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Pocono 2010 Meet Wrap

Published: November 18, 2010 2:10 pm ET

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The 2010 harness racing season at Pocono Downs will go down as the greatest in the history of the racetrack.

And for the first time in its history, the Hambletonian Society conducted all 12 Breeders Crown races at the Northeastern Pennsylvania racetrack on October 9.

Total purses were approximately $6 million and the best of the best (drivers, trainers and horses) participated on this historic day for racing for Pocono Downs and Pennsylvania horse racing.

Some 10,000 fans turned out to watch the world’s best on Breeders Crown Day and saw all 12 winners establish new 'Crown' track marks for a five-eighths mile racing surface.

Two of those Crown winners, Manofmanymissions (driven by Andy Miller) and Break The Bank K (Brian Sears), established world trot records for a five-eighths race track. Manofmanymissions, a two-year-old Yankee Glide colt, stopped the timer in 1:53.2 while Break The Bank K, a three-year-old Revenue S colt, won in 1:52.2.

Rock N Roll Heaven, the top three-year-old pacer in North America, driven by Dan Dube and trained by Bruce Saunders, didn’t disappoint in winning a Crown race with a time of 1:49. The $500,000 race concluded Breeders Crown Day.

In that final Crown race of the night, the 1:19.4 time for the three-quarters was the fastest ever recorded at Pocono.

Ron Pierce won three Crown races on the evening. He piloted Enough Talk in the three-year-old and older trot, getting to the wire in 1:52 and drove Martiniontherocks, a two-year-old filly trotter, to a win in 1:57. His third victory came with `Impressive Kemp, getting to the wire in 1:54.4.

The other Crown winners included Buck I St Pat (Tim Tetrick) with a time of 1:52.3; See You At Peelers (Jim Morrill Jr.), 1:52.1; Big Jim (Philip Hudon), 1:50.4; Dreamfair Eternal (Randy Waples), 1:50.3; Put On A Show (Tim Tetrick), 1:50.1, and Won The West (David Miller), 1:49.

In an overnight open handicap trot race on June 8, Arch Madness, an aged gelding, became the fastest trotter ever on a five-eighths mile track, winning in 1:51 with Brian Sears in the bike and setting a new World Record.

Seven other track marks for trotters were either equaled or broken during the 136-day meet which began March 23 and concluded November 13. They included Sweet Love (David Miller), 1:56.2 for a two-year-old filly; Christiana Hanover (Rena Rekila), 1:53.4 for a three-year-old trotting filly; Pictures of Millie (George Napoitano, Jr.), 1:53.4, three-year-old trotting filly.

Also P J Clark (Jim Morrill, Jr.), 1:53 for four-year-old trotting stallion; Fairfant (Andrew McCarthy), 1:52.1 aged stallion, and Brighten Up (Joe Pavia Jr.), 1:52.1, older mare.

Five new track marks were established on the pacing side. Besides those Crown winners Big Jim and See You At Peelers, Drop Red (George Napolitano, Jr.) is a new record holder with a time of 1:50.

Vlos, with Napolitano in the sulky, equalled the all-time track pacing mark of 1:48.2, as did Pilgrims Toner (Brian Sears). Vlos is an aged pacing stallion while Pilgrims is an aged pacing gelding.

The $300,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial Pace for three-year-old open pacers was won by Fred And Ginger with Dave Palone in the sulky. Ron Burke trains the winner. Time of the race was 1:49.4, a new stakes mark.

The $250,072 James M. Lynch Memorial Pace for three-year-old open filly pacers was captured by Fancy Filly (Brian Sears) with a time of 1:49.4, one tick off the stakes and track mark.

George Napolitano, Jr., North America’s leading driver (wins), finished the 136-day meet with 340 wins to outdistance his nearest rival Jim Morrill, Jr., who had 248 victories and who was the top percentage driver with a .381 mark. Napolitano concluded his year here at .378.

Napolitano and Morrill each earned more than $3 million in purses, while Matt Kakaley (201 wins) and Joe Pavia, Jr. (200 wins) finished with more than $2 million in purses.

Mike Simons (113 wins) and Andrew McCarthy (108 wins) had more than $1 million in purses as did Larry Stalbaum, who finished with 97 victories.

On the trainer side, Carmine Fusco won that crown with 93 wins to 87 for Burke. Burke had more than $2 million in purses on 505 starts to Fusco’s $772,508 with 523 starts.

Lou Pena was top percentage trainer with a UTR of .471. His nearest rival was Ray Schnittker a .352. Pena had 64 wins on 180 starts along with 26 second-place and 19 third-place finishes.

Total handle for the Breeders Crown was $2,485,165.58 with $234,345 wagered in New Zealand and Australia, a first in the history of harness racing in North America. The live handle that evening was $409,675.

The on-track handle for the live 136-day harness meet that concluded November 13 was $4,390,904 while overall figure wagered was $42,014,958.06 during the meet.

(Pocono)


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