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Five first-winners in PA Stallion splits

August 14, 2017
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On Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, 11-1 shot Concerto overcame pacesetting favorite Brazuca, the only filly to have won in both of the previous Pennsylvania Stallion Series for 3-year-old pacing distaffs, surmounting a first-over trip to tally in 1:53.1--but the night's action still left Brazuca as the only Stallion Stake double divisional winner, as five first-time winners accounted for all the stakes victories.
 
Tim Tetrick pulled Concerto from fourth at the five-eighths to journey up uncovered at Brazuca (Corey Callahan), and these two slugged it out from mid-turn to the wire, leaving the others far behind. The battle of daughters of Bettor's Delight saw Concerto hit the high note, coming home in :55.2 - :27.2 to subdue her game rival in the last 50 feet, winning by a neck despite reporting back with broken equipment. Kelvin Harrison trains the determined winner for Ronald Mario.
 
Pocono's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., drove three of the first-time Stallion success stories, with the trio winning by a combined 10 ½ lengths and all in charge of their races from before the half. The fastest of the Napolitano trio was the Somebeachsomewhere filly Hold It Hanover, who came under the care of trainer Michael Hall at the beginning of July and now has won five straight, this one in 1:51 in taking a new lifetime mark for owner Howard Taylor.
 
Napolitano's other winning duo were the Western Terror filly Freakonomics, who equaled her mark of 1:51.2 for trainer Ross Croghan and the ownership of Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham, and another daughter of Bettor's Delight, Bridge To Tomorrow, who won in 1:53.2 for trainer Nifty Norman and Bay Pond Racing Stable.
 
Norman also had the other Stallion Series "firster," Perplexed, who gave Somebeachsomewhere a siring double as well as she was driven by David Miller to a 1:52.3 triumph for Cool Cat Racing Inc.
 
Brazuca is the only horse who has earned enough points that she can't be toppled from a berth behind the gate in the Stallion Series Championship, but with nine horses with 10 points of the ninth and final starting spot in the final, the last prelim for this division, set for Aug. 26 at The Meadows, should provide some exciting, competitive racing. (Pocono/PHHA)
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