WILKES-BARRE PA – In a battle of major stakes champions, Southwind Ozzi held off Sandbetweenmytoes to take the $19,300 featured pace at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday afternoon in 1:49.
Southwind Ozzi, now a five-year-old and a son of Somebeachsomewhere, saw Sandbetweenmytoes strike the front and lead to a :26.2 quarter, then was moved by Jim Pantaleano and brushed to the lead, putting up midsplits of :54.4 and 1:22. The 2020 Breeders Crown winner pulled from the pocket to take on the 2019 Little Brown Jug and Adios champion, and after a good fight Southwind Ozzi prevailed by a nose. The winner has now won 40% of his career starts (20 for 50) and has earned $970,414 for trainer Bill Mac Kenzie and owners Vincent Ali Jr. and Alma Iafelice.
Other than the features, the Napolitano brothers pretty much won everything else on the Saturday card, as George Jr. and Anthony, 1-2 respectively in the current local standings, each visited the winners circle four times during the program. “George Nap” is now just five wins away from becoming only the twelfth driver in North American harness racing history to amass 11,000 driving victories.
George has a full slate of drives at The Meadowlands on Saturday night and at Harrah’s Philly on Sunday afternoon, but if he doesn’t attain the milestone at those two ovals he may well reach it here at Pocono on Sunday’s 5:00 p.m. card. Program pages for the Sunday racing are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.