Ray Hall aims to complete a sweep in the five-week Bobby Weiss Series for 3- and 4-year-old male trotters when he faces eight rivals in Tuesday's $30,000 final at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
A 4-year-old gelding, Ray Hall has won six of 11 races this year, with four of the victories coming in the Weiss. He starts the final from post four with driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer/co-owner Mark Harder.
"He's just a nice little horse, doing everything right,” said Harder, who began training Ray Hall in December and got a share in ownership earlier this month. "He's just hit a nice little groove. He came to me with a couple series in mind out here and it's just worked out. He got happy and a nice little schedule and he's racing good.”
Ray Hall, who also is owned by Ohio's Bruce and Patricia Soulsby, has won 12 of 28 lifetime starts and earned $91,144. He is a son of stallion Justice Hall out of the mare Comebyrail and his family includes standout female trotter Elaine Rodney, who won the 1960 Kentucky Futurity and later found success abroad.
Last weekend, Ray Hall won his Weiss division by a neck over Time To Quit in a career-best 1:53.3. Time To Quit won the Super Bowl Series final in January, with Ray Hall finishing fourth. Ray Hall also finished fourth in the Charles Singer Memorial final in March, which was won by Perfect Alliance.
"He raced good against some better horses, Perfect Alliance and a couple of those other ones,” Harder said. "I think he's definitely improved since then with racing. He's got a lot of nervous energy, he's a little bit hot, and just with racing he's settled down and become more manageable, more drivable. That's made him a better horse.”
Sixteen Mikes, who won his first three divisions in the Weiss but was third behind Ray Hall and Time To Quit last weekend, starts the final from post five for driver Mike Simons and trainer Gail Wrubel. Time To Quit, who has one win in the series, leaves from post six with driver Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke.
Ray Hall is not staked to any major races, but Harder hopes the trotter can still keep adding to his bankroll.
"He's got nothing really, just overnights,” Harder said. "We'll probably hang around Yonkers, wherever we can race him. He's not a top, top horse, but he's a nice little horse that can make money knocking around some conditions. A trotter that can trot a small track and tries and stays at it, they can make a lot of money.” (HRC)