The annual $800,000 (est.) Bobby Weiss Series, for up-and-coming 3- and 4-year-olds of both gaits and sexes, starts its 2018 edition on this Sunday’s card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, which will have a special Easter Sunday post time of 5 p.m.
The Weiss Series, named after the legendary trackman who made Pocono’s surface into one of the most highly-regarded in all of harness racing, races four $15,000 preliminary legs throughout April for each of its divisions. The top competitors in the preliminary action come back during the evening portion of the Kentucky Derby doubleheader (Saturday, May 5) to try to take their $30,000 championships, while the next in line will have a chance to go for $15,000 in consolation races on the Derby afternoon program.
With one exception, the four classes of Weiss horses will each take their turn on a different racing day:
Sunday -- trotting males
Monday -- pacing females
Tuesday -- trotting females
Saturday -- pacing males
The exception is on this Easter Sunday, as since Monday (April 2) is a dark day, the trotting males and pacing females will both be featured on the Sunday card. One section per day of the week will then follow to the end of the preliminaries.
All of the divisions, except for the pacing colts, have drawn their first legs. Here is a preview of each section:
Trotting males: Sunday’s third race may have the best matchup, between Glide In The Wind (post two), a Stallion Series winner last year who makes his 2018 debut for trainer Lucas Wallin and driver Andrew McCarthy, and Law Of Attraction (post five), coming off two straight smart scores at The Meadowlands, the latter in 1:55.2 for trainer Rob Harmon and driver Jim Marohn Jr. Another horse to watch could be Meadowbranch Ricky (race one, post two, trainer Jenny Melander, driver George Napolitano Jr.), who came his last three-quarters in 1:26.2 in a recent 1:57.4 qualifying mile, and who had several high stakes finishes last season.
Pacing females: The best first leg showdown figures to come in the tenth race division Sunday, matching Kimberlee, starting from post two for trainer Åke Svanstedt and driver Jim Marohn Jr. off a 1:55.1 seasonal debut triumph, and Line Dancer, starting just to her right for trainer Kevin Lare and driver George Napolitano Jr. after a win in Yonkers’ Petticoat Series and a second in its consolation.
Trotting females: The team of trainer Lucas Wallin and driver Andrew McCarthy are behind the first-time starter Girl Crush, who begins from the rail in race three off a qualifier where she showed :28.3 finishing speed; her toughest foe may be Myrna Myrna (post four, with the "Pocono Trot Man" Mike Simons driving), who has gone 5-2-2-1 since coming under the care of trainer Scott Betts. Another interesting distaff in this group is Via Lattea IT (race five, post three, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt), who tries her luck on this side of the Atlantic at four after racing in Europe last year at three. (Pocono/PHHA)