Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fiery speed on The Red Mile in Bluegrass Stakes

The Red Mile hosts another powerful Grand Circuit meeting in Lexington, Kentucky for two weeks and the first Friday program features eight divisions of the lucrative Bluegrass Stakes.

The Walnut Hall, LTD Bluegrass for two-year-old colt trot offers five races handling the 41 entries and freshman filly pacers split three ways in the Crawford Farms Bluegrass (BG).

The first colt-trot BG, worth $78,400, marks the return of Centurion Atm, the Peter Haughton Memorial winner and 2015 winter-book favorite for the Hambletonian. The colt appears to have it all over this group, though two others have won as many races. Watch for improvement from Whataworkout, who is one for one and may be packing heat yet to be displayed.

In round two ($78,400), undefeated Billy Flynn looks for his eighth-straight win while facing the four-for-nine Ray Schnittker colt Gabe The Bear Dean. Perhaps those two should fear Muscle Diamond, who has a clear shot at an upset? We like the Muscle Hill colt who has yet to pull the plugs on his speed.

For $79,400, nine colts go in the next BG event on the program. It is difficult to look beyond Habitat, who we backed in the “Wellwood” and whose performace was breathtaking, to say the least. He may have what it takes to go all the way in the late-season stakes. The RC Royalty colt, Wings Of Royalty, should also be in the mix prominently.

Next for the colts at $78,400, a pick of the public’s (and ours) in a New York Sires Stakes Final, Crazy Wow, looks to take on colts from other states in this BG. Jimmy Takter’s Uncle Lassie returns to find a better gait and both of these colts, joined by Guess Whos Back, will get plenty of betting action. That leaves us with an outside chance of an upset with Iron. The Frank Antonacci-trained colt from the productive Cantab Hall, tries his third pari-mutuel race and could be a lot better than the first two. His price will not be negotiable, which is great.

The last colt-trot, also for $78,400 with eight at the gate, has the Ron Burke-conditioned Piercewave Hanover ready to suck in all the win-pool dough. But Ake Svanstedt’s Smart As A Whip may be a lot faster than his five-eighths mile mark, his maiden win, and with a Burke and a Jimmy Takter in the field (The Bank), Ake’s steed should offer some bucks.

Seven frosh-filly pacers go for $95,200 in the first of the BGs for the green gals. Burke’s filly may rule the win pool here, too, as Well Hello There appears superior to all of her opponents but one—Bettor Be Steppin. Joe Holloway’s student has been sharp winning and these two may not allow any large figures to light up the tote board.

For $96,200, the next filly BG pits eight against one another, with Burke’s Sassa Hanover sporting six wins in eight starts and a hefty bankroll. The “Rocknroll” blood flows through five of the eight (including Burke’s probable favorite). Takter’s Zip Code Envy leaves from the far outside but if she is getting better, she may get better than the best here.

The remaining filly BG ($96,200) may develop into a fine wagering race if three of the obvious choices don’t divide the win pool. Ross Croghan has a good one with Shakai Hanover and she may lose support to the Burke gals. If you are looking for a boost in exotics, try using Deli Beach, who may split rivals if they go too fast to the half—it’s a long stretch and there’s a lot of room to catch up.

Friday’s 12-race program gets underway at 7:00 p.m.

Photo of Lexington during Autumn by Tom Tanner


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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Milton Final tests pacing mares once more

These pacing femmes just keep rolling along and on Sept. 20 they roll for shares of $286,000 in the Milton Final at Mohawk.

After two eliminations settled the cast of this year’s field, 10 hearty side-steppers were eligible, including one also-eligible.

PP - Horse - Driver
1. Monkey On My Wheel - Chris Christoforou
2. Yagonnakissmeornot - Jody Jamieson
3. Krispy Apple - Tim Tetrick
4. Camille - Yannick Gingras
5. Shelliscape - Scott Zeron
6. Voelz Hanover - Randy Waples
7. Anndrovette - Tim Tetrick
8. Aunt Caroline - Ron Pierce
9. Summertime Lea - Sylvain Filion
10. Charisma Hanover - Doug McNair
AE: Ferrari Sena - Sylvain Filion

Last week we gave out one of the elim winners with Yagonnakissmeornot and she will be a threat in the final, as she is in top form at the dawn of Autumn. Her rush to the front over Rocklamation and Voelz Hanover eliminated the former from the final.

Anndrovette, always a danger to challenge, rushed to the top in her elim but had to stay wide a bit while getting the lead, a move that cost her a few precious steps at the wire.

Shelliscape came the farthest to get into contention and finished second. She was more than 12 lengths from the top when the race began and made them all up to lose by a neck to Yagonnakissmeornot.

Those three worked to get to the final but so did an elim favorite, Camille. She was the public choice in her elim and she wound up third, after Summertime Lea and the winner, Krispy Apple, neither which would have caught her had she not stressed to get the top early.

Camille may not be the favorite in the final and that is good for bettors looking for a bargain, because she is in the perfect spot to make amends for her rash speed move last week and win this year’s Milton at a decent price. As well as being a good win price, you might accept a key with Monkey On My Wheel second, which would pump up an exacta price, though putting Shelliscape and Yagonnakissmeornot in the second spot may also be a generous return.


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.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reynolds wraps frosh into groups at Tioga

Tioga Downs offers Grand Circuit racing for frosh pacers in divisions of the Reynolds Stakes on Sept. 12. The events are presented filly to colt through the card.

The top of the evening’s Reynolds finds filly pacers in round one for $25,503. There are only six in the field and just one is a Somebeachsomewhere product. Two for six in her first season, Deli Beach. She is looking at the November classic and may be a weak third choice here for the sake of obvious favorites.

The next Reynolds finds eight colts lining up for a purse of $23,077. We may all be stuck with the favorite, Mcardles Lightning, who we backed last week in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes final, where he was 37-1 and finished sixth. Here, however, he handles a lesser ilk and seems to be the best.

It’s back to fillies next, with a $25,903 prize. Stacia Hanover is unbeaten in three but the non-eligible Dobre Povedane can ruin that streak with a good enough trip. As long as she doesn’t challenge the choice head to head in any kind of duel, she could pull this off.

Another $23,077 affair for colts includes five maidens and two with single wins versus three-for seven Hall Of Terror. But the Well Said colt, Well Well Well has qualified a tick off of the best time from “Terror,” giving him a possible edge with a price to match.

Six fillies have to contend with Bettor Be Steppin in this $25,903 contest and she won’t be a juicy price, having raced with much better gals, even though she has one win to the four posted by Bugatti Beauty, who is a non-eligible.

Again for $23,077, colts go in the next Reynolds on the Tioga card. Dealt A Winner will be dealt the favorite card here but the Jim Campbell-trained Gallic Beach, the only Somebeachsomewhere guy in here has a shot at a better price, plus, he has more to gain as an eligible, where “Dealt” is not one.

The Reynolds nightcap features the colts left over from the cast of the evening; seven of them go for $22,677. Dragon Eddy should become the public choice but is ineligible to the classic. That leaves us with My Hero Ron, Paparazzi Hanover, Boris (zero for four) and Jk Allnitelong. The latter, by Bettor’s Delight, just graduated and it was his first race. He faces his second race meeting two maidens and not so many wins for the winners. He is eligible and may take another here with those edges and at a decent price.

Also on Saturday, two $35,000 eliminations for the Milton Stakes are on the Mohawk program. Sixteen of the best pacing mares of 2014 make up two eight-horse eliminations. The top five finishers from both elims advance to the $286,000 final on Saturday, Sept. 20.

The first elimination features millionaire-pacing mares Drop The Ball, Camille, Krispy Apple and Monkey On My Wheel, along with Aunt Caroline, Mattie Terror Girl, Summertime Lea and Jerseylicious.

The millionaires are acquainted with one another due to countless meetings over the past few years and their behavior usually dictates who gets the best of whom. Monkey On My Wheel is back home for Casie Coleman and this one has been working a lot on the half-milers. Returning to Canada and at Mohawk may remind her that she can trip through the early speed and the latecomers and pull an upset.

In the second elim, Rocklamation, last year’s Milton Stakes winner, defends her title. Rocklamation, our choice and a longshot winner last year, needs fiery front fractions and the big-dollar gals can provide that again. Ron Burke trains the six-year-old, who has earned over $2 million. But the richest mare in the field is Anndrovette, trained by P.J. Fraley, has made more than $3 million. The other seven are Charisma Hanover, Radar Contact, Voelz Hanover, Ferrari Sena, Yagonnakissmeornot and Shelliscape.

Anndrovette goes in and out of her best performances and perhaps it is time for a good gal who may be overlooked here to take control. That is Yagonnakissmeornot, who, like “Monkey,” has been competitive at Yonkers regularly. Let’s give her the support here, where she can get a good spot and save some ground to win while the others struggle with one-dimensional attempts.


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.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Pacers programmed for Saturday night action at Mohawk

The Grand Circuit remains stationed at Mohawk Racetrack heading into this weekend, with sophomore male pacers competing in two divisions of the Simcoe and both genders of freshmen pacers in a total of four divisions of the Champlain on Saturday, Sept. 7.

The opening division of the Simcoe also kicks off the Saturday action at Mohawk, featuring a sextet to start the early daily double. Although Western Vintage, off an eye-catching mile, and On Golden Ponder, off a 1:59.2 victory in the Kentucky Sires Stakes final, are entered in this affair, neither attracted our interest. Rather, Western Vintage’s neighbor, Winds Of Change, is the colt of interest.

Making his pari-mutual start in Canada this year, his talents resided on the New York Sires Stakes’ circuit, including the $255,525 Empire Breeders Classic, of which He’s Watching bested the division in 1:49.1. The speedy colt by American Ideal has back class and consistency; he puts in a good effort nearly every mile. Expect him to be a wild card in this event.

The second division, kicking off the late daily double, is anyone’s race. Melmerby Beach might certainly be the public choice fresh off his 46-1 victory against most of this group last week or Jet Airway may get play in hopes of redemption. Regardless, an improving son of Mach Three, who is known for being a speed-deviant, occupies the rail: Three Of Clubs. His most recent start was in the Carl Milstein Consolation, a race in which fast fractions were set that assisted in his 13-length pursuit for the show spot. Off a break, he could be ready to fire at first asking.

On the freshman spectrum, two divisions of the Champlain are carded for the colts and two for the fillies.

Class will likely be the voice of reason in regards to the public’s moves in the colt events, due to the Metro Pace, contested last week. This race features two finalists: Lyons Levi Lewis and Dudes The Man. Also in this event is Freedomformysoul, who makes his second start off a short break. In his return, he rode the pylons and finished third in 1:52 with a :27.1 final quarter. This race seems like one that would set up for a pocket-sitter to slingshot by competition and, from the rail, that horse might be the Nancy Johnasson trainee.

The second affair is one where there’s difficulty in trying to beat the class, Lyons Again and Traceur Hanover. That being said, we favor Traceur Hanover more in this event, due to him defeating similar stock back in the Nassageweya. Yet, Jake Blue Chip seems like an interesting colt in this race, as he’s improving with each outing. Expect that duo to be sharp in this episode.

New-gal-in-town Shes A Hot Mess will contest against Happy Becky and Shakai Hanover in the opening division of the Champlain for the gals. Coming in off an impressive victory against conditioned stock, she is the underdog of this group. Yet, because of her astonishing mile last week, she could also attract money. Nonetheless, we feel that she’ll be value in this event and has potential to improve into a nice filly.

The other filly split seems like a match event between Solar Sister and The Show Returns. Redeeming herself with a 1:52 victory in the “Great Lady” consolation, The Show Returns might be ready for a rise to the top. Even if that’s not the case, she is the one to beat this weekend if a similar performance is in the making.


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.