WILKES-BARRE PA – The Bettor’s Delight gelding Love The Action, who sat out last week’s Game Of Claims Pacing Series final preliminary for $10,000-based pacers after posting a second and a first, got into the final as the last of nine qualifying horses, one point ahead of the AE1, and then he made the wait worthwhile by winning the $20,000 Series Championship in 1:53.4 on Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Claimed by trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and owner Gilbert-Garcia Owen from his series triumph, Love The Action was sent off the 6-5 favorite, and driver George Napolitano Jr. was very aggressive with him, hanging Bamski to a :26.4 opening number, then reclaiming command by the :55.4 half. Second choice Sweet Talkin Satin, the only horse at any level of the series to win all three of his prelims, came the rough first-over trip to the 1:24.1 three-quarters and pressured the leader into the stretch.
In the $15,000 Game Of Claims Championship for $7500-tagged horses, driver Marcus Miller “broke up the Napolitanos,” who had won the initial three finals, sending the Art Major gelding Stick With Cramer up the Pocono Pike to get a 1:55 triumph. Claimed after the first leg by owner/trainer Shea Lare, the winner now has turned in two wins and a second for his conditioner – whose UTR lifetime is .852, as this is the first horse the 19-year-old has trained and owned!
Miller put Stick With Cramer in perfect pocket position early, as Needless To Say shot to the top and forced foes to either tuck, as did top two choices R Gauwitz Hanover (George Napolitano Jr.) and Don’tcallmefrancis (Anthony Napolitano), or be hung out, as was Onlythetuffsurvive through early fractions of :27.2 and :57.
The two favorites, both double prelim winners, swept around the tiring parked horse down the back, with “Francis” first-over at the 1:26 three-quarters and “R Gawuitz” right behind him. In the stretch, R Gauwitz Hanover tipped right for a path – and Stick With Cramer tipped left, with the latter outpacing the former by a nose, with Dontcallmefrancis very good to hold on for third.
This brought to an end the Game Of Claims events for pacers – but the claiming series action is right back in gear on Monday, with four $15,000 divisions of the first preliminary for $15,000 base-priced trotters. Post time for the Monday card is 12:30 p.m.; program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.