WILKES-BARRE PA – Top pacer Ruthless Hanover lived up to his name Saturday afternoon at The Downs and Mohegan Sun Pocono, going wire-to-wire in 1:51.1 to capture the featured $25,000 fast-class pace.
George Napolitano Jr. sent the Somebeachsomewhere gelding to the lead before the :27 quarter, then all but won the race by being able to back off the half to :56.2. The outer tier came up during the racing to the 1:24.2 three-quarters, but they never threatened, and Ruthless put in a :26.4 last quarter without heavy labor to be 2¾ lengths clear of first-over Carlisimo at the finish.
Since he put up the world-class fractions of :25, :51.4, and 1:19.1 on September 4 before finishing second to Allywag Hanover in that one’s all-age track record-equaling mile of 1:47.3 at Philly, Ruthless Hanover beat the top-class horses at Philly and now at Pocono. The five-year-old has been in the FFA mix for seemingly a long time, yet his earnings went only to $309,673 for the brother tram of trainer Tom and owner John Cancelliere.
The skies opened up as the horses warmed up for the $17,500 co-featured pace, but the Bettor’s Delight gelding Ilikemebettor A didn’t mind the ungracious reception in his U.S. debut, taking a North American mark of 1:50.2 (his lines showed him winning in a 1:49.4 rate in Australia in May, his previous start). Marcus Miller backed off a speed duel to sit third, sat in again when the outer tier formed, then when it melted away he swung his horse two and three-wide, and Ilikemebettor A finished sharply to defeat One Eight Hundred by 1¼ lengths. Erv Miller conditions the very promising pacer for his Erv Miller Stable Inc. and Doug Overhiser.
George Napolitano Jr. won four races Saturday, narrowing Matt Kakaley’s lead at the top of the drivers colony to 212-206. Trainer Andrew Adamczyk sent out three winners during the afternoon.
Pocono will be racing on Monday and Tuesday afternoons at 1:30 this coming week. Program pages for all Pocono races are or will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.