WILKES-BARRE PA – Since George Napolitano Jr. has established himself as a legend at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono with a mammoth amount of driving and training titles, it seems appropriate that a horse named Imarocnrollegend N would be the one who in winning made “George Nap” only the 26thdriver to go over the $100,000,000 plateau in career earnings.
Napolitano characteristically hustled the imported Rock N Roll Hanover gelding to the lead, then let Keystone Phoenix take command with an early brush. Imarocnrollegend N moved from the pocket to challenge the pacesetter in the stretch and worked his way by the leader by 1½ lengths in 1:51.3 for trainer Lorenzo DeSimone, also co-owner with Jerry Zollo. Napolitano, the winningest driver at Pocono this year for the tenth straight season, achieved the earnings milestone in his 11,052nd lifetime triumph (he ranks 12th alltime in North American successes), and he would wind up with three victories on the day, one behind Jim Pantaleano.
Bob Hechkoff raised his UDR in Pocono American Harness Drivers Club races to .533 when he captured this week’s $11,000 event for the amateur group with River Otter in 1:55.2. Hechkoff and the Mr Cantab gelding went fast in the odd quarters with the wind, then withstood pocketsitting favorite Zlatan by a length for trainer Michael Stallworth and Hechkoff’s own R.B.H. Ventures Inc.
There are only six cards remaining in the 2021 Pocono campaign; the next one is on Monday afternoon, when the feature will be a $17,500 pace for mares bringing together a well-balanced field of six. Program pages for the 12:30 card are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.