The $20,000 claiming handicap pacing feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono saw an early candidate for 'Pocono Pacer of the Year,' Atta Boy Dan, post his fifth straight triumph, this one on the engine in 1:49.3, a seasonal best for the Western Terror ten-year-old gelding.
George Napolitano, Jr. refused a hole “offered” by his brother Anthony behind Rock The Town and went on to the lead before the :26.2 quarter, then went on to middle splits of :54.1 and 1:21.3. In the stretch there was no real contest, as Atta Boy Dan won by two lengths over Pembroke Wildcat, who came from just behind the top two to go by Rock The Town for place.
Owner/trainer Brittany Robertson enjoyed this fast mile by Atta Boy Dan, who now has eleven victories and earnings of $117,815 this year and $861,417 lifetime.
As has been the case, there was not only action for the big claimers on the racetrack, but in the judges’ and clerk’s office, and in sorting out who went back to what barn. Both Atta Boy Dan and Rock The Town were each claimed for the maximum $40,000 price for the eighth time this meet – Atta Boy Dan in his last seven (the eastern Pennsylvania record is thirteen straight), and Rock The Town in his last six. A total of 11 claims on the Saturday Pocono card turned over $296,750.
The Somebeachsomewhere gelding Midway Island won his third race in his last four starts, and also took a new mark of 1:49.4 in a $17,500 conditioned pace. Kevin Wallis ducked Midway Island in midway of the field of seven as the early fractions went in :26 and :54.2 were disputed, with heavy favourite Hitman Hill winding up on top. Midway Island went up first-over against the chalk, battled him past the 1:21.4 three-quarters and into the stretch, and then proved the stronger horse late winning by 2-1/4 lengths.
Perhaps the most surprising thing of all about this race was that after a weekend where he won his 10,000th race and picked up four wins on Adios Day, Ron Burke could send out an $82.40 winner for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc. and David Wills.
The Napolitano brothers had a fine Saturday evening of racing at Pocono – Anthony wound up with five winners, George with four. Both brothers had success with horses trained by Rene Allard and Jose Godinez.
(PHHA / Pocono)