Day At The Track

George Nap scores in $30,000 final

09:34 AM 30 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Explosive Magic, harness racing
Explosive Magic and driver George Napolitano, Jr.
Curtis Salonick Photo

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The perennial leading harness racing driver at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, George Napolitano Jr., won his third of the early-season Game Of Claims' five Championships, and owner William Emmons Jr. his second, when they combined behind the Explosive Matter gelding Explosive Magic for a 1:56.2 victory in Monday $30,000 Game Of Claims Trotting Series Championship for $15,000-base-price horses.

Emmons and trainer Eric Ell claimed the winner of three out of his last four out of the series' second preliminary, and then had him sit out the final prelim, hoping his first and second in the initial two legs would get him into the final without risking him being claimed.

The 1-2 finishes did advance him sufficiently - he was eighth in points of the top nine entrants - and Monday Explosive Magic showed no ill effects from the week off, sitting behind favored Golden Son through fractions of :27.4, :57.1, and 1:27, then charging home in the lane for a 1½ length victory over the chalk. He paid $11.80 to win.



Emmons is also the owner of Glengarry Knight N, winner of his $50,000 Game Of Claims Championship, and currently third among all North American pacers in 2021 earnings.

Two horses eligible to April's $700,000 Bobby Weiss Series, which features developing sophomores in four divisions divided by sex and gait, scored impressive wins on the undercard. The Always B Miki pacing colt Stellar Yankee won in his first start for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen, taking a new mark of 1:55.2 with "George Nap" driving.

Stellar Yankee was entered right back to be in his group's first preliminary this Saturday; the Art Major pacing colt Major Bean, coming off a 25-day layoff while debuting for trainer Scott Di Domenico, did not enter Saturday, but his 1:54.2 win here for driver Matt Kakaley and the ownership of Triple D Stables Inc. and Richard and Farrell Carey hints he may be a factor later in the series.

For full race results, click here.

From the PHHA/The Downs

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