Heavenly Sound and I Soar Him First kept their records in the Bobby Weiss Series for pacing males perfect after two starts, each winning one of the $15,000 three divisions of the second preliminary leg of their Weiss competition Saturday (April 14) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Heavenly Sound was the fastest of Saturday’s three winners, ripping off a 1:50.4 clocking that equaled the mark he set at The Meadowlands two starts back. But the Rock N Roll Heaven colt needed every ounce of energy reflected in that time to overcome a first-over trip and catch pacesetting Heartbeat Hill by half a length; probably a little closer than the backers who sent him off at 1-20 might have liked. However, Heavenly Sound did get the job done for driver Tom Jackson, trainer Bruce Saunders and M&M Harness Racing LLC.
The other two first-round Weiss winners clashed in the heat where I Soar Him First quarter-moved to the lead for driver George Napolitano Jr. and went on to tie the 1:52 mark he set in the first leg. Goose Mountain, at a disadvantage in the post draw, could get to only 1-3/4 lengths behind the winner at the finish as the So Surreal sophomore gelding contains to thrive for owner/trainer Gilbert Garcia-Herrera.
The other Weiss winner Saturday wasn’t triumphant here in the first round, but Ostro Hanover had won his previous five starts between Monticello and Yonkers and here he made it six straight. He also lowered his mark over three seconds to 1:52.1. Record Machine, three-quarters of a length back of the victorious Betterthancheddar colt, photoed out unlucky favorite Riggle Wealth for second. Frank Yanoti conditions the impressive Pocono newcomer for Twin Bridge Racing.
In the $21,500 featured pace for older performers, Highalator raised his career win percentage to 50 percent, overcoming a first-over journey to just nip pacesetting American Primetime by a head in 1:49.4. It was the fastest mile of the young season at Pocono and a new mark for the winner. Tyler Buter handled the sulky assignment behind the son of Somebeachsomewhere, who has now a visited Victory Lane 15 times in just 30 trips behind the gate, for trainer Jenny Bier, who is also the co-owner with Joann Dombeck.