• ‘Peelers’ Poised To Pounce; Colts Locked And Loaded

    POSTED Jun 1, 2011
    June sizzles and the standardbred world seizes the moment to add heat to the fire. All the news and wagering talk this next weekend has to do with See You At Peelers, (pictured left) arguably one of the greatest pacing fillies to come along in a while, meeting the glamour-boy pacers at Yonkers in the $300,000-plus Art Rooney Pace.

    The full-filly companion to the “Rooney” is the Lismore, held on the same program, Saturday, June 4. More soph-filly pacers battle at Pocono in the James Lynch Final. And in Canada, soph-colt pacers hitch to duel in the Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk.

    Other action features the soph-colt-and-filly trotters now covered exclusively at the Hambletonian Trail blog and reviewed at the Hambletonian Society website. Now, let’s look at the details for betting this weekend, including our usual attack on the no-takeout Pick 4 at Cal-Expo.

    Femme Fatal For ‘Rooney’ Fellas?

    The undefeated New York-bred filly See You at Peelers has won 15 straight and has nothing to prove but that she can take on the opposite sex, five colts entered for Yonkers Raceway’s Art Rooney Pace, a one-dash-for-the-cash on Saturday night, June 4.

    Her male foes for the 21st edition of the Rooney are A Rockin Hanover, Avenue Hanover, Line Officer, Rollwithitharry and Vincent Fra. There are three caveats about this battle of the sexes.

    First, Line Officer, Rollwithitharry and See You at Peelers race as a common-ownership entry. This does not make wagering so appetizing. With such a small field the coupling offers just three betting interests.

    Secondly, the male entrants are still-improving sophs, not from the top of the list of expected greats from the crop. “Peelers,” in other words, doesn’t have much to beat. Big Jim, Shadyshark Hanover, Custard The Dragon, Powerful Mist and other glamour boys making noise this season are not in the June 4 race (see Mohawk story below), so it will be hard to get a true measure of her prowess against the boys.

    Thirdly, unlike thoroughbred racing, it is not uncommon for girl pacers or trotters to beat the opposite sex, even in high-profile races. Peelers may have what it takes to whip the best of the crop but we won’t know in the Rooney unless she utterly destroys the few involved. She is, however, the first girl to race in the Rooney since its inception in 1989.

    Jimmy Takter trains Peelers. He told Yonkers’ Frank Drucker, “The timing worked out for her to go in the Rooney. We made her eligible to the Lismore but there didn't figure to be eliminations for the Rooney, which was obviously what we needed since she was racing this weekend. Besides, this is a very prestigious race.

    “I think she’s as good on a small track as anybody right now and she deserves a chance to prove it. Over the winter we talked about racing against the colts at the Little Brown Jug and that’s our plan. We felt the Rooney came at a very good point in her schedule to face the boys. She has grown and you can race her any way; on the lead, off the pace;she just has tremendous talent.”

    A field of seven fillies battle their own in the $197,634 Lismore Pace. They are: Block Party, Celebrity Dollfin, Character Flaw, Cold Mist, Dreamland's Roxy, Honky Tonk Woman and JK Owhatanite. We have been behind Honky Tonk Woman at two, when she was good, but she is developing at three and her recent efforts make us take her here at a price.

    ‘Somebeach’ Battles

    Saturday, at Mohawk, what used to be the Burlington Stakes is now an event named after the super-colt Somebeachsomewhere, now retired to stud. There are three, $100,000 divisions on June 4—races 3, 7 and 9. This is where the top glamour-boy pacers roam as Peelers preps for meeting them at Yonkers. These guys are aimed at the $1.5-million North America Cup elims on June 18, with elims on June 11.

    Big Jim goes in the first split and appears to be in fine shape after a big New Jersey Classic victory at the Meadowlands. If you believe him, key him with our “Hempt” choice, Powerful Mist.  

    The second division looks good for Lookinforadventure. He was all out against “Jim” and improving enough to back here, though it is hard to tell what odds he will offer.   

    Division three may be owned and operated by Shadyshark Hanover, who won’t have to deal with Jim here and who is bound to be much sharper than the colt who let a 99-1 shot nose him for second in the New Jersey Classic. He is a great exotic key here. Use Roll With Joe in any combo with him.

    ‘Lynch’ Mob

    The $250,000 James Lynch Final for soph-filly pacers at Pocono on June 4 is bound to be a bettor’s splurge for Some Girls Do. Ron Burke’s filly, already a winner of over $128Gs, will be hammered at the windows.  

    If you wish to key her, use Kayla’s Dream and Live Inspired. The latter could upset. Trainer George Teague, Jr. took the companion event for colts with Custard The Dragon, so a poetic double is on the table, so to speak.  

    Cal Exotic

    The first June no-takeout Pick 4 at Cal Expo from Race 9 through Race 12 is a combination of strange entries for those of us following these horses each week. Certainly in this case we emphasize playing some of these horses to win, watching for some big odds. This could be gigantic if it turns out to be the mess of upsets we spy.

    Race 9
    (7) Town Of Lodi is a whopper to begin this, no less as a single. But this is the only horse with a flare sent up last race. “Lodi” was 41-1 and dueled hard with the dead-on favorite, only to tire badly. But that burst of speed could wipe this group out if used sparingly.

    Race 10
    (6) Dani California has done well in the past among this ilk and is, like our first single, a horse that sent a strong message last race. “Dani” at 9-1, brushed strongly early and made up 7 lengths before losing faith. Could he beat (2) Dudi’s Angel? Sure, but you may add that one since the ticket is jammed with longshots.

    Race 11
    (2) Falcon Forte N could come right back off of a 3-1 win and do it at higher odds. Meanwhile, use (7) Know The Pro, since he dueled early for the lead with a flash of fire that could turn the tables here; and he did it at 69-1.

    Race 12
    (7) Heavy Pockets was only 6-1 but his early speed puts him in the must-use category here. The only worry is (9) Jeano, who looked like a contender last week but was scratched.

    If you want to use all of these, the 7/26/27/79 ticket cost $8 ($1 ticket).

    (Ray Cotolo assisted in this edition.)
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