WILKES-BARRE PA – The Rock N Roll Heaven gelding Bell I No was an unchallenged winner in the $16,000 top claiming handicap pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday afternoon, his fourth straight victory – for four different trainers – and he was claimed for the fourth straight time from this class for the $30,000 tag.
George Napolitano Jr., the meet’s top driver and a five-time winner on the card, moved Bell I No to the lead in front of the stands and just had too much pace for his rivals, stopping the clock in 1:52. The winner of $348,391 was trained by Matias Ruiz and co-owned by him and James Mascola – and they made a nice profit on their seven-day “visitor,” $8000 for the winning purse minus “George Nap”’s commission and the week’s training fees.
On the pace, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Semi Tough took the lead, seemed to be under siege for much of the mile, yet still withstood the stretch-seam-splitting Branquinho by a head in 1:50.3. Semi Tough had won his previous two starts, including a $60,000 series final at Yonkers in 1:50, but had missed 26 days since his last race. Yet no rust showed on him as he raised his earnings to $550,557 for driver Joe Bongiorno, trainer Ron Burke (the meet leader), and Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby.
There will be a Rainbow Pick 5 carryover of $124,269.89 on the line for the last five races of Sunday’s 5 p.m. twilight card at Pocono, as well as three divisions of the third preliminary leg of the $215,461 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts, in which Lou's Pearlman will be bidding for his third straight PaSS win.