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Sports Legend Paces Lifetime Best

Published: April 21, 2019 12:29 am ET

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Last week Turbo Hill and Sports Legend faced each other in a Bobby Weiss Series preliminary in the male pacers ranks; Turbo Hill drew inside his main rival, and even though Sports Legend was favoured, Turbo Hill was victorious. However on Saturday, April 20 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Sports Legend drew inside Turbo Hill and used that positional edge to win in the final Weiss preliminary with a lifetime-best 1:51 mile.

Sports Legend, a four-year-old Sportswriter gelding, flew away quickly with Turbo Hill also leaving but not swiftly enough to circle him. Turbo Hill chose to take his chances sitting outside the favourite, but the fractions of :26, :54.2 and 1:22.1 proved too much for the two-wide chalk as Sports Legend paced strongly to the wire. He unwound to a seven-and-a-quarter length victory over On Accident, who beat Turbo Hill home for second by one-and-a-quarter lengths.

Jennifer Bongiorno saw the horse enter her barn between last year and this, and so far Sports Legend has won four races from six starts for owner Gestion J Y Blais Inc. Jim Morrill Jr. sat in the bike.

The American Ideal colt American Admiral overcame the post seven in his Weiss cut to equal his mark of 1:52.4. Driver George Napolitano Jr. sent him to the top in :27.3, got a big breather to the half in :58, then hit high gear and got a pair of :27.2 quarters from the three-year-old coming home, fending off pocketsitter Aflame Hanover by a half-length.

Andrew Harris seems to have the sophomore in peak form now for owners William, Ian and James Fleming, as, after opening his career with one win from 13 starts, American Admiral has now won three straight: the last two in the Weiss.

Going into that draw, here’s an unofficial compilation of the top point winners: 1. Sports Legend, 2., Turbo Hill, 3. American Admiral, 4. Division Bell, 5. (tie) Aflame Hanover and On Accident, 7. Dakota Ole, 8. Major Escape, and 9. R U Talkin, with Love The Action and Springbridge Proud next in line and “AEs” (and heading a $15,000 consolation should it fill).

Soho Wallstreet A sat in as the favourite in the $21,500 fast-class pace, found clearance late on the far turn and sprinted the last eighth to win his second straight, timed in 1:50.2. The son of Four Starzzz Shark, driven by Pat Berry for trainer Scott Di Domenico and the ownership of J G Racing Stable, had to have the sharp late burst to catch a stubborn first-over Sports Column by a half length while raising his lifetime bankroll to $292,514.

Fifteen more horses changed hands via the claiming process in six tag events at The Downs on Saturday, with $243,750 spent to acquire tough stock to be competitive in the fast-paced Pocono action.

The Napolitano brothers had nine winners between them on the Saturday card, with George Jr. visiting Victory Lane five times on the night, and Anthony guiding four winners.

The Easter Sunday card at The Downs will have a special post time of 5 p.m.

(with files from PHHA)

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