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Three Of Clubs Triumphs; Pocono Hands Out Hardware

Published: November 25, 2017 11:53 pm ET

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Three Of Clubs, a son of Mach Three who was claimed for $30,000 at Yonkers by trainer Matias Ruiz and co-owner Daniel DeJohn on September 22, continued his incredible run of form upon coming to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, taking a new mark for driver George Napolitano, Jr. of 1:50.1 in the $25,000 handicap pace.

Three Of Clubs hustled right out to the lead and led at every pole, going under the wire a length clear of pocket-sitter Si Semalu, with favoured Bit Of A Legend N having to go the rough tuck then first-over journey, reporting home third. In seven starts for Ruiz and De John, Three Of Clubs has posted a 7-4-2-1 record, good for $69,830 – a sizable and quick return on investment.

Maxdaddy Blue Chip finished fourth in the feature after starting from post eight and coming from last at the three-quarter pole. Maxdaddy Blue Chip was voted Pacer of the Year at Pocono, and he took a turn in the spotlight to receive that honour.

Rene Allard won his fourth training victory title in the last five years at The Downs, winding up with 151 success to top Ron Burke (114, five closing night including three handled by “Anthony Nap”) and Gil Garcia-Herrera (56).

Also in the final night spotlight was George Napolitano, Jr., who won his record eleventh dash-winning title and sixth consecutive local crown. The leading driver at Philly and second to the long-gone Aaron Merriman in the North American standings, Napolitano wound up with 287 visits to the Hanover Shoe Farm’s winners circle during 2017, including five on closing night. Simon Allard (213) held off Jim Marohn, Jr. (211) after a rock-em-sock-em late-season battle to finish second, with Matt Kakaley (191) and Anthony Napolitano (174, four wins closing night) completing the drivers top five.

The local UDR belt went to veteran Swedish horseman Åke Svanstedt, who mixed stakes performers with developing overnight stock to post a .419 “batting average.”


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