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Napolitano Builds A Summer Snowman

Published: July 4, 2020 5:35 pm ET

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After posting six winners Friday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia, driver George Napolitano Jr. went two better by triumphing eight times on Saturday (July 4) afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, including both $17,200 featured races while also guiding the two fastest winners on the card.

The features were separated in time only by a fifth of a second, but the “slower” mile was probably the more impressive because it was posted by a trotter -- the talented Explosive Matter mare Pat Matters, who took a new mark of 1:51.4 while also trotting the fastest mile of the year at the Pennsylvania oval. Napolitano made two speed moves with the winner of $263,606 in setting fractions of :27, :55.3, and 1:23.3, who then showed determination to the wire in holding off 36-1 threat Stormy Kromer by a head. 'Nifty' Norman saw his trainee notch her second straight triumph for the Patricia Stable.

In the top-level pace, Napolitano also made it two straight wins for Turbo Hill, whose 1:51.3 victory was his 16th in a 35-race career that has seen him amass $215,745 for owner Tom Hill. There was an awful lot of front-end contention in a contest with such “moderate” fractions as :27, :55, and 1:22.4, but Napolitano had the winning son of American Ideal racing in the pocket, and he used the Pocono Pike in order to go on to victory with the Jenn Bongiorno-trained horse.

Fastest winner on the Pocono card was Dealt A Winner, an altered son of the recently-deceased Cams Card Shark. Five years removed from his 1:47.3 Cane Pace win over 2015 U.S. Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit, Dealt A Winner can still put up fractions of :26.2, :54.2, and 1:21.3 then finish the mile out in 1:49.4 for trainer Mark Silva, and owner Jeffrey Snyder. That mile is the quickest of the year at Pocono.

Also drawing attention was the Captaintreacherous sophomore colt Chief Mate, who is undefeated in two seasonal starts and who now has a nice new mark of 1:50. Napolitano sent the fleet colt to the front just after the quarter and appeared to be on cruise control nearing the wire, marking him as perhaps a late-developing stakes competitor for trainer Tony Alagna and the partnership of Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant, and Captain Kirk Racing.

The Pocono players have developed the proper respect for George Napolitano Jr.’s abilities; he was favoured in each of the octet of races he won. On the other hand, midcard there were victories in successive races by Bay Meadows ($51.40) and Rock Three Times ($54.00).

(PHHA / Pocono)


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