Highalator left alertly, and when A Bettors Risk made a break soon after the start, the fast colt had the lead. The Ron Burke trainee Art N Music was given a pocket tuck by his stablemate Dash Of Danger, the leader in the prelims, to clear the way for a quarter move after a 27 opener, which Highalator and driver Victor Kirby took with aplomb, letting his foe go by and then reclaiming command nearing the 55.2 half.
Dakota Jack got stuck with first-over duty against the even-money pacesetter, with 20-1 Rough Odds second-over and 6-5 second choice Talent Soup third-over. However, Talent Soup gapped his cover most of the back half, and after the 1:22.4 ¾ clocking it was instead Rough Odds moving wide for the stretch drive and bearing down on Highalator. But Kirby kept his game colt going to the wire to win by a neck in a career-best 1:51.1; Dash Of Danger, Talent Scout, and Dakota Jack completed the checkgetters behind the homebred winner, who is owned by Charles Dombeck and Daryl Bier.
Cousin Mary came to Pocono after taking three prelims and the final of the Petticoat Series at Yonkers, and she duplicated that pattern in the Weiss prelims and Championship, winning easily for the hot team of driver Anthony Napolitano and trainer Andrew Harris. “ANap” put the Camluck mare right on the lead, got a 57.4 stroll to the half, then sprinted hone in 54 flat to reduce her mark to 1:51.4 for owner Jeffrey Williamson.
I Deal In Kisses was first-over against the 1-5 favorite, and when pocketsitter Twist Of Fate couldn’t stay tight on the far turn, I Deal In Kisses dropped inside, finishing out 2¾ lengths behind the strong winner, who is now 10-for-13 and with earnings of $135,000 this season. Twist Of Fate did hold for third, with Warrawee Sunshine and Tearful Of Happy getting the final paydays.
The Bobby Weiss Series honors the longtime Pocono trackman who was primarily responsible for honing the local brick-red oval into one of the fastest and safest surfaces anywhere, a favorite of horsemen, and Weiss was on hand to greet the two champions. Bob will be back in the winners circle tomorrow night to present the trophy for the $30,000 distaff trot Championship, for which Checkmate Time is the 2-1 favorite after winning her only Weiss start last week in 1:53.3 after a nine-month layoff. The final Weiss prelim for trotting males will also be held tomorrow, seven days before its $30,000 Championship event.