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.