WILKES-BARRE PA – George Napolitano Jr. drove three of the four winners in $10,000 second preliminary round action of the Game Of Claims Pacing Series for $10,000-base price horses on the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. However, he’s not assured of a drive next week behind any of them – because all three of them were claimed here, as they were last week.
The base claiming price went up to $12,500 for this prelim of the progressively-priced pace, but slips were in for the two repeaters. The faster of the two double winners was the Always A Virgin gelding Sweet Talkin Satin, home strongly in 1:53 with the temperature below freezing for one-week trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera and owner Gilbert Garcia-Owen. That last-named duo also lost another new charge of a week, the Bettor’s Delight gelding Love The Action, who followed up a second last time with a victory in this week’s fastest time among all the Sunday claimers, 1:52.1 – a new lifetime mark by almost four seconds.
In five $7500 divisions of Game Of Claims action for $7500-base horses (tagged for $9000 this week with the progression), the Well Said gelding Rojan’s Way was the only repeat winner, overcoming the brutal first-over journey to win in 1:54.3 for driver Anthony Napolitano, trainer Marta Piotrow, and owner Melvin Fink. But although his connections got two Series prelim wins from him, Rojan’s Way won’t give them a third prelim success, as he too was taken back to a new home after a claim.
Despite the increase in purchase price for the weekend’s second series prelim, 37 more horses changed homes via the claiming box, for an outlay of $681,375. In the four Game Of Claims cards (last Saturday-Sunday and this), there were a total of 97 claims, ringing up $1,682,875.
George Napolitano Jr. had four wins on the night to head the sulky colony.
FINISHING LINES – Pocono will be staging its first Monday card of the year at 12:30. Monday racing will continue at that time through the end of the meet, which comes on October 30.