'Nap' And Oakes Heating Up At Pocono

Driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Hunter Oakes combined twice on Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, taking the $14,000 featured mares claiming handicap pace with Strawbs Chippie N and getting trotter Such An Angel repointed in the right direction with a 1:53.2 victory.

Strawbs Chippie N had taken two straight on the front end prior to joining the Oakes barn via the claim for this contest, and the change in scenery provided no alteration of form – to an amazing extent. Last week the Stonebridge Regal mare posted fractions of :27, :56.1, and 1:24 in winning in a lifetime best 1:52.3; this week the timer read :27.2, :56.1, and 1:23.4 before stopping in 1:52.4.

Her stay in the Northfolk Racing Stable, however, was brief, for Strawbs Chippie N was again claimed for the $24,000 tag including allowances, but a $7,000 profit minus training expenses in a week is never something to turn down.

At two, Such An Angel won over $145,000 while being one of the best New York Sire Stakes trotting colts; at three, the son of Credit Winner recorded but a single win, although it was right at Pocono and came in a lifetime best 1:52.3. Such An Angel had dropped all the way to the bottom conditioned level in Monday’s outing, his second for Oakes, and the now-four-year-old ripped off an 11-¼ length win in 1:53.2 for owner Sam Caruso, Jr.

George Napolitano, Jr., perennially the leading driver at Pocono, had four wins on the night.