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.

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.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Entries for the $6-million Breeders Crown finals were revealed on Oct. 16. There are 145 entries for the series.

There was one big surprise; pacing mare Put On A Show was one of 10 pacers entered in the $500,000 Open Pace, a first in Breeders Crown history.

The other nine older pacers, all males, are Aracache Hanover, Bettor Sweet, Foiled Again, Foreclosure N, Golden Receiver, Hypnotic Blue Chip, Razzle Dazzle, Up The Credit and We Will See.

The $600,000 Crown Trot has only six older males, including division-leader Chapter Seven and foreign invitee Commander Crowe. Former "Crown" champ Arch Madness, Hot Shot Blue Chip, Daylon Magician and Mister Herbie are also in the field.

The following races will go straight to finals: $500,000 two-year-old Filly Trot with 10 entered; $500,000 three-year-old Filly Trot with 11 entered; $331,500 Mare Pace with 11 entered; $500,000 Crown Pace with 10 entered; and the $600,000 Crown Trot with six entered.

All other divisions have eliminations and there are some bye situations. Freshmen eliminations will be held Friday (Oct. 19) and the sophomore divisions requiring eliminations will race Saturday (Oct. 20). The first five finishers from each elim will advance to the final. Elimination winners get to pick their post position for the following week's final.

Complete elimination and final fields will be available when byes and elimination draws are finalized. In the Thursday morning TwinSpires harness blog, a bettors' analysis will be presented, along with additional wagering suggestions for the finals.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Trio supplements in the theater

Making the deadline for supplementing to the Breeders Crown are two soph colts and a mare pacer.

In the glamour-boy pacing division, Michael’s Power will join the event, as will glamour-boy colt trotter Intimidate.

Mare pacer Rebeka Bayama also joined the show, making the Oct. 15 deadline.
Little Brown Jug winner Michael’s Power will have to do what he has not been able to do for most of the season in the biggest events, that is, he must beat foes that have readily taken him on over the course of the year.

Though he is the leading money-winner (Michael’s Power has earned $1,311,912 this year) for the division, he has far more confidence coming from his connections than he is apt to receive from bettors. If Sweet Lou and Pet Rock take part, Michael's Power has his work cut out for him.

Ontario-based Intimidate has raced recently in conditioned company but his connections put up the fee of $62,500 to face the monstrous success of Hambletonian winner Market Share, as well as recent Kentucky Futurity winner My MVP (those entries due Oct. 16), not to mention a host of other eligibles that have scorched the stakes scene this season.

Rebeka Bayama is a five-year-old costing $37,500 to race in the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. She won with our support on Sept. 1 at Mohawk.

Twitter accounts @FrankCotolo and @RayCotolo will be active real time during the elims and finals.
There will also be news and updates on Twitter using #BreedersCrown. Twitter users are encouraged to use the hashtag when tweeting about the event.

Facebook users can stay informed by liking the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack Facebook page.

Fans can also visit Woodbine’s Breeders Crown webpage, which features news and videos.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Northern lights: best of all divisions aim for Woodbine

The time has come for the connections of horses in all divisions to decide about racing in the Breeders Crown series Woodbine Racetrack. This means, aside from horses already eligible, decisions need to be made on foreign invitees and supplemental entries. 

The race program for the finals is Saturday, Oct. 27 in Toronto, Canada.  

There are no supplements for two-year-olds, so only eligibles will race. Meanwhile, all sophomores wanting to take part will cost their connections $62,500. The same price is listed for the Open Pace, while the Open Trot additions will cost $75,000, the Mare Pace fee is $37,500 and the Mare Trot fee is $31,250.  

Horses eligible to the Breeders Crown events have to officially enter by 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16.  

Eliminations for all two-year-olds, if needed, are on the Friday, Oct. 19program, while the three-year-old and open eliminations, if needed, are on the Saturday, Oct. 20 program, each with a post time of 7:30 p.m. 

The connections of elim winners get to choose their post position for the finals.
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.

Who’s who?

It is still up in the air if Michael’s Power will supplement to the big event, the soph-colt pace. The decision must be made this weekend and the money, $62,500, must be delivered. 

Driver Scott Zeron has said, “Everyone wants to know what is next for Michael’s Power [after his Flamboro race on Oct. 13].”  

Perhaps other news in the division will inspire Michael’s Power’s connections? 

For instance, Bolt The Duer won’t be in the field. His connections have decided the colt isn’t up to it and are quoted as saying he “just wasn’t right.”  

As well, the fate of A Rocknroll Dance in the glamour-boy pacing “Crown” division is pending. A Rocknroll Dance will be going for throat surgery, according to sources, and may not be ready for the Crown cavalcade. Recently, A Rocknroll Dance has been disappointing, moreso than his post-position excuses can explain. The surgery indicates what many suspected, that something was off since he last made his usual charge in a stakes event.  

Put On A Show heads for Toronto off of an Oct. 9 race that broke the Pocono Downs track record for older pacing mares when she won in 1:49. The Chris Ryder-trained mare is wound tight for the Crown, having won 11 of 20 races this season with lifetime earnings of over $2.3 million.  

Keep up with the top horses in the divisions racing to the Crown at the Breeders Crown Countdown and read archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Back to the ‘Futurity’

The historic Kentucky Futurity and its sister event for fillies only are historic heat-racing events, so, as we are approaching the events as we usually do, concentrating on the heat divisions for our plays. May you have all the luck you need, no less get a good price, in the second heat.

In the first elim heat there are only six going.

Gym Tan Laundry has not lived up to our expectations after winning in Canada and proving we weren’t following him for nothing. That disappointment and the one after that puts him, still, as a 5-2 morning-line co-choice in this small field, which is far too little for us to become involved.

Little Brown Fox is certainly capable of wiring this bunch but he, too, has been wagered to death and coming up short to long-priced colts like Money On My Mind (see elim two).

This leaves us only one genuine upset contender in Another Amaretto. We have to assume that he will be the fourth choice, which is the same in the pecking order of the morning line. At 9-2 among these, especially with Archangel probably eating up the fractions with “Fox,” the short field could make those odds worth it.

Seven go in the second $114,300 elim heat, lead in the morning line (ML) by Guccio. We had him last week, though we expected a bit more of a win price when we made the call, but here we do not agree with the ML in terms of chances.

Tony Alagna has had My MVP in relentless pursuit of his division’s foes and picked up the third spot in the Hambletonian final and his elim. He is much better on a two-turn stage than shorter ovals and last week he already proved that he might be able to win staying closer to the top, without the mighty charge that allowed him to cash many checks.

Futurity Fillies

The first of the two elim heats has, in our opinion, a poor favorite in Chilitodayhottamale. She has not proven to be on a roll, even though last week she embraced The Red Mile surface with fire.

We are forced to look closely at Oasis Dream as the upset contender based on great performances against the aforementioned “Chili” and in the Buckette, where she was the dead-on choice but was short to Canadian Justice (the closer and here in post 2) and our huge longshot Fancy.

Superstar Hanover will get play along with Chili, giving“Oasis” more value.

In the second elim heat we are going to attempt a bold move by taking Bluff over Check Me Out. There is no way for us to incite an upset but Bluff has been getting better and Check Me Out comes into this on the wings of a very long campaign that could begin to wilt at any time, regardless of her domination over this division or the fact that her mentor Ray Schnittker said she will not race in the second heat (he is against heat racing). Still, she could be a victim of more aggressiveness that allows her to be nosed or headed and this may be a good time to catch that scenario, especially since she is more concerned with the Breeders Crown.

Last week Bluff lost, mostly due to a bad step at the start. She still wound up gaining ground to be third at a strongly supported 7-5. She has only to improve as she heads towards mare status.

Stalwart Seniors

Older pacers and trotters go in Allerage Farm features.

The first is for pacing mares and once again Drop The Ball is the early choice on the ML. However, her critical stop from scorched fractions last time, when we beat her with 23-1 Rocklamation, leaves her suspect in our book.

We feel Ginger And Fred has been racing better than her odds since August and can carefully stalk the hot pace here, getting enough real estate late to win as well as thwart the closing Rocklamation.

Next, the older trotting horses, six of the best, will shuffle and struggle, most likely trying to beat Chapter Seven. Linda Toscano’s monstrous four-year-old continues to beat older and here he has to deal with at least four others that are legitimate foes.

Wishing Stone is back from his oversea journeys where he has been productive against the best in European trotting. He is fresh and, of course, he is a veteran of the track, where he won the Kentucky Futurity at three in 2010.

He could be dismissed based on all the facts that should make him a strong contender. That is, the crowd is more aware of “Seven” and Mister Herbie in location and recency and Arch Madness and Hot Shot Blue Chip will share some win money. This leaves Wishing Stone in a probable overlay spot, one which can easily lure our wager.

The mare trotters are next, with Cedar Dove again at the head of the ML line. But this is a very tightly matched bunch and a personal odds line that could be written accurately would go through many drafts. We wish to pass.

The horse pace presents the usual suspects, each guilty of being courageously competitive all season. With Betterthancheddar pulled from the event and in question for the Breeders Crown, we see little reason not to hand this one over to Golden Receiver.

He is arguably the best of the division this season, if only by a mere point, and if he lives up to his ML at 9-2, which is the third choice, he is certainly worth backing.

Keep up with the top horses in the divisions racing to the Crown at the Breeders Crown Countdown and read archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sophomores end September at Red Mile

The first weekend of Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile ends as does September, 2012, on the 30th. More Bluegrass stakes adorn the program. 

Soph-filly trotters launch the card, with $69,700 on the line for a field of six. All but one have scored a single time and two come from the “Jug” meet with wins. 

Bluff and Canadian Justice want to maintain their winning streaks and do so against probable choice On The Bright Side. If you can get a satisfactory price on Bluff, take her to win again. 

Seven gals go in episode two ($70,700), all out to beat Win Missy B. Out of the 3 hole, Personal Style may be the best value.  

Another $70,700 split for the gals brings Check Me Out to go against six others that have had no luck beating her if she doesn’t break. So watch this one, which should be a modest prep for the Breeders Crown appearance of Check Me Out. 

Glamour-boy trotters have their own trio of Bluegrass events on the program.  

In the $75,000 first round, it is about time for Guccio to step up and win. He may also be the value bet here, since Muscolo comes from a victory at Freehold and Magic Tonight will not be a longshot any longer. 

For $76,000 six boys have to deal with Little Brown Fox, arguably the best here. However, he will get a lot of action and could be challenged by Gym Tan Laundry. That one had a very bad race last out in the trot classic but cannot be dismissed here off of that effort, which could be an anomaly.  

In the colt nightcap, worth $76,000, Big Chocolate may deserve favorite status but we have to look at Beer Summit, who has been far more competitive with the first-stringers in this division than the rest here. And he could bring a decent upset price. 

Keep up with the top horses in the divisions racing to the Crown at the Breeders Crown Countdown and read archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.


Pocono gets 'Crown' series in 2013

Stay tuned for Sunday, Sept. 30 Bluegrass analysis' at The Red Mile.


The Breeders Crown series will be held again at the record-breaking Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs’ five-eighths-mile red oval on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. The historic track hosted the series in October 2010, and was the first track to host all 12 races, worth $6 million, in one night. Fans from as far away as Canada, California, and Florida lined the apron to witness history in the making and several world records.

“Due to the huge success of 2010, we are excited to host the 2013 Breeders Crown,” said Vice President of Racing Operations Dale Rapson. “The Hambletonian Society Board of Directors has stated that they felt that the 2010 Breeders Crown, held at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, was one of the most successful ever held. They are as enthusiastic to come back as we are to have them. Of course, this cannot have happened without the ongoing support, participation, and cooperation of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association.”

Tom Charters, president of the Hambletonian Society, was also enthusiastic about the partnership.

“The opportunity to return to Pocono Downs in 2013 is very exciting,” he said. “Mohegan Sun and the Pennsylvania horsemen (PHHA) were terrific hosts in 2010. Building on that memorable record-breaking night, the Hambletonian Society is looking forward to partnering with them again on what will be a spectacular event for the entire harness industry.”

Sam Beegle, president of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association, announced that the PHHA would award a $1 million bonus if the same horse wins the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot, the Colonial Trot, and the Breeders Crown three-year-old colt trot.

The 29-year-old Breeders Crown series has typically crowned champions in every division for trotters and pacers and a Breeders Crown trophy has become one of the most coveted honors in harness racing.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pacing mares in Milton at Mohawk

The older pacing mares division is a near-exclusive club by this time of the season. As a tight group of four-year-olds and up battle in only a handful of big events, the group also competes in opens and invites other weeks, each femme clawing her way to the Breeders Crown for the last big breath of glory this year (and for some of them the last competition they will endure before taking on the role of boordmare). 

At Mohawk on Saturday, Sept. 22, some of the top mares in the division (the group was absent from all major affairs at the Delaware, Ohio meet last week) fight for pieces of the $384,000 purse of the Milton Final.  

Morning-line favorite Put On A Show will leave from the rail and get a lot of wagering attention. But she will have to have some help from trip and luck to win this one. 

The division hails no domineering femme and so it goes that the morning line is spread between the latest fiery dames. 

Drop The Ball gets second-choice status on the line, with Anndrovette third and Rebeka Bayama fourth. 

Though none of these proposed prices are unfair on any line, it does seem that gals like Krispy Apple and Rocklamation are especially high and will offer a lot. 

Both of those mares finished third in their respective Milton elims but Krispy Apple appears to be the dangerously placed mare in this group. Her recent performances are flowing with excuses. She has been less productive at four racing against older mares but nonetheless she bears resemblance to the kind of upset property we like. 

A good priced overlay, then, is in order.  

Sept. 22’s New York Sires Stakes finals at Yonkers will host any number of Breeders Crown eligibles. We looked over the big races and found which eligibles we liked at a decent price.  

The sophomore-filly pace final may interest you, as Ramalama gets another shot to beat the big choices. She is a guaranteed longshot going here and she has been showing enough spunk lately to have gotten into this final (she is only one for a dozen in the win column this year). Trainer Richie Silverman has had to deal with some tough competition in this division, most of which are here. With Jim Morrill, Jr. going from post 4 and a little luck on the half-mile she could pull this one off. 

In the three-year-old colt trot, Archangel will be bet to the utmost last penny, leaving room for Coraggioso to go off at a decent price. He may get a slight edge since Archangel has to negotiate leaving from post 8, which can cost him a step or two at the end at Yonkers. 

How to beat Heston Blue Chip in the soph-colt pace is a chore. But if Major Bombay stays in the race after failing only days before in the Little Brown Jug, he may be best from the rail, even if it is a hair or a nose.
Keep up with the top horses in the divisions racing to the Crown at the Breeders Crown Countdown and read archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

‘Jug’ week co-features loom boldly

Some of the season’s top trotters and pacers from divisions other than the two featured in the Jugette and Little Brown Jug battle for cash and prestige during the Delaware, Ohio meet’s biggest days of racing, Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 19 and Sept. 20. 

Earlier in the Jugette program on Sept. 19, soph-filly trotters go in two $51,000 divisions of the Buckette. The first division has eight relatively unknown division members, with a soft early choice, Oasis Dream.  

We offer a shot with Miss Fidget, Ed Lohmeyer’s filly driven here by John Campbell. The filly’s last race was marred by a break but coming off of five races at five different tracks she was sent off in a classy state-bred at Yonkers at 7-2. We feel she will be dismissed by bettors while still deserving a shot in a field not swarming with talent, to say the least.  

In Buckette two, the magnificent Maven may very well snap a track record with Yannick Gingras pumping her from start to finish. She appears to out-class this field by a mile, making it difficult to play against her to win. As a key, you may want to hook her up with Miss Chip K, who danced with the femme stars in the filly Zweig and was a close third. 

On Sept. 20, soph-colt trotters charge in The Old Oaken Bucket. There are only eight colts here and none of them have seen their names on the marquee during main events for the division. So, the $125,800 purse should be making them and their connections drool. 

The public choice will be Fusion Man, coming off of a major Kentucky state-bred final, his second win in a row at The Red Mile. Jeff Smith’s colt has done little wrong in eight races this season, though he has not taken on the best of the breed. 

Frost Bites K, however, has been in the thick of the top colts this season and though he failed to get a berth in the Hambletonian he has readily taken on that group. His most recent win is at the Meadows where he was overlooked at 14-1. Post 7 in a field of eight could turn some people off, which is great for the win price.  

Older trotting mares take the forefront in the $153,000 Ms Versatility Final. This thin division still has some kick to it, but at this point in the season, which ones are the outsiders? 

Cedar Dove will probably indulge in driver Ron Pierce’s urging to get to the top early but a lot of people will be concerned considering the mare’s last two races. She quit in both, although last week she did have an excuse. Beatgoeson Hanover was awesome at Vernon, passing Cedar Dove. However, pulling off that trip on this oval is not so easy. As well, Action-Broadway was also in that mix, hanging badly to finish fifth.  

The dangerous speed is Frenchfysnvinegar. Should she out-gun Cedar Dove to the top or be quick enough from post 7 to get a spot second, she will make a three-quarters move that will be filled with trot from saving ground. That is the scenario to follow considering most bettors will dismiss this speedy seven-year-old. 

Keep up with the top horses in the divisions racing to the Crown at the Breeders Crown Countdown and read archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.
Cartoon by Thom Pye


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kentucky conflicts at Indiana Downs

Indiana Downs presents a few events with Breeders Crown hopefuls in freshmen divisions. Filly pacers highlight the Kentucky Stallion Management stakes, while colts go in splits of The Elevation, all on the Sept. 15 program. 

The Elevation’s first division hosts six with a purse of $89,600.  

From the 6 hole, He Rocks The Moon is from the red-hot Tony Alegna barn and one of three sired by Rocknroll Hanover. He has won two of six starts in his first season of pacing and should take to the Indiana mile well after taking a mark of 1:53 on a five-eighths track.  

The second Elevation field features seven and is worth $90,600.  

Raise The Gin was sixth in an Indiana Sires Stakes Final here last week but can’t be faulted for that. The seven-for-10 winner by Always A Virgin has enough speed to take a shot at dominating the other six here if he leaves with the kind of power his sire often demonstrated.  

The filly pacers go first in the $118500 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stake, division one. 

The Somebeachsomewhere-daughter from post 1, Exotic Beach, is still a maiden but there is no reason she cannot change that status in this event. She is worth the shot at a price. Her qualifier mark will turn bettors off, no doubt, and the obvious Always About Katey should get favorite status with five of six wins on her side. 

The second Kentuckiana split offers $117,250, with seven on the gate. 

Nikki Beach, another Somebeachsomewhere product, has been racing with a lot better and should be among the top three on the board, hopefully the second or third behind Ohmybelle and Donna Lee.    

Keep up with the top horses in the divisions racing to the Crown at the Breeders Crown Countdown and read archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Big guns still firing in Canada

The Grand Circuit concludes at Mohawk with three big affairs. There is a pair of Champlain Stakes for frosh pacers of both sexes and a Simcoe Stakes soph-colt pace.

The $252,521 Simcoe Stakes brings together a few stars and a few new faces from the glamour-boy pacer division. All in all there are a dozen going behind the gate.

It may be a giant task for our hero, A Rocknroll Dance, to handle the traffic while leaving from post 12. Although it is the second tier he will be instantly trapped and challenged as the wave of speedballs before him take flight early. As well, Michaels Power will shave fractions to look for a good spot, if not the front, early.

Even if the speed divides itself differently, this looks like a mile that can be won handily from the mid pack with a move as late as midway through the journey. We see it as an event rife for an upset. This is why for the first time since we nabbed Simply Business as a longshot (in last year’s Metro Stakes), we are going to back him here. He is the classiest of the top seven as they line up and Ron Pierce will drive with his usual relentless dismissal of traffic.
The first of the two Champlains is for frosh-filly pacers and is worth $226,763. Hot-streaker I Luv The Nitelife is here, from post 11, and will get a load of dough to win.

Parlee Beach has had two disappointing outings with excuses. We feel Bob McIntosh’s student, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, is yet to give us a profile of her power. She may do that here and do it without the public support she has received in her last few outings. The public is fickle and with the likes of what she is up against here we feel the public could abandon her just as she peaks to a big price win.

The colt pace is worth $261,829 and presents some Metro Pace co-stars bound to be bet upon heavily. Many people felt Odds On Equuleus may have won the Metro Pace but for a few steps missed in a late charge. Apprentice Hanover comes from tier two here but will still get a lot of support after his buoyant Metro Pace performance.

This leaves us with a suggested outside contender, Rockin Amadeus. No one expected his gutsy move in the Metro Pace, which assisted in the performances of the aforementioned as they went after Captaintreacherous.

Rockin Amadeus’ rocket move from post 7, getting firmly to the lead at 30-1, prompted Vegas Vacation to make a strenuous move to take the lead over. Then, “Amadeus” was trapped behind dead duelers as Johny Rock went nose to nose with “Vegas.”

There was no room to use whatever Amadeus has left in the stretch as the duelers backed up and the big guns closed but we made notice of that trip and under the circumstances in this field, like the chances of a Rockin Amadeus upset.  

Keep up with the top horses in the divisions racing to the Crown at the Breeders Crown Countdown and read archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cane Pace looming; Grand Circuit at Mohawk features primary players

The Big ‘Dance’ Rocks The Cane

Click here for Cane Pace essay, analysis ...

On Friday, Aug. 31, frosh-colt trotters battle for big money in the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk, part of the big Grand Circuit weekend (see TwinSpires blog for analysis of other major events). 

The first split is worth $140,914, the kind of purse most of these youngsters hope to see again as their careers ensue.  

Jim Oscarsson’s Aperfectyankee, who we gave you in the Peter Haughton and who won to become the 2013 Hambletonian future-book choice, is here and looking terrific; too good, in fact, to do anything but key in an exacta. There could be a decent return using Broadway Prince second. This developing youngster has good reason to be in this group and may be on his way to being a nemesis to the top choice into their soph seasons.  

The next split for the same division is worth $138,915 and Cool Victory could be the upset contender at a price. Although he has some breaking issues, he has done well despite the jumps and is well bred enough to improve once those young quirks are handled.  

Sept. 1 at Mohawk delivers some of our glamour-boy trotting pals from the Hambletonian Trail (cartoon by Thom Pye).  

The single split is worth $246,521 and we are all over Little Brown Fox.  

Hometown favorite Knows Nothing, who we beat last week with Presdigitator, also in this field, will get plenty of support, leaving “Fox” with a fair price. His loss to Googoo Gaagaa and Market Share was mainly a loss to the latter, who got a better trip while Fox cut the fractions.  

“Gaagaa” is not here and we feel Fox is much better than Knows Nothing on an even keel, so we should take advantage of the home-fans’ bias. 

At Pocono on Sept. 1 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes finals are worth $200,000. 

For top filly trotter Check Me Out, the soph-filly trot conclusion should be an afterthought. A pass is our choice. 

Soph-filly pacers bring us back to Economy Terror for a comeback off of a dull effort last week. She should be raring to go against this tepid group. 

More Hambo alumni from this season adorn the soph-colt trot final. My Mvp could continue to show great form now that his great form is winning him races. Frost Bites K may have some trouble from post 8 but demands attention in exotics. 

Finally, the soph-colt pace is a hometown showcase for Sweet Lou. He is the champ of the state-bred’s division and doesn’t have much to go up against here for some easy money—for him, that is, because bettors will be offered nothing.
Keep up with the top horses in the divisions racing to the Crown at the Breeders Crown Countdown and read archived result stories at Hambletonian Society and get your account at TwinSpires to keep up with all the great harness bets.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hambo boys, older pacers go for gold -- update on top pace and trot

The Hambletonian field final has once again shown the strength of the participants in other events. The August classic is usually considered a “key race” when the entire field, regardless of where they finished at the New Meadowlands the first Saturday in August, goes on to show their muscle in other classy events.
Saturday, Aug. 25, Knows Nothing and Prestidigitator are the Hambo has-beens that are sparkling after the fact.
Knows Nothing returned big, with Prestidigitator right behind him, in the event that brings them both to the $130,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final at Mohawk.
We liked Prestidigitator in the Hambo and we liked him last week. The crowd will be all over Jody Jamieson and “Nothing,” so we like Prestidigitator to win here, slightly overlooked in lieu of Nothing.
Also on the Mohawk card, the top older pacers go at it to earn a place in next week’s Canadian Pacing Derby final but contesting in a single mile.
Betterthancheddar, the Breeders Crown soph-colt pace champion from last year, gets the 8 hole against some others interested in this year’s classic.

Allthergltrsisgold has been responsive in Canada and looks to make a mark to prove he has the stuff that makes Breeders Crown heroes. This year’s event could be the spot for him, certainly if he wins next week, but even here against We Will See, Bettor Sweet and the aforementioned Betterthancheddar. Certainly a good price is involved if he manages to take this and go on to the final.


For updated betting analysis on the Aug. 26 Cane Pace elim at Tioga and the 'Zweigs' for glamour-boy trotters at Vernon that same day, click here.
You can make your bets at TwinSpires and you can follow all of the result stories at the Hambletonian home page.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Top earners look for big second half of season

As August hits midstream and the second half of the season gets underway, there is a lot of great wagering ahead for both sexes in both gaits of all the Breeders Crown divisions.  

We will be covering many of those races, concentrating on the eligibles (horses can supplement to an event if their sires have been nominated; click here for stallion nomination list for 2012). Along with our TwinSpires harness blogs, the previews for the weekends and the news and notes on Mondays), suggested contenders in events will appear, featuring our usual slant on finding prices that defy the obvious.  

Below is a list of the top money-earners in all divisions, as of Aug. 14. A “/ne” after the horse’s name means he must supplement to be involved this year. All others are eligible. 

Oddly enough, the number-one earner in all divisions this year, Michaels Power, will have to hope for a great second half of the season so his connections could consider supplementing him.  
This list offers no millionaires as of the date posted. On the precipice of a mil are the first two on the list, both sophomores. Three-year-olds stack the list, with 13 in the top 20; four in the top 10 are trotters, two of those sophomores, one of those a filly. 
Grand Circuit events could dominate the paths to the “Crown” elims. Top horses and more eligibles that can earn big dollars in the next few months will be featured at the Illinois fairs, the Delaware, Ohio Little Brown Jug meet and The Red Mile’s hosting of lucrative stakes. 
Check the current TwinSpires harness blog for some of the horse below racing Sunday, Aug. 19 and return here often for updates and insights as the Breeders Crown Countdown progresses.

Check the current TwinSpires harness blog for some of the horse below racing Sunday, Aug. 19 and return here often for updates and insights as the Breeders Crown Countdown progresses. 

All-aged top money-earners as of Aug. 14, 2012

Michaels Power 3cP/ne

-Market Share 3cT

-Thinking Out Loud 3cP

-Mister Herbie OhT-4

-Check Me Out 3fT

-A Rocknroll Dance 3cP

-Archangel 3cT

-American Jewel 3fP

-Golden Receiver OhP-7

-Foiled Again OhP-8

-Personal Style 3fT

-Guccio 3cT

-Time To Roll 3cP

-Betterthancheddar OhP-4

-Anndrovette OmP-5

-Bolt The Duer 3cP

-Chapter Seven OhT-4

-Pet Rock 3cP

-Rocklamation OmP-4

-Sweet Lou 3cP

-Win Missy B 3fT

-Heston Blue Chip 3cP

-Dapper Dude 3cP

-Atochia OhP-7

-Arch Madness OhT-8

-My Mvp 3cT

-Romantic Moment 3fP

Googoo Gaagaa 3cT/ne

-Put On A Show OmP-5

-Stormin Normand 3cT

Winning Mister OhT-6/ne

-Knows Nothing 3cT

Special T Rocks OhP-4g/ne

-Superstar Hanover 3fT

-Beer Summit 3cT

-Pembroke Heat Wave OmT-6

-We Will See OhP-5

-Maven 3fT

-Aracache Hanover OhP-5

Breakin The Law 3cPg/ne

-Little Brown Fox 3cT

-Daylon Magician OhT-4

-For A Dancer 3fT

-Tarpon Hanover 2cP

Dynamic Youth 3cPg/ne

-Camille OmP-4

-Coraggioso 3cT

-Major Look 3fP

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Poised to start the clock

The countdown begins shortly. This blog will carry its annual evaluation of Breeders Crown probables in major events leading to the classic series. This year, all 12 events are to be raced at Woodbine Racetrace on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Eliminations for three-year-old-and-up events, if necessary, will be programmed for Saturday, Oct.20. 

Eliminations for two-year-old events, if necessary, will be held Friday, Oct.19.

  • Open Trot: $600,000:
  • Mare Trot: $250,000:
  • Open Pace: $500,000:
  • Mare Pace $300,000:
  • 2-year-olds $600,000:
  • 3-year-olds $500,000: