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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

Harness racing trainer Jody Riedel's life has been sweet with "Candy." Candy is Riedel's nickname for her 7-year-old male trotter Can Do. And she says the horse can do. Riedel claimed the gelding for $30,000 last September and she has watched Can Do go from winning in the claiming ranks at Yonkers Raceway to twice winning the Open Handicap at the Meadowlands Racetrack. "He's been a Cinderella story," Riedel said, adding with a laugh, "and I got to be Cinderella." Can Do has raced 19 times for Riedel, who owns and trains the trotter, and posted five wins and a total of 10 on-the-board finishes on his way to $97,500 in purses. He is back in the Open Handicap at the Meadowlands on Friday, starting from post seven in an eight-horse field, with Anthony Napolitano driving. He is 9-2 on the morning line. A son of Cantab Hall-Meadowbranch Queen, Can Do has won 31 of 121 lifetime races and earned $368,446. Can Do was a newcomer to Yonkers when Riedel claimed the horse in his first start at The Hilltop. Can Do raced previously in Delaware, where he was trained and driven by Victor Kirby. "I was worried that I was giving 30 (thousand dollars) for a 20 (thousand-dollar horse), because he had shown a bunch of 20-claimers prior, but he was a new horse at Yonkers and I took a shot," Riedel said. "I watched replays of him. Even though he was always a little bumpy on the half(-mile track), he still went forward. He showed that he had so much heart. I can't say enough good things; I've just been lucky to have him. He's gotten better and better every week." When Riedel got Can Do, she also was just beginning to work with older male trotter Bourbon Bay for driver/lessee John Cummings Jr. In his third start with Riedel, Bourbon Bay trotted a track- and world-record 1:53 at Saratoga. He made two more starts for Riedel before being sold and moved to another trainer. "I was heartbroken when the owners sold him because I thought I'd never have another horse like him," said Riedel, who trains an eight-horse stable in upstate New York and has won 254 races in her career. "It was understandable because they got good money, but I thought he was the horse of a lifetime. "It was funny because (Bourbon Bay) and Can Do were in stalls right next to each other. And from there on, it seems like Can Do took his place. He was like, don't worry about losing him, you have me. And now they're racing against each other. It's funny how things work out. He's been a blessing." Prior to racing this year at the Meadowlands, Can Do had made only three starts on a mile-sized oval in his career. He made three starts at Indiana Downs as a 3-year-old in 2012. "I think he's a lot better gaited on the big track," Riedel said. "Even though they go faster miles, I think not having to struggle around the turns on the half has definitely helped him. He has good gate speed for wherever he is, a big track or a small track, and that's what has really helped him on a half because he can leave pretty good and sit in a good spot." Can Do had six different drivers at Yonkers last season, but has been driven this year only by Napolitano. "Anthony does a great job with him," Riedel said. "He understands him. They go together like mashed potatoes and gravy." Riedel says Can Do has the personality of "a clown," but on the track he always wants to pass horses. Even if he is out only for a morning jog. "A horse could be 20 lengths ahead of him and you could be the only two horses on the track, but Can Do's head will come up and he's got to go by him," Riedel said. "Then he'll relax again. He just has such desire. "He's got such personality. He loves you paying attention to him, he loves playing in his water, he's always looking for cookies and carrots. He's got such a good temperament. In the barn, a kid could take care of him. He's just kind and loving." Riedel has no plans for Can Do other than trying to stay sharp and competing in the Opens. The two have already enjoyed special moments and made memories. "When he won the Open at the Meadowlands for the first time, I got in the van to go to the winner's circle and I looked out the window and I saw Anthony turning the horse next to us to go back," Riedel said. "I started to cry. I couldn't believe I won the Open at the Meadowlands. That in itself was a dream come true. "I guess I'm just counting my lucky stars for what I have right now. I don't have anything in the making, except for what is going to happen next week. We'll just try to keep him as good as we can for every week. He's been the thrill of a lifetime." Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications

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

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