Wednesday, August 20, 2014

‘Crown’ stars flexing muscles

Other than the headline stakes in a week’s racing, eligibles for the “Crown”—some already Crown champs—will be active in top events such as Opens and Preferreds throughout the continent. We will scope the entry boxes for these, since they often wind up in such events while having a distinct class advantage not embraced by the betting public. As well, they may be the closest things to “locks” you can get.

This weekend a few trotters and pacers in this category are racing in low-profile events that deserve the bettor’s attention.

On Friday, Aug. 22, Bee A Magician (BAM, pictured) takes on the boys again, this time at Yonkers in a $44,000 Open Trot. Only one of those boys is a Crown male—and a veteran—Arch Madness. Five others, including the recognizable Coraggioso (non-eligible but remember supplements are possible) battle the duo. These three would be the top three contenders and it may be possible that BAM could be a decent price as a co-choice. Certainly Arch Madness is here to get some cash and well-needed rebound status en route to November.

Coraggioso may take some money from BAM, being a successful local and having recent form but in any order, the triptych holds all of the cards against the rest.

Also that night at Yonkers, Bouncing Bax is one of three Crown hopefuls (and the only mare) in a $32,000 Preferred Trot. She gets the rail, while Rossini and Sweet Justice leave from the 6 and 8 holes, respectively. We like Sweet Justice on the outside, where Yonkers bettors fear to tread. She is obviously aiming for a berth in the Crown show and has been sharp of late. From post 8 we may get a good price on him.

That same night at Pocono Downs, a $25,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred Handicap features another three stars heading for the Crown—Jerseylicious, Anndrovette and Rocklamation. Four others come along for the ride. Crown-champ Anndrovette is facing far less competition than she has while faltering her last few. She is still the probable public choice and most likely for that reason. Of these, Jerseylicious has the most to gain with a win and will offer the most to players.

Creatine and Its Complicated take on a Scioto Open field Aug. 22, where eight others appear firmly inferior. That may be a beautiful and easy and valuable low exacta – or better, a big one. 

On Saturday, Aug. 23, Maven, Picture This and Sevruga head a field of eight ineligibles at Pocono in a Preferred Handicap worth $25,000. This is a perfect situation for Sevruga, especially since the name recognition of Maven will attract too many dollars. By and large, Sevruga is the strongest of this group, no less the three that are Crown-bound. Picture This needs marked improvement here but should be an exotic wagering consideration.


Follow major BC hopefuls on their road to the November Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs at the Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the TwinSpires harness blog weekly, with archived reports on the results at the Hambletonian Society web site.

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