By A Hoff Hanover made one strong uncovered move down the backstretch to sweep to the lead, then drew off to an easy victory in a lifetime best 1:55.2 in the $15,000 trotting feature on a hot Tuesday afternoon (May 31) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
George Napolitano Jr. kept the son of Donato Hanover just off the pace in third through early fractions of :28 and :57.1, then got a high-energy brush out of him, carrying the pair to the lead by the 1:26.2 three-quarters. Favoured Kaseville could not make much late impact though getting to second as By A Hoff Hanover won by 4-1/4 lengths for trainer Mark Ford and owners George and Rose Bonomo.
The veteran Kadabra gelding Magical Journey put up quick numbers of :26.4, :56.1 and 1:24.2 in the $12,500 trotting co-feature, with only pocket-sitter Papi Hanover staying close as they entered the stretch, and when that one tried to catch him up the Pocono Pike, Magical Journey held on for a head victory in a lifetime best 1:53.3. Tom Jackson is two-for-two with the winner of more than $300,000 since he came to the mountains from Yonkers for trainer Deborah Daguet and owners D Racing Stable Inc. and Earl Hill Jr.
Matt Kakaley and George Napolitano Jr. both had big days to retain their 1-2 positions atop the Pocono driving colony. Kakaley had four victories to bring his seasonal total to 98, but he’s feeling pressure from perennial Pocono king Napolitano, whose three Tuesday triumphs bring his 2022 number to 95.
Racing resumes at Pocono on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., with the usual strong card of overnight horses plus a carryover of $2,961.86 for the last race High-5; Sunday’s 5 p.m. card will feature three $30,000 divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars contest for three-year-old trotting fillies.
(With files from PHHA/Pocono)