WILKES-BARRE PA – The Explosive Matter gelding Marion Gondolier came with an explosive uncovered backstretch move to the leading favorite Mufasa AS in the $11,200 featured trot, then showed courage in going on steadily to the wire and winning in 1:54.4.
The Lionking AS, the second choice, went to early :27.4 command, but then Mufasa AS was directed frontward and posted the middle splits of :57.1 and 1:26.2. Anthony Napolitano had Marion Gondolier ($14.20) in high gear from fifth late in the backstretch, the pair covering the last half in :56.3 - :27.4 despite the winner drifting out, and the margin was three-quarters of a length over The Lionking AS in the Pocono Pike, with Mufasa AS another 2¼ lengths behind. Mike Watson trains the winner of $353,361 for Clifford Grundy.
As for Anthony’s brother George Napolitano Jr., who started the day with 10,998 career driving victories, he got closer to the milestone 11,000 by posting one triumph, leaving him a single win shy of becoming the twelfth North American harness driver with 11,000 wins to his credit. George will be back in the sulky Tuesday at The Downs; program pages for the 12:30 card are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.