Hot pace sets up Pocono win for Burning Midnight
November 07, 2020
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A hot battle on the front end tired out the favorites and set the $16,000 claiming handicap pacing feature up for a closer, with the Mach Three gelding Burning Midnight filling that role nicely as he won the Saturday afternoon feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:51.1.
Mark With A K, the second choice, was insistent on controlling the pace from the pole, putting up a searing :25.3 opening quarter to force tucks, then got a breather to a :55 half. Favored Razor’s Edge then charged up first-over on him, with those two engaging in a 1:22.2 battle to the three-quarters.
Burning Midnight then made the winning move for Anthony Napolitano, moving three-wide from third-over at the three-quarters and circling to contention, then having the most late. The 2-3-4 horses, Bellows Binge, Butter Bay Hanover, and Just N Ace, were all closer to the grandstand side than the tiring horses occupying the inside, but they couldn’t catch Burning Midnight, who is trained by Darren Taneyhill for owner Robert Main – and who returned 10-1 despite just missing in photos in two of three starts at this level.
The recent Down Under import Deltasun A had first-over Max breathing down his neck through the stretch of the $14,000 trotting feature, with pocketsitter Fashion Creditor gaining up the Pocono Pike, but the Tenotrump gelding showed true grit to eke out a decision in 1:53, a Stateside mark. Deltasun A, now 2-for-3 in North America after showing winning tendencies in the Southern Hemisphere (19-for-53), was driven by George Napolitano Jr., trainer Andrew Harris, and owners OB Stables, A Harris Racing LLC, and Michael Goldberg Racingllc.
The Roll With Joe sophomore pacing gelding Scootnroll ran his career record to 10-to-12 in a $12,000 conditioned pace, brushing to the lead early and then holding off Billy Lincoln N, one of his two conquerors, by a neck in 1:51.1. Unraced at two, Scootnroll came to Pocono after having won his first six starts in New York state, and locally he is 6-4-2-0, with the losses by a neck and a half-length. Tyler Buter drove the talented 3 year old, who now has $47,850 on his card, for trainer Todd Buter and owners Rick and Geoffrey Howles.
Anthony and George Napolitano Jr. each had three victories to lead the driving colony. (Pocono/PHHA)