Day At The Track

Chris Oakes trainee makes it three straight

05:14 PM 26 Apr 2016 NZST
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Celebrity Bugatti
Celebrity Bugatti running his record to 3-for-3 in the series
Curtis Salonick Photo
Celebrity Bugatti put himself into the driver's seat of Bobby Weiss Series action for harness racing trotting males Monday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, running his record to 3-for-3 in the series while posting the fastest clocking among the $15,000 third leg prelims, 1:54.3.
 
Driver George Napolitano Jr. had the Muscle Massive stallion in front at every call and felt no pressure at all, with a 27.3 opener and a 57.4 back half that left him 3¼ lengths clear at the finish. Chris Oakes has taken over local care of the speedy trotter for owners Herman Hagerman, Johnny Yoder, and Dan Rawlings.
 
Two other horses besides Celebrity Bugatti had won in each of the first two legs, but Steed did not enter the third leg, and Dominus Hanover, 1-10* in the betting, finished worse than second for the first time in 11 seasonal starts when he came up third in Taxed To The Max's 1:56.2 victory. Dominus had a soft 59.1 lead to the half, but he didn't have the necessary 57.1 sprint home, as the Yankee Glide four-year-old gelding Taxed To The Max slid up the Pocono Pike from the pocket, grabbed command, then held off Explosive Leggs late for trainer Neal Ehrhart and owners Keystone Trotters LLC while lowering his mark by 2 2/5 seconds.
 
"Max"'s driver was Anthony Napolitano, who fashioned seven winners (to brother George's six) on Saturday here, yet still often gets away at high prices - despite a Weiss second last week, "Max" paid $18.20 to win, joining other recent "A Nap" winners who paid $20.80 in another race tonight, $26.20 and $20.80 in his two wins last night, and $69.80 among his seven Saturday winners, only one of which was favored! (Not to mention his $197.00 tally a week ago Sunday!)
 
The other Weiss winner Monday, the Cantab Hall sophomore gelding Elysium Lindy, lowered his speed badge by an even greater margin - 4 1/5 seconds - as he parlayed a pocket trip to a neck victory over Apostles Creed in 1:55.2. Driver Jim Marshall III, trainer Donna Marshall, and owner George Beck saw their developing three-year-old put himself in a good position to make May 9's Weiss Championship for this group, as he now has two seconds and a win in series competition.
 
Something will have to give in the fifth race division of the fourth and final preliminary leg of Weiss action for female trotters Tuesday night. South Side Hanover (post one, trainer/driver Todd Schadel) and Stirling Debutant (Anthony Napolitano driving for trainer Christie Collins from post six) are both 3-for-3 so far in the series, and whoever takes the Tuesday contest will stamp herself as the one to beat in the $30,000 Championship a week from Tuesday. Races 3 and 4 Tuesday are also part of the distaff Weiss action.
 
PHHA / Pocono
 
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