Bipbopnallie closes from the clouds, wins Pocono feature

Wilkes-Barre, PA — With 10 lengths to make up in the final quarter mile of Tuesday’s (Oct. 12) $17,000 featured pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Bipbopnallie had a daunting task in front of him. Nonetheless, George Napolitano Jr. pointed the Artspeak gelding wide in the stretch, and he stormed home to win a five-across finish in 1:51.3.

Bipbopnallie (foreground) closed significant ground to reach in Tuesday’s pacing feature at Pocono. Curtis Salonick photo.

Actor Hanover rebuffed a move from pocket foe Rollin In New York past a :26.4 quarter before yielding to Hurrikane Emperor — who was making his first start in 13 months — before the :54.1 half-mile split. Hurrikane Emperor led a four-horse breakaway up the backstretch, with Actor Hanover, Rollin In New York and Mankat still attached by the 1:21.4 three-quarters, and Bipbopnallie still eight lengths detached in fifth. Through the lane, Hurrikane Emperor clung gamely to the lead, with Actor Hanover and Mankat challenging to his inside and Rollin In New York threatening to his outside. Suddenly, Bipbopnallie entered the fray, and his closing kick propelled him a head beyond Hurrikane Emperor. Rollin In New York finished third.

Steve LeBlanc trains Bipbopnallie for LeBlanc Racing Inc., Count Da Money Stable and William Lutz Jr.

Two divisions of the feature class for trotters were also contested, and both produced impressive winners who rallied from behind into slow tempos. The faster winner was the Explosive Matter gelding Baldaquin, who hadn’t raced for 35 days but responded to a move from the pocket to the Pocono Pike by driver Marcus Miller to win in 1:56.1. Trained by Louise Pepin for owner Steven Bryden, Baldaquin has won four of his last five starts. The sophomore Cantab Hall gelding Dagon Hanover advanced first-over after a dawdling half in the other trotting headliner, but he proved equal to the challenge, holding off favored Worthy Of Honor in 1:57.3. Mark MacDonald drove for trainer Todd Buter and owners Lynette Buter, William and Carol Fuhs, and James Marion.

In the last race, Jim Pantaleano angled the Southwind Frank filly Spit And Vinegar wide in the lane to win by a head and return a $214.80 mutuel, the biggest price of the season at The Downs.

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