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Pocono Opens To Neighsay Hanover, Margarita Mary

Published: May 28, 2011 12:56 am ET

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Neighsay Hanover capitalized on a bit or racing luck to rally and win the $60,000 Open Trot on Friday night at Pocono Downs, while Margarita Mary enjoyed a pylon-skimming score in the $60,000 Fillies & Mares Open Trot.

Neighsay Hanover, a five-year-old stallion trained and driven by Ray Schnittker, sat in the middle of the pack for much of the race while Corleone Kosmos was doing the damage up front. The latter seemed headed to an easy win with a three-length advantage when he went off-stride in mid-stretch. That set up a mad dash for the finish between the trio of Neighsay Hanover, Winning Mister, and Four Starz Speed. Neighsay Hanover, a 7-2 shot, got up to win by a head on the outside in 1:52:2, the fastest mile trotted on any five-eighths mile oval this year and a new career-best for the stallion. Four Starz Speed was second, while Winning Mister was a close third.

Neighsay Hanover, sired by Muscles Yankee, now has an Open win at Pocono to complement several he earned at Yonkers this season racing at a distance of 1-1/16 miles. The win was his fifth in 13 tries this season and the 15th of his career. His lifetime earnings now stand $878,059.

In other action on Friday night at Pocono, Margarita Mary fought back from the pocket to surprise favourite Autumn Escapade in the $60,000 Fillies and Mares Open Trot.

Driven by George Napolitano, Jr. for trainer Steve Elliott, Margarita Mary, a five-year-old mare sired by Andover Hall, shot up the passing lane to win by three-quarters of a length. The winning time of 1:53 was a new career best and the fastest time trotted on a five-eighths mile oval by an aged mare in 2011. Autumn Escapade settled for second, while Mystical Starlight picked up third prize.

(Pocono Downs)

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