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Burke, Napolitano, Jr. Leading At Pocono

Published: July 15, 2010 12:54 pm ET

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Ron Burke and George Napolitano, Jr. are the leaders at Pocono Downs as the 136-day meet nears the halfway mark of the 2010 season.

The upcoming Monday, July 19 card will be the 68th race day of the meet, and Burke has collected 49 training wins through this past Wednesday night. Lou Pena is next with 42 victories.

On the drivers' side, Napolitano is leading the way with 171 wins to 165 for Jim Morrill, Jr.

Napolitano last won the driver title (wins) in 2006 with 312. In fact, he was the 'king' at Pocono from 2003 through 2006. Napolitano established the all-time mark of 347 wins in 2004.

“It’s been a great run thus far, said Napolitano, who also is the second leading driver in North America.

“I’ve been very fortunate to drive for great trainers and owners. Guys like Lou Pena, Bill Mullin and Carmine Fusco. I know I’m in a dogfight with Jimmy (Morrill, Jr.). He’s a tough competitor and I feel it will go down to the wire.

“Hopefully, I’ll stay healthy and continue to win at both [Pocono] and Chester Downs.”

Napolitano also said he’s planning on changing his schedule to drive all four days at Pocono. Currently, he has passed up Wednesdays at the northeastern Pennsylvania track.

The first-half of the 2010 season has seen plenty of exciting and great racing. Arch Madness, a six-year-old trotting gelding, became the fastest trotter ever over a five-eighths mile oval.

With Brian Sears in the sulky, Arch Madness trotted the mile in 1:51 on June 8 for trainer Trond Smedshammer.

Brighten Up, trained and driven by Joe Pavia, Jr., established a new aged mare trotting mark of 1:52.1 on May 29.

Pilgrims Toner, also on May 29, equaled the fastest aged World Record when the six-year-old gelding paced the mile in 1:48.2 with Brian Sears in the bike. The time also tied the all-time pace record at Pocono.

Frank Catalfamo trains Pilgrims Toner.

Fred And Ginger, trained by Burke and driven by Dave Palone, won the 2010 Max C. Hempt Memorial Pace with a sizzling time of 1:49.4, a Hempt stakes mark.

The James M. Lynch Memorial Pace was captured by Fancy Filly for driver Brian Sears with a sub-150 time of 1:49.4. George Teague, Jr. trains Fancy Filly.

On May 1, in an overnight race, One More Yankee paced a mile in 1:49.4 with Tony Morgan in the bike. Kirsten Proctor was the trainer.

(Pocono)


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