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Weiss Wonder Horse Wins In Opener

Published: April 4, 2016 12:02 am ET

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Iwillmakeyousaywow lived up to his name, winning one of five $15,000 divisions of the first round of the Bobby Weiss Series for three and four-year-old pacing males in 1:51.4 during the first Sunday card of the season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

How does a horse record his 14th career win on March 29 in a series whose entry condition is “non-winners of two pari-mutuel races life as of January 1”? You do it primarily by being a tough horse on the Michigan Fair Circuit at two and three, which Iwillmakeyousaywow was, winning his championship event both seasons without anybody cashing a winning ticket on him through his sophomore final. The son of Manhardt, now four, came east and showed a 1:54 tally at Yonkers, but Sunday he lowered his lifetime mark by over two seconds, rattling off splits of :26.1, :55, and 1:23.1 despite the temperature being one degree above freezing in winning by eight and a half lengths for driver Tyler Buter, trainer Todd Buter, and owners Kelly Goodwin and Libby Myers.

Options Are Adream visited the winner’s circle for the seventh time in his life after a 1:52.1 mile in another cut, but the answer to “How’d he do that given the series conditions?” is easier -- he was unraced at two, but this year at three he is making up for lost time. The altered son of If I Can Dream had won six in a row at Dover, but wasn’t accorded favouritism upon coming to the Downs, going off as the 2-1 second choice to 7-5 chalk Rollaroundtheworld, who had won his only previous start in 1:52.3 at The Meadowlands. Something had to give in the battle of the two undefeated horses, and Options Are Adream used a :27.1 third quarter to brush to the lead and then fend off his main foe by a half-length for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Richard Lewis, and owners David Banks and Layfield Horses LLC.

In another highly-anticipated battle, the Bettors Delight sophomore gelding Bettor Memories, coming off a 1:52 Meadowlands win, got the early jump on recent 1:52.4 Downs winner Settlemoir after leaving from a better post, and then kept him at bay in a :56.1 back half to win by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:52.4. Scott Zeron sulkysat for trainer Nifty Norman and owner Gus Dovi.

The Sportswriter four-year-old gelding Maxdaddy Blue Chip won a qualifier at Philadelphia on Tuesday, and that was a winning formula to have him ready for his seasonal bow five days later, as he brushed to the lead early then held off favoured Sentencing Memo in 1:52.2 for driver Brett Miller, trainer Keith Armer, and the Fred Monteleone Stable LLC.

Midnight Lightning, coming off three cheque-getting efforts in the Sagamore Hills Series at Yonkers, didn’t let a first-over trip bother him as he won easily in the last cut for males in 1:52.2. Matt Kakaley handled driving duties behind the four-year-old Camluck gelding for trainer Shaun Vallee, who is also co-owner with D P V Racing Stable.

There were also four $15,000 first prelim events for the female Weiss counterparts, and driver David Miller came out of the box hot, winning the first two divisions – one with a 24-1 shot and the other a 2-5 favourite.

In the first race of the night, Miller posted the big upset with Some Fancy Filly, proving the strongest in the last eighth to take a maiden mark of 1:53.2 by a half-length over the favoured Mystery Writer. Speaking of mysteries, how a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of a two-year-old divisional champion (Fancy Filly), trained by the only conditioner to guide a baby pacing filly to Horse of the Year honours (Nancy Johansson with JK Shesalady) could pay $50, even in her sophomore seasonal bow, is puzzling, but her backers are happy with their return, and the winner’s owners, Courant A B, now have a filly pacing back to her pedigree.

Miller took the next cut in a more conventional manner, sending the Bettors Delight filly Southwind Tango to the lead in the second quarter and rolling home with the chalk from there to take a race mark of 1:54.4. Trainer Chris Ryder saw his own filly make a satisfying 2016 debut.

A first-time starter also reported home in 1:53.2 in upset fashion in another Weiss female cut, as the Dragon Again filly Candy Corn Hanover proved a sweet treat to her scattered 15-1 backers, rallying to win by a nose over favoured Albany Girl for driver Matt Kakaley, trainer Travis Alexander, and the Fiddler’s Creek Stables LLC.

The final female cut saw favoured Winners Over get Bettors Delight a third siring credit in Weiss competition Sunday, being the “last horse to the top” at the three-eighths mark and then fending off a good challenge by Pandaman Sea in the last eighth of the mile to lower her speed badge to 1:53.4. Mike Simons guided the victorious filly for trainer Michael Sinclair and owner Brianne Good, and hinted she may eventually wind up in the lofty class whose name she bears.

On Tuesday the female trotters will take to the track for their first Weiss Series action, while six days later their male counterparts will race their first Weiss preliminary on the track’s inaugural Monday card of the season.

(Pocono / PHHA)


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