04/14/2015 4:41PM

Pocono: Major Uptrend takes aim at Bobby Weiss final

Curtis Salonick
Major Uptrend is undefeated in two Bobby Weiss starts at Pocono.

Major Uptrend’s stock keeps rising.

The Howard Taylor-owned gelding has won six of 11 races this year, good for $75,475 in purses, and heads into Saturday’s $30,000 Bobby Weiss Series final for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers off victories in his two preliminary rounds of the event at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Major Uptrend, a 4-year-old, won both of his starts in the series by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:51 3/5. His first triumph came over YS Lotus, who has posted two wins in the series to go with two second-place finishes, and his most recent score came over Victory At Last, who was unbeaten in three previous series starts.

Trained by Ron Burke and driven by Matt Kakaley, Major Uptrend will start Saturday’s Weiss final from post two.

“He’s just blazing fast,” said Taylor, who purchased Major Uptrend in December. “I don’t know how good he is class-wise, but he’s got great speed. He’s far exceeded what I thought I was getting.

“What I’m looking forward to is when he gets to where he has to go with horses that can go with him how much guts he’s got. I don’t know. We’ll find out.”

Major Uptrend is a son of stallion Somebeachsomewhere out of the million-dollar-earning mare Tricky Tooshie. He sold for $177,000 as a yearling, under the name Toronto Hanover, and won six of 19 starts and $26,352 prior to Taylor purchasing the horse on the recommendation of Doug Lewis.

Taylor was interested in Major Uptrend because the gelding fit the conditions of a number of winter series.

“That’s what I always look to, what I can do with them -- not what they’ve done,” Taylor said. “What they’ve done wasn’t for me and doesn’t help me any, but it’s where I can go from here. This horse had all kinds of late-closers he was eligible to, so I thought it was a no-brainer.”

After finishing second by a neck for Taylor in his first start, Major Uptrend closed 2014 with a win in which he rallied from the back of the pack with a :25 3/5 last quarter-mile.

This year, Major Uptrend has finished no worse than second in any race in which he remained pacing. He went off stride once in a preliminary round of the Escort Series at the Meadowlands and twice in the Sagamore Hill Series at Yonkers Raceway.

“I don’t think he’s a real big fan of a half-mile track,” Taylor said, referring to Yonkers. “He’s a funny horse. I’ve seen him enough and I think I’ve learned a lot about him. He’s one of these horses that if you’re going to do something, you’ve got to do it. You can’t start and then change your mind. If you change your mind he just gets mad and jumps.”

Major Uptrend finished second to Company Man in the final of the Escort Series and finished second to Rockeyed Optimist in the final of the Sonsam Series. He handed Rockeyed Optimist his only loss of 2015 in a preliminary round of the Sonsam.

Following the Weiss Series, Major Uptrend is eligible to the Whata Baron Series at the Meadowlands. The Whata Baron begins with two divisions Saturday and concludes May 2.

“I still don’t know what I have,” Taylor said. “I know I have a horse that’s as good as anything in these series. We’ll probably give him some time off after these series – he’s been going hard every week – and then bring him back and find out what we have in open company.

“But it’s been a fun ride so far.”

YS Lotus, trained by Rene Allard, drew post No. 1 for the Weiss Series final and will have Simon Allard at the lines. Shadow Margeaux, who has a win and three second-place finishes in the event, got post five for trainer Steve Salerno and driver Larry Stalbaum.

Victory At Last, also from the Burke stable, got post eight with George Napolitano Jr. listed to drive. Napolitano also is listed on Burke-trainee Coaster, who drew post seven.

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com