Day At The Track

One Eight Hundred headed to Weiss Final

04:48 AM 23 Apr 2021 NZST
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One Eight Hundred, harness racing
One Eight Hundred and driver Josert Fonseca
Curtis Salonick Photo

After winning starts in two preliminary rounds of the Bobby Weiss Series for 3-year-old male harness racing pacers, One Eight Hundred will attempt to close out the event with a victory in Saturday's $40,000 final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Purchased at the 2019 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale under the name Some Terror for $800,000 - the auction record for a yearling pacer - the colt won one of five races at age 2 before being shut down by trainer Nancy Takter and given time to mature.

He returned this season and won his debut by 6-3/4 lengths in 1:50.2, with a :26.1 last quarter-mile, in the opening round of the Weiss on April 3. He sat out the second leg, then won gate-to-wire in last week's third round by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:52. In that start, he paced the first quarter in :26.2 before settling into a :58.2 middle half and kicking home in :27.1 over a track labeled "good."

"I think he's handled those two miles very well," driver Josert Fonseca said. "He surprised me - I think he probably surprised everybody - how good he did it. He showed a lot of maturity to open up in 26-and-a-piece and be able to back off and be cool with it. I was really happy to see that.

"Maturity wise, he's gotten a lot smarter. He knows what he's doing. He's so versatile now, you can leave with him or you can back him down and he's OK either way. I think that's what I like most about him from last year to this year."

One Eight Hundred, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Dan Patch Award winner Economy Terror, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the Weiss final. He will start from post six with Fonseca in the sulky. The colt is owned by Brixton Medical Inc. and Takter.

Fonseca's rapport with One Eight Hundred calls to mind his work with pacer No Lou Zing last year. Fonseca, Takter's second trainer, drove No Lou Zing in the first six starts of his 3-year-old campaign before turning the horse over to driver Dexter Dunn. No Lou Zing, winless in three starts at 2, last season was a winner on the Grand Circuit and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, banking $523,558.

"Really, it's almost like that," Fonseca said. "Nancy had me qualify (One Eight Hundred) and told me to just do the same thing I did with No Lou Zing. She wanted him to finish strong and learn how to race and not get too worked up. That's what we tried to do. So far, he's been respecting everything we've asked of him.

"Nancy has done a really good job managing him; there was no rush with him. We knew he had ability and potential, so they took their time with him. He's a big horse and he just needed time. So far so good. It looks like it's been working the right way."

Straight Talk, also 2-for-2 in the Weiss series, is the 3-1 second choice in the final. He is trained by Ron Burke and will have Matt Kakaley at the lines, leaving from post seven. Other two-time prelim winners in the final are Coalition Hanover and Mad Man Hill, both from the stable of trainer Chris Ryder. Coalition Hanover, with Anthony Napolitano, drew post eight and Mad Man Hill, with George Napolitano Jr., got post nine.

Racing begins at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at Pocono. For the day's complete entries, click here.

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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