WILKES-BARRE PA – Owner/trainer Antonia Storer swept the twin $17,500 features on Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono – one at each gait, and one with each Napolitano brother, the 1-2 drivers at the track.
On the trot, Anthony Napolitano was driving the Deweycheatumnhowe gelding Optimist Blue Chip, who moved to the lead after a :27.1 quarter and was in charge from there, posting clockings of :56, 1:24.1, and 1:53.1, with the final time a lifetime best. Optimist Blue Chip crossed the wire first by 2¾ lengths over Rock Of Cashel, with the favorite raising his career earnings to $213,928.
On the pace, George Napolitano Jr. steered the Delmarvalous gelding Nine Ways to command before a :26.4 quarter, and then the second choice yielded to favored Always At My Place, who posted midrace fractions of :54.3 and 1:22.1. “George Nap” steered Nine Ways to the Pocono Pike and was already past the leader when that one broke midstretch, with the winner going on to a length victory over a determined Santiago Style. The 1:50.1 final time was just a tick off his own best, set here May 11, and swelled his bankroll to $213,406.
Fastest winner of the night was the Mach Three gelding Rebellious, whose 1:49.2 clocking was not only a lifetime best, but only 2/5 of a second off the 2019 local standard. The Mach Three gelding, guided by Tyler Buter, stormed home in :54 in winning by eight lengths for trainer Mike Deters, co-owner of the $197,541 winner with Joel Warner.
Five drivers accounted for the night’s thirteen races – George Napolitano Jr. won four times, Marcus Miller three, and Tyler Buter, Eric Carlson, and Anthony Napolitano two each.