Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yonkers Trot elims on tap

This Saturday, Oct. 18, the glamour-boy trotters get another shot at big money, as two $40,000 Yonkers Trot elimination divisions set the boys up for the final’s field on Oct. 25.

The final is worth $500,000, as the Yonkers Trot remains a major stake for the division, as well as a traditional staple in the stakes season.

Although Jimmy Takter trotters have a presence, the top dog in the division, his Father Patrick, is not in the elim mix.

Nuncio, however, is here, and will be leading the win-pool totals off of his $1-million-plus earnings, his eight-for-13 win record, the Takter name and driver John Campbell. Before the Kentucky Futurity, Nuncio played second fiddle to his stable mate Father Patrick. Nuncio won the Kentucky Futurity (a single heat this year) and arrives at this stakes elim with more than he has ever offered.

Once again, an Ake Svanstedt property may have a good chance of making Nuncio work for a win, if not be beaten. Dd’s Hitman has raced only nine times and has earned $56,803 for the efforts. He is getting better and if he brings his talent up a notch here, he could deliver a fine win price.

Exotic-wise, you may want to ignore the 8 hole for Trond Smedshammer’s Skates N Plates and use him as an element as Trond hands the reins over to George Brennan and will send “Skates” out hard looking for a berth in the final.

The second elimination has a few of the division’s second-string success stories in Gural Hanover, Hillustrious, Datsyuk (one of only two horses to beat Father Patrick this season if you don’t count the Hambletonian debacle), and especially Flyhawk El Durado. Though EL Titan is listed, the colt is also listed in the Maywood Galt Stakes on Oct. 17 (see TwinSpires harness blog). It is more than likely the colt will go in Chicago since drawing post 8 here.

Ron Burke handles Gural Hanover and Hillustrious, coming from the 1 and 2 post, respectively, so expect plenty of action on them. Datsyuk is bound to be among the top three public choices. But Flyhawk El Durado—a colt well acquainted with Yonkers—may not take as much support as he has in the past against New York-breds. Pound for pound, “Flyhawk” is probably a better horse than both of Burke’s and if he is third choice or worse there is no exception for us about who gets the win wager.  

Soph-pacing fillies negotiate for the Lady Maud Final’s field with two $20,000 elims on the same program. There are only five in round one and we like Fancy Desire in a romp. She may get to be second choice if Burke’s A La Notte Hanover picks up driver Brennan, who is listed on both fillies. It would be good to give Burke Brennan, it would boost our odds in this small field.

Six go in round two and it seems to belong to the obvious Act Now. This could be a great night for Brennan, who gets Act Now in this elim. As a key horse, Act Now may work well to pay decently in an exacta with Do Your Job.


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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