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Top Female Pacers Upset On Debut

Published: April 30, 2019 8:24 pm ET

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A pair of pacing distaffs with North America-wide reputations both made their 2019 debuts at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday (April. 30). Both were gallant, but had to settle for second behind more experienced foes.

Caviart Ally was odds-on in the $25,000 mares pacing handicap, and after being looped by Bettorhaveanother early, she worked her way to the lead near the :27.1 quarter. But driver Simon Allard and the Real Desire-mare Eclipse Me N, who had won with a breathtaking stretch dash from seventh last week, were soon on the move and got to the lead well before the half, reached in :55.2, and continued in front to and past the 1:23.3 three-quarters.

Caviart Ally came out with an eighth to go and pursued the leader hard, but Eclipse Me N still had a :27 last quarter in her and held on by three-quarter lengths in 1:50.3. Bettorhaveanother was one-and-three-quarter lengths further back in third.

The victory ran Eclipse Me N’s seasonal record to 5-3-1-0, and the Rene Allard trainee, owned by Allard Racing Inc. Yves Sarrazin, and Donald Mac Rae, ran her lifetime earnings to $235,244.

Zero Tolerance, second in the Breeders Crown and Three Diamonds last year, looked like an irresistible force at 1-5 in the $17,500 distaff subfeature, but she ran into Pocono’s immovable object: driver George Napolitano Jr. and Juslikeaqueen.

David Miller let Zero Tolerance patiently work outside past the :26.4 opener to the lead in front of the stands, but Napolitano Jr. had the Palone Ranger mare winging frontward at that point. That pair cleared and reached the half in :55.

Juslikeaqueen and Zero Tolerance maintained the top two positions at the 1:22.4 three-quarters. Just Zero Tolerance looked ready to go by, Napolitano Jr. got more out of the 9-1 shot and brought her home a half-length to the good in a lifetime best of 1:51. The game frontstepper, owned and trained by Antonia Storer, now has career winnings of $253,205.

The victory with Juslikeaqueen was the sixth of the twilight card for George Napolitano Jr.; Simon Allard had three, and George’s brother Anthony added another pair, meaning that eleven of the thirteen winners on Tuesday at Pocono were driven by someone named Napolitano or Allard.

Saturday is Kentucky Derby Day, and that also means the traditional doubleheader of racing at The Downs, with first post at 11:00 a.m. for the brunch session and approximately 7:30 p.m. for the post-Derby action. The nighttime racing will be highlighted by the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Invitational Pace, in which Western Fame, the richest North American harness horse so far this year with $446,300 to his credit, looks to be the likely favorite.

(with files from PHHA)


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