Posts Tagged ‘Perfect Alliance’

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Week in Review

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

April 19-25, 2014

The Weekly Awards take a hiatus for this week as we stop to focus on the finals of the Bobby Weiss late closer series, which took place the past three racing nights. For those who have been paying attention to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the first month of the season, you’ve likely noticed the preliminary Weiss races sprinkled through each night’s card, a chance for younger horses to go head-to-head for solid purses.

The big attraction of the preliminary legs was the opportunity for the combatants to earn enough points to reach the finals, each of which carried a purse of $30,000. That’s a pretty penny for horses early in the season, so it makes sense that some top-notch talent arrived at Pocono at the start of the season for the series named after our longtime track superintendent.

Over the past four weeks, we’ve had the chance to see some budding stars establish themselves in the preliminaries. But who would step up and capture the big-money finals? Read on and find out.


The first of the four finals, held on Saturday night in excellent racing conditions, featured the most wide-open division. The wins in the preliminaries were divided pretty evenly. Only Getitoffyourchest managed three preliminary wins, and he finished seventh in his final leg.

One horse in the final group of nine seemed to be peaking, but he was saddled with a brutal #9 post. Yet A Stitch in Time, driven by George Napolitano Jr. for the Lou Pena barn, didn’t seem to mind. The 4-year-old gelding hustled to the front end, set unconscious fractions, and still was burning it up in the lane. A Stitch In Time ended up comfortably in front by 1 ¾ lengths and set a career-best time of 1:48:3, proving that when a great horse in on his game, even an outside post can’t deter him.


Envious Hanover came into the final with three wins in four preliminary legs. With the inside post, she was made the 3-2 favorite. But Prima Dragon, who had won her previous two starts, including a victory in 1:52:1 that represented the fastest winning time achieved in this group in the preliminaries, left right alongside of Envious Hanover, setting up an inevitable showdown.

The difference was in the trip. While Envious Hanover did the work on the lead and had to fight off outside pressure, Prima Dragon sat the pocket trip to save energy. In the stretch, she uncorked her best move in the passing lane to beat the favorite by a 1 ¼ lengths in 1:52:1. Brett Miller did the driving for trainer Michael Dowdall, as Prima Dragon won the tightest of the four Finals.


Each time Ray Hall lined up for a Weiss race, he was made an odds-on favorite. And each time, he delivered on that promise with Tim Tetrick in the bike. Still, this final was far from a foregone conclusion, or at least it seemed so after Time To Quit battled Ray Hall to the end in the last preliminary, losing by only a neck. The final on Tuesday had the potential to be a donnybrook.

Instead, Ray Hall was completely dominant. The four-year-old gelding from the Mark Harder barn had the lead by the first turn and controlled matters from that point, once again with Tetrick doing the driving. In the stretch, he kicked away from his listing foes to win by 2 ¾ lengths, adding the exclamation point with a career-best mile of 1:53:2. That made him the only horse to complete a sweep of all four legs and the final.


In many ways, this race was over once the entries were set. In the preliminaries, Perfect Alliance and Take The Money, a pair of standout mares from the Julie Miller barn, went a combined six-for-six, winning all of those races with ease. Once it was determined that Take The Money would sit this one out, Perfect Alliance immediately became the prohibitive favorite.

Of course, anything can happen in a harness race, but this final always had the feel of a foregone conclusion. Sure enough, with Yannick Gingras doing the driving, Perfect Alliance handled the field without any problems. Her win in 1:53:3 by 1 ¼ lengths gave her nine consecutive victories to start the season, including five at The Meadowlands and four at Pocono. Living up to her name, she made for the perfect way to conclude the Bobby Weiss series for 2014.

That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at

Perfect Alliance Coasts in Weiss Final at Pocono

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

April 23, 2014

Perfect Alliance kept her record spotless in 2014 by coasting to victory in the $30,000 final of the Bobby Weiss late closer series for three and four-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Perfect Alliance (Credit Winner-Yalta Hanover) came into the final with eight straight victories, including three preliminary wins in the Weiss, to start the season. Leaving from post position #6 in a field of seven as the 1-9 favorite, the 4-year-old mare from the Julie Miller barn sat second at the quarter but quickly sped by Dough Dough on the front stretch to take the lead. Driver Yannick Gingras had to do little coaxing from that point as Perfect Alliance confidently trotted home 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Dough Dough in 1:53:3. Clementine Dream finished third.

Perfect Alliance now has nine wins in nine races this year. She has 11 wins in her career and her lifetime earnings now stand at $165,001.

Miller’s Horses Continue to Dominate Weiss at Pocono

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

April 16, 2014

Even with a substitute driver, Take The Money and Perfect Alliance continued to dominate Bobby Weiss series action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with easy wins on Wednesday night. Two $15,000 divisions of the Weiss were held for three and four-year-old trotting fillies and mares.

With regular driver Andy Miller injured, trainer Julie Miller turned to Yannick Gingras to pilot the two four-year-old mares. He delivered, as Take The Money (Donato Hanover-Repititions) coasted in her split to a win in a career-best 1:55:4 and Perfect Alliance (Credit Winner-Yalta Hanover) strolled to a victory in 1:54:4. The pair are now a combined 13-for-13 in 2014 starts, including three Weiss wins apiece heading into next week’s group final.

Weiss Late Closing Series 4th Leg this week

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014


WILKES-BARRE PA – Fillies and mares will have the spotlight shine on them during the early-week cards at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as pacing distaffs will contest the fourth and final preliminary leg of the Bobby Weiss Series on Tuesday, and their trotting counterparts going on Wednesday. 

The Weiss Series, honoring the recently-retired trackman who honed the Pocono 5/8-mile oval into a top surface acclaimed by one and all, holds four $15,000 preliminaries as an early-closer for developing horses; the top horses emerging from the prelims come back to contest a $30,000 Championship. 

In Tuesday’s pacing action, slotted for races 10 through 12, R Journey Together and Envious Hanover both hope to bounce back after winning their first two prelims but suffering defeat in the third leg. Envious Hanover goes in race ten from post five for the familiar Kakaley/Burke team, with her main rival looking like A And G’s Design,  who won for the first time in the Weiss last week.

 If R Journey Together hopes to regain her winning ways, she’ll have to do it from post eight in the 12th race for driver George Napolitano Jr. while facing three other fillies who have won in the Weiss. The middle division is headed by Prime Dragon (post three, driver Brett Miller), who posted the fastest clocking for this section last week while winning in 1:52.1.

 The redoubtable Perfect Alliance will look to keep her 2014 record perfect in her eighth seasonal start as she headlines the two Weiss divisions for diamondgaiters Wednesday. Starting from post one for Team Miller in race 10, Perfect Alliance posted crushing prelim victories in 1:53 and 1:54 (tilting the tote board with a huge place following) before sitting out the third prelim, but this miss, who may have names like Maven and Bee A Magician on her dance card in the future, seems tons the best of her gathering.

 In the other split, race 8, two-time series winners Take The Money (post two, also Team Miller) and Dough Dough (post five, driver Mike Simons) should attract most of the play.

 The Weiss colt pacing Championship will be held this Saturday, April 19. Pocono will be dark on Easter (April 20), so both the trotting colts and pacing fillies will contest their Championships a week from tomorrow (April 22), with Perfect Alliance “set for coronation” on Wednesday the 23rd.

Unbeaten Miller Trotters Stay Spotless at Pocono in Weiss

Friday, April 4th, 2014

April 2, 2014

Driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller continue to dominate the Bobby Weiss series for distaff trotters at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as their mares Take The Money and Perfect Alliance stayed unbeaten in 2014 with easy victories on Wednesday night. There were three Weiss divisions for three and four-year-old fillies and mares on the trot contested on Wednesday, each carrying a purse of $15,000.

Take The Money (Donato Hanover-Repititions) got away with soft fractions on the engine and coasted to the victory in her split by five lengths in 1:56:2, making her four-for-four in 2014. Perfect Alliance (Credit Winner-Yalta Hanover) then moved to seven-for-seven on the year with a romping victory in her division by four lengths in a scorching 1:53.

In the other Weiss division, Dough Dough (CR Excalibur-Rising Dough), trained by Gail Wrubel and driven by Mike Simons, cashed in on the front end in 1:56:4.