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Sentencing Memo wins Weiss final for 86YO Foster

May 02, 2016

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You didn't have to go beyond the point standings of the preliminary legs of the two $30,000 Bobby Weiss Series Championships at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Sunday night to get to success – in the distaff pacing section, Southwind Tango, the leading point winner entered in her championship, was home first, and the pacing males saw the two horses tied at the top of the standings, Sentencing Memo and Iwillmakeyousaywow, finish 1-2 in their championship.

The females took to the track first, and it should be clarified up front that Southwind Tango was only tied for second in points after the four Weiss prelim legs. But #1 Candy Corn Hanover and #T-2 Some Fancy Filly opted to try their luck in the Miss Pennsylvania preliminaries (as it turned out, neither made that final), and Southwind Tango, driver David Miller, and owner/trainer Chris Ryder didn't mind their defection a bit, as Southwind Tango took a new mark of 1:53.4 over a sloppy track for her second lifetime victory.

Miller sent the Bettor's Delight filly first-over approaching the half to challenge leading Black Widow Baby, and those two battled from late backstretch onward, with 5-2 second choice Southwind Tango finally claiming a neck victory. 3-5 favorite Heavenly Bet, a strong closer in winning last week, had a little too far to come this week and had to settle for third. (But since Black Widow Baby and Heavenly Bet were the two who made the Weiss Championship only because of the other two trying the Miss Pennsylvania, certainly minor spoils are better than being on the outside looking in.)

The Western Terror sophomore gelding Sentencing Memo, coming off a 4-2-2-0 record in the Weiss prelims including a strong-closing victory last week, used similar tactics Sunday, exploding in the stretch from second-over to win going away for driver Corey Callahan and trainer Eric Foster in 1:52 over the off going. Sentencing Memo was the 7-5 favorite in the championship for males, but his fellow #1 point earner Iwillmakeyousaywow, with the same 4-2-2-0 record, was dismissed at 26-1, mostly because of post nine (and perhaps partially because he was second to Sentencing Memo last week). But Iwillmakeyousaywow hustled out for the lead, yielded to early mover Bettor Memories, and then beat him up the Pocono Pike for a good check and a healthy return to underside backers ($60.40 Exacta).

Sentencing Memo's owner, 86-years-young Arty Foster, is the living embodiment of the expression "The harder I work the luckier I get." Foster got in the business wanting to halter a mid-level claimer at Liberty Bell in the early 80s, and was undecided between two until near time for the claiming box to close. The one he didn't pick unfortunately ruptured a blood vessel and died during the race – while the one he did take was Arion Lobell, who under Arty's care went on to win over $400,000, set a world record at Brandywine, and was still racing at age 14 for Foster when he was winning training titles at Rosecroft in the early 90s.

And Arty's still sharp. And Sentencing Memo's dam, Lady Annie, won a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship in 2007 – and yet Foster still could buy this horse as a yearling for $2200. Turning $2,200 yearling purchases into winners of $30,000 championships will keep you as spry-looking as Arty did in the Pocono winners circle. (Pocono/PHHA)

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