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Napolitano Among Pocono Stars

Published: April 2, 2016 11:40 pm ET

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The venerable Saint William A shared the spotlight with the Down Under import Benjaminbanneker N Saturday night at The Downs at Pocono Downs by winning the richest and fastest race of the night, respectively. Meanwhile, George Napolitano Jr. wound up with six driving victories on the card.

The highest purse race on the card, an $16,000 pace for top-level claiming handicap pacers which kicked off the program, was won by the oldest horse racing Saturday at The Downs, 13-year-old Saint William A, who perhaps not totally coincidentally paid off at 13-1 as he won for driver/owner Larry Stalbaum and trainer Kim Asher. Last week, the son of Presidential Ball was blocked until late in the stretch, then came on swiftly; this week his prayers for earlier clearance were answered at headstretch, and he stormed down the Pocono Pike to defeat favoured Forego The Cigar in 1:52.3 and raise his lifetime bankroll to almost $680,000.

Later in the card, Stalbaum almost pulled off another upset, guiding Bestjetyet to fractions of :26.3, :54.1 and 1:22.1 in a $14,000 conditioned pace, but Bennajminbanneker N came from second-over to get a half-length decision in 1:51.3. An altered son of Washington VC (Dave Palone’s only winning drive in an Adios Final, for Pennsylvania harness trivia fans), Benjaminbanneker N, who was named after a free African American of the 18th century whose surveying helped set the borders of Washington DC, was triumphant at The Downs for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Robert Bresnahan Jr., and owner J L Sadovsky LLC.

Bennajminbanneker N was one of six winners on the 14-race card for Napolitano Jr. Jim Morrill Jr. had four winning drives.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday card of the year at Pocono Downs, with a new Sunday night post time this year of 7:30 p.m. The program will feature the initial 2016 action of the Bobby Weiss Series of early-closers for developing youngsters, with five $15,000 divisions of male pacers and four for female pacers.

(With files from PHHA / Pocono)

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