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Seven Straight For JL Cruze

Published: April 21, 2015 10:32 pm ET

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The winning beat went on for JL Cruze as he captured the $30,000 Championship of the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting males in 1:52.4 Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, while in the $30,000 pacing female Championship, Donttellruss led a 1-2-3 finish for the Burke Stable with a 1:52.1 triumph.

It may not exactly have been the maximum win in “cruze control” – it looked like John Campbell had to flick the whip three times at him in the lane – but the result was the same: JL Cruze in the winner’s circle, for the 11th time in 13 starts this year and for the seventh straight time, after a 1:52.4 triumph in the Weiss finale for male trotters.

Campbell bided his time early with the Crazed gelding, then went up to get the lead just past the quarter from Opulent Yankee, with splits of :27.4, :57, and 1:25.1. Opulent Yankee gave his nemesis a good threat in the Pocono Pike mid-stretch, appearing to get within a half-length, but JL Cruze still had more and completed the last panel in :27.3 for a length victory. (Math fans will note that tossing out the second stanza gives you 1:23.3 speed for JL Cruze in the other quarters; in another numbers note, “Cruze” commanded over $19,000 in a $21,700 show pool.)

Eric Ell, the skipper of one of the East Coast’s hottest barns right now, trains JL Cruze, who will certainly be needing to take a step up in class soon if not now, for owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Jr. and Stephen Iaquinta.

Far inside, far outside, down the middle of the track – the Ron Burke four-horse stable entry came at ‘em from every angle, taking down the 1-2-3 spots in the Weiss Championship for female pacers, with Donttellruss taking the biggest part of the money as a 1:52.3 pocket rocket.

With $32,500 of a $34,000 show pool riding on the 1-5 quartet, only one of them left the gate hard – Donttellruss, winner of her last two starts in the Weiss, and she wrested the lead from Hollyrocker just at the :26.2 quarter. The Beach Nextdoor, sent off at 2-1 despite three straight series wins, had tucked fourth early after starting from post eight, then was hustled to the lead well before the :55.3 half.

But The Beach Nextdoor would find the Burke entry making life a “beach” for her soon afterwards, with Life Is A Beach and Allthatjazz De Vie, each series winners, coming first- and second-over respectively (and remember, Donttellruss is still in the pocket) past the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2.

In the stretch, driver Andrew McCarthy took Donttellruss to the Pocono Pike, took the lead from the game but overwhelmed The Beach Nextdoor, and then held off – Caviart Shelly, the fourth Burkeite, the only one not a prelim winner, the one who was fourth-over and eighth at the three-quarter pole and five-wide head stretch, the one closed with a furious rally to miss by only a head, with Life Is A Beach just another neck back in third.

Donttellruss is a daughter of Panspacificflight co-owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr and Frank Baldachino. She earned $31,800 in Weiss competition, with the Burke foursome totalling $82,200 in this division alone.

(PHHA)


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