WILKES-BARRE PA – Stellar BB certainly lived up to his name and his recent form, winning one of two $16,000 divisions of the top claiming handicap pace on Saturday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a lifetime best of 1:49.4.
The Rockin Image four-year-old gelding was moved outside by driver George Napolitano Jr. past a :26.3 quarter and was made to work to get the top before the :55 half by early leader Albergo Hanover. Stellar BB passed the three-quarters in 1:22, but the stubborn Albergo Hanover came back for more in the stretch, but the winner was able to maintain a neck advantage in the battle to the wire.
Stellar BB will have a place waiting for him with his new connections, trainer Darren Taneyhill and owner Eric Prevost, as their Benson Boys N won the other division of the big claimer – and himself promptly changed hands for $33,000 via the claiming box. Anthony Napolitano utilized the front end with Benson Boys N, making that spot in :26.2, backing off the half to :56.1 despite approaching pressure, then scurrying to the three-quarters in 1:23.3 before completing out his mile in 1:50.3. The Art Major gelding posted his second straight win and third in his last four starts.
There were a pair of $13,000 events for the fast-class sort. On the pace, the Mach Three gelding J M Mandamin continued his high success rate over the local oval with a 1:49.3 victory, a new mark. Jason Bartlett moved the Jenn Bongiorno pupil to the lead after the :27.1 quarter and went on to ring up splits of :55.1 and 1:22.4 before crossing the wire well in control for owner Robert Weinstein.
On the pace, the Deweycheatumnhowe sophomore gelding Dewey Arnold upended the favored veteran Rich And Miserable in 1:52.4, reducing his mark by a tick. After passing the first two stations in :27.2 and :56.3 with driver Jason Bartlett, Dewey Arnold had Rich And Miserable advance steadily on him; his lead was still clear at the 1:24.3 three-quarters and into the stretch, but the chalk kept on grinding, with the sophomore able to retain a neck advantage to the wire. Trainer David Dewhurst co-owns Dewey Arnold with Philip Hale.
A mandatory distribution of the Rainbow Pick 5 pool saw the favorites win in the last four of the bet’s five races, with those holding winning tickets getting a $94.60 payoff.
Starting Sunday, the multi-race betting format at Pocono will look like this: Pick 2 (doubles) on the first two and last two races; two Pick 3s; two or three Pick 4s, depending on the number of races; and a Pick 5. The races involved with the last three bets will depend on the number of races that day.
The last race will feature a Pentafecta, in which the fan tries to pick the first five finishers in the day’s finale.
All Pick 3s, Pick 4s, Pick 5s, and Pentafectas, if they have no winning tickets, will carry over their entire pool to the next instance of the bet, whether that day or the next card afterward.