WILKES-BARRE PA – Bettor’s Western had been racing from behind as his form sharpened during his Game Of Claims series action for $7500 base-tag horse, but when he went for $15,000 in his GOC Championship Monday afternoon at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania, George Napolitano Jr. took him to the front and authored a 1:53.3 victory.
“George Nap,” top driver on the day with three victories, was pointing the Bettor’s Delight gelding frontward from post four at the start, but inside foes showed speed, so he tucked before the :27.1 quarter, then was back out to take over the racetrack well before the :56 half. With the pocket horse gapping out down the backstretch, Bettor’s Western was able to open up a good-sized lead to the 1:24.1 three-quarters, and he was kept to mild encouragement to defeat second-place Pantheon Hanover by a length for trainer Emily Bost, who is also co-owner with Steve Salerno; they stay the owners of the winner, as there is no claiming in the GOC Championships.
Saturday is April 1, and with April the Pocono schedule expands to its “normal size” of four cards a week, from Saturday through Tuesday. Sunday post time changes to 6 p.m. to fit in with sister track Harrah’s Philly, which opens Sunday at 12:40 p.m.; the other three days will find the trotters and pacers first go to the gate at 1 p.m. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.