WILKES-BARRE PA – The $700,000 Bobby Weiss Series, the traditional early-season contests at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono that often bring a focus to developing stars, begins its annual competition on Monday and Tuesday with fillies and mares – pacers in three divisions on Monday, and trotters in four sections the next day.
George Napolitano Jr., who has been burning up the racetrack both at Pocono and 100 miles south at the newly-opened meet at Harrah’s Philly, is set to guide the morning line favorite in the first two cuts on Monday’s twilight card. In race seven, he’ll be handling Ashlee Sparkles for trainer Blake MacIntosh as that sophomore filly makes her seasonal bow off a very sharp 1:55.3 qualifier here. In the ninth, “GNap” has been tapped by trainer Randy Bendis to steer Sewonandsewforth, who missed by a head at 27-1 in her first contest as a three-year-old last week.
The partnership of driver Matt Kakaley and trainer Ron Burke will have two of the four morning line favorites in Tuesday’s Weiss trotting action. The sophomore filly Run Lindy Run, a winner in the Kentucky stakes program last season, will have to try to surmount the outside post seven as she makes her 2019 bow in the fourth race, while in the very next race another Kakaley/Burke three-year-old, Fade Into You, a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at two, also faces the starting gate for the first time this year – but she will be facing it from the opposite end than is her stablemate, as she has drawn the rail.
Spring In Paris is the North American season’s leader for three-year-old fillies on a 5/8-mile track by virtue of a 1:56.4 win at Pocono in her first start of the season; she’ll be looking to make it two straight for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Steve LeBlanc in the eleventh race Weiss action. In race three, trainer Rich Gillock has picked Andy Miller, a noted handler of trotters, to guide Galary Girl, who has shown great speed when she has been able to mind her manners; she is rated the early choice based on her potential.
“The boys” will be beginning their Weiss action this weekend, with pacers set for Saturday and trotters on Sunday. Each of the four sections of the Weiss Series will be conducted with three preliminary rounds, with the top performers returning for $30,000 Championships near the end of the month.