• The World Watches Harness Racing

    POSTED Aug 3, 2011
    High stakes and universal appeal rule during the first weekend of August at the Meadowlands, where the finest trotters and pacers meet in a single program, with the international trotting classic at the core.  

    Aug. 6 is Hambletonian day, featuring a rare daylight program at the New Jersey oval. It’s a special day when the world watches harness racing, an international sports event. It’s a special day for TwinSpires members as well; this is the day of the harness Players’ Pool. At press time you still can join in on the fun. The pool closes at 8 a.m. EST on Saturday. The action, and there is plenty of it, begins just after 1 p.m. if you are in the pool.  

    In this blog we will cover main stakes action for Aug. 6. Players’ Pool participants only, however, will receive a list of the actual plays from the pool. For the Hambletonian and “Oaks” coverage, see our Hambo Trail blog. Want to know what all these horses were doing up until now? View the archives for our coverage leading up to the classic trots as they appear on the Hambletonian Society’s web site.  

    We will be reporting live on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5 and Aug. 6, from the Meadowlands, with blogs and tweets, checking all the last-minute info, so follow me on Twitter

    Meanwhile, the races we like on Aug. 6, with suggested contenders, follow: 

    Race 1 $50,000 Townsend Ackerman

    1 EVIL URGES goes first over in almost every start but may get an easy trip from the rail. 

    3 WHATEVER IT TAKES beat Pilgrims Chuckie, who beat the best at the beginning of the year, in a qualifier in 1:55.1 (:26.4 final quarter). 

    6 ORLANDO finishes second to good horses a lot. He gets an advantage this week in a third-string field from his division.

    Race 4 $333,200 Merrie Annabelle

    3 MISS PARIS was so strong in the elim, on a rough surface, and should be ready to command this field.

    1 UPSIDE HANOVER was second to MISS PARIS. She gets a rail advantage and could complete the exacta again.

    5 AUNT MEL broke but recovered in her elim to finish fourth. She is on the improve.

    Race 5 $400,000 Peter Haughton Memorial

    1 BIG CHOCOLATE won his elim like a champ and cannot be denied as the key here.

    4 NO FROSTING, a full brother to Chocolatier, also the sire of “Big,” was third in his elim and gets a good spot here to go after the best.

    9 POSSESS THE WILL did well from the outside in his elim so the 9 hole may not be so tough a challenge. 

    Race 6 $174,250 U.S. Pacing Championship, Div. 1

    8 GIDDY UP LUCKY has been in some tougher battles and has successfully met the best of this class this season.

    1 DELMARVALOUS did well in an Open at the Meadows recently and can improve with rail. 

    9 ARACACHE HANOVER is one of the best in this field, making the 9 post a minor problem.

    Race 7 $300,000 Nat Ray Invitational

    4 ARCH MADNESS is bound to come back big on his home turf

    2 IL VILLAGGIO raced hung in “Maple Leaf” and then won an Invite. 

    3 HOT SHOT BLUE CHIP closed hard to finish third at 51-1 in the Maple Leaf. 

    Race 10 $75,000 Vincennes Invitational

    1 NEIGHSAY HANOVER draws inside and has a class edge having raced well against tougher horses earlier this year. 

    3 WIND SURFER always gets into the competition and may get good trip with the rail.

    5 WALDORF HALL makes productive two-wide moves and gets the best percentage-winning post at the track.

    Race 11 $272,500 Mistletoe Shalee

    2 IDYLLIC raced well in the prep, has resilient gait and is sharp now.

    5 ROCKLAMATION was second best to Krispy Apple, who suffers from the 10 post.

    9 MYLUVMYLIFE closed hard at 27-1 in the prep and can do the same from post 9.

     Race 12 $174,250 U.S. Pacing Championship, Div. 2

    1 HYPNOTIC BLUE CHIP is racing like he normally does again and loves this oval.

    3 ALL SPEED HANOVER shows large signs of life, closed hard in an Invite and gets post relief this week. 

    6 BETTOR SWEET may be the one to beat in here. 

    Race 13 $245,000 Lady Liberty

    7 ANNDROVETTE is having a grand season and should embrace this track.

    2 ON THE GLASS is the event’s defending champion and comes off a victory. 

    9 ROCK N SOUL made up 20 lengths in the Roses Are Red and can close hard enough to make a major impression.  

     Race 14 $102,750 Oliver Wendell Holmes

    6 POWERFUL MIST may have found the perfect field and conditions to show off.

    2 LOOKINFORADVENTURE is raring to have a winning trip.

    1 HIGH NOON may pick up a check by default.

     Race 15 $22,000 NW $17,500 Optional Claiming $60,000

    6 MR MASSIMO was sharp stepping up and has won well here before.

    7 VEAL MARSALA usually gets a piece of this kind of event.

    9 SOUTHERN SPORT has won in higher company and may embrace post 9.

    Friday Freshmen Plus

     On Friday, Aug. 5, the Meadowlands program is adorned with two-year-old stakes divisions and another Townsend Ackerman.  

    In the frosh-colt pace Niatross splits, watch for Little Nicky B and Marracardle as key plays. e fillies go in divisions of the Countess Adios. The first split presents a gal for whom we have a lot of early faith—Hallie Gallie. She is a daughter of the great racing mare Galleria, who loved the Meadowlands and she may pick up on the footing and deliver the speed that is her legacy. 

    Ramalama is the other filly with promise, though the public may pick up on her wildly.  

    More colts that will never be in a Hambletonian go in the first division of the Townsend Ackerman on this program. Live Jazz, the colt co-owned and driven by John Campbell, comes from post 1 . 

    Stay tuned.

    Follow me on Twitter for updates right to the last minute at post.

     (Ray Cotolo assisted in this edition.)


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