Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sophomores scuffle, mares’ malaise

Breeders Crown action continues with eliminations for the three-year-old colt and filly pacers, three-year-old colt trotters and the open mare trotters.  

Two eliminations will be contested for the three-year-old filly pacers.  

The first looks to be a battle between American Jewel and Economy Terror, though we take a look at their underdog rivals.  

Ramalama has shown significant improvement within the last few months. She raced very well on the New York Sires Stakes circuit, showing she was capable of challenging these fillies at Lexington during the Grand Circuit meeting.  

The other value play in here is Bettor B Lucky. She has been on a slight layoff, skipping The Red Mile and qualifying at Freehold. She is fresher than these other fillies and could put on quite a show in this event.  

The second elimination favorite, Romantic Moment, drew the far outside and gives rivals to her inside a decent shot.  

We will take Handsoffmycookie. She has not raced against the top fillies since last year’s Breeders Crown but has gotten the luck of fast miles and tough rivalries in this division to tire some of the top filly foes. She should be very sharp returning to top company this week.  

The three-year-old colt trotters will also contest two eliminations.  

Little Brown Fox headlines the first group and is the only horse in this field to have recently raced with the top trotters. Our mind, on the other hand, is concentrated upon Prestidigitator.  

The Kadabra son, who has scored for us this year and was our unsuccessful Hambletonian choice, has a hometown advantage in Toronto, as he is a regular on this circuit. He draws into the weaker of two elims and should be a great value wager against Little Brown Fox, who is arguably as good as the top dog, Market Choice, on any given day. 

Market Share dominates the second elimination for the glamour-boy trotters. If you are ready to bet against Market Share, calm down. He’ll likely romp in the elim at a poor price (even low-priced overlays can be over bet). He could be vulnerable in the final based on the other 14 trotters performances this week.  

The final group of sophomore eliminations will feature three-year-old colt pacers.  

Thinking Out Loud and Bettor’s Edge will likely be heavy betting interests in the first elim. We went to their outside and took Hillbilly Hanover to win this elimination.  

He produced a stunning effort in the Tattersalls Pace, racing first over into the far turn and nearly passing Sweet Lou at the wire. This colt has been improving recently and is maturing late in the season, which is a key sign to look for in a Breeders Crown upset.  

The second chapter attracts top names—A Rocknroll Dance, Michaels Power and Sweet Lou among them. Sweet Lou has shown improvement but remains suspect to coming up short, Michaels Power, a supplement, has always been vulnerable among his piers and A Rocknroll Dance is recovering from throat surgery. 

Mel Mara looks to be the “now” horse and the value wager. Coming off a victory versus Michaels Power, Mel Mara came back onto the stakes scene with a victory in the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile. He returned a week later and finished a strong fourth in the Tattersalls Pace. The public may ignore him this week because of the brand names racing around him but he should provide tough competition against the top pacers.

The final elim scheduled for Saturday is for the Open Mare Trot field.

Two horses caught our eye in this wide-open division, Tamla Celeber S and Beatgoeson Hanover.

Tamla Celeber S had two strong starts in America, one in the Pride In Progress and the other in the Allerage. Though she was disappointing in the Allerage, she ships up north this week and should may use herself up early like she did in those two miles, resulting in a powerful mile.

Beatgoeson Hanover is coming off of a great race in the Allerage. She was a closing third, behind Frenchfriesnvinegar. She draws the rail and will likely be in the mix early and should provide value in this contest.

See the TwinSpires blog for more Breeders Crown action and news and contacts for next week’s single-night finals program.

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