Day At The Track

George Napolitano, Jr. on a tear with 7 winners

10:12 AM 31 Oct 2020 NZDT
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George Napolitano, Jr., harness racing
George Napolitano, Jr.
Curtis Salonick photo

CHESTER, PA - On a cold and wet Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, over a surface rated "good," the younger horses took the spotlight, competing in three $11,200 features - two on the trot and one on the pace. And driver George Napolitano, Jr. gave a driving clinic, winning seven races on the program.

The winningest driver at both Philly and Pocono, Napolitano is second in 2020 North American victories behind perennial leader Aaron Merriman; from July 1 to the start of today's races, though, Napolitano had produced a 337-276 edge.

The pacing group was dominated by the Captaintreacherous sophomore colt Sea Of Life, whose resume showed a 1:50 victory at The Meadows and a fourth-place finish in his division's Kentucky stakes final. Here driver George Napolitano Jr. kept him off a wicked early battle (:27 and :54.4), brushed him to the lead well before a 1:22.2 three-quarters, and went on to an in-hand 1¾ lengths victory over Bipbopnallie, a Pennsylvania fairs star, in 1:50.4, a remarkable time under the circumstances; the third-place horse was some thirteen lengths behind this duo. Tony Alagna trains the winner for Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant, and Captain Kirk Racing.

 

In the opening trot, Contepartiro Deo brushed the length of the frontstretch to make the lead, then drew off to win by 3 ¾ lengths over The Great PG in 1:57.3. The sophomore daughter of Muscle Hill, who derived the "con te partire" part of her name from the Italian for "with you I shall leave," left this field far behind for driver Todd McCarthy, trainer Noel Daley, and the ownership of Andy Miller Stable Inc., Little E LLC, and Deo Volente Farms LLC (from whom she got the second part of her name).

Tim Lancaster, who trained second-placed The Great PG in the first trot headliner, came back as trainer/driver of Willing Hanover, a Donato Hanover sophomore gelding who won the second section for trotters in a lifetime best of 1:57.1. Coming from second-over, not often a winning spot at Philly, Willing Hanover outclosed first-over Bang Bang Boinga by a neck for her trainer/driver, who also co-owns her with Mark and Meghan Lancaster.

In the best purse race offered for fast-class veteran pacers, going for $10,000, the razor-sharp Sweet Lou gelding Razor's Edge went to the top early and could not be caught, winning in 1:51.2 by 2¼ lengths over place dead-heaters Mac's Big Boy and Tact Tate N. Razor's Edge posted his third straight victory for trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen.

The driver of Razor's Edge was George Napolitano Jr., who had his seven successes on the day. .

From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

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