In the first elim heat there are only six going.
Gym Tan Laundry has not lived up to our expectations after winning in Canada and proving we weren’t following him for nothing. That disappointment and the one after that puts him, still, as a 5-2 morning-line co-choice in this small field, which is far too little for us to become involved.
Little Brown Fox is certainly capable of wiring this bunch but he, too, has been wagered to death and coming up short to long-priced colts like Money On My Mind (see elim two).
This leaves us only one genuine upset contender in Another Amaretto. We have to assume that he will be the fourth choice, which is the same in the pecking order of the morning line. At 9-2 among these, especially with Archangel probably eating up the fractions with “Fox,” the short field could make those odds worth it.
Seven go in the second $114,300 elim heat, lead in the morning line (ML) by Guccio. We had him last week, though we expected a bit more of a win price when we made the call, but here we do not agree with the ML in terms of chances.
Tony Alagna has had My MVP in relentless pursuit of his division’s foes and picked up the third spot in the Hambletonian final and his elim. He is much better on a two-turn stage than shorter ovals and last week he already proved that he might be able to win staying closer to the top, without the mighty charge that allowed him to cash many checks.
The first of the two elim heats has, in our opinion, a poor favorite in Chilitodayhottamale. She has not proven to be on a roll, even though last week she embraced The Red Mile surface with fire.
We are forced to look closely at Oasis Dream as the upset contender based on great performances against the aforementioned “Chili” and in the Buckette, where she was the dead-on choice but was short to Canadian Justice (the closer and here in post 2) and our huge longshot Fancy.
Superstar Hanover will get play along with Chili, giving“Oasis” more value.
In the second elim heat we are going to attempt a bold move by taking Bluff over Check Me Out. There is no way for us to incite an upset but Bluff has been getting better and Check Me Out comes into this on the wings of a very long campaign that could begin to wilt at any time, regardless of her domination over this division or the fact that her mentor Ray Schnittker said she will not race in the second heat (he is against heat racing). Still, she could be a victim of more aggressiveness that allows her to be nosed or headed and this may be a good time to catch that scenario, especially since she is more concerned with the Breeders Crown.
Last week Bluff lost, mostly due to a bad step at the start. She still wound up gaining ground to be third at a strongly supported 7-5. She has only to improve as she heads towards mare status.
Older pacers and trotters go in Allerage Farm features.
The first is for pacing mares and once again Drop The Ball is the early choice on the ML. However, her critical stop from scorched fractions last time, when we beat her with 23-1 Rocklamation, leaves her suspect in our book.
We feel Ginger And Fred has been racing better than her odds since August and can carefully stalk the hot pace here, getting enough real estate late to win as well as thwart the closing Rocklamation.
Next, the older trotting horses, six of the best, will shuffle and struggle, most likely trying to beat Chapter Seven. Linda Toscano’s monstrous four-year-old continues to beat older and here he has to deal with at least four others that are legitimate foes.
Wishing Stone is back from his oversea journeys where he has been productive against the best in European trotting. He is fresh and, of course, he is a veteran of the track, where he won the Kentucky Futurity at three in 2010.
He could be dismissed based on all the facts that should make him a strong contender. That is, the crowd is more aware of “Seven” and Mister Herbie in location and recency and Arch Madness and Hot Shot Blue Chip will share some win money. This leaves Wishing Stone in a probable overlay spot, one which can easily lure our wager.
The mare trotters are next, with Cedar Dove again at the head of the ML line. But this is a very tightly matched bunch and a personal odds line that could be written accurately would go through many drafts. We wish to pass.
The horse pace presents the usual suspects, each guilty of being courageously competitive all season. With Betterthancheddar pulled from the event and in question for the Breeders Crown, we see little reason not to hand this one over to Golden Receiver.
He is arguably the best of the division this season, if only by a mere point, and if he lives up to his ML at 9-2, which is the third choice, he is certainly worth backing.
Keep up with the top horses in the divisions racing to the Crown at the Breeders Crown Countdown and read archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.