Jim Morrill Jr. sweeps in Weiss Series
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Driver Jim Morrill Jr. was victorious in both $15,000 divisions of fourth and final preliminary leg of the Bobby Weiss Series for pacing males over good going Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono – but his method of racing the winners couldn't have been further apart.
The first division, reduced to four by a scratch, happened to gather all four horses in the Weiss fourth leg Saturday who had previously won in the series. In this contest Morrill sent the Foreclosure N four-year-old gelding Riggle Wealth to the lead after a :27.1 opener– and then managed to back off the pace to a crawling :57.3 and 1:26.3.
The speed wasn't restarted until nearing the ¾ when Ostro Hanover came up first-over, following by three-time series winner I Soar Him First behind him, and two-time Weiss winner Heavenly Sound in the pocket. But Riggle Wealth, whom Morrill knew had a wealth of late speed after flying finishes following bad luck in the first two series legs, sprinted home in :26.3 to seal the 1:53.1 victory. Heavenly Sound, undefeated in two legs then taking last week off, rallied into the sprint to be a neck aware; Ostro Hanover hung on gamely to miss only three-quarters f a length, and I Soar Him First completed the field, beaten only 1¾ lengths.
Riggle Wealth is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Phillip Collura.
In the other Weiss section, Morrill's horse, Mach N Cheese sat third-in and gapped much of the way while Beach Watch led early then yielded to Record Machine in fractions of :27.3, :56.2, and 1:24.1. But the victorious Betterthancheddar gelding got himself back into the race nearing the three-quarters, came out in the stretch, and overtook Record Machine by a neck to lower his mark to 1:53.4. Rob Harmon conditions the winner, now victorious in half his lifetime twelve starts, for Save The Day Stable.
In unofficial standings calculated immediately after the races, the top ten pointwinners in the preliminaries, in order, areI Soar Him First, Riggle Wealth, Heavenly Sound, Record Machine, Goose Mountain, Beach Watch, Mach N Cheese, Ostra Hanover, Absolute Intent, and Amerimann.
The top horses declaring in will race for $30,000 in their Weiss Championship during the evening portion of the doubleheader of racing on Kentucky DerbyDay, this Saturday, May 4; if enough horses declare in, there will be a $15,000 consolation event held during the afternoon racing that day.
Top purse of the night was $20,000, as Pocono introduced a $30,000-$40,000 claiming handicap pace to its conditioned sheet. And the high-priced pacers part on a fine show, with the highest-priced of all with a $40,000 tag, Sevens Hope A, overcoming a very rough trip early from the outermost post nine, then able to rally up the Pocono Pike to hold off late-charger Four Card Major by a neck in 1:52.2. The hot team of driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Herrera clicked again here with the winning altered son of Art Major.