WILKES-BARRE PA – Driver Jim Pantaleano and trainer Christen Pantaleano combined for three victories on the Saturday afternoon card at The Downs, including a sweep of the feature races for fast-class horses.
Rich And Miserable was 6-5, Eurobond 8-5 in the $17,500 top trot, and that’s how close they were for the entire race. Rich And Miserable went out to the lead in :27.4, then Eurobond took over, posted fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.3, and brought the field into the stretch. Rich And Miserable moved up from the pocket and looked to get a nose up deep stretch, but Eurobond fought on strongly and win by a nostril in 1:53 for his eight success of the campaign for owner Matthew Morrison.
There were a pair of $18,000 claiming handicap paces, the faster of which, the 1:50.2 mile by the Rockin Image gelding Stellar BB, saw that one again tying the Pocono record by being claimed for $50,000. He had a successful one-race stay with trainer Darren Taneyhill and owner Eric Prevost, with Matt Kakaley driving him here.
Stellar BB, who now has a three-race winning streak, is joined in the Pocono books as being claimed twice for $50,000 by The Candyman Can (now racing for Taneyhill/Prevost). The latter set the pace in the other top claimer but got caught late by the Stonebridge Regal gelding Regal Son in 1:50.4 for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Sabrina Shaw, and VHF Racing LLC. (By the way, both The Candyman Can and Stellar BB are four-year-old altered sons of Rockin Image.)
Three-time (’01, ’12, ’14) Amateur Driver of the Year Bob Krivelin has combined with the gray Donato Hanover gelding Muay Hanover seven times during American Harness Drivers Club action at The Downs – and they have posted three victories, paying $28.80, $26.80, and here $44.00. On Saturday Krivelin kept his trotter to the inside, found room in the stretch, and trotted off by 2¼ lengths for trainer Dan Gill and owners Edward Hall and James Hall Jr.
Perennial Pocono leader George Napolitano Jr. also had three wins on the card as he pursues nine figures in lifetime earnings of the horses he has driven – after this card, he stands at $99,922,436.
Crazy Cute, winner of three of her last four starts at Pocono’s top level for pacing mares, has the outside in the field of six when racing resumes Monday, heading the $24,000 featured event. Program pages for the 12:30 Monday card are available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.