Day At The Track

Morrill takes control with five winners

06:36 PM 08 Mar 2020 NZDT
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Jim Morrill, Jr., harness racing
Jim Morrill, Jr.
Steve Roth photo

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr., a three-time North American UDR champion, continued his red-hot sulky ways during the early portion of the 2020 meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, picking up five victories on the twelve-race Saturday night card.

One of the wins came in the richest race of the night, a $20,000 claiming handicap pace, and the horse he guided, the Captaintreacherous ridgling Trente Don, has been as hot as the driver - a winner of his last four and five of his last six after a 1:52.2 victory on a night where the mercury hovered near the freezing mark. Taken by trainer Walter Adamczyk and owner William Emmons for $34,375 out of his second straight prelim win in the Game Of Claims, the pair have won $35,000 in purse money with the horse since then, taking his $50,000 Game Of Claims Championship last week and now this event.

The Shadyshark Hanover gelding Horsing Around has now won three of his last four starts after a thumping 1:51.3 engine victory in an $18,000 claiming handicap pace, motoring home in :27.4. Matt Kakaley was in the sulky for trainer Ed Gannon Jr., who is also co-owner of the winner with Frank Canzone.

Jim Morrill Jr. also had success in the featured conditioned event of the evening, a $17,000 trot, guiding the Jailhouse Jesse gelding Bully Boy to a lifetime best of 1:54.1 despite the chilly conditions. Trainer Jenny Melander had her new acquisition ready from the word "go," with Morrill moving with Bully Boy from fifth, five lengths off at the quarter, to the lead before the second turn, trotting his own individual second split in 27.1. He opened a big lead on favored Muscle Star, who had made two speed moves despite broken equipment, and never surrendered the advantage to the wire for owner Risto Vidgren.

Morrill ended up with a 12-5-2-0 tally for the night, giving him a 24-21 win advantage over perennial Pocono driving king George Napolitano Jr., and Jim's UDR for the meet is a lofty .411.

From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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