Day At The Track

Scirocco Bob much the best at Pocono

02:16 PM 23 Sep 2019 NZST
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Scirocco Rob, harness racing
Scirocco Rob and driver George Napolitano Jr.
Curtis Salonick photo

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Favored Scirocco Rob sat behind second choice Whats The Word for most of the $17,500 harness racing trotting feature on Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, then moved out in the stretch and got by that tough rival by a half-length in 1:52.1, just a tick off his lifetime mark.

Whats The Word buzzed away right to the lead, while the looped Scirocco Rob made his way to the pocket before the lively :26.3 quarter. The pacesetter went on to middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:23.4, with the winning Explosive Matter gelding coming outside for the stretch drive as the top two drew away from the rest. Scirocco Rob went by his game but outtrotted foe late, with George Napolitano Jr. getting his fourth win of the night for trainer Mark Silva and owners Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr.

There were three $17,000 conditioned subfeatures, two on the trot and one on the pace. In the first trot, Daniel Dube made a cameo appearance at The Downs to drive his own Muscles Yankee sophomore gelding Brownie, and the journey was worthwhile for Dube as Brownie overcame a first-over trip and held off the horse on his back, Hill Of A Horse, by a half-length in a lifetime best of 1:54.3. The Pierre Paradis-trained youngster now has a 9-4-2-1 record since adding trotting hopples on June 20.

The winner of the second trotting cofeature also reduced his lifetime best as the Lionhunter gelding The Lionking AS defeated first-over Boxing Gloves by two lengths in 1:54.2. The Lionking AS had been using his early foot to work out forwardly-placed trips, then had been close without winning, but this week owner/trainer/driver Kevin Wallis sent him right down the road, and the winner responded with a sharp last quarter of :28 en route to the victory.

The pacing event likewise resulted in a lifetime effort from the winenr, the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding Rebel Rouser, who stopped the timer in 1:50.2 for driver Eric Goodell, trainer Bob Cleary, and co-owners W J Donovan and Donal Murphy. Rebel Rouser went straight to the top, yielded to the pacecontrolling move of favorite Sports Legend in front of the stands, then went to the Pocono Pike and worked past the leader to win by a half-length.

From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

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