Busy Week Ahead At Pocono
Published: April 20, 2017 7:32 pm ET
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Developing three- and four-year-old trotters and pacers will be looking to confirm spots in their respective $30,000 Championships of the Bobby Weiss Series this coming week at Pocono, with pacers featured on the Monday card and trotters taking the track on Tuesday.
The fourth and final preliminary round divisions – each worth $15,000 - for each sex on Monday for the pacers have seen a bit of attrition set in, as there will be only two races for both males and females.
The colt divisions will be contested will go postward in races 3 and 5, with the former containing the only horses to win three Weiss preliminaries to date, the Western Terror gelding Dash Of Danger, who will start from post two for driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Ron Burke. In the other cut, one-time Weiss winners Dakota Jack and Rough Odds will have to solve the outside posts five and six, respectively.
Along the females, most attention will focus on race 10, where Cousin Mary (post three) will try to post her seventh win in succession, with her main obstacle looking to be Miss Jones (post one), who herself is like her rival 2-for-2 in the Weiss. No fewer than three Weiss prelim winners are gathered in the other section, race 4, with Angels Pride starting from post six after a victory in Weiss action last week.
Shifting to Tuesday, there will be three divisions of trotting action for both the males and females. The distaffs will be racing in their fourth and final prelim; the males started their Weiss competition a week later, so this will be their third preliminary round.
Three of the boys won in both their Weiss prelims so far, and one of them will fall from the ranks of the unbeaten in race 10 (barring a dead-heat), where Hilarious Hero (post two) and Ooh Rah (post three) sure to give each other a stern test on Tuesday. The other double Weiss winner in this group, Bend In The River, has drawn post six in the 12th race division; the third male division goes in race 4.
In the action for females, the Cantab Hall mare Connie Jean will start from the outside post six in race 3 after winning in the Weiss last week in 1:55, the fastest time in the Weiss trotting prelims, regardless of sex. Starting just inside her will be an interesting newcomer: Checkmate Time, who won two prelims in the New Jersey Sire Stakes last year, and then was favoured over eventual North American divisional champion Ariana G in the NJSS Final, only to suffer an interference break and find her season at an end -- this is her first start since that July 15 race.
Nosed out by Connie Jean last week after winning her first two Weiss starts was Sunrise Avenue; if she is to regain her winning ways in race 11, she will have to do so from the outside post seven against three opponents who already sport Weiss wins. The race 5 division features two winners from the Weiss prelims, one from the inside in the field of six, Talkin Tootsie, and one from the outside, Hot Mess Hanover.
Fast-class overnight horses will be featured on the Saturday and Sunday Pocono cards. On Saturday there will be a $25,000 winners-over pace, and coming back will be last week’s winner, Orillia Joe, whose 1:49.4 clocking was the fastest of the young season at Pocono. Among his rivals will be Major Uptrend, coming off three straight wins at Dover; Barimah A, also a victor in his last three starts against top-level foes; and Next Success, who has won four in a row but who makes the big jump from high claimers now.
On Sunday, Migrate Blue Chip, who has doubled his lifetime win total by taking his last three starts, will be looking to make it four straight in the featured $18,000 “nw 7 races” pace; co-featured will be three $16,000 “nw 5 races” events: one for each sex on the trot, and one for male pacers.