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WILKES-BARRE, PA -- Keystone Riptide recorded her third win in her last four starts, quarter-moving to the lead and going on to a 1:52.4 victory in the $17,500 distaff pacing feature Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   Driver Marcus Miller brushed with the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere past the 27.1 quarter, then put up midsplits of 56 and 1:24.1. The winner of $260,800 stayed strong in the lane to win by two lengths over closing Forever Liza, with favored Sail To The Beach having to settle for third behind the Randy Bendis-trained mare; Bendis is also co-owner with the eight-time 2018 winner with Thomas Pollack.   In a thrilling internal battle that lasted the entire week, Anthony Napolitano notched five winners on the Tuesday card while his brother George took down two heats, making their "final score" for the four-day race week Anthony Nap 16, George Nap 15. The Napolitanos thus won 31 of the 53 races conducted during the week -- which means that some combination of their red and white colors was seen in the winners circle an extraordinary 58% of the time this week!   Speaking of "extraordinary," as the saying goes, "It all comes down to the Breeders Crown," and the Breeders Crown now comes to the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, bringing the cream of the harness racing crop to northeast Pennsylvania.   The only Friday night card of the year, at 7 p.m., will see ten elimination races for two-year-olds; on Saturday starting at 7, all fourteen races will be Crown elimination for three-year-olds and for the older set. Those advancing out of their eliminations will be back a week from Saturday, October 27, for the $6,000,000 2018 Breeders Crown Championship Card, with the Pocono action on the huge night beginning at 5:30 p.m.   From the PHHA/Pocono Downs    

CHESTER, PA - Heavily-favored Skippin By, intimidating the field by virtue of her 1:50.1 victory last week, was the only major leaver and stole a 1:53 victory in the $18,000 featured pace for mares at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday. True, it was a cool 62 degrees at the riverside oval Friday - but in 67-degree weather last Friday, Skippin By went fractions of 27, 55.3, and 1:23, adding on a 27.1 last quarter in a blowout victory, In this event, George Napolitano Jr, sent the daughter of Shadow Play to early command and set slightly-more pedestrian fractions of 28, 56, and 1:24 - and then had to chase her the length of the stretch to maintain a healthy margin, which at the wire was 1 1/2 lengths over the noted closer Penpal. Skippin By has had a giant 2018 already, with seven wins and seven seconds in 26 starts, with earnings of $110,900 for trainer Nick Surick and the ownership of Cornerstone Stock Farm. Lifetime, Skippin By has 33 victories and a bankroll of $877,409. In the $14,500 cofeatured mares pace, the Ashlee's Big Guy mare Royal Knockout joined a dynamic outer tier from last, then swept by in the lane to record a $91.00 upset in 1:53.2. Tony Morgan, second on the alltime winningest North American drivers list, timed his late charge well to raise the mare's earnings to $466,073 for trainer Michael Posner and owners Michael and Adrienne Selis. Western Canada's top pacing filly of 2016-2017, with 16 wins in 18 starts and earnings over $250,000, was an unlucky 0-for-13 at four after coming south of the border - but all it took was a California trainer and a New Zealand driver to get her home first at Philly on Friday. Yoga Pants, a daughter of Sportswriter, finally found the U.S. winners circle in her 14th start of the year for trainer Lou Pena, driver Dexter Dunn, and the Wish Me Luck Stables LLC of Gap PA - which is 42 miles from Harrah's in Chester PA, slightly closer than the 2950 miles from Vancouver, the distaff's base when north of the border. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The two-year-old American Ideal - Shake That Junk colt Shake That House might well have earned himself a spot in his division's Breeders Crown elimination ten days hence at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, coming within 3/5 of a second of his divisional world record by winning a $15,000 pace Tuesday in 1:50.2 over the mountain oval. The winner, a ¾ brother to 2017 Breeders Crown champion Split The House, quarter-moved from third for driver George Napolitano Jr. after another well-bred horse, the sophomore Captain Deo (a Somebeachsomewhere colt out of the $1.9M-winning Worldly Beauty), smoked the opening panel in 25.3 in the "nw 4 races" event. Shake That House went on to post midsplits of 54.3 and 1:22.1, then held off the stretch charge of Captain Deo by a half-length. It was the seventh lifetime start and third win for Shake That House, who was coming off a 3-3 finish in the Metro elims and final, and who previously had won in 1:52.2 at Vernon. Chris Oakes, the trainer of not only Split The House but also the new world's fastest trotter Homicide Hunter, conditions the rapidly-developing freshman for Crawford Farms Racing, Alan Johnston, and Norfolk Racing Stables. The 1:50.2 clocking was just short of the 1:49.4 world record of Somestarsomewhere set, appropriately enough, in a 2013 Breeders Crown elimination right here at Pocono. Earlier, Napolitano did something he does not do regularly - drive a horse who paid $50.80 to win. Revelry, who had only one show finish in seven career starts despite often showing good early speed, used off-the-pace tactics on Tuesday to give "George Nap" his third $50+ horse of the meet. Trainer/driver Fern Paquet Jr. also got in on the Tuesday longshot fun by handling Embassy Seelster as she came home first to the tune of $53.60, giving Pocono its tenth card of the meet during which two winners paid $50+. Napolitano, the track's leading driver both all-time and this season, had five winners on the Tuesday Pocono card, and his brother Anthony visited Victory Lane three times. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

CHESTER, PA - On a special Friday night card of racing at Harrah's Philadelphia, the Shadow Play mare Skippin By was used hard to get the early lead, but she showed in the last quarter she had ample energy in reserve, taking the $18,000 featured pace for distaffs in 1:50.1. Skippin By was hustled out of the gate by driver George Napolitano Jr., as both Monica Gallagher and Hold It Hanover also left the switch with alacrity. After "Hold It" backed off to a 3-tuck at the 1/8, Skippin By pressed her case and got the lead after working to the quarter in 27. But after midsplits of 55.3 and 1:23, Skippin By powered off from her rivals with a 27.1 kicker, winning by 2 3/4 lengths over Monica Gallagher and raising her lifetime tally to $868,409 for trainer Nick Surick and Cornerstone Stock Farm. The eight-year-old mare Regil Elektra recorded her 48th lifetime victory, sending her earnings to $1,073,923, with a victory in 1:52.1, last half 55.3, in the $14,500 distaff pace co-feature. Driver Tony Morgan moved from the pocket with the victorious daughter of Mach Three in front of the stands, getting around early leader Future Headlines easily, then dashed home from there to be a 1 1/2 length winner over that rival for trainer Keith Armer and the Fred Monteleone Estate. Regil Elektra was also the fifth in a consecutive line of horses who paid $6.00 or less - without being the favorite! Harrah's will pick up the action again on Sunday at 2:05 p.m., with a $25,000 winners-over pace for females heading a strong card (that might complement the Futurity Day card at Lexington nicely for simulcast fans). There will also be a special live offering of racing on Columbus Day Monday at 12:25 p.m., with over $200,000 on the line for John Simpson Sr. stakes series three-year-old colts of both gaits. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Somebeachsomewhere mare Dr J's Kiss, sixth at the ¾ pole, swung four-wide at the head of the stretch and went right on by in taking the $17,000 featured distaff pace on Wednesday at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:52.4. Driver Simon Allard, guiding the Joe Pavia Jr. trainee for the first time, followed third-over in a 27.1 backstretch flow that took its toll on both pacesetting favorite Jewels Forreal and first-over Dolphin Island, then swung three-wide behind second-over Rob Them Blind in the middle of the far turn and wider yet off the final curve. Rob Them Blind made the lead in the stretch but couldn't withstand the late rush of Dr J's Kiss, as she won by a length while breaking the six-figure barrier in lifetime earnings for co-owners Pavia, Steven Held, and Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky. The Muscle Mass sophomore gelding Yuge, three-wide most of the first bend and not on top until coming off that bend, maintained control through the rest of the mile to win the day's $16,000 top trot in 1:55.3. Yuge raised his lifetime bankroll to $127,969 for trainer Ed Lohmeyer, co-owner with Ed Lohmeyer Jr. and Dr. Patty Hogan, completing a win for veterinarians in both the Wednesday Philly features. As for driver George Napolitano Jr., the win was one of three on the day for him, including the card's only two favorites - in the first race and the last race. Racing resumes tomorrow at 12:25 p.m., but Philly's Friday card will begin at 6:30 p.m. After the usual Sunday action beginning at 2:05 p.m., there will be a special live card on Columbus Day, Monday, October 8 at 12:25 p.m., with over $200,000 in stakes action in the John Simpson Sr. series, with three-year-old colts of both gaits each contesting three divisions. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The change in month from September to October made no difference either to the Mach Three mare Intoview or to her driver George Napolitano Jr., as the pair teamed again for a fourth straight victory while scoring in the $14,000 claiming handicap pace Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. This may have been the most impressive of Intoview's four-string of victories, as she equaled her lifetime mark of 1:51.1 in winning, and she did it the hard way: going up first-over against favored pacesetter Tataria, who hung up early splits of 26.4 and 55.4, then was pressed by Intoview to reach the ¾ in 1:22.4 - a 27 second third split, with Intoview going two ticks faster in charging up to duel with the leader. Through the stretch, the outside horse proved the stronger of the pair, winning by 1¼ lengths, with Tataria photoing out pocketsitting LK's Nancy Lee for second. Intoview has now earned $23,815 since joining the father/son team of Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and Gilbert Garcia-Owen, the latter the owner, five races back, and her current lifetime tally is $157,301. As for Napolitano, who won 60 races at Pocono during September (and 30 more at Harrah's Philadelphia), it was business as usual, with "George Nap" reporting home first four times. In addition, Tyler Buter also scored four winners. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs    

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The meet's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr. , ended a highly successful September with six victories on the Sunday night card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Four of the wins came with horses from the Chris Oakes stable, including a 1:51.2 triumph with Rockstar Angel A in the $21,500 distaff feature pace. The early pace in the top event was creaking, as Great Northeast Series champion Bettorhaveanother zipped away from the outside post seven, got to the lead in 28.4, and then reached the half in 57.3 (about average for "nw3" trotters here). The tempo picked up dramatically at that point, though, as favored Penpal, who paced her own third quarter in 26.2 while winning last week, came up with a roar uncovered and was quickly on top just past the midpoint, scorching to the ¾ in 1:23.4 - a third split in 26.1. Rockstar Angel A and "George Nap" pulled from third on the far turn, with countrymate Don't Think Twice A, making her U.S. debut, moving out behind her, while Bettorhaveanother went to the Pocono Pike to challenge Penpal. The quarter of mares went at each other through the stretch, with Bettorhaveanother gaining a short lead midstretch, only to see Rockstar Angel A go by with 100 feet to go, then hold off Dont Think Twice A (who paced her own last half in 52.4) by a neck. Bettorhaveanother was third, another neck back; Penpal fading to fourth. Rockstar Angel A, a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover owned by the Northfolk Racing Stable, was imported from Down Under this year, and now has seven wins in her 2018 campaign, with $196,002 in career earnings. Napolitano just missed a seventh win in the $17,500 co-feature trot, as Elysium Lindy, who was racing second behind favorite Dream Baby Dream, inherited the lead on the last bend when that one went offstride, but Tyson, following the top two horses, had enough punch in the stretch to get a head decision in 1:53.4. Eric Carlson had sulky duties behind the Donato Hanover gelding, who is trained by Ed Gannon Jr., co-owner with Frank Canzone, and Tyson raised his career share of the purse to $200,300. George Napolitano Jr. had three wins earlier in the day at Harrah's Philadelphia, overhauling previous meet leader Tim Tetrick in that track's victory column, and thus combined with his six wins at Pocono had nine visits to Victory Lane on the day. "George Nap" had 90 triumphs during the month of September, with 2/3 of those coming at the mountain oval and the other 1/3 at the other end of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

CHESTER, PA - Two-year-old colts were featured in over $190,000 of John Simpson Sr. stakes action at Harrah's Philadelphia, with Yonkers' leading driver, Jason Bartlett, taking a rare excursion to metro Philly and winning the first division of the colt action on both the trot and the pace. Captain Malicious dominated his division of the pacing contests, going right to the front for Bartlett and posting fractions of 27.4, 57.2, and 1:25.4 en route to a ¾ length victory over pocketsitting Meetmeatthedance in 1:53.4. A winner of his Pennsylvania Sire Stakes consolation event, the victorious son of Captaintreacherous - Silky is trained by Ray Schnittker, who is also co-owner with Dr. John Egloff, John Frisch, and Max Hempt. Speaking of leading drivers - George Napolitano Jr. tied Tim Tetrick at the top of the Philly drivers standings with his 175th win of the local season, going wire-to-wire in the second division of pacing colts with Hervey Hanover in 1:53. After early fractions of 27.2 and 56.2, the Somebeachsomewhere - Here Music Rocks blitzed a 27.2 third quarter to open up a good distance on favored Southwind Ozzi, then held off that one's steady late charge by a head. Andrew Harris handles conditioning duties for owner Brad Gray. The Russell Hanover - Applique Hanover gelding Aflame Hanover was the fastest two-year-old on the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes circuit this summer by virtue of a track record 1:56.4 win at Gratz, and today he showed he could translate his top form to pari-mutuel stakes conditions, heading right down the road and storming home in 55.2 to reduce his mark to 1:52.2 while defeating favored Jo Jo's Place by 1¾ lengths. The baby's next start for driver Tony Schadel and trainer/wife Linda, who are also his co-owners, should also be at a pari-mutuel oval - his Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship on Saturday afternoon, October 6 at The Meadows. Prior to his trotting event the Crazed - Pyschotherapist gelding Our White Knight had had six seconds and three thirds in nine career starts while earning $119,079, including a third in the New York Sire Stakes final, but Bartlett was finally able to deliver him to the winners circle, using wire-to-wire tactics in setting fractions of 28.4, 59.4, and 1:29, then withstanding potential pocket rocket Jason's Camden by 1¼ lengths in 1:58. John Butenschoen is the trainer of Our White Knight, and David Arrenholz is the owner. The Cantab Hall - Upside Hanover colt Klutzy became the only horse to win in the Liberty Bell stakes series last week and then come back with a Simpson victory this afternoon when he set fractions of 29, 58.4, and 1:28 on a clear lead for driver Eric Carlson, then won handily in 1:57.1. Julie Miller is the conditioner of the sharp colt for Stroy Inc. That victory completed all of today's stakes winners using the engine as a means to victory. FINISHING LINES - Driver Eric Carlson had earlier solidified his position as Philly's leading longshot handler, winning the eighth race with Hold It Hanover while paying $51.40 for his fifth $50+ winner of the meet, putting him one ahead of Brett Miller. Carlson is also tied for the distinction of having the most $100+ victories in 2018 at Philly: between him and Miller, they have piloted four of the six triple-figure win horses at the riverside oval.  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Mach Three mare Intoview recorded her third straight victory for owner/trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen while winning the $14,000 distaff claiming handicap pacing feature in 1:52.4 on Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. On a night where nine of fourteen chalks prevailed, Intoview and driver George Napolitano Jr. were not the crowd's favorite - at 9-5, they were held slightly behind 7-5 LK's Nancy Lee, handled by George's brother Anthony. LK's Nancy Lee challenged early leader Rosy Outlook after the 27.2 quarter, reaching the half in 56.2 and then bracing for the first-over move from Intoview. Intoview got to within a head of the leader by the 1:24.1 clocking with a quarter to go, then continued the attack through the lane, with pocketsitting Rosy Outlook making it a three-horse contest to the wire. Intoview proved most photogenic, a head ahead of LK's Nancy Lee, who held that same margin over Rosy Outlook. The victorious sharp mare now has earnings of $150,301. In a $13,000 co-feature, the Well Said gelding Well Played Out followed advancing cover, then paced his own last quarter in 27.2 to catch that cover, Bag Pipe Major, by ¾ of a length while lowering his mark a full second to 1:53.1. Tyler Buter guided the winner, whose $15.40 mutuel was the longest of the night, for trainer Alex Kavoleff and owners Douglas Alexander and Bruce Areman. George Napolitano Jr. won five races on the Tuesday card, including four of the final five, giving him 70 victories to date in the month of May: 47 of them at Pocono and the other 23 at Philly. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - In a six-horse featured trot where four of the contestants were with a head at the wire, the Donato Hall gelding Boffin proved most photogenic to take the $21,500 Sunday headliner at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:53.4. Anthony Napolitano sent Crazshana around Elysium Lindy and driver Matt Kakaley before the 26.4 quarter, then got a breather to the 56.3 as Anthony's brother George started up uncovered with Boffin. Boffin and Crazshana, both 7-5 choices under the guidance of the Napolitanos, were virtually inseparable from the 5/8 on, through and past the 1:24.2 ¾ into the stretch, where they were joined by Elysium Lindy and third-in ABC Muscles Boy, both hustling up the inside. At the finish Boffin got a head up on the next threesome, who were noses apart and gave the judges some work before declaring Elysium Lindy second, Crazshana third, and ABC Muscles Boy fourth. For Boffin, the win drove his victory rate to 50% for 12 starts this year and gave him his 46th lifetime victory, with career earnings of $532,237. Anette Lorentzon conditions the game trotter, and she co-owns him with ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson. (And the other two starters? Tyson was second-over, gapped his cover a bit, then closed to be a half-length off at the wire for fifth; Deep Impact, who got away sixth from the outside post and was last at every call, was beaten two lengths, timed in 1:54.1 - and despite that was no richer re-entering the paddock than when he left it.) From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Real Desire mare Eclipse Me N continued to show that she has the winning knack as she was victorious in the $17,500 mares pacing harness racing feature on Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Driver Simon Allard, sulkysitting for trainer/brother Rene, worked out a fine second-over trip with Eclipse Me N, coming her own last half in 54.4 to be a length clear of pocketsitter Monica Gallagher at the end of the 1:51 journey. A winner of four of her last seven starts and an eight-time winner in 2018 for owners Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Donald Mac Rae, Eclipse Me N now has earnings of $84,460 for the season and $167,619 lifetime. George Napolitano Jr. guided home six winners on the Tuesday card at Pocono, giving him 18 for the four-day racing week here (4 1/2 a night average). Combining his Pocono wins with a five-bagger at Philly Friday and a triple there Sunday, Napolitano had 26 victories over a five-day period, which now puts him ahead of Dan Noble for third place in North America behind Aaron Merriman and Ron Wrenn Jr. His sixth winner on Tuesday, Critical Mass in the last race, was a pari-mutuel shocker, returning $50.00 for a $2 ticket; earlier George had guided Colorful Jamie to a $25.80 tally. If a fan had bet $2 to win on each  of "George Nap"'s fourteen Tuesday drives, the fan would have received a $90.00 return -- a profit of 221%. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The harness racing meet's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., was named on four horses on the overnight sheet for the $14,000 distaff claiming handicap pacing feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday night. They were the 5-2 early choice, and a 4-1 shot, a 5-1 shot, and a 6-1 shot on the morning line. He took the longest shot of the four at 6-1, Intoview, then swept from seventh down the backstretch to reach the wire first in 1:53, a length to the good of Tataria. Sea's Ideal and Unbeamlieveable fought for the early lead well past the 26.3 marker on a track rated "sloppy," with the former finally able to clear to the lead, only to have favored LK's Nancy Lee start up uncovered at her by the 55.3 half. "George Nap" swung Intoview three-wide from fourth-over late on the backstretch, got cover from Tataria in the three-path on the far turn, then swung even wider and, after Tataria had made the stretch lead, was able to get by the gritty rival for the decision. A daughter of Mach Three, Intoview won her second straight race for owner/trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen. Napolitano continued his recent hot form with three winners, giving him 20 visits to Victory Lane since last Friday, racing Saturday-Sunday-Monday at Pocono and Friday-Sunday at Harrah's Philly. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Summertime fled The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a hurry - it was 59 degrees when the races started on Saturday evening -- but the change in temperature made no difference to the American Ideal gelding Ideal Kiss, who won for the fifth time in his last six starts when he won the $20,000 claiming handicap pacing feature in 1:50.4 over "good" going. Ideal Kiss made the lead before the first turn for driver George Napolitano Jr. despite beginning from the outside post seven, "and he improved his position from there," responding to mild stretch rocking to keep pocketsitting Big N Bad at bay by 1¼ lengths at the finish. The win was the third of the night for "George Nap," giving him 16 over the last five Pocono cards, and his second of the evening teaming with trainer Hunter Oakes. Northfork Racing Stable the owner of the winner of $170,630, with almost half of that, $80,930, won in just over eight months this year. Music Is Art and JJ Flynn accounted for the $17,500 co-featured conditioned paces, though their styles of racing - and margins of victory - couldn't have been more different. First up was Music Is Art, a son of Art Major who swept four-wide on the far turn from third-over, then - aided by some tight quarters in traffic inside of him spinning for home - drew away by seven lengths in 1:52.1. The winning race favorite, who raised his earnings to $162,240, was guided by Anthony Napolitano as he won for trainer Mike Deters and owner Rick Berks. In the other division, driver Marcus Miller had the Western Ideal gelding JJ Flynn in high gear from the start, cutting all the pace then holding off pocketsitter Feeling Cam Lucky by a neck in 1:51.2. Now with a career bankroll of $326,608, JJ Flynn is trained by Josh Green, who is a co-owner of the winner with Richard Lombardo and Charles Cochran III. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono featured the fireworks a day before the Labor Day holiday, as over $1.5M was up for grab in the Championship and consolation events of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-olds and the Great Northeast Open Series Championships, the latter conducted at 1¼ miles.   GREAT NORTHEAST OPEN SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS ($100,000 purses; all at 1¼ miles)   OPEN TROT To see a trotter come home in 54.1 - 26.4 under any circumstances is mighty impressive; to see it come in a 1¼ mile race (on a 5/8-mile track) is overwhelming - which is just how the foes chasing Homicide Hunter home must have felt.   The distance of a race must not matter to driver George Napolitano Jr.--he likes to make a move around the quarter and control the pace, and so things proceeded here, with very pedestrian fractions of 28.4, 58, and 1:28.1. Then they reached the backstretch the second time, and "George Nap" gave the word to the Chris Oakes trainee. Homicide Hunter took it from there, coming home in supersonic time to complete the distance in a world record 2:22.2, well ahead of the 2:24.1 produced by Magician in 2001, with Tight Lines 8½ lengths back.   The Mr Cantab gelding Homicide Hunter, posting his third world record (4TG and OTG at a mile, all three on 5/8-mile tracks), has now won seven of ten seasonal starts and 37 of 72 lifetime trips to the gate, with a career bankroll of $1,355,427.  Crawford Farms Racing owns a trotter who looks like right now he can go with any trotter in North America, if not beyond. MARE PACE   The first horse to the lead in the GNOS mares pace was also the first horse under the wire, but in between there was a ton of movement before the Bettor's Delight mare Bettorhaveanother came up the far inside to catch Caviart Ally by a neck, covering the 1¼ miles in 2:21.3, just shy of the divisional world record of 2:21 set by Marnie Hall in 2006.   Bettorhaveanother was circled off the first turn by Caviart Ally, who in turn ceded the lead to Tequila Monday. That mare was under attack the last of the two circuits, from in front of the stands to almost the mile marker by L A Delight, with favored Shartin N circling up in her bid and Agent Q on her three-wide bumper.   The inside turned out to be the place to be, as Caviart Ally collared the pacesetter in midstretch, only to see Bettorhaveanother rally from the third-in position up the deep Pocono Pike for driver Matt Kakaley to get the decision; those in the two- and three-wide paths couldn't sustain their gain.    That set the stage for Bettorhaveanother, a winner of $430,977 who is trained by Ron Burke for the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   OPEN PACE Western Joe yielded to the early brushing favorite Donttellmeagain to sit the two-hole, then was sent up the famed Pocono Pike by driver Scott Zeron and caught the pacesetter by a neck in 2:20.2, just shy of the 2:19.4 set by Boulder Creek in 2006. The son of American Ideal was out around the first turn to gain command, then yielded to Donttellmeagain after the 27.4 quarter and was content behind the next two splits of 56.1 and 1:52.4. When the pace quickened to get to the mile point in 1:52.4 and the outer tiers stalled on the far turn, it looked like a stretch battle between the 1-2 finishers, and indeed Western Joe rallied to the lead in deep stretch over the game pacesetter.   Western Joe had already shown a liking for added distance by taking the McKee Memorial on Hambletonian Day, and here he again showed the endurance to get the big money for trainer Chris Choate and owners Anthony Ruggeri and Richard Tosies. An extra tip of the cap to Choate, who entered the winner of $503,551 despite being 26th in the standings - no one below #10 (ironically, Donttellmeagain) put in the box, so Western Joe drew in, and made the most of the opportunity. PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS ($252,000 for Championships -- $50,000 for consolations [3PC consolation did not fill])   -- 25th anniversary year of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes (started in 1994)   TROTTING FILLIES Consolation -- Trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt wasted no time hustling the Cantab Hall filly S M S Princess to the lead, and that filly had a clear margin almost all the way through fractions of 27.2, 56.4, and 1:25 en route to a new mark of 1:52.3. No one could make up ground in the back numbers of 55.4 - 27.3 thrown by the $162,453 winner S M S Princess, 5½ lengths clear for owners by Ã…ke Svanstedt Inc. and Stall Musse Inc.   PACING FILLIES Consolation - The Well Said filly Strong Opinion got a big breather while setting the pace in her event, getting to the half in 57.2, then sprinted home in 55.1, and needed all of it to hold off what looked like The Charge of the Light Brigade behind her late, winning by a half- length in 1:52.3 in a race where the top five were within a length of each other under the wire. Yannick Gingras guided the victorious Ron Burke pupil, who raised her earnings to $244,448 for the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC; Jack Piatt II; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   TROTTING COLTS Consolation - All three consolations wound up going in 1:52.3, two of the quick clockings by trotters, and both handled by trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt while winging on the front end. The male was the Cantab Hall gelding Gemologist, who never looked back from the rail in posting fractions of 27, 56, and 1:24, then finishing out to take a new mark while four lengths clear at the finish. The winner is owned by the S R F Stable. (Second was the 2YO Stallion Series and Fair Sire Stakes champion Hockey Hanover; last year's Sire Stake champion Fashionwoodchopper had to settle for fourth in this consolation.)   PACING COLTS As noted earlier, a consolation event for this division did not fill.   From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Homicide Hunter, already #1 in the pointstandings in the Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) division for fast-class trotters, marked himself as the horse to beat in his $100,000 Championship event next Sunday with an authoritative 1:51.4 triumph in the $30,000 final GNOS prelim round at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The altered son of Cantab Hall has achieved much success racing on the lead, but on Sunday he looked strong coming off the pace, a trait which may help him at the GNOS Championship distance of 1¼ miles. Driver George Napolitano Jr., posting his 17th victory of a memorable Friday-Saturday-Sunday driving weekend, spotted the winner of $1,305,427 early, then put him in second-over position. When "George Nap" tipped him three-wide late on the far turn, the on-the-bit trotter surged forward, with the main stretch question being "How much is he going to win by?", the answer to which was 2½ lengths over 95-1 shot Tight Lines, who also had good late kick. But nobody was in the league tonight of Homicide Hunter, who is trained by Chris Oakes for Crawford Farms Racing. The top ten open trotters in the GNOS preliminaries were: 1. Homicide Hunter, 2. Smalltownthrowdown, 3. Lagerfeld, 4. the mare Broadway Donna, 5. Melady's Monet, 6. Marion Marauder, 7. Sutton, 8. Muscle Diamond, 9. (tie) Guardian Angel AS and Will Take Charge. Since some of the top ten have qualified for the Maple Leaf Trot final next week in Canada, the connections of those "on the bubble" (such as Tight Lines, 11th in the standings) will likely enter and then await with hope the results of the draw for Saturday's card, which takes place Monday (the 27th). The Great Northeast Open Series Championships, with open pacers and mare pacers in the other two GNOS categories, going for $100,000 and all at 1¼ miles, will be joined by the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships for three-year-olds, along with their consolations, on a $1.5M card that must not be missed next Sunday at The Downs. There were $21,500 sub-features held for trotters and for mare pacers on Sunday. In the trot, the Majestic Son mare Charmed Life did an unusual thing at Pocono - she came from third-over to win, swinging four-wide into the stretch and just catching pacesetting Dayson by a neck in 1:53.4. Simon Allard got a big late effort out of the winner from the winner of $1,408,882 to achieve the triumph for trainer/brother Rene Allard and the partnership of Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and VIP Internet Stable LLC. In the mares pace, the Mach Three mare Windsun Glory looked up and down the starting gate, did not see Shartin N et al., much to her relief, and then posted her third win in her last five starts, this one in 1:51.1. The classdropping winner of $306,898 briefly settled third before the ¼, then was out and moving off the first turn for driver Matt Kakaley to the lead just past the 3/8 and went on strongly, with Penpal firing strongly late but coming up 1½ lengths shy. Ron Burke conditions the winner for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Lawrence Karr. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The in-form duo of pacer Ideal Kiss and driver George Napolitano Jr. combined to take the $20,000 claiming handicap pacing feature on Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "G Nap" sent the altered son of American Ideal to the top well before the 27 quarter, then got a big breather while reaching the half in 56.3. From there the sprint was on, and nobody had enough sprint to catch Ideal Kiss - he went the third quarter in 27.1, and then followed up with a 27.2 kicker to complete the 1:51.1 mile two lengths ahead of Skyful Of Lighters. Ideal Kiss has now won three of his last four while rising from a price tag of $15,000 to $30,000. The latter price is what trainer Hunter Oakes claimed him for out of his last start, and the career winner of $145,630 has already earned back a third of his purchase price for the Northfork Racing Stable. As for meet-leading driver George Napolitano, the victory was the sixth of the night, and he would end the evening with seven trips to Victory Lane, after winning four at Harrah's Philly yesterday afternoon. In the $17,500 co-featured pace, George's brother Anthony Napolitano was victorious with the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding Rodeo Rock in 1:50.3. "A Nap" brushed with the winner of $296,720 in front of the stands and stepped to the lead, and Rodeo Rock has enough to withstand Soho Wallstreet A by a length for his second straight triumph. Robert Cleary conditions the winner for Royal Wire Products Inc. The final preliminary in the popular summerlong Great Northeast Open Series will be held at Pocono on Sunday night, with open trotters going after a $30,000 purse. The two early favorites are double world champion Homicide Hunter and Smalltownthrowdown, who posted a 1:51.1 victory the last time the two collided. Pocono will host $100,000 Championships at 1¼ miles for all the Great Northeast Open Series classes on Sunday, September 2, on a $1.5M card that will also feature the Championships of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-olds. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

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