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Maxdaddy Blue Chip Wins At Pocono

Published: June 17, 2018 1:27 am ET

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The 2017 Pacer of the Year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Maxdaddy Blue Chip, visited winner's circle for the first time in 2018, unleashing his patented late charge to capture the $21,500 feature on Saturday, June 16.

The 4-5 favoured Sportswriter gelding was positioned second-over by driver Simon Allard, then started his surge three-wide midturn and carried it to the wire, which he reached three-quarter lengths ahead of Waikiki Beach A. Maxdaddy Blue Chip is trainer by Simon’s brother and the meet’s leading conditioner, Rene Allard, for Allard Racing Inc., Alycon Stable, How’s That Stables Inc., and VIP Internet Stables LLC.

The track’s leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., was honored in the Pocono winners circle early in the evening for earning career driving victory No. 9,000 on Monday night, making him only the 21st North American member of that exclusive club. Then Napolitano Jr. went out and showed he was in a hurry to get to 10,000, scoring eight times on the card, including in the $18,000 claiming handicap pacing feature with Major Trick, a gelded son of Art Major who made two speed moves through fractions of :26.2 and :53.4, opened a big lead to three-quarters in 1:21.4, then stayed clear by one-and-three-quarter lengths to the wire in 1:50.1. The winner of $339,088, a five-time winner in his last six starts, is trained by Hunter Oakes for owner Omar Beiler. Napolitano also won the fastest mile of the night, a 1:48.4 victory with the world-champion Scott Rocks.

Finally, Walks Of Life, who was a gallant second while trying to increase his North American-leading 2018 win total to 14, will be doing something that he hasn’t done since March 24 – returning to the same barn from which he started the night, in this case that of Team Allard. The tough claimer had been taken from his 12 previous starts, but attracted no claims tonight, and thus that streak is halted one shy of what is believed to be the longest series of a horse being claimed, the 13 purchases transacted for R Gauwitz Hanover in 2015. But thirteen other horses were claimed on the Saturday card, with $223,750 changing hands.

(With files from The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono)

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