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East Rutherford, NJ --- On a night where 10 of 14 favorites were handed defeat, punters combined to wager $3,035,296 on Friday (January 29) evening's harness racing program at The Meadowlands, with a near steady stream of minor upsets yielding generous dividends throughout. The first such minor upset came in the evening's second event--the featured $25,000 Open Handicap Trot, as Can Do ($14.20) sprinted to the fore and never looked back.  Anthony Napolitano sent the 7-year-old Cantab Hall gelding right to the front, establishing a clear lead on the first turn while 6-5 favorite Opulent Yankee (Andy Miller) was hard used to secure the pocket from his outside post assignment.  Can Do rated a moderate :56.2 initial half before facing stern first-over pressure from Uva Hanover (Tim Tetrick) on the far turn.  The two dueled through a :28.2 third split, but Can Do maintained the upper hand, edging clear off the corner and eluding pocket rival Opulent Yankee by three lengths for a 1:53.2 victory, his second in three starts.  Uva Hanover flattened to finish third, while Detroit Rapper (Jim Marohn, Jr.) made a mild bid off cover to save fourth. Jody Riedel owns and trains Can Do, now a 31-time winner. Can Do The sub-featured fourth race, a $15,000 trotting event for horses which have not won six races or $100,000, saw Ron Burke trainee Its Huw You Know ($11.20) score in pillar-to-post fashion as well, rating sensible fractions before drawing off to a four-length win in 1:56.1.  Yannick Gingras drove the 4-year-old Holiday Road gelding for the Burke Racing Stable, Mark Weaver, and Mike Bruscemi. Its Huw You Know While four of the first five races were won by horses on the lead or drafting in the pocket, the streaking Magenta Man ($9.20) bucked that trend--and altered his own tactics--in the $10,200 sixth race, capturing his third straight win in second-over fashion after prior pacesetting and pressing triumphs, just nosing out longtime leader T Js Mr Lavec in 1:54.3.  Andy Miller once again drove the 4-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding for trainer Julie Miller and the partnership of Little E, LLC and RBH Ventures, Inc. Magenta Man Both .20 Jackpot High 5 wagers will carry over to Saturday (January 30) evening's card, as neither was captured by a single player.  Saturday's seventh race High 5 will offer $13,418 in added money should a single winner emerge, while the finale will boast a carryover of $69,103.  First post for Saturday's 14-race card is 6:35 p.m. Eastern time. by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations 

After taking last winter off, harness racing driver Anthony Napolitano decided to spend this winter racing at Yonkers and the Meadowlands. He is more than happy with the decision, and hopes it leads to more opportunities. Napolitano is the leading driver at the Meadowlands so far this year, with 11 wins in 64 starts. He also has raced three Thursdays at Yonkers, where he has picked up three victories in 12 starts. His combined winning percentage at the two ovals is a solid 18.4 percent. "Last winter I took off and it was so boring," Napolitano said. "I thought I would really like it, but after a couple months having off you can't wait to get back to work. I appreciate it a lot more. Everything seems to be working out." In previous years, the 34-year-old Napolitano spent winters competing at Pompano Park in Florida. Napolitano now lives in northeast Pennsylvania and drives regularly at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, which is closed for live racing until March 19. Shuttering his farm and heading to Florida for the winter was no longer a practical option. "Yonkers and the Meadowlands are close enough to me for me to race over the winter instead of going back to Florida," Napolitano said. "I like to go to visit family (in Florida) but for work it's tough because you have to move everything down there. I knew after buying my farm that over the years I would look to the Meadowlands and Yonkers in the winter. I'm not a fan of the cold, but I knew I had to make something happen." Last year Napolitano ranked third in wins at Pocono, behind older brother George Napolitano Jr. and Simon Allard. For the season, Anthony Napolitano won a total of 188 races and $2.44 million in purses, his best totals since 2009 when he won 295 times (with more than half the victories coming at Pompano Park) and $2.52 million. "I had a good year at Pocono and guys were asking me if I was going (to the Meadowlands)," Napolitano said. "I decided to go opening night and I ended up doing OK. I'm just going to enjoy it now." Napolitano followed his father and brother into harness racing, although he also has a passion for racing cars and still can be sometimes found at a dragstrip located near his farm. Napolitano's brother, George, won a track-record 407 races at Pocono in 2015 and captured his ninth title for wins at the oval. George has won 7,506 races in his career and was the national leader in victories in 2010. He finished second to Aaron Merriman last year, with 832, but established a personal best with $8.56 million in purses. "We're very close off the track, but very competitive on the track," Anthony Napolitano said of his relationship with George. "He's really competitive. Sometimes we hurt each other's feelings on the track, but off the track it's like nothing ever happened. We keep it a business. We respect each other. We're blood brothers for life so you've got to leave it on the track. "That goes for any of the drivers. We try to do as good as we can. Things happen out there and you can't take it personally." Anthony Napolitano has won 2,021 races in his career, notching triumph No. 2,000 on Dec. 12 at the Meadowlands. "It's not great in a lot of people's eyes --- a lot of drivers have a lot of career wins --- but I started at Pompano and it was very tough there because there were two or three guys that won all the races so I had to dig deep. At the tracks I've been at, I've had very tough (driver) colonies to deal with. I'm happy to have 2,000 wins and I'm looking for many more. I feel that I'm getting better with age and I learn something new every night." Napolitano's maturation as a driver includes being more patient on the racetrack. "Experience really shows," Napolitano said. "I had lots of times where I thought I should pull first over and it was no good. I've been in those situations so many times over the years that now instead of taking that chance and over-driving, I'm more patient and I sit in. Most times it is the best move, especially on a big track like the Meadowlands. Sometimes I've gotten myself beaten by over-driving because that stretch is very long. I've had luck with not being too aggressive and slipping through late. "It's very hard out there; people don't understand. One split second a guy is on top of you making a move and you've missed your chance. There's a lot going on in each and every race. I know you're only as good as your last drive, but I've learned to keep my composure and keep grinding away. I know every night isn't going to be a good night. I used to take it home with me, but now I leave it on the track and keep my focus; just take a step back and regroup." Napolitano hopes a strong winter will help him gain the faith of more trainers and owners in the future. "I just want to show people that if I have a little power I can compete too," Napolitano said. "I'm just happy that people are seeing that I'm a late-bloomer and I am getting better at what I do as I mature. Hopefully people will see I can drive a young horse and I'll get lucky and get a decent horse to drive in some of the stakes races. "But I just feel blessed to have a career like this. I'm very thankful. I couldn't be happier." Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications

East Rutherford, NJ - Friday kicks off another weekend of exciting harness racing at The Meadowlands with fourteen races beginning at 6:35 p.m.   With trotters dominating the Friday offering (nine trots to five pacing races) there are several interesting fields for those so inclined to reflect, dissect and project the possibilities in the pursuit of pari-mutuel rewards.   The featured $25,000 Open Handicap trot fields nine (seven pari-mutuel interests) including last week's upset winner Can Do.   The seven year old gelded son of Cantab Hall is bred in the purple and had modest success in some minor mid-west stakes as youngster, but really blossomed at age four in Delaware overnight competition. Can Do joined the Jody Reidel stable last September when the noted horsewoman plucked him from a $30,000 claimer at Yonkers. Jody reaped immediate rewards when Can Do paid for himself in a month on the strength of three wins against the forty claimers.   When Jody brought him across the river during the Christmas break at Yonkers Can Do clicked with the mile track racing at The Meadowlands and when paired with driver Anthony Napolitano proved competitive against the best trotters on the grounds. Last week Napolitano used Can Do's gate speed to secure early position then fanned out and went by the early leaders in the stretch to post the upset in a career best 1:53.1.   Can Do starts from post position eight this week and is listed at 4-1 on the morning line.   The standard guarantees are in place for Friday's horizontal wagers, $30,000 in the Pick 5 beginning in race three, $25,000 in the Early Pick 4 (races 5-8) and $50,000 in the Late Pick 4 (races 9-12). The Hi-5 Jackpot is set for races 7 and 14 with that last race Jackpot now up to $62,725.   James Witherite is now providing insightful Race Reviews to complement your handicapping arsenal each racing night.   Promotion-wise the first handicapping contest of the new year is on Saturday night, January 23. It's a $100 World Harness Handicapping Contest qualifier and you can find the details here.   You may enjoy these epicurean delights while watching and wagering on Meadowlands racing in the tiered trackside dining room known as Pink.   Again, the first race goes at 6:35 p.m.   Meadowlands Media Relations  

East Rutherford, NJ --- After stinging Opulent Yankee and Uva Hanover through a :26.4 initial quarter, Can Do ($31.20) emerged from traffic in the final eighth of Friday (Jan. 15) night's $25,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot at Meadowlands Racetrack, vaulting around a weakening pace for a 14-1 upset on an evening where harness racing favorites tasted defeat in the first nine events. Anthony Napolitano wasted no time with the 7-year-old Cantab Hall gelding, gunning him to the fore in company with Opulent Yankee (Andy Miller) and 3-5 favorite Uva Hanover (Tim Tetrick). After ceding the lead to Opulent Yankee at the end of a :26.4 first quarter, Can Do was relegated to third as Uva Hanover pushed clear with five-eighths of the mile remaining. Uva Hanover maintained a fast tempo through a :54.4 half, but struggled to sustain after facing first-over pressure from Cash Me Out (Brett Miller) through the far turn. As the outer flow developed, Can Do was shuffled to fifth, but able to angle off the pegs just at the eighth pole as Uva Hanover was finally engulfed. Napolitano angled Can Do to the four-path, and the pair surged to the winning post, prevailing by a half-length over Cash Me Out in 1:53.1. Opulent Yankee saved third from his pocket trip, staying on once wedging between foes in deep stretch. Uva Hanover ultimately faded to fifth after facing a barrage of pressure throughout. Owner Jody Riedel trains Can Do, now a 30-time winner. Can Do In the sub-featured $20,000 Open 2 Trot, Detroit Rapper ($7.40) loosely chased live cover on approach to the far turn, catching up to the first-over B Yoyo (Joe Bongiorno) a quarter-mile from home before kicking cover in mid-stretch for a narrow 1:54.1 triumph over pocket rival Allerage Star (Andy Miller). The 5-year-old Jailhouse Jesse gelding also had the benefit of a pressured pace in front of him, as B Yoyo provided stern pressure to 2-1 favored pacesetter Hyway Marcus through a quickening :28.1 third sectional before the two were ultimately engulfed. Jim Marohn Jr. drove Detroit Rapper to his 20th career win for the Harmon Racing Stable, LLC and trainer Patti Harmon. Detroit Rapper Heading to Saturday (Jan. 16) evening's 14-race card, the seventh race Jackpot High 5 will have a carryover of $4,720, while $60,069 will carry over into the closing-race variety of the 20-cent wager. Total handle for the evening was $3,053,776, an increase of $474,166 over the corresponding Friday night in 2015. The trio of guaranteed-pool horizontal wagers attracted a combined $161,353, well surpassing the guaranteed numbers. Saturday's first race is due off at 6:35 p.m. (EST). For more information on racing, dining, and entertainment at The Meadowlands, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. by James Witherite, Meadowlands media relations

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Following wins in mid-level and upper-level company, Kingofthejungle took the crown in Saturday (December 19) night's featured $25,000 Open Pace at The Meadowlands, reeling off his third consecutive harness racing win. Andy Miller settled the 4-year-old Well Said gelding into the mid-division early on, rated off a contested :27.1 first quarter. Upon yielding briefly on the first turn, 2-1 favourite Ashley's Husband (Joe Bongiorno) brushed to secure the top spot, maintaining a torrid pace through a :54.2 half while Sunfire Blue Chip (Brett Miller) would head outer flow from midfield, slipstreamed by Kingofthejungle. With three-eighths to go, UF Rockin Dragon (Corey Callahan) pulled the pocket to avoid traffic, pushing past a tiring Ashley's Husband through a :27.4 third quarter. Meanwhile, Kingofthejungle still enjoyed the aid of live cover, towed a bit closer before vaulting off his third-over trip just outside the eighth pole and accelerating to the fore in final 50 yards to just prevail in 1:50. Ontario Success (Yannick Gingras) rallied from farther off cover to just nab Sunfire Blue Chip for second. Mark Capone trains Kingofthejungle for Fox Racing, Inc. and Darius Oshidar. Earlier in the program, upper-level conditioned pacers contested a pair of $16,500 sub-featured events. In the evening's sixth race, 2-1 joint favourite Sweet Beach alternated on the lead early with Halton Hurricane, yielding and reclaiming the lead through a :55.3 initial half before edging clear of a first-over charge from fellow joint favourite Jeneral Patton (Brett Miller). After a :27.4 third quarter, Anthony Napolitano let out a notch with Sweet Beach, and the 4-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding accelerated to a 3-1/4 length victory while in hand for a 1:50.3 triumph. Jeneral Patton checked in a clear second, while That'll Be the Rei (Jim Marohn, Jr.) took full advantage of live cover to finish third. Tom Cancelliere trains Sweet Beach, now a 7-time winner, for owner John Cancelliere. The second sub-feature, carded as the ninth event, saw David Miller send 6-5 public choice Shooter's Dream out from fourth to take charge at the completion of a :54.1 half mile before he was subsequently engaged by 17-1 outsider Mr Franklin N (Callahan). The two dueled through the entirety of the far turn, and in fact Shooter's Dream was headed briefly by Mr Franklin N in upper stretch. The 5-year-old Sand Shooter gelding would not be denied though, battling back at the pegs to reach the winning post a half-length in front, matching Sweet Beach's 1:50.3 mile from earlier. Mr Franklin narrowly held second from Duel In the Sun (Napolitano), who kicked cover to rally strongly. David M. Smith trains 15-time winner Shooter's Dream for owners Randy Bendis and Tom Pollack. Total handle for the 14-race program was $2,936,828, a gain of $107,452 over the 13-race program from the comparable Saturday card in 2014. Both Jackpot Super High 5 carryovers grew tonight, as neither pool was captured by a single 20-cent winning ticket. On the Boxing Day program, the fifth race High 5 will boast a $10,225.51 carryover, while the finale will have $40,952.10 added to the pool. Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Saturday, December 26. The Boxing Day card will kick off at 6:35 p.m. EST. For further details, visit playmeadowlands.com. by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

WILKES-BARRE PA -- McKenry, coming back to his home base of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono after an unsuccessful stint "in the big city" at Yonkers, was a pocket rocket in taking the harness racing $30,000 Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacing feature Saturday.   Driver Anthony Napolitano had the 8-1 shot on top early, but then yielded to brother George and favored UF Larry Alltheway to sit behind them the pocket. McKenry came on to challenge the leader in the lane and went by by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:51.1, taking a new lifetime mark despite the 50-degree temperature. UF Larry Alltheway lasted for a dead-heat for second with another late charger, Tomy Terror.   McKenry, an altered son of McArdle, took his fifth win of the campaign and boosted his seasonal earnings to $61,900 for trainer Chris Oakes and owners Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich, and the Wheelhouse Racing Stable.   ABC Muscles Boy made it three straight at The Downs for Team Allard as he took the $24,000 feature trot, moving to the lead after the quarter and winning by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:52.3, equaling his lifetime mark taken just last week. Purchased by Allard Racing Inc. before this month's racing, ABC Muscles Boy was not successful from post eight at Yonkers in his Lasix debut, but since then it's been nothing but visits to Victory Lane for the "Muscles Boy," driver Simon Allard and brother/trainer Rene.   PHHA / Pocono  

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Fancy Desire ($12.80), the 2014 Lynch Memorial winner at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono but winless in 23 starts until coming home first last week, made it two straight in Friday night's $24,000 harness racing mares pacing feature here, storming home in 55.1 - 27.2 to complete the sloppy track mile in 1:52.2.   After winning off the pace last week, Fancy Desire was sent frontwards early by driver Anthony Napolitano, making the lead in 27.3, then resting to the half in 57.1, before engaging in the sprinting tactics that enabled the daughter of Real Desire to win by a length over pocketsitting Handsoffmycupcake. Gallie Bythe Beach rallied from second-over to be third, another length back and a neck ahead of the field's lone sophomore, Stacia Hanover, who was 2-5* despite having raced only once in 48 days and who found first-over into such quick back numbers a bit too hard to handle here.   The Daniel Renaud-trained winner sent her bankroll to $108,568 for the season and $461,310 lifetime for owner Robert Di Nozzi.   This was the last Friday night card of 2015 at Pocono; the track will now operate on a Tuesday-Wednesday-Saturday basis until the curtain rings down on November 21. Tomorrow night's feature is a $26,000 pace, in which Bushwacker, second behind a big win by Mach It So in last week's feature, figures to be winging early as he starts from the rail in the eight-horse field.   PHHA / Pocono  

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Harness racing drivers Simon Allard and Anthony Napolitano pretty much had a "wire-to-wire" domination of the Friday night card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with the second- and third-leading driver at The Downs, respectively, each guiding five winners -- Allard four of the card's first five and Napolitano four of the last five.   Allard almost opened the card with a natural five-bagger, taking races 1, 3, 4, and 5, and losing the second by only a head. He also just missed by a nose in the seventh, which may have been the tipping of the night's power, because Anthony Napolitano's horse was just barely more photogenic for his first of his evening's quintet. He then beat Allard -- by a length, a big margin this night -- in the tenth to start his 4 for 5 finish.   Both Simon Allard and Anthony Napolitano have brothers who also campaign at Pocono -- in fact, they are respectively the leading trainer and driver at the mountain oval, Rene Allard and George Napolitano Jr., and both of them also had productive days. Rene Allard had four wins on the card, including sending out three of Simon's five (and the photoed-out streak interrupter in the second), with his fourth winner guided for Rene by -- um, Anthony Napolitano (and yes, that was the 10th race, where Simon was second as mentioned above).   George Napolitano Jr. visited Victory Lane twice Friday at Pocono and hit the board in nine of ten drives, following a 9-4-2-0 afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia -- the third straight day he's had at least four wins at Philly. Today's six wins gives him a staggering 20 in the last three days (including his ten-bagger on Wednesday between the two plants), and he has 54 winners through the 18th day of the month in a (very outside) pursuit of a third straight month with 100 or more sulky triumphs.   PHHA / Pocono      

Musselsfrmbrussels, nearly ten lengths off a wild early pace by Getitoffyourchest at the 3/4, rallied strongly to win the $24,000 featured pace at the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday, edging Malak Uswaad N by a nose in 1:49.1.   After there not being a 1:20 or less clocking to the 3/4s in 2015 North American harness racing after the eighth month's seventh day, the next day produced two within eight hours and seven minutes -- State Treasurer's 1:19.4 in winning the U.S. Pacing Championship at The Meadowlands, and here Geitoffyourchest getting off unbelievable numbers of 25.1, 52.2, and 1:19.4, with driver Simon Allard kicking out the earplugs nearing the 3/4 even though his pacer had an 8-length lead.   Allard was proven correct in his concern for keeping his horse going, as Malak Uswaad N was rapidly gaining uncovered for Jim Morrill Jr.,with Musselsfrmbrussels and Anthony Napolitano right on his back.   Malak Uswaad N took the lead in midstretch, but "ANap" kept after Musselsfrmbrussels (named after Jean-Claude Van Damme), and he took the measure of his foe right on the line. (Getitoffyourchest wound up sixth.)   The winning son of Modern Art is conditioned by Pocono's leading trainer, Rene Allard, who had three winners on the night at press time, as did Pocono's leading driver George Napolitano Jr.   The career winner of $549,383 equaled his lifetime mark for 2/3 of the partnership that owned Pocono's Friday feature winner Yagonnakissmeornot, Allard Racing Inc and Yves Sarrazin, with Serge Bureau also a partner on Musselsfrmbrussels.   The action doesn't let up at Pocono tomorrow night, as four fields of two-year-old pacing fillies contest the third preliminary leg of their Pennsylvania Sire Stakes campaign.   Trainer Jimmy Takter, fresh off his success with Pinkman in the Hambletonian on Saturday, has two of Sunday's finest prospects, Pure Country and Ivy League.   Jerry Connors

WILKES-BARRE PA -- You'd be hard-pressed to find a sharper pacing mare right now than Request For Parole, who won the $24,000 distaff feature Friday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, tallying in 1:49.2 to reduce her lifetime mark of 1:50, which she had achieved at The Meadowlands just seven days prior.   Driver Anthony Napolitano drew the assignment behind the 5YO daughter of Badlands Hanover from trainer Ron Burke, and she scooted away quickly from the middle of the nine-horse field to reach the quarter in 26.1, only to let Gallie Bythe Beach, parked behind her early, go to the top at the 3/8, before a sapping half-mile clocking of 53.3.   Scandalicious came strongly first-up down the backstretch and had reached the leader just past the 1:20.4 3.4s, before going to the lead late on the turn. For a moment it looked like Request For Parole might be locked in jail behind the tiring pacesetter as the first-over might get away, but the top three had formed a breakaway trio, and "ANap" was able to swing his mare two- and three-wide behind the new leader, picking her up easily at midstretch to win by 2 3/4 lengths.   Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC acquired the fast mare at the end of May, and now they have a pacer who looks like a possible national fast-class performer.   Saturday's card at The Downs is topped by a $30,000 Open pace in race 10. Among the field of six are new millionaire Dynamic Youth; Take It Back Terry, making his first start since a hard-charging second as the favorite in the Levy Final on April 25; and Caution Signs, who was claimed for $12,500 on April 16 and since has fashioned a 9-6-3-0 record while working to the top class and lowering his mark to 1:48.3.   PHHA / Pocono  

Speed Again led every step of the way to win the featured Open pace on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race carried the night's top purse of $35,000. Leaving from post position #6 in a field of nine as a 4-1 third choice, Speed Again, a 5-year-old gelding from the Run Burke barn who was fresh off an Open Handicap win at Harrah's at Philadelphia, was sent to the front by driver Anthony Napolitano right from the start. P H Supercam, the 4-5 favorite who had won three Opens in a row at Yonkers, settled behind him in the pocket. In the stretch, Speed Again answered the charge of P H Supercam, holding him off to win by a neck in 1:49. Aslan finished third. Speed Again, owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, and RTC Stables, won for the 6th time in 23 races this year. It was his 21st lifetime win and pushed his career earnings to $764,896. Jim Beviglia

In the three nights of racing that took place at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs the past week, we witnessed some outstanding performances by experienced veterans. Yet the two victories that stood out among such a distinguished crowd were scored by a pair of three-year-old fillies. We'll take a look at each of those precocious performers as well as the best of the rest in this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: CLASSIC CARPET This filly was unraced as a 2-year-old, which meant she started her racing career this year. She began that career on some small tracks in Canada and started to really find her stride with a romping win on the 5/8-mile oval at Rideau Carlton in August. That's when she shipped into the U.S. and joined the barn of trainer Ron Burke. She immediately paid dividends with a comfortable win at Harrah's at Philadelphia by another big margin. In her first appearance at Pocono on September 30, Classic Carpet faced off against a non-winners of four condition group and dominated as an odds-on favorite in 1:51, a new career-mark. With a three-race winning streak in tow, it was no surprise that she went off against that same condition group on Tuesday night as a 4-5 favorite despite being up against a solid field of young distaff pacers. With Matt Kakaley doing the driving, Classic Carpet once again made her move to the lead on the front stretch at about the 3/8-mile marker of the race. From that point, nobody posed even a modest threat to her dominance in the race. She coasted to the line 3 ¾ lengths in front of her closest foe in a sharp 1:51:4. She may have started a bit later than most, but this filly is making up for lost time in a big way. Other top pacers this week include: Wake Up Peter (Tyler Buter, Larry Remmen), who powered to a condition win on Saturday night in 1:50, the fastest time of the week at MSPD; Artache Hanover (Anthony Napolitano, James Eaton), who rallied from the pocket on Saturday night for his second straight condition win, this one coming in 1:52:1; and Cameron Lucky (Jim Morrill Jr., Darren Taneyhill), a mare who picked up her second straight claiming handicap win on Wednesday night, this one in 1:52:1. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: STRUCK BY LINDY Unlike Classic Carpet, Struck By Lindy did race as a 2-year-old and she turned in a standout season, churning out four wins in just 12 starts and earning over $300,000 in purse. Her prospects for a great sophomore year seemed excellent, but even though she had several in-the-money finishes against good competition, she entered a condition trot on September 27 winless in eleven 2014 races. On that night, she followed outside cover and rallied for the victory to break the losing streak in a time of 1:54:1. Last Saturday night, the filly from the Nifty Norman barn once again tackled a tough condition group of non-winners of $14,000 in the last five starts. Struck By Lindy doesn't like to fire early, so the inside post she had might have worked against her as she was shuffled back in the pack. Driver Andrew McCarthy had no choice but to send her first-over on the back stretch to try to get the lead. Despite having to do all the work herself, the filly still glided on by the leaders. In the stretch, Struck by Lindy powered home to hold off closing Fools Revenue by 1 ½ lengths for the victory in 1:55. That makes two straight and provides further evidence that this talented trotter is regaining the form that made her such a big winner as a 2-year-old. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Black Caviar (Simon Allard, Clifton Green), a filly who rallied for her second straight condition win on Tuesday night, this one in 1:57:1; Not Afraid (Andrew McCarthy, Jimmy Takter), who scored a win in the week's featured Preferred trot on Saturday night in 1:52:3, easily the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; and Home Front (Ake Svanstedt driver and trainer), who followed up his maiden win last week with a condition victory on Wednesday night in 1:57:3. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: BLACK CAVIAR As noted in the honorable mention above, this filly's win with Simon Allard in the bike on Tuesday was her second straight, yet she still got away at 28-1 for a $58 payout on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Andrew McCarthy McCarthy has been on quite a roll in the second half of the season at Pocono, with four wins on Saturday and three more on Tuesday exemplifying his hot streak. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Larry Remmen Remmen had just two starters in on Saturday night but he got his money's worth from them as Wake Up Peter and Word Power each scored impressive condition victories. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs        

Both of our major award winners for this week at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs come from the claiming ranks. In the past, claimers were often thought were often thought of as being a notch or two below their counterparts in condition races. That has changed at MSPD, where the claiming races often feature winning times comparable or even better than condition races with similar purses. The exploits of our two horses of the week will demonstrate the rise of the claimers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: MILLIONDOLLARTOUCH Up until a few weeks ago, this eight-year-gelding seemed to have just one big effort in him for the entire year. He picked up just one win in his first 22 races of the year, but it was a monster mile of 1:50:2 on July 26 that seemed to herald bigger things to come. Those bigger things didn't arrive until Milliondollartouch pounded a field of $12,500 claimers on September 17 by 7 ¾ lengths.   Puffed up by the big win, Milliondollartouch, trained by Mark Kesmodel, stepped up his asking price in a $15,000 to $20,000 claiming handicap on Saturday night. Andrew McCarthy took him to the front at about the 3/8-mile marker of the race and kept the pedal down, leading to intense fractions that seemed likely to sap the gelding's energy as the mile wore on. McCarthy must have had a pretty good inkling of how much his horse had in the tank though, because Milliondollartouch kept digging hard on the front end. Final Curtain tried to chase him down in the stretch, but the gelding held him off for a win by a half-length in 1:50:4. The fact that Milliondollartouch was able to follow up one standout performance with another suggests that the final months of his season might just be filled with consistent excellence instead of sporadic brilliance. Other top pacers this week include: Aslan (Andrew McCarthy, Tony O'Sullivan), who rolled to an easy win in the week's featured Preferred pace on Saturday night in 1:50:1; Scott Rocks (George Napolitano Jr., Chris Oakes), whose winning time of 1:49:4 in a condition pace on Saturday night was the fastest at MSPD this week; and Keystone Real Deal (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Carr), who earned his second straight claiming win on Wednesday night and did so in 1:51, matching a career-best time. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: A COOL MILLION Is it a coincidence that both of our big award winners have some variation of the word "million" in their name? Maybe, but what can be said for certain is that both of them certainly looked like they worth every bit their lucrative monikers. A Cool Million started to find her best stride once she arrived at Pocono on August 29 following a claim at Harrah's at Philadelphia for $10,000 that put her in the Gilberto Garcia-Herrera barn. The 6-year-old mare immediately paid dividends with a win in the $10,000 claimers in her first start at Pocono and then followed it up with a win in a $12,500 to $15,000 claiming handicap trot. In both of those races she set new career marks. On Tuesday night she stepped up into a $20,000 claiming group, her connections likely hoping that recent momentum would outweigh the jump in class in terms of her prospects for the race. It turns out they were right. With George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, A Cool Million was just too tough to catch. She spread out her lead to a no-sweat margin at the line for her third consecutive victory, and once again she did it in a career-best time, which on this night was 1:53:1. She was claimed following the race, so her new barn is going to be getting a mare at the absolute pinnacle of her powers. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: King's Cavalier (Anthony Napolitano, Joe Geiser), who moved up in class to capture his second straight condition trot on Saturday night, this one coming in a career-best time of 1:54:1; DW's NY Yank (George Napolitano Jr., Rob Burke), whose condition win on Saturday night came in 1:52:1, the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; and Wind Of The North (Simon Allard, Clifton Green), who rallied to win the $25,000 Fred Yaggi Memorial Trot on Saturday night in 1:52:2. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: CANADIAN OVERALL Even though he had raced just three days previously at Harrington, this trotter with Mike Simons in the bike stunned a condition group on Saturday night at 18-1 for a $38 payout on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: TYLER BUTER Buter enjoyed an impressive hot streak on Saturday night, ripping off three straight wins on the ultra-competitive card when only one of those winners was favored. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JAMES EATON The Eaton barn was feeling it this past week, ripping off a pair of training wins on Saturday night and then following it up with a training triple on Tuesday. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs    

This week's racing was filled with the thrilling action we've come to expect of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. And, to spice things up even further, the Pocono faithful witnessed the matching of a track and world record this week. That record-setting performance kicks off our attempt to sum up all of the action at Pocono this week by handing out the Weekly Awards. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: FRAU BLUCHER This four-year-old mare named after Cloris Leachman's character in Young Frankenstein had scared up a lot of success in the first two years, earning over $900,000 combined in her two and three-year-old seasons. Yet this standout from the Chris Oakes barn went winless in her first five starts this year, including a second against the non-winners of over $10,000 in the last five starts condition at Pocono on August 12 when she was heavily favored. On Tuesday night, she went up against that same condition group, once again as a solid favorite at 4-5. Only this time around, the mare was ready to show her class and then some. Driver George Napolitano Jr. sent her to the lead with a brush on the front stretch. From there, Frau Blucher kept extending her lead until the rest of the field was a distant memory. She was 8 ¼ lengths in front at the line, with the only suspense at that point being how fast she actually went in the victory. The timer showed a ridiculous 1:51:2, which matched the world record on a 5/8-mile oval for four-year-old trotting mares. The horse who set that record back in May at Pocono, Classic Martine, is also trained by Chris Oakes. So that proves that the Oakes barn has a whole lot of talent. But it also proves that Frau Blucher is back on top of her game, so elite trotters all over the country best take heed. Other top trotters this week include: Mistery Woman (Ron Pierce, Jonas Czernyson), a Meadowlands shipper who captured Saturday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:52; DC's Piggy Bank (Matt Kakaley, Peter Pellegrino), who picked up his second straight claiming win on Sunday night in 1:56:2; and Inside Broadway (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who powered his way to his second straight claiming victory on Wednesday night, this one in a career-best 1:54:2. PACER OF THE WEEK: LYONS JOHNNY While there were no track records coming from this 6-year-old gelding, he certainly has impressed since August dawned. Considering that he had slumped to back-to-back seventh-place finishes in his last two starts of July, such rejuvenation seemed extremely unlikely at the time. It took a drop down the condition ladder and a barn change to get him in gear again. On August 3, his first start in the Amber Buter barn, Lyons Johnny dominated that lower condition group by 4 ¼ lengths in a career-best 1:50:1. Buoyed by that fine effort, he moved back up in class to face the non-winners of $7,000 in the last five races on Tuesday night. Faced with the prospect of an outside post and a tougher field with several horses sporting solid back class, it seemed like a tough test. With George Napolitano Jr. in the bike, Lyons Johnny aggressively took over the lead with a front stretch move. Although the fractions were quick, he stayed strong up front and sped clear of some late pressure for his second straight win, this one coming in 1:50:3. Another move up in class could be in the near future for this suddenly red-hot pacer. Honorable mention on the pacing side goes to: Victorydazewillwin (Simon Allard, Daniel Munson), who notched his second straight win over the $15,000 claimers on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:50:4; It's That Time (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), whose victory in a claiming handicap on Saturday night came in 1:49:2, a new career-best and the fastest pacing time of the week at MSPD; and All Fired Up (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who sprung from the pocket for his second straight claiming handicap victory on Wednesday night, doing it in a career-best time of 1:51:3. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: GUANTANAMO BAY 2-year-olds are some of the most unpredictable horses, as this freshman pacer with Kevin Wallis in the bike showed on Sunday, winning at 30-1 for a $62.80 payout on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Kevin Wallis The veteran driver has been finding his rhythm of late at Pocono, as evidenced by four wins this week, two of which came with horses at odds of longer than 15-1. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Tony Alagna Alagna has won a high percentage of his races this season at Pocono, and Sunday night he picked up wins with two of the three horses he sent to the gate. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs        

August 1-7, 2014; At this point in the season, it's typical for 3-year-old horses at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to be battling against others of their own age in Stallion Series or Sire Stakes action. Yet our two top performers of the week that was at Pocono dared to take on older horses. Not only did they survive, but they thrived. Here are the details of both their exploits and those of the other top performers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: LUCK BE WITHYOU This 3-year-old colt from the Chris Oakes' barn started the season in Canada but quickly found a home at Pocono with a condition win on June 28 in 1:50:1. He then battled his way to a 7th in finals of the prestigious Meadowlands Pace before returning for an even more impressive victory in a blistering 1:48 on July 19. On Saturday night, Luck Be Withyou faced his sternest test yet by going up against the non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races grouping. Among the competitors he would have to face were Meirs Hanover and Bolt The Duer, a pair of veterans as talented and as tested as there are in the sport. If the relative inexperience of Luck Be Withyou was ever going to be a factor, this was the race. At the top of the stretch, the 3-year-old was staring at the tail of Bolt The Duer, who had set the pace and done so in reasonable fractions. Yet Luck Be With You was ready for the challenge when driver George Napolitano Jr. asked for another gear. He sped by a stunned Bolt The Duer and held off fast-closing E Street Plan for the win in 1:49:2. Even though the time wasn't as flashy as his previous win, this victory was the best evidence yet of this sophomore's incredible talent. Other top pacers this week include: Show Runner (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), a mare whose victory in Friday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:50:3 was her second straight win; Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who powered to a win over $10,000 claimers on Saturday night in 1:50:4, a career-best and his Third Straight win; and Mach It So (Andrew McCarthy, PJ Fraley), who picked up a win in Saturday night's featured Preferred Handicap pace in 1:48:2, a new career-best and the fastest time posted this week at MSPD. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: REVRAC HARBOUR This award was probably a little overdue for this 3-year-old colt from the barn of trainer Tony Alagna. From June 3 to July 1, he ripped off four consecutive wins at Pocono, topping out with a back-to-back career-best miles of 1:54:1 in wins over the non-winners of four condition. He traveled to the Meadowlands after that and struggled against some of the top trotters in the country in a pair of stakes races. Revrac Harbour returned on Tuesday night to face all older horses in a non-winners of $13,000 in the last five starts condition trot. Back at Pocono again, he found his stride quickly by making a move to the front end early in the race. Yet Picture This, the race favorite, lurked behind him In The Pocket for much of the mile and enjoyed a much better trip. In the stretch, Picture This took to the inside passing lane and briefly seemed like he was about to get past. That's when driver Scott Zeron coaxed just a little extra effort from an already-taxed Revrac Harbour, who dug in and surged back in front in the final strides in 1:55:4 on a sloppy track. That makes it five wins in the last five races he's started at Pocono, with this maybe the gutsiest yet. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Zooming (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter),who shipped in from New York for a condition win on Saturday in 1:51:4, easily the week's fastest trotting time; Waldorf Hall (Corey Callahan, Jim Raymer), who churned through the slop for a condition win on Tuesday in 1:53:4; and Swiss Lightning (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), who ripped off his fourth straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54:4, matching his career-best in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RESCUE PLAN It's not often George Napolitano Jr., the meet's leading driver, pilots a long shot, but this condition pacer was at 42-1 when G-Nap steered him to victory on Tuesday night for a $87.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. Who else could it be this other than George Nap, considering that he won seven of the thirteen races on the card on Saturday and nearly pulled off a 20-win week. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CHRISTIE COLLINS Collins' barn has been steadily gaining momentum in the summer months, and her trainees picked up three more wins this week, including a double on Friday. That will do it for it this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia          

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review As the month of August dawns, the racing action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs has reached a fever pitch. Five nights a week, outstanding trotters and pacers, often at the peak of their powers, are tested by some of the fastest action in the country. Drivers, trainers, and owners are also involved in these daily battles, their fires stoked by both their competitive natures and by the lure of the big purses. All of this combines to make the action at this time of year particularly exhilarating. It also makes choosing the Weekly Awards a difficult task, but here we go. PACER OF THE WEEK: GIANT SCULPTURE Winning streaks are difficult enough to sustain at a single track. Compiling several victories in a row while shipping from track to track is an even tougher task. After all, each track has its own bias that favors a certain style of pacing or trotting, meaning that a horse has to be versatile enough to handle that kind of variety. Giant Sculpture has proven just that kind of versatility in recent weeks. The 6-year-old gelding picked up the first victory in his recent hot streak at Pocono on July 12, beating a field of $20,000 claimers in a career-best 1:49 with a strong first-over effort. He was claimed from that race and joined the barn of Christie Collins, who brought him to Harrah's at Chester to knock off a condition field with a late rally in 1:51:3. On Saturday night, he was back at Pocono facing a $20,000 to $25,000 claiming handicap group. Despite being saddled with the outside post in a field of eight, Giant Sculpture found some cover on the outside to help him advance through the field. In the stretch, he blew by the tiring leaders with George Napolitano Jr. in the bike to win in 1:50:3. Not only has he achieved this three-race streak on two different tracks, he has managed to do it in three different classes. Versatile, varied, and, most importantly, victorious: That's how Giant Sculpture has been rolling of late. Other top pacers this week include: Fitz's Z Tam (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who overcame an outside post to defeat a claiming handicap field on Sunday in 1:51:2, giving him two in a row; Gold Deuce (Joe Pavia Jr., Lou Pena), who won his second straight claimer on Friday night and did so in a career-best 1:51: and Clint Westwood (Anthony Napolitano, Ron Burke), whose condition victory on Saturday night in 1:49:4 gave him four wins in his last five. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: TEAM SIX This 4-year-old stallion from the Erv Miller barn has been steadily improving throughout the 2014 season, but he has really peaked lately. A conquest of the non-winners of four at Pocono on July 8 gave him his first win of the season. He quickly followed that up with a rallying condition win at Harrah's in 1:54:1. He then moved up the ladder to face the non-winners of $12,500 the last five starts at Pocono on July 22, putting in a good effort to finish third. On Tuesday night, he stayed in the same class but didn't have to face either of the two horses who finished in front of him in the previous start. He did have to face off with Canadian Wildcat, who set the early pace and dug in when Team Six tried to get by on the outside. For two of the three turns, Team Six was parked on the outside, a predicament which usually spells doom for a horse's chances. Driver Marcus Miller never panicked though, keeping Team Six right alongside the leader without taxing him too much. In the stretch, Canadian Wildcat finally wore down a bit and Team Six kicked on past for the victory in 1:53:2. That winning time was a career-best despite the tough trip and extra distance, meaning that this stallion should be primed for even better stuff when the racing breaks do even out and go his way down the road. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Political Desire (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), whose victory in a condition trot on Saturday night came in a career-best 1:52:4, which was also the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; Whata Donato (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who notched a career-best mile of 1:53:1 in a condition victory on Tuesday; and Overandovervictory (Marcus Miller, Douglas Hamilton), who shipped in from Tioga for a condition victory on Sunday night in a career-best 1:53:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: JACKSONS MINION He broke stride in his debut, but this 2-year-old trotter driven and trained by Tom Jackson atoned for it his second time out Friday night and won at 28-1, paying off $59.60 to win. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Tom Jackson The veteran of the Pocono racing wars had an interesting week, picking up four victories, all of which came aboard horses scoring their maiden victories. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Rene Allard It was a monster week for the meet's leading trainer, as he had two nights of four wins or more and had more victories than all but one driver for the week. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

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