Wilkes-Barre, PA --- The fourth and final preliminary rounds for the two Bobby Weiss Series for pacers were featured at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday night (April 24), with two $15,000 divisions in both the male and female categories. The participants were looking to earn or solidify their spots in next Sunday’s $30,000 championships.
In the first division for males, Sentencing Memo was dismissed at 7-1 despite a win and two seconds so far in the Weiss, and at the three-quarters he was still fifth as third-over. But Maxdaddy Blue Chip (7-5), Iwillmakeyousaywow (9-5) and Options Are Adream (7-2 and trying to rebound from his first lifetime loss last week in his ninth start) had mixed it up through scintillating fractions of :27, :54.2, and 1:21.4.
Sentencing Memo was full of pace when turned loose by driver Corey Callahan turning for home, striding home 2-3/4 lengths better than Iwillmakeyousaywow in 1:50.2, 1- 3/5 seconds faster than his lifetime mark taken in a Weiss win, and three ticks faster than the 2016 series standard. Eric Foster conditions the sophomore altered son of Western Terror for shrewd owner Arty Foster, who paid all of $2,200 for the horse as a yearling.
The only Weiss favorite to win in the night came in the other division for males, as Perfect Bet, who won his series debut in 1:51.2, was put on the lead by driver Scott Zeron and got a cheap half of :56.4, then scurried home in :55.1 to complete a 1:52 package that put him -1/4 lengths ahead of Connecting Flight. This 4-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding seems to be peaking at the right time for trainer Jeffrey Smith and owner Aimee Scheid.
Iwillmakeyousaywow and Sentencing Memo, with two wins and two seconds in the four Weiss prelims, are tied for the top of eligibles for the Weiss championship next Sunday, followed by Midnight Lightning, Options Are Adream, Bettor Memories, Maxdaddy Blue Chip, Perfect Bet, Rollaroundtheworld, and Connecting Flight as part of the nine “automatics.”
It was clear from draw day that the final Weiss Series female prelim was going to have an alternate look from the previous three weeks, as Candy Corn Hanover, who had taken her first three career starts in three Weiss wins, was not entered. But the change in look was more radical than imagined as the two winners had one lifetime win between them entering the night, and after their victories, neither was an automatic qualifier for their championship.
In the first distaff cut, Heavenly Bet came off a hard-charging third last week in a Weiss division that was her seasonal debut, and she had red-hot Anthony Napolitano behind her -- and she still was sent off at 12-1. But the filly by Bettor's Delight got into a fine cover flow and charged home in 1:53.1, lowering her mark by two-fifths of a second, in defeating Southwind Tango and American Image, in that order, with those finishes earning them a Weiss championship spot after each having a 1-2-3 finish in the three other Weiss legs.
The highly-regarded Ava N Ella, unraced at two but opening her sophomore campaign with four straight wins, made a miscue going to the three-quarters as the favorite and in her initial Weiss appearance, and thus will not get in the championship.
Heavenly Bet, owned and trained by Michael Sinclair, will now have to hope for a defection or two above her if she is to get in the nine-horse open draw Weiss finale.
In the second section, the Rocknroll Hanover filly JK Fannie was thought by many in attendance to have the proverbial snowball’s chance in the fiery underworld when she was eighth and last at the stretch call, but Hall of Famer John Campbell rallied the 3-year-old, a winner of $60,000 at two with five board finishes, into a slowing pace to post her first career win in her first seasonal (and obviously Weiss) start, getting a nose up on pocket-sitting Black Widow Baby in 1:53. Favored pacesetter Some Fancy Filly, unbeaten in two seasonal and Weiss starts, then taking last week off, was just a head away in third on the money.
Nancy Johansson is the winner’s conditioner for the 3 Brothers Stables.
The top nine Weiss fillies after the four prelims are Candy Corn Hanover, (tie) Some Fancy Filly and Southwind Tango, (tie) Mystery Writer and American Image, Albany Girl, Winners Over, She Can Cruse, and Pandaman Sea. Heavenly Bet is tied for tenth and JK Fannie is 12th.