In the $24,000 co-featured events at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, both winners used "pocket rocket" tactics to emerge with victories - Extracurricular on the trot and Arthur Blue Chip on the pace.
Extracurricular, a veteran Revenue S gelding owned by Darren Mahoney, had a tougher time making his rally effective - as befits a 10-1 shot trying to catch a 1-5 pacesetting favourite, Somebody AS. But Extracurricular dug in for the stretch battle with gameness and edged his front-stepping rival while taking a new mark of 1:52 at age nine for the brother team of driver Simon and trainer Rene Allard.
Arthur Blue Chip was the 11-10 favourite in his event and collared pacesetting Somethinginthewind with a bit more ease, but then the son of Shadow Play had to stay in high gear to withstand the persistent first-over Ontario Success, whose bid for victory came up a half-length shy. Dr. Ian Moore conditions the winner, who was third in his Breeders Crown elimination last month, for the Shadow One Stable.
George Napolitano, Jr., the winningest driver in North American harness racing this season, visited Victory Lane five times on the Saturday card at Pocono
to raise his margin over second-place Aaron Merriman to 22, with the score now Napolitano 743, Merriman 721.
"George Nap" will get a chance to add to his margin Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, but then Merriman will compete on four cards -- Northfield Sunday night, The Meadows Monday afternoon and Northfield Monday night, and The Meadows Tuesday afternoon -- before Napolitano resumes sulky action here Tuesday night, concurrent with Merriman racing at Northfield.