Napolitano Joins Elite Company With 12,000th Career Win

Driver George Napolitano Jr. winning with Pencils Down at Harrah's Philadelphia for this 12,000 career victory

George Napolitano Jr. became just the eighth driver in harness racing history to hit the 12,000 career win mark when he guided trotting mare Pencils Down to a special Christmas Eve victory at Harrah's Philadelphia.

The 57-year-old reinsman needed just one win entering Sunday afternoon's card to reach the major milestone and achieved the feat in the second race. Other drivers to top the 12,000-win mark include all-time record holder Dave Palone (with more than 20,000 career wins), Tony Morgan, Aaron Merriman, Herve Filion, Cat Manzi, Dave Miller and Tim Tetrick.

Napolitano worked out a perfect pocket trip for 1-5 favourite Pencils Down in a $7,600 conditioned trot, bearing down on pacesetter Everlastingfashion in the stretch to prevail by a half-length in 1:56 flat. Jeff Cullipher trains the four-year-old daughter of Royalty For Life for owner Pollack Racing. She paid $2.60 to win.

George Napolitano Jr. honoured in the Harrah's Philadelphia winner's circle after his 12,000 career win‚Äč

Napolitano, who has driven more than 400 winners in a single season for 15 consecutive years, posted a career-best campaign in 2015 having driven horses to 834 victories and $8.5 million in purse earnings. Lifetime, his mounts have amassed more than $110 million in earnings.

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