WILKES-BARRE PA – 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 favored, Turbo Hill was victorious.
This past Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, one crucial factor changed at the draw – Sports Legend drew inside Turbo Hill. Though the crowd went to Turbo Hill this week, Sports Legend teamed with driver Jim Morrill Jr. to use the positional edge to the max, winning a $15,000 division of the final preliminary in a lifetime best of 1:51.
But lest you think that the Weiss Final will come down to the positional shake for the two-time winners in the division above, you should also consider the American Ideal colt American Admiral, who overcame the outside post seven in his Weiss cut to equal his mark of 1:52.4. 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 1-for-13 American Admiral has now won three straight, the last two in the Weiss, and he may have the speed to go with Sports Legend and Turbo Hill. (The draw for this $30,000 Weiss Championship, by the way, is Monday morning, and will be monitored in several camps.)
Going into that draw, here’s an unofficial compilation of the top pointwinners: 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 favorite in the $21,500 fast-class pace, found clearance late on the far turn, and unleashed a terrific last 1/8 to win his second straight 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.
Tomorrow’s Easter Sunday card at The Downs will have a special post time of 5 p.m.