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
Published: December 24, 2023 01:05 pm EST

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

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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