Thursday, October 3, 2013

Glamour groups ride again; contenders bracing for ‘Crown’ elims

(BC) = Breeders Crown eligible
Sunday, Oct. 6, many historic victories of the past at The Red Mile come to mind for harness racing buffs. The Kentucky Futurity has been a main event since its inception in 1893. It’s an open race for trotting sophomores, colts and fillies, supported by a sister event, the futurity solely for fillies and uses a heats-format. 
The champions (winning two heats) have been mostly favorites and record-book names (Peter The Great, Super Bowl, Peace Corps, Deweycheatumnhowe, Donato Hanover, Muscle Hill, etcetera) but the heats have produced some strong win prices, usually delivered by winners whose names are long forgotten. The 2014 edition looms boldly and the search for defeating the early choice—Royalty For Life (BC-RC Royalty)—ensues.

Fourteen colts have entered into the main event, all colts, with each heat of seven worth $79,050.

The first heat finds Royalty For Life facing far less than he defeated in the Hambletonian, though a major foe, Master Of Law, not eligible for the “Crown,” is here to try to beat him once more. It seems unlikely that Royalty For Life won’t handle this bunch and be ready to take on the second heat and win the title. He will make it to round two in any case so to get any dollars out of this heat you will have to key him with unlikely scenarios.

Those would include Master Of Law third or out of the money entirely. Certainly Punxsutawney (BC-Glidemaster) may race well enough to be second, as should Deadliest Catch (BC-Chocolatier), who is our personal favorite to be second (the crowd should dismiss him).

Spider Blue Chip (BC-Andover Hall) should get a great deal of the win pool under his number but we are still looking at the overlay possibilities of Lindy’s Tru Grit (BC-Cantab Hall). We liked him last week and the crowd hated him (29-1) and he finished second to Your So Vain (BC-Donato Hanover), who is in this field and will be bet heavily as well as Spider Blue Chip. This is a good upset possibility and worthy of a shot and worthy of inclusion in all exotics.

The final will play itself out and probably go to Royalty For Life but we remain more interested in the heats. 

Nine fillies will race twice (barring any scratches) and we like one of them winning both of the heats and taking the filly championship. Oddly enough, our choice, which we feel may offer a decent price at least in the first heat, is a non-eligible. Classic Martine. Her recent races are sterling examples of being in great shape to topple the likes of the obvious public choices. Any great price on her will be offered in heat one, so we will take our shot with her where she may promise the highest price.

The Pocono Publicity Department released news on some eligibles that have prepped at the track with qualifiers on Oct. 3. 
Free-for-all pacing millionaires Warrawee Needy (BC-E Dee’s Cam) and Razzle Dazzle (BC-Real Desire) put on a dazzling show around the five-eighths mile track hosting the Breeders Crown elims on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12 and the finals on Oct. 19. Warrawee Needy got to Razzle Dazzle in a battle to the finish, a 1:50 mile. 
Warrawee Needy has been in Pennsylvania for two weeks and qualified last week in 1:52 last Thursday.  Razzle Dazzle has been absent from the racetrack for over two months. Warrawee Needy is now trained by Mark Ford. 
The magnificent soph-filly pacer, I Luv The Nitelife (BC-Rocknroll Hanover), who skipped racing at Lexington, defeated her qualifying field by 4 lengths for trainer Chris Ryder in 1:52.2. She is no stranger to Pocono, having won the James Lynch Final and the Valley Forge in 2013. 
Witnesses agreed that perhaps the most impressive mile of the day, when measured to divisional standards, was the 1:55.1 victory of the freshman trotting gelding Don Dorado (BC-Donato Hanover) for trainer Robert Baggitt, Jr. Don Dorado recently won the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes’ division.
Smilin Eli (BC-Muscles Yankee), still a strong contender amont the sophomore trotting colts, took the shortest way home to win his qualifier in 1:53.3 for trainer David M. Smith. And two-year-old pacing filly Rockincam Park (BC-Rocknroll Hanover) was untroubled on the lead in a 1:54 win for trainer Ron Coyne, Jr. 
Follow major BC hopefuls on their road to the October 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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