WILKES-BARRE PA – They tried battling the pacesetter Crossfit at several stages of the $11,200 claiming handicap trot feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday afternoon, but the Donato Hanover four-year-old gelding is currently quite fit and turned back all challengers in a career-best-equaling 1:54.2.
The victorious favorite went to the lead around Cash For Gold just past the :28 quarter, then got no respite as Pilgrims Tide moved early and pressured Crossfit, forcing midfractions of :56.2 and 1:25. When the parked horse faded, Cash For Gold came back out of the pocket, but could get no closer than 1 1/2 lengths at the wire.
George Napolitano Jr. brought in six winners on the Tuesday afternoon card. With five cards left in the 2020 racing season, “George Nap” has the lead among winningest drivers, 194-144, and has all but mathematically captured his ninth straight Pocono crown, and his fourteenth overall dating back to 2003. Napolitano also figures to take home the track’s UDR title, unless Dexter Dunn, David Miller, or Jim Morrill Jr. would come in and one would win about 20 races in the last five nights – the percentage title will give George seven in a row and twelve dating back to 2001. And Napolitano was also the track’s winningest trainer in five of six years between 2001 and 2006.