pace, named after the late local harness writer, which brings together some of harness's best free-for-all pacers.   With final drivers and morning line odds announced today, here are the fields for the three Saturday night feature races (post - horse (driver) - morning line odds):   Race 6 -- $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Invitational Pace   1 - Take It Back Terry (Matt Kakaley) - 4-1 2 - P H Supercam (David Miller) - 6-1 3 - Hall Bro (Brett Miller) - 20-1 4 - Luck Be Withyou (George Napolitano Jr.) - 10-1 5 - JK Endofanera (Yannick Gingras) - 5-1 6 - Rockeyed Optimist (Tim Tetrick) - 3-1 7 - Cooperstown (Anthony Napolitano) - 12-1 8 - Bushwacker (Jim Morrill Jr.) - 15-1 9 - Bit Of A Legend N (Andrew McCarthy) - 5-2   Race 11 -- $313,800 Miss Pennsylvania Pace Final   1 - Ivy League (Yannick Gingras) - 6-1 2 - Newborn Sassy (Tim Tetrick) - 5-1 3 - Sail To The Beach (George Napolitano Jr.) - 12-1 4 - Darlinonthebeach (David Miller) - 5-2 5 - Call Me Queen Be (Scott Zeron) - 4-1 6 - Pure Country (Brett Miller) - 3-1 7 - I Said Please (Anthony Napolitano) - 15-1 8 - Save The Treasure (Jim Morrill Jr.) - 20-1 9 - I Said Diamonds (Matt Kakaley) - 10-1   Race 12 -- $561,5000 Pennsylvania Classic Pace Final   1 - Big Top Hanover (Matt Kakaley) - 4-1 2 - The Catamount Kid (Jody Jamieson) - 6-1 3 - JK Will Power (David Miller) - 3-1 4 - Check Six (Yannick Gingras) - 5-2 5 - Lyons Snyder (Scott Zeron) - 5-1 6 - Western Dynasty (Tim Tetrick) - 15-1 7 - JJ Flynn (Brett Miller) - 12-1 8 - Duke Of Delray (Andrew McCarthy) - 20-1 9 - Manhattan Beach (Jim Morrill Jr.) - 10-1   PHHA / Pocono

Normally in this space we hand out the Weekly Awards to the top harness racing performers at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. But occasionally something extraordinary occurs which warrants some extra attention. And attention certainly must be paid to the fraternal feast of winning enjoyed by brothers George Napolitano Jr. and Anthony Napolitano on Saturday night. If you're even a little bit familiar with Pocono harness racing, you probably know that George Napolitano Jr. has been the dominant force in the driving colony since the turn of the millennium. What the faithful know is that his younger brother Anthony Napolitano has been steadily improving over the past few years to become one of the elite Pocono pilots as well. So the possibility of a night like Saturday night had been building for a while, but the near-total domination exerted by the Nap's was still somewhat stunning. It started off innocently enough, as Anthony took 9-1 shot Lean On You to a victory in the opening race condition pace in 1:51. The following race, a condition trot, demonstrated the effect that George can have on betting. Even though Zooming is a more accomplished trotter, Oho Diamond was the one heavily bet at 3-5, and you have to believe that was based on the fact that George had chosen to drive that mare over Zooming in the race. Sure enough, Oho Diamond sustained a first-over move to come up a winner in 1:53:1. But Anthony's reputation isn't quite so imposing to bettors, at least not yet, which is why he can still drive a horse that goes off at 33-1, like Due West Hanover did in Race 3. When he guided that one home to a victory with a flying finish, it was the first inkling perhaps that the Pocono patrons and all those watching around the country at simulcast parlors were about to see a Napolitano night for the ages. George won Race 4 handily with Ideal Matters, before Anthony came right back with winners in Race 5 with Jins Dragon, who now has five consecutive victories, and in Race 6 with Quality Closer, who took advantage when the favorite P L Idaho, driven by George, went off-stride. But George Nap quickly answered the bell by ripping off three straight wins, with Whoyoucallingafool, Eighteen, and McCedes, to take a 5-4 lead in the Napolitano Derby. Anthony followed by taking the top purse of the night in the $25,000 featured condition pace. He sent 4-year-old stallion Cooperstown to the front end early on in the mile, expertly rated the speed, and then held off the charge by brother George aboard favorite Scott Rocks to pick up the victory at 1:51:2. That left the brothers all even at 5-5 in wins, while the rest of the driving colony was still empty-handed at that point. It took Mike Simons to break the Napolitano stronghold. In Race 11 he drove Rock Absorber aggressively to the front end, eventually holding off Lyons Meandragon to win a claiming pace in 1:52:4. The horses driven by Anthony and George finished fourth and sixth, respectively, so the streak ended without much suspense. By no means were the brothers done though. In the 12th, George came back to win with 4-1 third choice My Love Bi in a condition trot. A race later, it was Anthony evening the score once again, as he led Simple Business, a 5-1 third choice, to his third consecutive victory in a condition pace in 1:52:2. Entering the 14th race, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that it would come down to the two brothers in some sort of stretch showdown. So it was maybe a bit of a surprise that Anthony glided to such a convincing victory aboard A Real Miracle, whose mile of 1:50:3 was the fastest all night. That left the final tally at Anthnoy Napolitano with seven wins, George Napolitano Jr. with six, and the field with one. There were some other amazing numbers to consider on the night. The win aboard A Real Miracle, an 8-5 shot, was the only one of Anthony's winners who was favored, while George's winners were all favorites but one. And in five of those thirteen races where a Napolitano winner, the other brother finished second. One night of domination by the brothers Nap, who now sit one-two in the driving standings in 2016 with George leading the way, does not mean that the rest of the drivers can go home. The following night at Pocono some semblance of normalcy returned, with six different drivers winning the first six races on Sunday and George and Anthony combining for just three wins on the night. But for that one amazing evening, the immensely talented and ultra-competitive Napolitano brothers turned Pocono into their childhood backyard writ large. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at Jim Beviglia

On Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Stirling Debutant, a winner only once in 25 starts at two and three, stamped herself as the firm favorite for next Tuesday's $30,000 Championship of the Bobby Weiss Series for harness racing trotting females by taking a new mark of 1:55.1 in her fourth and final preliminary leg to post a quartet of victories in the prelims.   The Credit Winner mare, piloted by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Christie Collins and owner J M F Racing LLC, sat second while the speedy but still green Selfie Hanover cut hot fractions of 28 and 56.1 before going offstride coming off the second turn. Stirling Debutant, inheriting the lead, maintained control easily from there, winning by 3¼ lengths over Hot Curry, who came first-over to grab second away from South Side Hanover, who inherited the pocket after the break but who could not muster the needed speed and thus saw her own Weiss unbeaten streak stop at three.   Though South Side Hanover tasted defeat tonight, trainer/driver Todd Schadel did get to the Weiss winners circle, with the SJ's Caviar filly Real Caviar rallying as the pocket rocket to post her second Weiss victory, here in 1:59.4. Squeals Of Delight, last week a $107 winner in defeating Real Caviar and heading a $919 exacta, set the pace this week but finished ¾ of a length behind Real Caviar (the pair both went off at 9-5 this week). Schadel shares ownership in the winner with Dr. John Egloff.   In the other Weiss cut, Abbie's Celticlass, second in his first Weiss start last week while adding trotting hopples, seems to developing quickly now, with the Explosive Matter filly breaking her maiden with a 5¼-length victory in 1:57.2 for driver David Miller, trainer Ken Hess Jr., and owners Stop The Jade Farm LLC and Troyce Craig Thomas.   The trotters qualifying for next Tuesday's Weiss Championship in this division are Stirling Debutant, South Side Hanover, Real Caviar, Squeals Of Delight, Abbie's Celticlass, Ready Any Time, Keystone Taylor, Grandma Jan's Gems, and Casino Cutie It.   Pocono next races on Saturday, with eliminations for May 7's $561,500 Pennsylvania Classic for the best PA-sired three-year-old pacing colts and geldings and $313,500 Miss Pennsylvania for pacing fillies. The elims will feature last year's respective Sire Stakes champions, Ideal Jimmy and Pure Country.   Sunday will see the first two $30,000 Championships in the Weiss Series action, with both pacing finals going that night. Among the males, no one was able to post three victories in the four preliminaries, but six horses won twice, and that event figures to be a slam-bang competitive affair from gate to wire. The complexion of the Weiss distaff event changed dramatically when Candy Corn Hanover and Some Fancy Filly, the only multiple prelim winners, opted to bypass the Weiss Final and take a shot at the big money in the Miss Pennsylvania eliminations, leaving Southwind Tango the likely Weiss choice.   ALERT:   David Miller going into Tuesday's racing: lifetime earnings $199,841,086 Thus $158,914 short of following John Campbell and Ron Pierce into the $200 Million Club In Miss Pennsylvania elims this Sat: Darlinonthebeach 5-2, Some Fancy Filly 5-2, Ivy League 7-2 Miss Pennsylvania Final May 7 -- $313,800 **half of which is $156,900   PHHA / Pocono  

Napoleon tried to rule the world, but failed; The Napolitanos came closer. The non-Napolitano to win was harness racing driver Mike Simons, who took the 11th with Rock Absorber.   Imagine having a .564 UDR for a night's driving (14-6-3-1), and having your kid brother BEAT you by 111 POINTS (13-7-2-2-.675)! Yes, George - oh, brother.   The last winner Anthony drove was a favorite; the first six winners he drove were NON-favorites. One of them was Due West Hanover, who was last at the half but rallied to beat out Forego The Cigar (and George) to pay $69.80 - Anthony's second Pocono "bomber" in six nights, as last Monday he guided Majo Just Do It to the Downs' winners circle at a seasonal-high mutuel of $197.00.   In contrast, the last winner George drove was a non-favorite; the first five winners he drove were ALL favorites.   In fact, George drove the favorite in EACH of the first TEN races, and thus doing better than the norm with five wins (50%). The only other possible time when a driver drove ten straight favorites is believed to be September 10, 1978, at Hinsdale Raceway in New Hampshire, where Herve Filion made a guest appearance. The Hinsdale Race Office told trainers to put down Herve if they wanted him to drive their horse, and legend has it that out of 168 entrants for that card, Herve was named on 123 of them - and the race office put him on what they believed to be the best horse he was named on in each race. Filion had two seconds - and eight wins, the first time a driver had eight victories on one pari-mutuel card. (The second, by the way, was Pat Crowe of Cam Fella fame.)   The brothers were 1-2 in five of the races Saturday, with Anthony holding a 3-2 edge in that category.   The 13 winners between two brothers on one card is believed to break the previous record of 11 set June 10, 2011 right at Pocono - by brothers George (11 wins) and Anthony (0 wins, but he raced on the card) Napolitano. In fact, that night Anthony was second behind longshots who extended George driving the winning favorite twice, with one race having George's even-money shot beating his 10-1 horse by a half-length, and then George winning by a neck at 7-5* against Anthony's 8-1 shot.   An historical note: those 11 wins on one raceway card in June 2011 ties George Napolitano Jr. with Dave Palone (4-21-08, Meadows) as the standard in that category. One of "GNap"'s wins that night was in a dead-heat for first. Pocono had 16 races on George's record night, and George drove in all 16 - in the ones he didn't win, he was eighth, eighth, eighth, fifth - and (most people don't remember this) FIRST PLACED SECOND (yes, he crossed the wire first TWELVE times hat night) with a pacer named Lavern's Art, placed down for interference; placed up was driver ... Mike Simons (who started this whole discussion, above).   PHHA / Pocono

If you were a harness racing driver at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday night and you didn't have the last name of Napolitano, it was an uphill battle to say the least. Brothers George Napolitano Jr. and Anthony Napolitano dominated the action to such an extent that it took until the 11th race of the night until another driver was able to pick up a win. Up to that point, the Naps had won five each. Anthony won races 1, 3, 5, 6, and 10, while George did the honors in races 2, 4, 7, 8, and 9. Among Anthony's highlight winners: Lean On You, who scored a condition pacing victory at 9-1 in the opening race in 1:51, which shared honors for fastest pace of the night; Due West Hanover, who surprised a claiming handicap field at 33-1 with a flying late move in 1:53:4; and Cooperstown, who went gate to wire to win the featured $25,000 condition pace in 1:51:2. Meanwhile George's winners included Oho Diamond, a mare who captured the night's top trotting purse of $15,500 with a win in 1:53:1; Eighteen, who shared fastest pacer honors for the evening with his condition victory in 1:51; and McCedes, the $1.2 million-earner who ripped off his second straight claiming win in 1:52. Among trainers, Christie Collins hooked with A-Nap for two victories, while Daniel Renaud scored a win with each of the brothers. The run finally ended in Race 11, when Pocono's longest-tenured regular driver Mike Simons guided Rock Absorber to a win in a $10,000 claimer in 1:52:4. The Napolitanos' horses finished fourth and sixth in that race, so the streak ended quietly. But George Nap went right back at it in Race 12, winning aboard trotting mare My Love Bi, proving that you couldn't keep the brothers down for long on this night. Jim Beviglia

WILKES-BARRE PA - South Side Hanover and Stirling Debutante both took their third victories in as many preliminaries of the Bobby Weiss Series by winning $15,000 divisions of the trotting females competition Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, while in the third cut two "logical" horses came home 1-2 - and combined for a $919 Exacta.   South Side Hanover has had the rail in all three of her Weiss starts - the outer one the first week, the inner one the last two - but the result has always been the same, a visit to Victory Lane. Tuesday, the Cantab Hall filly went wire-to-wire in 1:58, with back fractions of 58.2 - 28.3 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel and Schadel's co-owner Roger Hammer, a/k/a "Team Vivid Photo."   Even though she equaled her lifetime mark of 1:55.4 in another Weiss division, the Credit Winner mare Stirling Debutante did not have it easy, pressed hard by first-over Abbie's Celticlass, but she nonetheless held her lead over that rival to the wire by a half-length, with Anthony Napolitano again in the sulky for trainer Christie Collins and owners J M F Racing LLC.   And as for that "logical" $919 exacta? Well, the winner, Squeals Of Delight, had seconds in both her two previous starts in the Weiss, and second-place horse Real Caviar had won a Weiss division in week one, so you think those two would get some respect here, right?   Well, $107.00 winner Squeals Of Delight held off 23-1 place horse Real Credit (another Schadelite) to her left by a length in 1:57.4, lowering the winning Donato Hanover mare's mark by six seconds - but admittedly they did have some assistance from the remainder of the seven-horse field, who all went offstride, including 1-5 favorite Selfie Hanover while on the lead on the far turn. Larry Stalbaum had Squeals Of Delight in the pocket at that point and took over the lead, during the moans of agony of the chalkplayers, and captured the victory for trainer Robert Bath, co-owner with Eldo Leonelli.   Squeals Of Delight was the second $100+ winner at Pocono in three nights, after $197.00 Majo Just Do It won on Sunday, and the timing couldn't have been more curious - because The Downs had just come off a week where the combined win prices of every winner, each night for four straight nights, never topped $100 TOTAL for a single card!   From the PHHA

WILKES-BARRE PA - Both South Side Hanover and Stirling Debutant are now two-time winners in as many preliminary legs of the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting females after Tuesday action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but Stirling Debutant was more impressive to the eye as she easily trotted over her field after a fast pace to win in a lifetime best of 1:55.4.   Anthony Napolitano placed the Credit Winner mare third behind a streaking Real Caviar, also a winner last week, as the latter posted scalding fractions of 27.2, 56.4, and 1:25.4. Napolitano was able to back out behind the cover over first-over Hot Curry on the far turn, then tipped wide and easily trotted to the fore, winning by a length and a quarter. After going 1 for 25 at ages two and three, Stirling Debutant is now 2-for-2 in 2016 for trainer Christie Collins and owners J M F Racing LLC.   Although trainer/driver Todd Schadel's Real Caviar tired after that hot pacesetting, his other winner from the first Weiss leg, South Side Hanover, did make a return trip to Victory Lane, tonight winning in 1:57.1. Schadel sent the Cantab Hall filly uncovered at the half, and she trotted a 27.4 third panel to clear to the lead en route posting a length victory. Schadel also co-owns South Side Hanover, unbeaten in three seasonal outings, with Roger Hammer, the pairing behind 2005 Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo.   In the third $15,000 division of Tuesday's second round action, the Kadabra filly Ready Any Time was ready this evening, also using first-over tactics en route to a 1:59.4 triumph by 1½ lengths. Matt Kakaley was in the filly's sulky for trainer Nifty Norman and the partnership of Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman, David Mc Duffee, and Little E LLC.   Rene Allard is still four winners away from becoming the first trainer to achieve 3000 conditioning victories before the age of 30, dividing six starts between The Downs and Yonkers on Tuesday, and doing very well with three seconds and two thirds, but no winners circle appearances. Allard, 29, sends out one horse tomorrow at Harrah's, and then his magic moment seems likely to arrive over the weekend: he has seven in at Yonkers Thursday and nine Friday, and then has entrants in every one of the 14 races at Pocono on Saturday in addition to four at Yonkers; if those horses don't get him to 3000, he'll have eight more chances at Pocono on Sunday.    

After Scott Zeron's grand slam on Friday, harness racing driver Anthony Napolitano one-upped his youthful rival on Saturday (March 5) evening at The Meadowlands, winning five of the 13 races. After a pillar-to-post win in the opener with Sweet Justice ($10.80, 1:55.2), the 34-year-old Napolitano prevailed with odds-on favorite Honey I'm Home ($3.40, 1:52) in the third before back-to-back minor upsets in the seventh and eighth with K Slater ($19.80, 1:52.2) and K-Lees Shakenbake ($15.80, 1:50.1) respectively. Napolitano closed the night on a winning note, teaming up with Alex Bullville ($5.20, 1:53.4) in the finale. In the featured $25,000 Open Handicap Pace, Rockeyed Optimist ($3.00) lived up to odds-on billing, holding off a ferocious late rally from Dovuto Hanover for a 1:50.2 triumph. The 5-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding floated into midfield from his outside post in the sextet, settling four lengths behind early pacesetter Real Nice (Anthony Napolitano) through a :27 first quarter before Andy McCarthy brushed Rockeyed Optimist to the fore up the backstretch. Rockeyed Optimist's lead was never in jeopardy until the final sixteenth, as 3-1 second choice Dovuto Hanover (Scott Zeron) surged off the cover of Take It Back Terry (Joe Bongiorno) to give chase. Rockeyed Optimist had enough left to hold sway, prevailing by a diminishing half length. Take It Back Terry, who flattened off the far turn, found more in the stretch, saving third. Steve Elliott trains 17-time winner Rockeyed Optimist for Anthony Perretti, Virginia Berkner, the A and B Stable, and Joseph Battaglia. For Rockeyed Optimist, it was his second win in three starts this season. Rockeyed Optimist Total handle for the 13-race card was $3,015,013, marking an increase of $41,167 over the corresponding Saturday in 2015 and the tenth program in the last 11 at The Meadowlands with over $3 million in betting turnover. Racing continues to be competitive in northern New Jersey, with 17 of 26 favorites defeated in the first weekend of March. Heading to next Friday's (March 11) program, over $124,500 will carry over into the final-race 20¢ Jackpot High 5. Punters and horsemen alike are reminded that post time at The Meadowlands shifts to 7:15 p.m. Eastern effective next week. by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

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