WILKES-BARRE PA – With two horses sent off at odds-on, something had to give, and 4-5 Turbo Hill forced 3-5 Sports Legend in behind him early, then sprinted home to hold him safe in 1:51.2 during one of three $15,000 contests in the second preliminary leg of the Bobby Weiss Series for pacing males on Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Both crowd favorites won their first Weiss series start, and both boiled away from the gate, with Turbo Hill, starting from post three for trainer/driver Hunter Oakes, insisting on early command, forcing Jim Morrill Jr. and Sports Legend, beginning from post five, to settle for the two-hole approaching the 27 first marker. Turbo Hill got a breather to the half in 56.3, was not too taxed in increasing the speed to reach the 3/4s in 1:24.4, then really turned one the afterburners with a 26.3 last quarter, leaving his archrival 1¾ lengths in his wake at the wire under highlining tactics. Turbo Hill has now won six straight and has eight victories in nine career starts for owner Tom Hill.
Anthony Napolitano’s brother George accounted for the other division with first-time Weiss starter American Admiral, coming in off a victory at Yonkers. The American Ideal colt burst out of third on the far turn and gained into a 27.2 last quarter to earn a new speed badge of 1:52.4, ¾ of a length ahead of Division Bell for trainer Andrew Harris and owners William, Ian, and James Fleming.
The $21,500 fast-class pace saw the Four Starzzz Shark gelding Soho Wallstreet A survive hard usage both early and late to post a neck victory in 1:50.3. The winner of $281,764 was parked between horses in a 26.1 quarter to claim the lead, then just kept on rocking down the road in middle splits of 53.1 and 1:21.3. The early usage took some energy out of the winner, but he was kept together by driver Pat Berry to bravely hold off Mariner Seelster by a neck, with Captain Deo just photoed out of the deuce behind Soho Wallstreet A, who is trained by Scott Di Domenico for 4 G Racing Stable.
In the opening race of the evening, Hitman Hill, who was third in both the Hempt Final and the Adios Final last year after winning a preliminary, went a huge mile in his second start as a four-year-old, stopping the clock in 1:50.1, fastest mile of the young season here. The American Ideal gelding was used early, moved back out on the far turn, and generated good late speed for driver Hunter Oakes to win by 1¼ lengths for trainer Chris Oakes and the ownership of Tom Hill and Northfork Racing Stable.13 more horses were claimed for $224,750 during the Saturday night card, raising the seasonal total after fourteen cards to 78 claims, resulting in a total cash transfer of $1,349,250.