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Trotters Tussle In Bobby Weiss

Published: April 18, 2016 10:41 pm ET

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Celebrity Bugatti, Dominus Hanover, and Steed all were repeat winners in the four $15,000 divisions of the second preliminary of the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting males Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Celebrity Bugatti posting the fastest clocking at 1:53.2.

Celebrity Bugatti, a four-year-old son of Muscle Massive, was the only two-time winner who had to face off against another first leg Weiss winner, Sweet Royalty, and though Celebrity Bugatti had a post edge over Sweet Royalty (PP3 vs. PP6), and both had gone the same time last week (1:55.2), the crowd backed Sweet Royalty to 3-5 favouritism, holding Celebrity Bugatti at 8-5.

Celebrity Bugatti was content to let his archrival brush past him after a :28 opener and hang up middle splits of :56.4 and 1:25.1, but when crunch time came George Napolitano, Jr. pulled the pocket with the Johnny Yoder-trained stallion and sailed by the chalk to win by 1-¼ lengths. Yoder also shares ownership in the winner, who dropped his lifetime mark by two full seconds, with Herman Hagerman and Dan Rawlings.

Dominus Hanover is now 2-for-2 in the Weiss, 2-for-2 for trainer Amber Buter, and a seven-time winner with three seconds in 10 seasonal starts, which is why the crowd backed him to 1-10 favouritism, but the heavy favourite was taxed to the max by the horse Taxed To The Max, who was rallying into a :57 back half to make life tough for Dominus. But Dominus Hanover, owned by Lawrence Crawford and giving Muscle Massive a siring double, found enough to be a half-length clear on the money in a lifetime best 1:55, with George Napolitano, Jr. doubling up in Monday Weiss action, here just ahead of his brother Anthony behind the 32-1 Taxed To The Max.

That time of 1:55 was matched by Steed as he won his second straight Weiss start – but while that time was the fastest of the first leg’s four divisions, tonight it was the co-slowest clocking. But the T L P Stable, Delegance Stable IX, Vito Cucci, and Carmen Iannacone will find their purse cheque worth $7,500 no matter what the time, and they will be proud of the way their sophomore Muscle Hill gelding raced, making two hard moves and finally wresting control late in a length tally while equaling his mark for driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Richard Johnson.

Dominion Beach had missed just a half-length to Steed in the first Weiss leg, which was his 2016 bow, and the Muscle Hill colt showed development in his second start back, making the engine after the quarter and blitzing home in :56 – :27.3 to win by five lengths in 1:53.4, lowering his mark by just over two seconds. Marcus Johansson guided the promising sophomore for trainer/wife Nancy and owners Courant AB.

The hottest hands of the night belonged to driver Matt Kakaley, who manufactured a five-win performance on the 14-race card. Mcace Of Hearts (1:52.1), So Take That (1:52.3), Manhattan Beach (1:51.1), Open Access (1:56.2) and the aforementioned Steed were his tickets to victory lane.

The Saturday through Tuesday racing week at Pocono “concludes” tomorrow with three third-round divisions of the Weiss Series action for female trotters. South Side Hanover and Stirling Debutant, drawn in separately, will be looking for their third straight win in the Weiss Tuesday.


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