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WILKES-BARRE, PA - Eazy Pass justified her backing as the heaviest sort of favorite by brushing to the lead nearing the three-quarters and going on to tie her mark of 1:54.3 in the $40,000 Bobby Weiss Series Championship for sophomore trotting fillies Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The 32-1 shot P L Olivia was hustled away and put outsiders in behind her before the :27.3 quarter, and she went on to parked second choice quarter-mover Trip Sevens, leaving that rival out in the air past the :56.4 half. Eazy Pass, whom Dexter Dunn had moved out behind Trip Sevens perhaps in anticipation of her clearing, thus had the second-over journey, but before the 1:26 third panel the victorious filly was on her way to the lead, which she maintained to the wire. Eazy Pass won by four lengths over the resilient P L Olivia, with Frankly My Dear third. EAZY PASS REPLAY   Eazy Pass, who won the first and third Weiss prelims for her group while skipping the second, now sports a 4-3-1-0 seasonal record since trainer Nifty Norman removed the trotting hopples over the winter. The daughter of Muscle Hill was successful for the partnership of Melvin Hartman, David McDuffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. The partnership of trainer John Butenschoen and driver Tyler Buter clicked three times on the Tuesday card to run their Monday/Tuesday total record to 7-5-1-1 - all with three-year-olds making their first starts of the year. The Donato Hanover gelding Truffles Too and a filly by that sire, Melania, both won in 1:54.4. Fastest three-year-old trotter on the card was the Deweycheatumnhowe gelding Dewey Arnold, now winner of two straight here and home Tuesday in 1:54.1, just a tick off the fastest sophomore trotting mile anywhere this year, for driver Jason Bartlett and trainer David Dewhurst. Four April trotting miles in under 1:55f by three-year-olds is a pretty noteworthy feat. Racing resumes on Kentucky Derby Day Saturday at 12:30 p.m.; joining Pocono's temporary expatriate colony from Ontario on Saturday will be 2017 World Driving Champion James Macdonald. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/The Downs

BOBBY WEISS SERIES RECAP Over the past month or so at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, the three-year-olds have taken center stage in the Bobby Weiss late closer harness racing series. The series culminated this past week with finals in the four respective groups, with each of those races carrying a purse of $40,000. Let's take a look at how they all played out. PACING COLTS AND GELDINGS After handily winning both of his preliminary legs, One Eight Hundred was made the prohibitive favorite at 1-9 in Saturday's final. But racing luck got the better of him, as he ended up in a pocket spot behind a horse who couldn't sustain its pace. When Trevor's Ace took over with a first-over move on the back stretch, there was nowhere for One Eight Hundred to go. But Trevor's Ace found himself laboring in the stretch after the effort that he had expended to get to the front. It was just a matter of whether any closers would enter the picture, and, at the last moment, Kyoquot did. The 71-1 shot trained by Daniel Renaud was eighth with a quarter-mile to go, but Tyler Buter was able to find room for him late way out wide and he made up the ground to win by a nose over Trevor's Ace for a shocker in a career-best 1:52:2. TROTTING COLTS AND GELDINGS After winning the three preliminary legs, it looked like nothing could derail the momentum of Todd Schadel trainee Top Me Off in the Weiss. But the draw didn't make it easy on him, as he was saddled with the outside post in a field of eight in Sunday night's final. Still, he went off as the 3-2 favorite in the race and was hustled to the front end early by driver Andy Miller. Top Me Off had to deal with a back-stretch first-over charge by Pilot Hanover, but he rebuffed that challenge. After building the lead out slightly in the stretch, he held off closing Robbie Pev by a length for the victory. The win in 1:54:4 makes him a perfect five-for-five, all at Pocono, in 2021. PACING FILLIES Incaseyoudidntknow was the favorite in this group after winning all three preliminary legs. So Irresistible, trained by Bruce Saunders, also had a chance for a sweep of the preliminary legs, but she was upset in her previous races after winning three straight. In Monday's final, So Irresistible came out ready and hustled to the front end around the first turn to set the pace. In the stretch, pocket-sitting Carrington provided a threat, as did Incaseyoudidntknow, kicking into gear late on the outside. But as those two horses pulled almost even, driver Scott Zeron coaxed a little bit more out of So Irresistible. She fought hard to the line, holding off Carrrington by a head for the victory in 1:52:4. TROTTING FILLIES Eazy Pass had put up a 2-for-2 record in the Weiss series coming into the final on Tuesday afternoon and was made the betting favorite at 1-9. Leaving from post position #3 in a field of nine, the filly watched as P L Olivia set the early pace. Eazy Pass decided to follow the cover on the outside of Trip Sevens, who made an early front-stretch move to try to take the lead. Even though Trip Sevens never did get to the front, she stayed close to P L Olivia on the back stretch. That meant that Eazy Pass, with Dexter Dunn in the bike, needed only a quick three-wide burst of speed to take over the lead at around the three-quarter mile marker. From there, Eazy Pass coasted to the win by four lengths in 1:54:3, a time which matched her career-best. That will do it for this week at Pocono, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. From Jim Beviglia, for The Downs                  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Always B Miki sophomore pacing filly So Irresistible, winner of her first two Bobby Weiss Series preliminary legs only to come up a nose shy in the final prelim, bounced back to winning form with a 1:52.4 triumph in the $40,000 Bobby Weiss Series Championship for her group Monday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Carrington was quickest away from the gate, with So Irresistible and driver Scott Zeron bypassing a tuck and going on to the lead in the vicinity of the :27.4 quarter. The half went in :56.4, and then came first-over Beach Crazy, with Incaseyoudidntknow, a winner of all three of her prelims and the favorite, second-over. Incaseyoudidntknow rolled three-wide not much past the 1:24.2 three-quarters and loomed as a major stretch danger, with Carrington getting a clear path in the Pocono Pike to launch her bid. But So Irresistible was irresistible in winning by a neck over Carrington, who in turn won a photo over Incaseyoudidntknow for second. SO IRRESISTIBLE REPLAY   The win was the fifth in seven 2021 outings for So Irresistible, and her seventh in ten lifetime starts. Bruce Saunders trains the talented filly for owners Charles and Julie Nash. The $17,500 Weiss Consolation for this sector went to the American Ideal miss Itzpapalotl (named after an Aztec goddess), who ruled her field while taking a mark of 1:53.4. Jason Bartlett sent the filly right to the lead, yielded for the two-hole, then used the Pocono Pike as her path to victory for trainer Anette Lorentzon and Knutsson Trotting Inc. In a $10,000 fast-class trot, Can't Say No set the pace then held off the late rush of favorite Eva Dairpet FR in a career-best 1:55 for driver Mark MacDonald and trainer Ray Schnittker, also co-owner with Steven Arnold, Arden Homestead Stables, and Fred Hertrich III. The victorious son of Explosive Matter won three of four races at two, losing only Real Cool Sam, then missed all of last year, but he appears to reaching peak form as he has now won half his four seasonal trips behind the gate. The final $40,000 Championship in the Bobby Weiss Series will be held Thursday for trotting fillies; Eazy Pass, two-for-two in the series including a 1:54.3 victory last week, as the likely favorite as she starts from post three in the nine-horse field. Post time will be at 12:30 p.m.; program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. From the PHHA/The Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Bar Hopping ridgling Top Me Off completed a "sweep" of his Bobby Weiss Trotting Series action for males, adding the $40,000 Championship on Sunday to his three earlier preliminary harness racing wins at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono with a 1:54.4 triumph.   Trainer Todd Schadel had guided Top Me Off to the prelim wins, but he turned to driver Andy Miller to handle the three-year-old in the final. Their horse had drawn the outside post nine for the Championship, but even before the race they had luck, with a rival scratching and thus letting them start just a bit more inside.   Top Me Off nonetheless covered a good deal of wide ground to make the lead by the :28.2 quarter, but things were well in control after that, with middle fractions of :57.3 and 1:26 leaving the sophomore with plenty left in the tank and able to leave the opposition safely behind. Top Me Off is now undefeated in five 2021 starts, and he raised his career bankroll to $107,348 for the ownership of Todd and Chrsine Schadel and Rick and Regina Beinhauer.   TOP ME OFF REPLAY     In the $17,500 Weiss consolation for this classification, the Southwind Frank colt Tart Tongue broke his maiden in style with a 1:56.1 victory. Brian Sears sent the heavy favorite to the lead nearing the :28.4 quarter, rated the half to :59, then put in a pair of :28.3 quarters to win off by himself for trainer Marcus Melander and Stall TZ Inc.   TART TONGUE REPLAY     The $40,000 Bobby Weiss Series Championships continue Monday afternoon with the finale for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Incaseyoudidntknow was the only young distaff to go undefeated in her three preliminary contests, and she'll be the likely choice starting from post four in the tenth race feature. Post time for the Monday program is 12:30 p.m.; program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html.   For full race results, click here.   From PHHA/Pocono  

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Bar Hopping sophomore trotting harness racing ridgling Top Me Off became the only male to come through the Bobby Weiss Series preliminaries undefeated, as he equaled his mark of 1:54.2 with a hard-earned victory in his division of that group's $17,500 third and final prelims during the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Todd Schadel guided Top Me Off, last year's PA Fair champion and undefeated in four starts this year, to the lead before the :27.3 first fraction, with Tart Tongue yielding then stalking him through middle fractions of :57 and 1:25. Tart Tongue took his shot in the Pocono Pike but came up a half-length short, with Black Tie Bash closing well to get nosed out of second behind the winner, who is also trained by Todd and is co-owned by him, his wife Christine, and Rick and Regina Beinhauer.   TOP ME OFF REPLAY     The Winning Mister gelding Tricky Dick reversed last week's photo loss to Credit Con by catching that one late to win by a neck in 1:56.1 for his second series win. Anthony Napolitano drove the developing three-year-old for trainer/owner Jim McGettigan.   TRICKY DICK REPLAY     The Southwind Frank colt Pilot Hanover, a $240,000 yearling, punched his ticket for the $40,000 Championship next Sunday, but he needed the entire stretch to get ahead of a game Ceffyl Dwr by a nose while reducing his mark to 1:55.3. Mattias Melander was in charge of the consistent sophomore for trainer/brother Marcus Melander and S R F Stable.   PILOT HANOVER REPLAY     The point standings going into the Championship event read as follows: Top Me Off; Tricky Dick; Hoolie N Hector; Ceffyl Dwr; Killer Instinct; Credit Con and Pilot Hanover (tie); Black Tie Bash; and Robbie Pev. Maddys Leading Man is AE1; to establish an AE2, it will be the luck of the draw between Capital T Storm and Halls Of Valor. The trotters' final will be drawn on Tuesday. Only four favorites won during the 12-race card Sunday at Pocono - but the other eight races were taken by six second choices and two third choices. Monday's 12:30 card at Pocono will feature three sections of the final Weiss preliminary for the sophomore filly pacers; double winners so far are So Irresistible (race three, post three) and Incaseyoudidntknow (race five, post six). Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From PHHA/Pocono

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The heralded One Eight Hundred, so impressive in his 1:50.2 - 26.1 first round win in the Bobby Weiss Series for three-year-old harness racing pacing males at The Downs at Mohegan Sun, took last week off but showed Saturday he had lost nothing by winning his section of the $17,500 third and final Weiss prelims. He covered his mile in 1:52 over a "good +1" oval with the temperature just below 50o. Driver Josert Fonseca sent the colt to the top before a :26.2 quarter, then backed off fractions to :55.4 and 1:24.4. Unlike in his first win here, which was his first seasonal start and where he looked to be given a quarter-mile finishing test, One Eight Hundred was under his own power through the wire, yet still came home in :27.1, a second faster than did the other two Weiss divisions on a day where the next fastest kicker was :27.4. The Somebeachsomewhere full brother to world champion Captaintreacherous still looks like the colt to beat in next Saturday's $40,000 Championship for trainer Nancy Takter, also co-owner with Brixton Medical Inc. ONE EIGHT HUNDRED REPLAY   Another son of Somebeachsomewhere, the gelding Coalition Hanover, won for the second time in the Weiss prelims, making a quick move early for driver Anthony Napolitano to go by favored Captain Sleaze and holding his advantage the rest of the way while equaling his lifetime best of 1:52.2. The Chris Ryder trainee is in top form for the ownership of Ryder, Dexter Dunn, Peter Trebotica, and Barry Spak. Another pupil of Ryder's, Mad Man Hill, the only horse to have a chance to win all three Weiss prelims (other double winner Straight Talk took the week off), was outpaced by the So Surreal gelding He's A Snob, who both broke his maiden and stamped his ticket to the final with a 1:53.2 victory. Mark MacDonald, not wanting to let the "Mad Man" get his own way up front, brushed to command in front of the stands with the youngster and held sway to the wire for trainer Ray Schnittker, who is also co-owner with David Pepin and Julie Farlow. The unofficial top pointwinners in this division going into next Saturday's Championship are Coalition Hanover and Mad Man Hill (tie); Trevor's Ace; One Eight Hundred and Straight Talk (tie); He's A Snob; Tarkio; Kyuquot and Stop Sharing (tie); with AE1 being Major Makover and AE2 Move The Line. The draw for the race will be held Monday. In a $17,200 fast-class event, J M Mandamin was full of pace in sixth and last at the three-quarters, so Simon Allard tipped him four-wide past midturn, and the Mach Three gelding sustained a strong burst to catch pacesetting Groovy Joe by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.4. J M Mandamin, who took his lifetime mark of 1:50 here earlier this meet, is undefeated in three seasonal starts at the mountain oval for trainer Jennifer Bongiorno and owner Robert Weinstein. Sunday's Pocono card, which starts at 5 p.m., features three divisions of the final preliminary of the Weiss Series for sophomore male trotters, with the tenth race section finding the two two-time prelim winners, Top Me Off and Hoolie N Hector, going head-to-head. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/The Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - No sophomore harness racing trotting filly came through their first two Bobby Weiss Series preliminaries with a pair of wins - Trip Sevens, the only first-round winner entered Tuesday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, looked en route to victory but made a break before midstretch, enabling the Credit Winner filly Etra De Vie to take a new mark of 1:56.4. Etra De Vie was put in the early pocket by driver Matt Kakaley behind the heavily-favored Trip Sevens, then tipped out for the stretch drive. The leader still had the better part of two lengths when she lost her composure, letting Etra De Vie get by and hold off Kayla's Playmate by a length for trainer Jenny Melander and Belmar Racing & Breeding LLC. ETRA DE VIE REPLAY   Kalaley had a second Weiss victory when the Southwind Frank miss Frankly My Dear posted her first win in 2021, an engine victory in 1:57.1. Second in the Matron and third in a Bluegrass division last year, Frankly My Dear may be peaking at a good time for trainer Ron Burke and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc., and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. FRANKLY MY DEAR REPLAY   Fastest winner in the three $17,500 Weiss events was the Creatine filly Alpine, whose 1:55.3 triumph not only gave her a career best time but also matched Trip Sevens's first round win for fastest mile in this division of the series. Andy Miller drove the winner, second to Trip Sevens last week, for trainer/wife Julie Miller and Diamond Creek Racing. ALPINE REPLAY   A horse who figures to only improve is the Always B Miki sophomore colt Billy Clyde, who won his seasonal debut for driver Mark MacDonald in 1:53 - :27, stepping home in :54.3 to withstand a game Rest Assured by a half-length. A 1:52.2 winner in a qualifier at The Meadowlands at two, Billy Clyde held his own against some tough horses as a freshman and may make a quick stepup to higher-caliber foes at three for trainer Ray Schnittker, co-owner with Dr. John Egloff. Fastest mile on the card was turned in by the Art Major four-year-old gelding Cigar Smoking Tony, who certainly was smoking on the front end for driver Jason Bartlett, pacing home in :54.4 - :27 to lower his mark to 1:51 for trainer Jose Godinez and owners Joseph Betro, Ian Behar, and Kristie Leigh Farm Inc. Matt Kakaley and George Napolitano Jr. both had three winners on the card. One Eight Hundred, the three-year-old who caught everybody's eye when he won his seasonal debut at Pocono in 1:50.2 - still the fastest mile of the year by a sophomore - with a last quarter of :26.1, returns for a division of the third and final preliminary leg of the Bobby Weiss Series for pacing colts here Saturday. First post time will be at 12:30 p.m.; program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/The Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A pair of Always B Miki sophomore harness racing pacing fillies, So Irresistible and Incaseyoudidntknow, came right back to run their Bobby Weiss Series records to 2-for-2 with tallies in their respective $17,500 second preliminary legs Monday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. So Irresistible came with an uncovered sweep on the second turn to grab command early in the backstretch, pacing out her own back half in :54.3 to stop the timer at 1:53, a length ahead of 35-1 shot Beach Crazy. Scott Zeron was again behind the Bruce Saunders trainee as she remained perfect in three seasonal starts for owners Charles and Julie Nash. SO IRRESISTIBLE REPLAY   Incaseyoudidntknow became the fifth nose winner within a span of nine races at Pocono when she outdueled 28-1 shot Carrington after that one had gotten to equal terms with her in the Pocono Pike, with another first-week winner, Milieu Hanover, settling for third in the 1:53.1 mile. Marcus Miller, a three-time winner on the day, kept the career winner of 6-of-7 starts alive late to win for trainer Les Givens and owners James Magno and Joseph Fonte. INCASEYOUDIDNTKNOW REPLAY   The Weiss subtheme of "chalk defeats longshot" also played out in the other series cut, as the Roll With Joe filly Roll On Mama made a successful debut for owner/trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera. The 8-5 chalk defeated 15-1 shot Baci Baci by 1½ lengths in taking a new mark of 1:53.1 under the guidance of George Napolitano Jr. ROLL ON MAMA REPLAY   Also deserving mention is Toronto, another Always B Miki offspring, a sophomore colt out of double champion See You At Peelers. Toronto sped his individual back half in :54.2 brushing to the lead heading to the three-quarters for driver Tyler Buter and then breaking his maiden in 1:52.2 in just his second lifetime start. Robert Cleary conditions this talented individual for Royal Wire Products Inc. Anthony Napolitano was star driver of the day with four visits to Pocono's Victory Lane. Tuesday's 12:30 card will feature the second Weiss prelim round for sophomore trotting fillies, going in three $17,500 divisions. The only one of the first week's three winners coming back on Tuesday, the Chapter Seven miss Trip Sevens, could be very tough to deny in her tenth race cut. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/The Downs    

WILKES-BARRE PA - The impressive Top Me Off is now 2-for-2 in the Bobby Weiss Trotting Series for sophomore trotting males after winning in 1:57.1 over a "good" track Sunday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Hoolie N Hector joining him with two Weiss wins after a 1:57.4 clocking in his division, all four of which carried a purse of $17,500. The Bar Hopping ridgling Top Me Off showed his maneuverability in this week's Weiss event, for after racing in front in his previous two 2021 starts trainer/driver Todd Schadel raced him in the pocket behind his fair circuit foe of last year, Killer Instinct. Come the stretch, though, Schadel right-lined his three-year-old, and he went right on by for his ninth win in 19 lifetime starts. Todd's wife Christine owns the swift youngster along with Rick and Regina Beinhauer. TOP ME OFF REPLAY   The Muscles Yankee gelding Hoolie N Hector was let go at 19-1 when he won last week, but this time the crowd sent him off as the favorite, and the trotter rewarded their insight, sweeping wide on the final turn for Anthony Napolitano to win going away over the off going for trainer Andrew Adamczyk and owner Joseph Meaney.   HOOLIE N HECTOR REPLAY   Fastest Weiss winner on the card was the Credit Winner gelding Credit Con, and technically you could say that he too is undefeated in the series - and the season - since his 1:57 victory came in his first start in seven months minus a day. Tyler Buter coaxed enough out of the 11-1 shot to record the triumph and a new mark for trainer Todd Buter and owner Lee Sitto.   CREDIT CON REPLAY   Ceffyl Dwr got a big second quarter breather on the lead, and then scooted home in successive quarters of :29 to win his Weiss section in 1:57.1. Named after a "water horse" in Welsh folklore, Ceffyl Dwr may have had an "advantage" over the wet going as he posted a lifetime best for driver Jackie Ingrassia and trainer/husband Frank Ingrassia; Jackie also shares in the ownership of the Andover Hall colt with Donna Franchetti and Thomas Doran.   CEFFYL DWR REPLAY   George Napolitano Jr. followed up a five-bagger on the Saturday card with four more victories on Sunday. Weiss Series competition carries on during the Monday afternoon card at Pocono, with three sections carded for the second prelim for pacing fillies, and the middle contest matching first-week winners So Irresistible and Milieu Hanover is perhaps the most competitive. Post time for the Monday card at the Downs is 12:30 p.m.; program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From PHHA/Pocono  

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Straight Talk and Mad Man Hill are now 2-for-2 in the Bobby Weiss Series for sophomore pacing males after four $17,500 second round harness racing prelims were held Saturday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Straight Talk was one of two Sweet Lou-sired winners trained by Ron Burke to take Weiss divisions; the colt left the field behind with a :26.4 third split under the direction of Matt Kakaley en route to taking a lifetime best of 1:51.4 for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, William Switala and James Martin. STRAIGHT TALK REPLAY   The other Burke Brigade member to win was the gelding Emblaze Hanover, who bounced back from a break in the first leg to also reduce his mark to 1:51.4 for driver Joe Bongiorno and the partnership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, Jason Melillo, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. EMBLAZE HANOVER REPLAY   The Somebeachsomewhere colt Mad Man Hill, the only Weiss chalk to get home first, is perfect after two trips behind the gate this year as he came home in :55.4 to tie his mark of 1:52.4 for driver George Napolitano Jr., who had five winners on the card, trainer Chris Ryder, and owner Tom Hill. MAD MAN HILL REPLAY   The fastest Weiss winner was the American Ideal colt Trevor's Ace, who lowered his speed badge by four seconds as he impressed in 1:51 for driver Jason Bartlett, trainer Jean Drolet, and the ownership of Stephen Schneider, Bill Siegel, and Marthe Drolet. TREVOR'S ACE REPLAY   Babes Dig Me recorded the fastest mile of the season at Pocono when he posted a lifetime 1:49.4 best as he joined up with trainer Darren Taneyhill and owner Eric Provost after a claim. Jim Pantaleano sent the pacer zooming to the lead late on the backstretch around hard-used frontenders and had no problem in the latter stages. Another non-Weiss race deserves mention because it created some unusual numeric situations. Rockin Inthe Hills, who had been placed first at a $174.00 win mutuel two starts back, again didn't get much respect in his first start after a claim by trainer Dan Maier - and he came up the inside to win in 1:51.2 and return $51.80, becoming the first horse to pay $50+ twice this year. Also, the four-year-old American Rebel became the largest-priced claim in Pocono history, as owner William Emmons gave $50,000 to lead him back to the barn after the race. In all, twelve claims during the card produced $316,000 changing hands, sending the seasonal claiming total over $5 million via 275 transactions. (This was card 24.) The trotting males take over the Weiss spotlight for Sunday's twilight card, with four $17,500 divisions of their second preliminary round. Post time Sunday is 5 p.m.; program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/The Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono hosted its first Tuesday harness racing card of the year, with the spotlight on three $17,500 divisions of the first preliminary of the Bobby Weiss Series for three-year-old trotting fillies. And all three divisions finished the same way - with the red, black, and white colors of two-time Driver of the Year Dexter Dunn going under the wire first with the winner. Dunn combined with trainer Nifty Norman and the ownership grouping of Melvin Hartman, David McDuffee, and Diamond Creek Racing in two of the successes. The first came with the Muscle Hill miss Eazy Pass, who raced second-over, then made a "nifty" move to the inside off the far turn and came up the Pocono Pike to post a maiden victory in 1:56. EAZY PASS REPLAY   The team also enjoyed success with the Cantab Hall filly Rebel Girl, who swept to the lead entering the far turn and reduced her mark to 1:56.2 in her initial outing of 2021. REBEL GIRL REPLAY   The fastest of Dunn's three Weiss successes (he had a total of four over the entire card) was behind the Chapter Seven miss Trip Sevens, who moved to the lead early and was under little duress afterwards in lowering her speed standard to 1:55.3. Trainer Blake MacIntosh co-owns the winner with Steve Heimbecker and Mortgage Boys Stable. TRIP SEVENS REPLAY   Pocono will be back in action on Saturday afternoon, featuring the second preliminary of the Bobby Weiss Series for sophomore pacing colts - with the entrants likely to enjoy the fact that One Eight Hundred, a devastating 1:50.2 - :26.1 winner in the first prelim, will be missing from the entrants. First post Saturday is at 12:30 p.m.; program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/The Downs

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Harness racing driver Marcus Miller, trainer Les Givens, and sire Always B Miki all had three winners on the Monday afternoon card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and their intersection was the sophomore pacing filly Incaseyoudidntknow, whose 1:52.4 victory was the fastest of four divisions in the first preliminary of Bobby Weiss Series action for her group. In her first start of the year, Incaseyoudidntknow went to the top, yielded, then came back raw nearing the three-quarters, going to the lead in the stretch en route to a lifetime best. Now 5-for-6 in her promising career, soon owners James Magno and Joe Fonte may accumulate enough to buy her an apostrophe. IINCASEYOUDIDNTKNOW REPLAY   The other two successful daughters of Always B Miki in the Weiss had been 1-2 in a race at The Meadowlands in their previous start. Always B Dancing, second last time, had the faster win on this day, cutting a moderate pace under the rating of Dexter Dunn and then stepping home in :27.2 to take a new speed badge of 1:53.1 for trainer Nancy Takter and the ownership of J L Benson Stables Inc., R.B.H. Ventures Inc., and Edward Lynskey. ALWAYS BE DANCING REPLAY   So Irresistible notched her second straight victory, parlaying a pocket journey for driver Scott Zeron into a 1:54 triumph. The sophomore miss is now 4-for-7 lifetime for trainer Bruce Saunders and owners Charles and Julie Nash. SO IRRESISTIBLE REPLAY   The non-Always B Miki to win was a daughter of Betting Line, Milieu Hanover, who gave Marcus Miller a second Weiss success on the day while recording a new mark of 1:53.3. The two-move winner is now perfect in two starts since moving to the care of trainer Nicholas Devita, whose Devita Racing Stable Inc. co-owns her with David Hamm and Christopher Giaccio. MILIEU HANOVER REPLAY   Anthony Napolitano also had three driving wins on the card - ironically, two of them the other two winners for Les Givens. Pocono will race its first Tuesday card of the season at 12:30 p.m., with three divisions of the first preliminary of the Bobby Weiss Series for three-year-old filly trotters topping the bill of fare. Program pages will be available at https://www.phha.org/downsmsppps.html. For full race results, click here. From the PHHA/The Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA - Throughout the preliminary events of Bobby Weiss Series for harness racing pacing males at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, the motto has been "The post means the most." And so it continued in the $30,000 series Championship event on Saturday night, as Turbo Hill drew inside his archrival Sports Legend and went on to defeat him by ¾ of a length in a lifetime best 1:51. The pair did not draw in together in the first prelim. In the second, Turbo Hill drew inside Sports Legend and controlled the pace; the reverse was true last week, when Sports Legend prevailed. In the Championship, driver George Napolitano Jr. looked to his right, saw Sports Legend, and gave his horse double-time leaving instructions, controlling the pace and forcing Sports Legend in behind him late in the :27 opener. After a soft :56.1 half, the victorious son of American Ideal hit a higher gear, reaching the three-quarters in 1:23.1, with Sports Legend right on his back, and that one moved outside late on the far turn, auguring for another classic battle. But it's been the pacesetter who's won all of their confrontations, and that trend continued, with Turbo Hill withstanding the game potential pocket rocket by ¾ of a length. Turbo Hill thus righted himself after he lost his six race winning streak last week - he's now 7-for-9 this year, and 9-for-11 lifetime, for trainer Hunter Oakes, and owner Tom Hill, who probably stayed up until 3 a.m. Sunday in his home in England to watch his budding star win again. Team Napolitano / Oakes were the powers behind the veteran Rocknroll Hanover gelding Scott Rocks, a veteran Pocono lover (the nine-year-old took his 1:48 mark here at six), who was a length winner in the $21,500 featured fast-class pace, clocked in 1:50.4. The winner of $862,049, owned by Northfork Racing Stable and Chuck Pompey, raced out to the pocket early, was able to slip out when favored Tiger Thompson N brushed to the lead nearing the ¾, then powered home in classic fashion to withstand the large charge of Mariner Seelster. Hunter Oakes was in the sulky when the American Ideal gelding Hitman Hill equaled his own 1:50.1 clocking, the fastest time of the year at Pocono, in winning a $17,500 pace. The coast-to-coast winner is trained by Hunter's father Chris (Homicide Hunter), while Tom Hill, who shares ownership in the winner of $385,656 with Northfork Racing Stable, may have extended his TV viewing by about 40 minutes After the features, the story of the night was the Allard brothers, driver Simon and trainer Rene, teaming for five victories. Rene, leading trainer here five of the last six years, increased his lead in the 2019 standings, while the quintuple boosted Simon into second in sulky wins this season behind perennial leader George Napolitano Jr. 15 more horses changed homes via the claiming box Saturday, and $246,250 changed hands to acquire those horses; the season totals at Pocono are now 112 claims and $1,894,250 paid via those claims. PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA –Cardiff had to go the dreaded “tuck-then-first-over” journey in the $30,000 Bobby Weiss Series Championship for pacing fillies and mares at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday, but the Sportswriter harness racing mare showed rare pluck in grinding raw for the last 5/8 and still getting the decision in a lifetime best 1:51.1. Cardiff, who had a first and two seconds in her Weiss prelims, tucked midpack from post eight for driver Simon Allard, as a pair of horses on a three-race win streak, 2-5 favorite Ghostwriter and Girl’s Got Rhythm, argued through a smoking 26.2 quarter, with the latter claiming the top at that point. Cardiff was again on the move under the wire the first time as Girl’s Got Rhythm led the field to the half in 54.4, then cut into the pacesetter’s advantage by the 1:22.3 3/4s, with the chalk lurking in the pocket. Turning for home it looked like the trip was starting to wear on Cardiff, as Ghosttothepost went to the Pocono Pike to try to catch Girl’s Got Rhythm. But Cardiff dug deep into her talent pool and gamely paced on to be 1½ lengths ahead at the wire, with Ghosttothepost next, a neck ahead of Girl’s Got Rhythm. Simon’s brother Rene trains the courageous winner for Allard Racing Inc. and Carmen Carson. Also on the Tuesday card were three $15,000 final preliminary round divisions of the Weiss Series for trotting males, and the Credit Winner four-year-old My Lindy Winner established himself as the likely Weiss Championship favorite by sweeping his three prelims, here scoring in 1:55.3 to reman undefeated in six seasonal starts. Though the Rob Harmon trainee won his other two prelims by six and four lengths, this half length victory over pacesetter Dover Dony may have been the most impressive of the trio, as Jim Morrill Jr. sent the horse uncovered from third at the 5/8, and his trotter responded by gaining into a 28.1 last quarter and finishing a measured winner. The Conway Hall gelding Hammer Creek must like suspense, as he had two wins in the Weiss prelims, but in both victories his winning margin was only a nose, on Tuesday over the wild-charging Livinonthedash in 1:55.3. Eric Carlson came uncovered at the 3/4, went to the lead in the stretch, then withstood the flying Livinonthedash for trainer Kenneth Hess Jr. and owner Richard Ciesielski. Lightfootedlegend, like his stablemate in the Erv Miller barn Livinonthedash, made his first start in the Weiss, and the Mr Cantab gelding broke his maiden in fine style, coming out on the far turn and catching pacesetting Higgs Boson by ¾ of a length in 1:56.3. Marcus Miller guided the four-year-old for the Ervin Miller Stable Inc, Ronald Michelon, and Harvey Eisman. Despite the good performances, the two Weiss debutants for the Millers did not finish in the top nine preliminary pointwinners (although they may make a $15,000 consolation, depending on how many and who declares in). The unofficial top nine pointwinners heading for next Monday’s $30,000 Weiss Championship in this group are: 1. My Lindy Winner, 2. Hammer Creek, 3. Higgs Boson, 4. Chapter And Ruth, 5. Dover Dony, 6. Got No Money Honey, 7. Keystone Thunder, 8. Loving Life, and 9. Teardown This Wall, with Flammable tenth and the pair of Brandywine Battle and London Hanover tied for eleventh in the shaping up of the “AEs” and the consolation PHHA / Pocono Jerry Connors

Trenton, NJ — American Admiral may not know it, but he is in the midst of trying to prove if he’s ready to fight some bigger harness racing battles down the road. The 3-year-old colt pacer is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a $15,000 division of Saturday’s (April 20) Bobby Weiss Series at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Since he has only been working with the horse since January, trainer Andrew Harris is unsure of how extensively he will stake him this year. “We’re playing it by ear,” said Harris, who made American Admiral eligible for the Reynolds and Art Rooney Pace. “It all depends on how he continues to mature. If he goes through this series and shows he can go with those type of horses like Turbo Hill, then yeah, we’re going to go that route. As of right now we’re going to play it by ear. We don’t know what we’ve got, we don’t know what the bottom is yet. If he continues to improve maybe we’ve got ourselves a New York Sires Stakes horse that’s got some possibilities. Or maybe we just have an Excelsior Series type horse. We’re kind of using this series to tell us what we’ve got.” The early reviews have been positive. At the recommendation of Harris, American Admiral was purchased by the Flemings (William, Ian and James) for $34,000 at the Standardbred Mixed Sale at Harrisburg in November. He was trained by Tony Alagna last year and had a first, second and third while earning $19,890 in 10 starts. Harris knew nothing about the horse, but thought he would provide the most bang for the buck among those up for sale. “They called me up and said they wanted to have a nice little horse to race for next year,” the trainer said. “There were a lot of horses I thought we might have to over-pay for. This one kind of came in under the radar. I saw he raced at Yonkers and Yonkers is primarily where I race anyway so I thought he might just be in the price range. He ended up going a little cheaper than what I thought I’d have to give for him.” As for what he liked about American Admiral, Harris said, “His breeding was impeccable. He wasn’t overly-sized but he was a little muscle horse and those are the types of horses I kind of like for Yonkers. I didn’t know what to expect. We just kind of got lucky. So far it’s all working out.” It is indeed. American Admiral has hit the board four times in five races, having taken two firsts, a second and third for $19,640 in purse money. After the purchase, Harris put the horse out in the field and never looked at him for six weeks. “I didn’t even jog him,” he said. “I needed to let him grow up and let him mature. If he did have any aches and pains they would heal out in the field. I just let him get freshened up. We just started fresh and started off the chalkboard. We made adjustments to his training as he needed something, but we started with (knowing) nothing. We slowly added certain things here or there but I didn’t know what he had before. I never looked or asked.” Harris brought the horse back on Jan. 1 and began working on him, and then eased him back into racing. He is fairly well behaved in the barn, but “He’s a little stud colt so he lets you know that he’s there. He’s not over rambunctious or anything like that but you have to watch him a little bit. He wants to play but his play is a little aggressive. He’s a nice horse, but you don’t want to get caught sleeping around him.” He is keeping folks wide awake on the track as of late. As American Admiral’s confidence grew, Harris began putting him into play a bit more. The strategy seems to be working, as the horse has won his last two races. “He’s just developing into kind of a nice little horse that I don’t know where his bottom is quite just yet,” he said. “I don’t have super high expectations for the horse but I think he’s going to be a nice little horse. He’s got a big engine and he wants to go. But you have to race him the right way.” Just what way is that? “We try to teach him to stay off the helmet a little bit until it’s time to press the go button,” Harris continued. “He’s just come to the point where we can use him now. He’s ready, he’s tight now. He wasn’t tight when we were starting. I brought him back a little bit slower than I usually do. Now his confidence is right and he looks like a totally different animal. He’s happy and strong. “And every driver that sat on him likes him. George (Napolitano Jr.) sat on him the other night and said ‘Wow, can this thing fly for a piece.’ That’s the type of horse you want. He takes care of himself for the mile right now as long as we don’t over-drive him too early in the race. He’s got as good of a move as anyone in that series.” Harris feels American Admiral is the best horse in his division in the Bobby Weiss, but knows that the final will be a different story. “I think Sports Legend and Turbo Hill are the two horses to beat in the whole series,” Harris said. “We kind of got lucky, we avoided them this week, so it will be interesting to see how we face up against them.” However it comes out will go a long way in determining where the American Admiral fleet ends up next. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

WILKES-BARRE PA - The ABC Garland mare I M Fishin won her third straight harness racing preliminary in the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting mares Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, taking the fastest of the three $15,000 divisions of the fourth and final prelim in a lifetime best 1:56.1. Anthony Napolitano, the meet's leading driver, moved I M Fishin out of third early to gain command in front of the stands, then powered home with the mare in 57.3 - 28.1 to win by a neck. Via Lattea IT, the white mare, had to settle again for a second - her third in three Weiss starts - while Corrupt was third behind the winner, trained by Jody Riedel for Super Mile LLC. The other two Tuesday Weiss winners both stopped the timer in 1:56.4 to record new marks. The Chapter Seven mare Myrna Myrna also moved to command in the homestretch the first time and went on to a 2¼ length victory for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Scott Betts, and owner Timothy Betts, while the Muscle Massive filly One Fine Lady lowered her lifetime tab over three seconds in overcoming a first-over journey for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Aaron Lambert, the latter co-owner with Kenneth Tucci and Kenneth Schwartz. In unofficial standings (please check with the Pocono Race Office for the official list) calculated immediately after the races, the top ten pointwinners in the preliminaries, in order, are: I M Fishin, Myrna Myrna, Ms American Muscle, Corrupt, Baby Wants, Miss Ruby, One Fine Lady, Puma Blue Chip, Dewitonemoretime, and Via Lattea IT. The top horses declaring in will race for $30,000 in their Weiss Championship during the evening portion of the doubleheader of racing on Kentucky Derby Saturday, May 4; if enough horses declare in, there will be a $15,000 consolation event held during the afternoon racing that day. Narcian Jewel rallied all the way up the deep Pocono Pike from last at headstretch to take a $14,000 co-feature for pacing distaffs in a lifetime best 1:51.4. The Shadow Play mare laid off a contentious pace, then had the most blast in the last sixteenth to tally for driver Pat Berry, trainer Frank Petrelli, and Wish Me Luck Stables LLC. PHHA / Pocono

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