Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Always B Miki poised to make the plunge to prove he may be best

This Friday, Oct. 31, Hoosier Park’s $275,000 stakes, The Monument Circle, offers 10 glamour-boy pacers another chance at a big paycheck before dropping into the box for the Breeders Crown elims.

But three of the field’s members are not eligible to the “Crown,” and one of them is possibly the best soph-colt pacer—Always B Miki.

Always B Miki first came to the attention of the public when he was second in The Meadowlands Pace. Leaving from post 9, he never saw the wood. He was six wide into the first turn and settled on the outside with cover but gapped that cover before putting on some speed after three-quarters. Then, he had to fan five wide and he closed strongly to soar home second. Hes Watching sat a perfect trip, going second over late, came out and rolled home following tired ones, as the tremendous fractions forced horses to walk the last hundred yards.

Always B Miki was better than Hes Watching in the “Pace” and is now superior to most in the Monument Circle field. Hes Watching is not in the field at Hoosier Friday. After a few terrible, though predictable losses following the Pace, Hes Watching may be done for the season.

When Hes Watching won the Pace, we still considered Jk Endofanera the division’s leader, a status greatly disagreed about among many insiders, all of whom embraced the Pace winner and practically anointed him with the divisional crown. No one saw the Pace win as opportunistic, except us, and we went on to beat Hes Watching while he burned bettors’ money.

But “Jk,” lost in the smoke of the Pace fractions, went on campaigning successfully after losing the Pace and is still kicking, coming off some wins as he faces the Monument Circle field.

Also in the Monument Circle is our Little Brown Jug winner, Limelight Beach and Windy City Pace winner Big Boy Dreams, who is another Crown ineligible but hardly makes the cut compared to “Miki” and Jk.

Six of the colts are from the Ron Burke barn but only Jk appears to be in the direct path of Miki for the lion’s share of this purse. Winning this race would put trainer Joe Holloway and the connections of Miki into serious conversations about supplementing Miki to the Crown.

Miki is 10 for 17, many at Hoosier where the Indiana-bred devours any competition in his state division, but Miki has beaten some of the best and comes into this affair with $641,482 earnings, second only to Jk, who is just short of a million.

There is no way for us to suspect that Jk and Miki cancel one another out, leaving room for an upset, we simply see what we have seen all along being the core of the race. Jk will drop into the Crown box whether he wins this or not but seeing Miki’s name there depends on a forceful win in the Monument Circle and that is something we feel will propel a win here, even if his connections decide not to dig into their pockets.

It’s hard to assign a fair price to Miki but he may be more than usual considering the star-studded lineup and the Burke barrage involved.

The other non-eligible is Bluehourpower, one of our Indiana Sires Stakes winners two weeks back. Also in the field are Crown hopefuls At Press Time, Forty Five Red, Let’s Drink On It, Somewhere in LA and Jet Airway.


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

Cartoons by Thom Pye

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