WILKES-BARRE PA – The perennial “king” of the driving colony at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, George Napolitano Jr., is serving early notice that he will be tough to dethrone in 2021, posting his second straight card of six winning races on Sunday. The double sextet now gives George a 38-31 advantage over his brother Anthony, and quick math shows the pair has won 41% of all races held at the mountain track during the first twelve days of the meet.
Two of George’s six-bagger came for trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera, who now has nine visits to the Pocono winners circle this year, one more than Jennifer Bongiorno and Dan Maier. The pair’s most impressive hookup of the night was with the Art Major mare Crazy Cute, who had had 80 days since her last race, but still was able to set the pace and come home in :55.2 to win in 1:53.4. The triumph for the partnership of Garcia-Herrera and Barbara Arnstine was the fastest clocking of the twilight card.
Perhaps the most impressive mile in the flirting-with-freezing conditions was turned in by the Caviar Crown gelding Wilberforce, who made every pole a winning one for driver Jim Morrill Jr. in trotting to a 1:55.3 triumph. Trainer Kris Rickert co-owns the winner of $347,554 with Dale Wareham.
Fourteen of the fifteen horses claimed out of the first round of the Game Of Claims Trotting Series for $15,000-base-priced horses, including three of the four winners, are scheduled to go to the gate Monday afternoon for their new connections in four $15,000 second round prelims. Monday’s first post is 12:30 p.m.; program pages are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.