Scott Rocks rocks in Pocono feature
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The 9-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding Scott Rocks returned to his “hometown” track of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Saturday night and won the $21,500 featured pace in 1:49.3 – the 58th win of his career, and his 30th victory at Pocono over the years.
George Napolitano Jr. left sharply with Scott Rocks, let Anythingforlove A get to the lead by the :26.3 quarter, then made a lead-reclaiming move right away. When the timer read “:55.4” to the half, the local faithful knew that the favored veteran would be tough to overhaul, and indeed Scott Rocks rolled a :27 third quarter as Our Max Phactor N moved up to challenge, then tacked on a :26.4 kicker to keep that rival safe to the line by a length. Hunter Oakes trains the iron horse for the Northfork Racing Stable and Chuck Pompey.
The victory marked a personal milestone in the career of Scott Rocks – the winner’s share of the purse boosted his seasonal earnings to $180,675, the most he’s won in one campaign en route to lifetime earnings of $1,023,224. Unraced at two, Scott Rocks has taken his seasonal mark in every one of his seven racing years at Pocono, the last six years in sub-1:50, including his 1:48 record at age six.
Napolitano was dumped to the track in last Sunday’s fourth race at Harrah’s Philly as his breaking horse hooked wheels; unfazed, since then “George Nap” has won 23 races, including four on this Pocono card.
In a $17,500 co-feature, Western Joe, the winner of the Great Northeast Open Series Championship here last year, pushed Dealt A Winner to a :26.1 opener before yielding the lead, sat behind him through midfractions of :54, and 1:20.4, then rallied in the Pocono Pike to get by the game pacesetter by a nose in 1:48.2. The Western Ideal gelding was driven by Pat Berry for trainer Chris Choate and the ownership of Anthony Ruggeri and Richard Tosies while boosting his career bankroll to $573,233. (Pocono/PHHA)