On Saturday night, R Gauwitz Hanover -- perhaps the most popular claiming pacer of all-time -- changed hands after his 13th straight race.
Racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Verrazano Stables LLC put up the $25,000 price to take ownership from Rene Allard. R Gauwitz Hanover won for the 10th time in his last 11 races on Saturday, moving to the lead after the quarter for driver George Napolitano Jr. and winning in 1:51.1.
Allard nabbed his second feature win of the night when Bigtown Hero and driver Jim Morrill Jr. used well-timed sweeping tactics to notch a 1:50.1 triumph despite near-freezing temperatures in the $30,000 Open pace.
Morrill laid off a fiercely-contested front end with the American Ideal gelding, then made a big three-wide move nearing the final turn to swoop to the lead midturn and open up an insurmountable advantage. Still the world record holder for older pacing geldings on an "f" track by virtue of a 1:47.3 triumph here last year, Bigtown Hero is trained by Rene Allard for Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin. The win was one of five on the card for Allard.
(with files from PHHA/Pocono)