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Winning Mister sets 1:52 Pocono record

Friday, June 10, 2011  By: HarnessRacing.com

Winning Mister sets 1:52 Pocono Record

For Winning Mister, it seemed like he’d never get a win at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in 2011. For George Napolitano Jr., it seemed like he couldn’t lose on Friday night.

The pair joined forces to win a $60,000 Open Trot in track-record time at Pocono on Friday. It also turned out to be a record night for Napolitano, who broke the all-time Pocono mark for wins on a single card by a driver with 11 on the 16-race program.

Napolitano tied the record with his 10th victory in Race 14 aboard Lotsa Speed NZ, and then sealed the deal with his 11th win of the night in Race 15 aboard Caramel Chinno. Ironically, George was only named to drive that filly right before the start of racing on Friday, but he made the most of that catch drive. At one point in the card, Napolitano won five consecutive races from Races 8 through 12.

As for Winning Mister, a 2-5 betting favorite for trainer Walter Carroll Jr., he came into the night with eight wins and over $200,000 in the bank for the season. Oddly enough though, the 5-year-old stallion sired by Angus Hall had come up short in his four tries at Pocono though in 2011, hitting the board each time but failing to get a victory. Leaving from post position #3 in a field of six, he seemed to determine to change all that as Napolitano hustled him quickly to the front.

Coach Fox briefly took the lead around the first turn, but Winning Mister retook it on the front stretch and held it from that point. In the stretch, he powered home to the win by a length over Coach Fox. Four Starz Speed picked up the show. The winning time was 1:52, breaking the Pocono mark of 1:52:1 for aged stallions on the trot, which had been set in August of 2010 by Farifant.

Winning Mister, who is owned by Robert Key of Leechburg, PA, won for the ninth time in 17 tried this season. It was his 22nd career victory and his lifetime earnings now stand at $701,644.

As part of Napolitano’s big night, he also won another $60,000 Open trot, this one for fillies and mares, aboard Margarita Mary. Walter Case Jr. held the previous Pocono mark with 10 wins in a night back in 2000. George’s previous career-high was 10 wins back in a 2009 program at Chester. (Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs)

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