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WILKES-BARRE, PA - Saturday was closing night for the 2018 harness racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with ceremonies honoring some of the top horses and horsemen of the meet sharing the spotlight with the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series Eastern Regional Final #2. The Billings purse was $12,000, but you'd have thought they were going for a hundred times that as they were three-deep to a 27.4 quarter. Past that station, Winwood Scout, the favorite, kept On The Podium out in the 38-degree air, and the middle fractions of 57.2 and 1:27.2 were very demanding. With the best seat in the house behind the battle up front was driver David Offenberg and the Cantab Hall gelding Fiji, and when the outside horse melted back on the far turn, Fiji was ready to spring. Offenberg moved his horse outside at headstretch, but Winwood Scout was favored for good reason, and it took until the very last steps before "Dave The Rave" could nudge Fiji past the gallant Winwood Scout and driver Bob Davis, winning by the smallest possible margin in 1:57.1. For being named after a tropical island (which was the homeland of the famous Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka), Fiji is certainly a good cold weather performer - he also accounted for a Billings event in November of last year. The winner of $164,637 is trained by Eric Abbatiello for the Allister Stables LLC of Offenberg, and he may add to that total this year, as by virtue of winning this Billings Regional Final Championship, Offenberg has qualified for the $25,000 Billings Gold Cup at Yonkers on Sunday the 25th - and he may well take along the sharp and proven "winter warrior" Fiji. (Offenberg also looks like a "winter warrior" - he won the NAADA Final in December 2015 and the Silver Cup in November of that year, and he was second in the GSY Fall Final on Friday.) The equine honoree of the evening was Pocono Trotter of the Year Homicide Hunter, who locally won the Breeders Crown and set a world record for 1¼ miles in a year where he also became The World's Fastest Trotter with his 1:48.4 mile at Lexington. Chris Oakes, the horse's trainer and himself the winningest trainer of the year here three times, was on hand, and also took part in the ceremony honoring his 20YO son Hunter Oakes, who took the award for top UTR with a sparkling rating of .556. Rene Allard won his second straight training victory title and fifth in the last six years, finishing with 133 visits to Victory Lane, including on closing night. Allard's "handful" of training title ties him for the all-time lead at Pocono with a horseman whom some may have forgotten once had an active stable - George Napolitano Jr. (2001 and 2003-2006). "George Nap" of course also had his turn in the spotlight, winning the crowns for driving victories (366) and UDR (.374). George has now been the top driving dashwinner at Pocono twelve times, including the last seven consecutive seasons, and he won the last race of the year with Feeling Cam Lucky to finish with the second-most victories at Pocono in a year, behind only his own record of 407 in 2015. George's tenth UDR title at the mountain oval was his fifth in a row. One trophy not given was "Most Driving Wins with $50+ Longshots" - if they did, Jim Taggart Jr. solidified his hold on this honor, guiding home Roll Away Joe to a $51.20 victory for his seventh of the meet, two ahead of Tom Jackson and Anthony Napolitano. FINISHING LINES - It may have been Closing Night, but it appears that not too many stables will be shutting down for the year - there was $163,750 in claiming action on the last card of the meet, with nine horses changing hands. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

CHESTER, PA - Mr Houdini needed little magic to win the $16,000 trot at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon - he just needed his native ability, which enabled him to come home in 57 over a "sloppy +2" surface to take a new mark of 1:56. Andrew McCarthy quickly had the altered son of Kadabra on the lead, and the winner of three straight rattled off splits of 29.1, 59.1, and 1:27.3 on the engine. Girl Talk had stayed close to the winner throughout and tried to rally from the pocket late, but Mr Houdini saw that one's late bid off by 3/4 for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The top pacing event of the day was an event for distaffs worth $14,500, and heading to the wire three of the four involved in the drive were New Zealanders, with the import Nike Franco N (handled by Flora IL's Tim Tetrick, the lone non-Kiwi) withstood a big late charge from Delightfulmemphisn and the "Down Under Wonder," driver Dexter Dunn, to prevail in 1:52.4 in the off going. Tetrick had moved the victorious daughter of McArdle past early leader Oceania past the 27.1 quarter, put up middle fractions of 56.3 and 1:24.2, and looked free and clear at headstretch. But Delightfulmemphisn angled four-wide and cut into the lead with every stride in the lane, only to come up a half-length short on the money. The winner, trainer by Scott Di Domenico, recorded her second straight win, and now has lifetime earnings of $822,029 while raising her career win ratio to 43% (32 for 75). She is owned by William Hartt, Foulk Stables Inc., JFE Enterprise LLC, and Triple D Stables Inc. From the PHHA/Harrah's Chester

CHESTER, PA -- The 12-race harness racing card scheduled for Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon has been cancelled, as snow started falling in the area midmorning and shows no sign of abating.   Racing is scheduled to return to Harrah's tomorrow (Friday), with a 13-race card starting at 12:25 p.m.   From PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  

CHESTER PA - The fifth race at Harrah's Philadelphia Wednesday produced the largest harness racing win price of the season at Philly, as Anthony Morgan, #2 in North American driving victories all-time (this was win #16,251), sent Ideal Magic to the lead early, yielded to favorite Ohio Larry, then came up the inside to best that rival by ¾ of a length while returning $195.40 for a $2 ticket (there was a total of $50 bet on him to win). Ideal Magic's price beat the previous seasonal high, set one month back to the day (October 14), when Always A Diamond fashioned a $117.20 upset. Nice Stuff and Presidente Zette were the trotters home first in a pair of $16,000 features as the racing week opened at Harrah's Philadelphia. Nice Stuff has now won three of her last four starts after taking the first division of the headliner in 1:56.3, missing the personal mark she set last week by a tick. Dexter Dunn had the Yankee Glide mare well-positioned behind lively cover, and her stretch kick enabled her to overhaul the pacesetting favorite Christopher Crazo by a length, with pocketsitting Michando another half-length back in third. Nice Stuff has proven to be a nice acquisition for trainer Bucky Angle and owners Howard and Joshua Kauffman, as she came into their possession early in September and has already bankrolled $24,250 for them. Presidente Zette conserved ground in the other section of the feature, then was able to slip out on the far turn, tip wide, and sail past the field to equal his mark of 1:56.2. The son of Muscle Hill benefited from the well-judged drive by David Miller, coming home two lengths to the good of Campbellini for owner/trainer Cozette McAvoy, The fifth race produced the largest win price of the season at Philly, as Anthony Morgan, #2 in North American driving victories all-time (this was win #16,251), sent Ideal Magic to the lead early, yielded to favorite Ohio Larry, then came up the inside to best that rival by ¾ of a length while returning $195.40 for a $2 ticket (there was a total of $50 bet on him to win). Ideal Magic's price beat the previous seasonal high, set one month back to the day (October 14), when Always A Diamond fashioned a $117.20 upset. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A trio of $15,000 conditioned events were featured on the penultimate card of 2018 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday night. The first of two trots resulted in an easy victory for the Kadabra gelding Northern Major in 1:57.3. Matt Kakaley moved the winner to the front past a 29 quarter and put up midsplits of 59 and 1:28.1 before storming off by 5½ lengths over closing Broadway Bruiser. The race favorite, Northern Major is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In the other trotting contest, the Triumphant Caviar sophomore gelding QB Kemp rallied from the pocket to record his second straight triumph, here in 1:57.1. Favored Bautista went to the top in a quick 27.4 on a cool night, rated the middle fractions to 57.1 and 1:27.2, but still could not withstand the rush from the two-hole by QB Kemp, driven by Tyler Buter for trainer Rob Harmon and Harmon Racing Stable LLC. The pacing event was for fillies and mares, with Don't Mach Mia surrendering the early lead to Parkin In Heaven in a 28.1, brushing to the lead and posting middle fractions of 57 and 1:26, then holding off the pocketsitter to notch a neck triumph in 1:55.1. George Napolitano Jr. was sulkysitting for trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. Earlier, pacer SB Ideal In Art, driver John Kakaley (Matt's father), and trainer Jim Ray became the first horse-driver-trainer combination to post two $50+ victories in 2018 at Pocono when they teamed up for a $148.80 shocker in race two. The trio had clicked at a $58.00 price on July 31. Tempster Hanover is the only other horse to have two $50+ wins at the meet, but he had changed hands between his May 8 and June 26 upsets. Trainer Ray tied for the top at Pocono with his second training bomber: Judy Welty, Jose Godinez, Alex Kavoleff, Jason Robinson, and Ron Burke also have two upset winners, with the last two joining Ray as both posting their double within the last month and having one of their twosome under question pay $100+. The last card of the 2018 season will take place at The Downs on Saturday night, with the yet-undistributed yearend awards to be given. The world's fastest trotter and "home track" Breeders Crown winner, Homicide Hunter, will receive local Trotter of the Year honors, with the horse's trainer, Chris Oakes, also to be on hand to see his son Hunter Oakes get the award for posting the colony's top UTR. Rene Allard will be feted upon winning his fifth training win title in the last six years, while George Napolitano Jr. will sweep the driving dash title and UDR title for the sixth straight year - "George Nap" has thirteen Pocono dash crowns and eleven UDR championships to his credit, both obviously local records. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Elysium Lindy took control from the pole early for driver Matt Kakaley, rated the half, then sprinted home to keep pocketsitting favorite Gruden at bay while winning the $30,000 Open trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Sunday. Kakaley discouraged any outside attempts to fire away hard, going at a 27.1 clip to the quarter, then rated the second quarter to hit the half in 57.1. From that point, nobody had enough speed to overhaul Elysium Lindy on a 32-degree night, with Gruden giving valiant chase up the Pocono Pike from the two-hole but coming up ¾ of a length shy. Elysium Lindy, an altered son of Cantab Hall, raised his earnings to $152,240 for the year and $318,835 lifetime for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership team of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Joseph DiScalia. After the race, driver Matt Kakaley did something that would normally be unusual - he took his helmet off. He gave it to the caretaker of Elysium Lindy, who wore it taking the victorious trotter back to the paddock, and Matt stayed in the winners circle, being joined by important Burke Brigade owner Phil Collura, to accept the honor of 2018 Pocono Pacer of the Year for the sophomore millionaire Dorsoduro Hanover. The Somebeachsomehwere gelding has posted a 19-10-5-1 scorecard so far in 2018 and has bankrolled $1,229,112, with his tally at Pocono alone reading 7-6-0-0-$469,120. Locally, Dorsoduro Hanover won a Pennsylvania All-Stars race, a leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and his divisional Championship, a Hempt elimination, and of course his Breeders Crown elimination and final, in the latter of which he took his lifetime mark of 1:49.4. (His only Pocono setback was a very honorable one, as he put up fractions of 26, 53, and 1:20.3, and then missed only a length in the Hempt Championship.) Kakaley was his regular driver for his trainer Burke and his owners, Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; and the Wingfield Five LLC. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Onlyest One, a Bettor's Delight gelding racing for the first time for the meet's leading trainer Rene Allard after a claim, overcame a first-over journey to post a 1:52.3 victory in the $18,000 claiming handicap harness racing pacing feature Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where the mercury was one degree above freezing for the evening's headliners. Now a 13-time winner in 2018 with earnings of $101,450 this year and $347,240 lifetime, The Onlyest One withstood Roll Away Joe by a length for driver Simon Allard while making a successful debut for Allard Racing Inc. Music Is Art may not have been the straightest pacer in the stretch drive of the $17,500 co-featured pace, but he was the fastest under the guidance of Anthony Napolitano to reach the wire first in 1:51.2. The son of Art Major was positioned second-over, swung wide entering the stretch - and kept going wider the closer he got to the line, winding up about 4 ½-wide at the wire but with a half-length lead over pacesetting I'm A Big Deal, a sophomore last seen in his Breeders Crown Final here. Music Is Art, trained by Mark Ford for owner Rick Berks, pushed his earnings to $91,863 this season and $196,790 lifetime. Ford, the Allard brothers, and George Napolitano Jr. each had a triple Saturday. Two horses were honored Saturday in the Hanover Shoe Farms winners circle at Pocono for seasonal accomplishments at the mountain oval. First to be spotlighted was another success story for the brothers Allard, Mare of the Year Eclipse Me N, who won half of her twelve 2018 starts at Pocono at the highest level of the conditioned ranks, including a Tuesday, August 28 victory - right back in two days after she had competed at the top level at Pocono on Sunday. For the year overall, Eclipse Me N, who raced in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers in the winter, has nine wins and $93,210; she took her mark of 1:50.1 on May 15 at Pocono for Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and Don Mac Lean, who imported her from New Zealand in May 2017. While the American Ideal gelding Ideal Kiss raced honorably at Pocono from May to November, his selection as Claimer of the Year was hugely based on his stint under the tutelage of Hunter Oakes, after Northfork Racing Stable claimed him for $30,000 on August 11. For Northfork/Oakes and driver George Napolitano Jr., still guiding the horse's fortunes, Ideal Kiss paced to a scorecard of 9-5-1-1 for earnings of $59,020 and a lifetime mark of 1:49.3 earned on September 1 - take that, you who say "Just a claimer" with a sneer. Ideal Kiss has raced this year to a total of 10 wins and $118,030 in earnings; his lifetime accumulation is $202,730. Tomorrow night Pocono Pacer of the Year Dorsoduro Hanover will be feted; on 2018 closing night next Saturday, Trotter of the Year Homicide Hunter will be honored -- quite a pair closing out the season at The Downs. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

CHESTER, PA - Gold Orchid N handled a stepup in class to keep her North American record perfect after five starts, winning a $14,500 high-level conditioned distaff pace at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday in 1:52. Fellow New Zealander Dexter Dunn was in the sulky behind the victorious daughter of Bettor's Delight, and they couldn't have enjoyed a better journey. Delightful Dragon grabbed the lead early and passed the ¼ in 27, but JK Jazzitup was soon on the go and took over the lead by the 56.1 half, with Terror At Night starting the outer tier uncovered and Gold Orchid N right behind her. After a battle on the front end resulted in a ¾ clocking of 1:23.4, Terror At Night had forged a short lead by headstretch, but Gold Orchid N still had plenty in the tank and went on to post a 1½-length victory over Terror At Night, with third-over Ella Christina coming on for third, another 1¼ lengths back. Mark Harder trains the "ceiling unlimited" mare for BAMQ LLC. Unusually for "Filly and Mare Friday" at Philly, the top purse event of the day was a trot, a $16,000 contest won by a male, as the Kadabra gelding Mr Houdini equaled his lifetime mark of 1:56.2 over a track that had been rerated to "sloppy" after a hard rain about an hour earlier. Mr Houdini worked out a pocket trip, but looked like he wouldn't shake free in enough time to catch Girl Talk, who had swept wide off cover to the midstretch lead. "Houdini" and driver Brett Miller escaped from the box in just enough time to produce a surge that got him home first by a head for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. There's no question that trainer Mike Dowdall and driver Brett Miller are the "go-to" team at Philly for longshot tallies, as they clicked again in the first race with Cinder Rita ($79.40) - the fourth time at the meet the pair have produced a $50+ winner. Dowdall's quartet of bombers puts him far ahead of other conditioners - no other trainer has more than one! - while Miller's seventh overall $50+ horse ties him for the meet lead with Eric Carlson in that category. Race one also went to the top in longshot production - a longshot led the card for the sixth time in the meet, breaking a tie with races six and ten. (In case you were wondering, races five and fourteen have yet to see a $50+ win payoff.) Tim Tetrick won four races Friday, reducing George Napolitano Jr.'s lead in the seasonlong driving standings to 218-213. Cat Manzi won the first dashwinning drivers title at Philly, and since then it has either been Napolitano (six times, including the last four) or Tetrick (five times) on top. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - Tymal Reign set most of the pace in the $14,500 trotting feature at Harrah's Philadelphia, but the pocketsitting Ameliosi had inside room and from mid stretch ... inched ... up ... with ... every ... stride ... and ... finally ... nipped the winner in the final few feet, stopping the timer in 1:55.3. Ameliosi, a daughter of Explosive Matter trained by Jenny Melander for owner John Devito, took command on the first turn, hung favored Tymal Reign past the 27.3 quarter and was thereafter content to sit behind that one through the middle splits of 56.1 and 1:25.2. The winner kept on grinding just inside the pacesetter, and just did get by by the shortest of margins under the urging of Marcus Miller, on a day when quick last quarters were not to be found. There were a pair of $14,000 co-features, one on each gait. On the trot, the finish may have been even closer than in the feature, as the Cantab Hall sophomore gelding American Steele set the pace, holding off closing favorite Dunsinane Hall by no more than a couple of inches. A win is a win, and this win in 1:57.2 was a lifetime mark for American Steele, who was kept rolling to the wire by the track's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., for trainer Rob Harmon and the partnership of Harmon Racing Stable LLC and Harvey Eisman. The pace was taken by Western Showgirl, who posted only her second career win, yet broke $50,000 in lifetime earnings, shedding her previous 29-1-14-7 "bridesmaid" pattern by winning in 1:57.1. Owner/trainer Ray Barnes sent her on a first-over mission, opened a good-sized lead when the pacesetter gave way midturn, then maintained a safe 1½-length margin to the wire with the Western Ideal mare. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Muscle Massive sophomore harness racing gelding Jackie's Jim, trainer Neal Ehrhart, and driver George Napolitano Jr. continued their recent "in-form" style, combining to win the $16,000 featured trot on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia in 1:56.2. Napolitano, who swept the first four races en route to five victories on the day, reserved Jackie's Jim off the early pace, then sent him uncovered before the half. He showed sharp acceleration to make the lead at the 5/8, then opened up just enough ground on two rivals who had been caught inside when he powered to the lead, Lindsey's Pride and Presidential Zette, who dead-heated for second, a neck behind the winner, who recorded his third straight victory. Ehrhart, clicking at a 24% rate since October 19, trains the winner for Virginia Ehrhart, Leta Deatrick, and Jacqueline Dobson. In the $14,000 pacing co-feature, Tony Morgan sent the Bettor's Delight sophomore gelding Bettor Than Spring to the lead past the quarter and held sway the rest of the way, but the winner had to be game to withstand the late burst of 40-1 shot Gideon Seelster by a neck in triumphing in 1:55.1. Bettor Than Spring has now won three of four trips behind the gate since pairing with trainer Scott Di Domenico and the ownership of Joseph Bongiorno LLC and Triple D Stables Inc. In the $14,000 trotting co-feature Wednesday, the Conway Hall sophomore gelding Flyhawk El Diablo took advantage of the "eligible at time of entry" rule after winning his last start, making it two straight while equaling the lifetime mark of 1:57.2 that he notched in his last race. Andrew McCarthy guided the winner to the lead going under the wire the first time, and the pair had more than enough to keep pocketsitting First Class Act in arrears by 2¾ lengths under the wire the second time for owner/trainer James DeLucia. The early move to command also was a successful route for the Majestic Son mare Majestic Presence, who handled a $12,500 fast-class field in 1:55.4. Marcus Miller got away with a relaxed 58.4 half, then sprinted home in 57 with the winner of $180,310 to be 1¼ lengths of pocketsitting Royal Surprise for aunt/trainer Julie Miller and owner Kapildeo Singh. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE, PA - There were four divisions of the "non-winners 4 races lifetime" condition going for $15,000 each as the top purse events on the Tuesday night card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Two of them were on the pace, with a favorite and a second choice taking the big end of the purse, and two were on the trot, where form took a bit of a holiday. The pacers hit the track first, and in the initial event for that gait Captain Deo, a sophomore son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the $1.9M-winning mare Worldly Beauty, justified his favoritism with a dominating 2¾ length tally for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Tony Alagna, and the ownership of Alagna Racing LLC, Joe Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners, and Captain Deo Partners. Captain Deo won on the engine in 1:51.1, which included a 30 second quarter in the second split - meaning in the other 3/4s Captain Deo flashed 1:21.1 speed. In the other pacing section, a distaff event, Saratoga invader Northern Swift equaled her lifetime mark of 1:53.3, overcoming a first-over journey for driver Matt Kakaley (who led the drivers' colony on Tuesday with four wins), trainer Jean Drolet, and the ownership of Funky Munky Stable LLC and Marthe Drolet. The victorious daughter of Mach Three won by 1¾ lengths over pocketsitting Don't Mach Mia, who photoed out favored Covfefe, who had set most of the pace, for second. On the trot, perhaps it was appropriate on Election Day that one of the winners would be QB Kemp, a Triumphant Caviar sophomore gelding named after the former pro football player turned politician. QB Kemp hung in there like a beleaguered quarterback or determined officeseeker, setting the pace while keeping favored Northern Major on the rim, yet still winning by two lengths while lowering his mark by two seconds to 1:56.1 as a 9-1 shot for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Rob Harmon, and Harmon Racing Stable LLC. A $21.00 win price, however, pales next to the $72.40 for $2 generated by the winner of the other featured trot, Nice Stuff. The Yankee Glide four-year-old mare, who started from the rail, got a literal break when a foe went offstride past the half, advanced to the pocket under the guidance of driver Tom Jackson, then rallied in the lane for a length win in 1:56.2. Acquired by trainer Bucky Angle and the ownership of Howard and Joshua Kaufman at the end of the summer, Nice Stuff now has won two of her last three starts after going 3-for-62 before her acquisition, and her surprise triumph here generated a $1295.00 1-4 exacta with 20-1 Campbellini, a single 50-cent 1-4-9 winning Trifecta ticket worth over $2900 with 21-1 Broadway Bruiser third, and a single 10-cent Superfecta ticket on a "1-4-9-all" payout also in the $2900 neighborhood. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Charmed Life boosted her lifetime earnings to $1,445,137 in winning the $17,500 featured harness racing trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:53.2 on Sunday night, and she did it in an unusual fashion for the mountain oval - she picked up the entire field from last. Driver Simon Allard, sulkysitting for brother/Pocono top trainer Rene, had drawn the outside post seven after a scratch, and was in no hurry with the veteran daughter of Majestic Son until down the backstretch, when he made a power three-wide move around stalled cover. Charmed Life had drawn within a length of the battling front duo, leader Crosbys Clam Bake and uncovered Silvermass Volo, by the top of the stretch, and she have enough kick in reserve to drew clear by 1¾ lengths over Crosbys Clam Bake, with Silvermass Volo another length back in third behind the winner, who is owned by Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, and VIP Internet Stable LLC. There was a trio of $17,000 co-features on the Sunday card, and Pocono's top driver George Napolitano Jr. won both of the paces among the six victorious horses he guided on the evening. Mink Pink, sitting third on the rail entering the final turn, found a hole and Napolitano swung her wide in the distaff pace, with the American Ideal filly charging home swiftly to win by ¾ of a length in 1:52.1 for trainer Chris Oakes and Crawford Farms Racing. Napolitano, who has a frontracing style that usually works effectively at Pocono, also took the division for males from off the pace, and about as far off the pace as you can - last at the half after starting from the rail. But the Bettor's Delight gelding Bellows Binge had the necessary late step to catch 25-1 pacesetter Uffizi by a neck while stopping the timer in 1:52.3 for trainer Dirk Simpson and the ownership of Peter Karras and the Dirk Simpson Stable Inc. Lest anybody thinks that the Pocono oval had been totally converted from the speedfavoring track it had been on the Saturdays of Breeders Crown competition, a frontrunner did win the co-featured trot, which also fell to trainer Chris Oakes, but a different driving Napolitano - Anthony, who put a new mark of 1:53.1 on the Chapter Seven filly Eunice. "ANap" and Eunice controlled the pace and the sophomore won by almost seven lengths, her third straight triumph for Crawford Farms Racing (another feature doubler), Northfork Racing Stable, and the T L P Stable. And if anybody is trying to read the political tea leaves before the next Pocono card on Election Day Tuesday evening (the track is dark on Monday in November), we note the victory of Make America Great, a son of So Surreal, who took a maiden event. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Somebeachsomewhere gelding Dreams Beachboy made it two straight over The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono's oval, and four wins while not missing the board in his last eight starts, with a 1:51.2 victory in the $21,500 pacing feature on Saturday night. The track's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., worked out a pocket trip behind the pacesetting Sprinter N, while the latter, after getting to the quarter in 26.4, belied his name by resting to the half in 56.2. Down the backstretch first-over Music Is Art made life tougher on the leader, necessitating a 1:23.3 breaking of the beam at the ¾ pole, and the extra expenditure of energy helped set up the late rally of Dreams Beachboy, who won by a half-length over the tough Music Is Art, with Sprinter N another neck back in third. Trainer Deborah Burnet is 2-for-2 at Pocono this year, both with the victorious winner of $242,784, for Crawford Farms Racing. George Napolitano Jr.'s brother Anthony won the co-featured $16,000 claiming handicap pace, the night's opener, with the Bettor's Delight gelding The Onlyest One in 1:52.4. The winner visited Victory Lane for the twelfth time this season, backing out to follow cover from his third-in position, then catching pacesetting That Man Of Mine and pocketsitting Wick N by a neck, with the last two-named deadheating for the deuce. Laurie Patistas owns and trains The Onlyest One. There are only six more cards left in the 2018 Pocono Downs season: the following Sundays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays, as Mondays will go dark for the remaining seasonal action, which concludes November 17. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs  

Chester, PA — The Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association seeks qualified applicants for Communications & Marketing Manager. The full time, salaried position reports to the Executive Director and Board of Directors. The ideal candidate for this highly entrepreneurial role is a motivated self-starter possessing a minimum of five years of experience in marketing/advertising/communications/business with progressively increasing responsibilities. Experience in — and genuine enthusiasm for — horse racing, equine-related industries or sports and wagering are preferred but not required. For a detailed job listing including required qualifications/experience and instructions on how to apply, please visit www.phha.org/careers. The deadline for applying is Friday (Nov. 30). by Ed Kobesky, for the PHHA

CHESTER, PA - The up-and-coming horses in the "non-winners of five races lifetime" classification were featured at Harrah's Philadelphia this afternoon (and into the twilight, complementing the first day of the Breeders Cup), with a pair of $16,000 contests. The first was for distaff pacers, and it fell to the Somebeachsomewhere sophomore filly Zutopia in 1:53.3. George Napolitano Jr. sent the sophomore to the top in a 27.2 quarter, then yielded to the favorite Sarpa Hanover as she brushed to command early, hitting the middle splits in 56.3 and 1:24.4, at the latter station being joined by first-over Danikova. Through the stretch Napolitano used the inside space to rally Zutopia, with her biggest stretch challenge coming from Painted Lady, who also shot the inside then had to alter outside and finished swiftly between horses to come up a length shy. Danikova was third, a half-length behind Painted Lady and a half-length ahead of Sarpa Hanover. Zutopia, now a 5-time winner this year, is trained by Tom Cancelliere for his brother John. The track lightning had been turned on by the time the second feature, which was for trotters, went gateward, and Exarch justified the fans' 2-5 favoritism of him with a win in 1:56.2, but he had to be good late to answer a challenge for pocketsitting Armageddon Seelster. The latter was actually on top early before yielding to the chalk in 28.4, and the favorite then put up middle clockings of 59 and 1:27.4. With the relative easy fractions under the guidance of Tony Morgan, it looked like Exarch might be all but home, but Armageddon Seelster gave him a good argument through the lane before finishing second, a neck back. Ron Burke conditions the winner for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In a $14,500 conditioned pacers for more seasoned pacing females, Gold Orchid N remained undefeated in four U.S. starts, lowering her Stateside mark to 1:51.2. The daughter of Bettor's Delight got away second and left a huge hole most of the way as pacesetter Diamondtoothgertie set fractions of 27.4, 56, and 1:23.4, but driver Dexter Dunn had the four-year-old Kiwi mare in high gear at the last-named station, quickly overhauled the pacesetter on the turn, and drew off to a 4½ length victory over Brazuca, who raced inside and had a head on the wire over Nike Franco N, who had gapped throughout the race but was flying late. Gold Orchid N now has six wins in but 21 career starts, with more successes likely in the near future. She is owned by BAMQ Inc., which consists of Barry Freeman, Andrew Steiger, and trainer Mark Harder (the Q is a question mark). Not only did Milady Denver A provide the biggest price of the afternoon when she took the twelfth contest at a $56.60 mutuel for driver Pat Berry, she also provided Guatemala native Fredi Herrera his first-ever training victory. With only six starts since he got his license, all with the winner, Herrera now sports a 372% profit ratio for his backers. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The veteran Crazed gelding Crazy About Pat pushed his lifetime earnings to $833,750 with a 1:54.2 victory in the $18,000 featured trot at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon. Eric Carlson settled in second early with the winner behind fast-starting Ameliosi, then made a move topward by the 27.4 half. Middle splits of 57 and 1:25.2 were hung up, and when no outer tier action materialized, Ameliosi proved to be the main competition, but Crazy About Pat kept him at bay by a solid 2¼ lengths. Gilbert Garcia-Herrera is the owner/trainer of Crazy About Pat. It may surprise some non-Mid-Atlantic fans to learn that Garcia-Herrera is within the top six trainers at Yonkers, Pocono, and Philadelphia, where he sits second in the table to Ron Burke. He is also sixth in North America, with Crazy About Pat the 200th winner from the barn this year. There were a pair of $14,500 trotting co-features on the card, with Carlson also victorious in one of them, handling the Cam's Rocket sophomore gelding What That Is in a 1:56.1 triumph. One of Maryland's top colts the last couple years, What That Is swung wide from third-over and ran down a game Le Tissier, who had taken over in the stretch after going first-over, by three parts of a length for trainer Kerry Welty and owner Brian Emerson. In the other co-feature, 2017 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Fashionwoodchopper got the first win of his sophomore campaign, going to the lead near the quarter for driver David Miller and then holding off potential pocket rocket Tymal Reign by ¾ of a length to win in 1:55. Despite the paucity of seasonal successes, the Donato Hall colt has still banked $106,370 this year and $363,259 lifetime for trainer Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms LLC. FINISHING LINES - Because of the galloping activity in Kentucky associated with the two-day Breeders Cup championships, post time at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday will be 2:05 p.m. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

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