Tataria was given a rough reception upon shipping from Yonkers to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono for Monday night’s (Aug. 27) $14,000 mares claiming handicap pacing feature, but the Four Starzzz Shark mare withstood three different solid challenges to win in 1:52.1.
Tataria was sent to the lead early by driver Simon Allard and hit the quarter in :27.1; she soon faced an early move from Chitty Bang Bang, who had advanced to second by the :56 half. That one’s moment in the spotlight was short-lived, but favored Ella Rose took up the Tataria-harassing baton, sweeping wide down the back to be at the leader by the 1:23.3 three-quarters. Ella Rose could not sustain in the lane, but Unbeamlieveable, who had sat in the pocket behind these various battles, got in high gear in the stretch, only to come up a neck shy to the game winner.
Tataria was haltered for $15,000 at Yonkers on July 3 by trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Herrera; in five starts since then, all against better opposition than she faced Monday, she had two seconds and a third and got a check in every start, but the combination of the slight class dip and the move to the mountain oval proved to be the proper victory tonic for the winner of $210,631.
George Napolitano Jr. rang up four more winners at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Monday night, giving him 21 victories between The Downs and Harrah's Philadelphia since Friday -- four at Philly Friday afternoon, seven at Pocono Saturday night, four at Philly Sunday afternoon, two at Pocono Sunday night, and the quartet on Monday. His record over the four days is 59-21-7-6-.456.
The hot streak has boosted George to fourth in the North American standings, trailing Dan Noble in third by 11 victories -- Aaron Merriman and Ronnie Wrenn Jr. are 1-2. All four drivers have topped the year-end win standings during their careers. (Pocono/PHHA)