WILKES-BARRE PA – Throughout the preliminary events of Bobby Weiss Series for pacing males at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, the motto has been “The post means the most.” And so it continued in the $30,000 series Championship event on Saturday night, as Turbo Hill drew inside his archrival Sports Legend and went on to defeat him by ¾ of a length in a lifetime best 1:51.
The pair did not draw in together in the first prelim. In the second, Turbo Hill drew inside Sports Legend and controlled the pace; the reverse was true last week, when Sports Legend prevailed. In the Championship, driver George Napolitano Jr. looked to his right, saw Sports Legend, and gave his horse double-time leaving instructions, controlling the pace and forcing Sports Legend in behind him late in the :27 opener.
Turbo Hill thus righted himself after he lost his six race winning streak last week – he’s now 7-for-9 this year, and 9-for-11 lifetime, for trainer Hunter Oakes, and owner Tom Hill, who probably stayed up until 3 a.m. Sunday in his home in England to watch his budding star win again.
Team Napolitano / Oakes were the powers behind the veteran Rocknroll Hanover gelding Scott Rocks, a veteran Pocono lover (the nine-year-old took his 1:48 mark here at six), who was a length winner in the $21,500 featured fast-class pace, clocked in 1:50.4. The winner of $862,049, owned by Northfork Racing Stable and Chuck Pompey, raced out to the pocket early, was able to slip out when favored Tiger Thompson N brushed to the lead nearing the ¾, then powered home in classic fashion to withstand the large charge of Mariner Seelster.
Hunter Oakes was in the sulky when the American Ideal gelding Hitman Hill equaled his own 1:50.1 clocking, the fastest time of the year at Pocono, in winning a $17,500 pace. The coast-to-coast winner is trained by Hunter’s father Chris (Homicide Hunter), while Tom Hill, who shares ownership in the winner of $385,656 with Northfork Racing Stable, may have extended his TV viewing by about 40 minutes
After the features, the story of the night was the Allard brothers, driver Simon and trainer Rene, teaming for five victories. Rene, leading trainer here five of the last six years, increased his lead in the 2019 standings, while the quintuple boosted Simon into second in sulky wins this season behind perennial leader George Napolitano Jr.
15 more horses changed homes via the claiming box Saturday, and $246,250 changed hands to acquire those horses; the season totals at Pocono are now 112 claims and $1,894,250 paid via those claims.