Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Battlefield Breeders Crown: The Older Divisions

The Breeders Crown series at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 27 includes four-year-olds and up from both sexes and gaits: The Mare Trot, the Open Trot (males), the Open Mare Pace and the Open Pace (one mare against males).

Read all of the archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.

Along with our TwinSpires blog, here is an analysis for those events, concentrating on our suggested contenders that we feel are worthy overlays or key winners due to their overwhelming chances of winning the event.

The valued contenders

The Open Mare Trot launches the series Saturday. This group includes Autumn Escapade, a friend of our betting bankroll since she began her campaign as a mare. Canada has been a healthy venue for her over the years. This season she spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania, with top mares at Pocono, and only won a single race.

But her Breeders Crown elim was impressive, some proof that she is returning to familiar territory where she excelled. She got a great spot early in that race and then became buried by three-quarters. She managed to shake free from foes on both sides and use a strong brush to get second while still charging.

A threat to her and the favorites will be Bax Of Life. She is a must for exotics. Her elim was powerful. She was extra game leaving from post 10 and held on with grace to get fourth after a long journey.

The Open Trot is a small field, which includes overseas champion Commander Crowe but presents a major hero of the division this year, Chapter Seven.

A good reason why Chapter Seven has become the unlikely leader of this group is that he is only a four-year-old. Maturing at the end of a sophomore season that presented five losses in 10 starts against a particularly talented crop (including Daylon Magician and Mister Herbie, also in this field), he came back to defeat older and more experienced steeds at four with regularity.

Beating him in this short field will be a chore, though the invader offers more hope than value. Commander Crowe has literally been all over the map in Europe and has made over a $1.5 million in 2012.

All you can hope for to dig up an upset has to do with Hot Shot Blue Chip. He is the only one here that has defied the others with speed and success, not counting “Crowe.” I wouldn’t expect much from such an upset, as the size of this field give the edge to Chapter Seven but if we need to go out on a limb for a price, Hot Shot Blue Chip gets our support.

The Open Mare Pace offers the talents of a mare that we began to support mid season who has done so well her connections bring her into this fray via supplement money, which is always an investment in faith. She is Rebeka Bayama and last week she won in a “Crown” sideshow event for her division, scorching the oval in 1:48.4.  

Rebeka Bayama is 3-1 on the morning line but will still offer some value, as Drop The Ball should get the bettors’ bulk of win money and last year’s winner, Anndrovette, is bound to pick up heavy support, especially being on the inside of the two mentioned.  

Closing the event for 2012 is the charge of the heavy brigade, so to speak, the stalwart elder pacing males in the Open Pace. Only this year a brave mare takes on the boys. She is Put On A Show. She is up against tons of iron, so to speak, and although she wants to pace into history by doing what no mare has done before in this series, we don’t feel she is up to the task.
Nor do we see a repeat in last year’s Bettor Sweet victory. Certainly the seven-year-old will be offering far less in odds than last season when he won as an outsider. That alone turns us off. However, we like the horse that last beat him, Golden Receiver. 

Though Golden Receiver defeated Bettor Sweet at Pocono Downs and then lost to him at The Red Mile and in a Woodbine Open prep for this event, this pacer has remarkable resilience and has come back strong throughout the season after displaying disappointing miles. He will certainly be a decent price among this group, which includes mega-money-maker Foiled Again and Hypnotic Blue Chip, who came back from retirement to swarm through fields of older pacers. 

The older divisions always make for challenging handicapping, as throughout the stakes season there is rarely a dominating figure. Aside from Chapter Seven in the Open Trot, no other horse or mare on either gait has been as reliable as his or her odds indicated.
This is a good reason for our choices, which as usual stand out from the mainstream-handicapping crowd. Any one can make a good case for most of these entries, which opens the realm of possibilities for those of us seeking the true overlay. The cases we are making become more acceptable under the circumstances.

Post time for the Breeders Crown finals on Saturday, Oct. 27 will be a special early post of 6:30 p.m. [EDT]. The finals will be followed live on TwinSpires @FrankCotolo and @RayCotolo and @TwinSpires.

Read all of the archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.

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