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Skippin By Takes New Mark At Pocono

Published: July 8, 2018 11:05 pm ET

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The Shadow Play mare Skippin By got the quintessential George Napolitano Jr. drive, and she went on to take a lifetime mark of 1:49.4 at age seven while winning the $21,500 featured mares pace Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

When “George Nap,” the track’s all-time leading driver, has a horse with an inside post, especially the rail, he’ll hustle her away to get prime racing position. If he gets the lead around the quarter or earlier, he’ll back off the second quarter and if he backs off the second quarter, he’ll sprint with his horse down the backstretch, trying to get away from the opposition.

Skippin By drew the rail, was urged away from the start by Napolitano, got everybody to tuck in behind her well before the :27 quarter, went :28.2 to the half to hit the mid-pole in :55.2, then sent his mare on a :26.3 sprint down the back, opening some distance by the 1:22 three-quarter pole. "G-Nap" and Skippin By had enough strength to hold off the first-over bid of Vorst by one and a quarter lengths, with a :27.4 last quarter to get the 1:49.4 new speed badge. Nick Surick conditions the winner of $877,728 for the Cornerstone Stock Farm.

The Crazed gelding Gural Hanover inched closer to the $1 million plateau in lifetime winnings with a 1:53.2 triumph in the $17,500 featured trot on Sunday. Matt Kakaley patiently made his way to the lead in a race with fractions of :27, :56.2 and 1:24.4, then had plenty left nearing the wire to stay one and a quarter lengths clear of Ostrich Blue Chip. Ron Burke (who had success with a veteran twice Gural Hanover’s seven-year-old age earlier today in eastern Pennsylvania) is the trainer of the winner of $999,182 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Little E LLC and the Panhellenic Stable Corporation.

(With files from PHHA/Pocono)

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