"Bomber Squad" rolls into Pocono
October 25, 2016
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Halloween is not supposed to take place until next Monday, but the goblins of the tote board were out in force Monday during a twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Driver Jim Marohn Jr. threw out the first surprise of the card, coming first-over with trotter Holiday Spirit and then after a long duel proving just a nose more photogenic than favored Charles Ray (George Napolitano Jr.) while paying $71.20 to win. The hot-driving Marohn then came within a nose of completing a $603.40 Daily Double (there were five dollars wagered on him winning both halves), but his late charge with 26-1 Pine Bush Missy failed to overtake the chalk, This Day Forward (Anthony Naploitano).
Pocono's "Mr. Longshot," Marcus Miller, then brought home a bomber in the seventh race, again a trotter, Wendell Winkie, who made a big sweeping move and went right by to tally by two lengths and give Marcus his meet-high ninth winning $50+ shot – but only his first since Aug. 21 locally, as he has been on the road a good bit with stakes horses. Trailing Miller in the mountain Longshot Derby are Pat Berry and Tom Jackson with five $50+ horses each; Marohn reached a tie for fourth with Andrew McCarthy at four with his card-opening win.
The Napolitano brothers, Anthony and meet-leader George Jr., each had three wins to lead the night's sulky sitters. On the training side, Rene Allard and Chris Oakes stayed in relative position for seasonal honors, each winning one race to make the 2016 score Allard 96, Oakes 95. Ron Burke is not out of the hunt with 88 victories, and he had one on Monday as well – also, Burke leads all Pocono trainers with four $50+ charges ending their night in the winner's circle. (Pocono/PHHA)