There are so many races that need attention in the 12 divisions that make the Crown, this year at Woodbine, that our coverage will spill into the “Countdown” blog from these weekly TwinSpires articles. Be sure to check the Countdown blog after you check this one for further race information. The results, as well, about eligible contenders, will be available regularly at the Hambletonian Society website’s area for the Crown.
Meanwhile, TwinSpires offers 10X points for Indiana Downs on Sept. 10 as the state-breds battle in their finals. We offer some suggestions to those events (see below) as well as we look at stakes activity at Freehold, Tioga (the Cane Pace and sister event) and Mohawk.
At Freehold on Friday, Sept. 9 four stakes involve two- and three-year-old trotters as the features on the card but only the sophomore events are wagering events.
$75,000 Charles Smith (soph colts) : Aladin AS (Chocolatier), Cat Manzi, Chris Scicluna, 10-1; Take Heart (Yankee Glide), David Miller, John Butenschoen, 5-2; Winuendo (Windsong’s Legacy), Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker, 7-2; Musclelaneous (Muscles Yankee), Mike Lachance, Ray Schnittker, 7-2; E L Rock (Yankee Glide), George Brennan, Anette Lorentzon, 9-5; and Muscles Malone (Muscles Yankee), Jeff Gregory, Frank Ingrassia, 7-2. Winuendo, Muscleaneous and Muscles Malone are coupled in the wagering.
$65,000 Helen Smith (soph fillies): Firstclassprincess (Classic Photo), Trond Smedshammer, Trond Smedshammer, 6-1; Taya’s Photo (Classic Photo), Jeff Gregory, Erv Miller, 5-1; Ilia (Windsong’s Legacy), Jeff Gregory, Linda Toscano, 8-1; Katie Done Did It (Windsong’s Legacy), Jim Marshall III, Donna Marshall, 9-2; Don’t Cry Lindy (Chocolatier), Cat Manzi, Linda Toscano, 5-2; Windsong De Vie (Windsong’s Legacy), Jim Meittinis, Oyvind Hegdal, 10-1; and Pure Barre (Classic Photo), Cat Manzi, Thomas Gonsalves, 7-2.
With the three-pronged entry in the “Charles,” the only chance for a price is with Aladin AS. He has not been around the division for the big bangs so far but could be fresh enough to use the wood and upset. As for the “Helen,” we hope that Firstclassprincess can go off anywhere near her morning line because she is the best here.
The cream of the Indiana-sires-program crop heads to post at Indiana Downs with lucrative finals (Indiana Sires Stakes). The entire card covers the divisions and offers TwinSpires players 10X points.
Our evaluation of the INSS finals could help you establish some wagers. Take these into consideration on Sept. 10’s 14-race program.
Trottin Tiger, whose four wins in seven starts got him to a prime spot here, drawing post 3, should rule frosh-colt trotters. Frosh-filly trotters come to roost with two high-percentage winners. However, the most promising is a winner of two of four, My Sweet Shiela.
The two-year-old colt pacers’ final field looks to break a seven-win streak, the product of Next Flight In. The strongest challenge to that, we feel, could be Fritz Bow, also from the sire Panspacficflight, who is looking for his fifth-straight win.
Free Girl, by a strong racing sire LCB, who wound up in a great Midwest marker, could make waste this field of gals in the freshman filly pacers’ final. In the frosh-filly pacing consolation, Sheza Cool Cookie leaves from post 10 and should be quite a price. This gal’s sire is the highly under-rated Mark Johnathan, whose small crops are quite productive.
Glamour-boy trotters present a contested field. We like RG Rocket as an upsetter among the top soph guys here, especially with stakes-rich-winning Dave Magee in the bike. Soph-filly trotting final wagering may offer some value with ABC Easter, considering the other two top-money earners should attract the most money. Dan Shetler (driver/trainer) has kept this filly in tune all season.
Soph-colt pacers have a standout in Flight Elal, with money-driver Pete Wrenn listed for trainer Jim Dailey. The three-year-old filly pace final features nine-for-10-winning Radar Contact (Shetler drives for trainer Charlie Stillings) and she should be the key to exotics with Ron Burke’s rank outsider Skyway Flight to boost the price.
The horse trot may be a great showcase for Earls Dreamofglory, who fits well here and is the lightest raced of the group this season. Go On BB should dominate the mare pacers for Ron Burke.
The first jewel of pacing’s Triple Crown, the Cane Pace, is at Tioga Downs this year. Traditionally, it has been delivered on a half-mile track (at Freehold for years) so expect a faster race from the glamour-boy pacers looking toward the Little Brown Jug and Breeders Crown.
Following is the field in post position order, with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Powerful Mist, John Campbell, Wayne Givens; 2. Townslight Hanover, Stephane Bouchard, Aaron Lambert; 3. Avenue Hanover, Daniel Dube, Mark Silva; 4. Eighteen, Corey Callahan, Ian Moore; 5. Shadyshark Hanover, Jim Morrill, Jr., Erv Miller; 6. Rollwithitharry, Morrill Jr., Jimmy Takter; 7. Betterthancheddar, George Brennan, Casie Coleman; 8. Roll With Joe, Tim Tetrick, Ed Hart; 9. High Noon, Mark MacDonald, Takter.
Roll With Joe doesn’t have it as badly leaving from the 8 hole as the position would have set him back on a half-mile. He has beaten all of these, most of which have been disappointments at one time or another during the season. Powerful Mist could be in a spot where he can show his best, which has not been displayed yet. Perhaps new driver John Campbell can help the colt rise to this occasion.
The Shady Daisy, again the co-feature of the “Cane,” has two divisions for the soph-filly pacers, the usual cast minus See You At Peelers. The battle between Krispy Apple and Some Girls Do could set up a win for Ms Malicious in the first division. That would be a decently priced upset.
Can driver Jim Morrill, Jr. sweep both divisions? We say he can and like What’s New Pussycat as our choice in round two.
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(Ray Cotolo assisted in this edition.)
Welcome to the TwinSpires Blog. Our contributors will be continually updating posts to offer commentary, insight, advice and expert opinions on horse racing and wagering. The goal is to help you win more and become a better all around horse player.
TwinSpires' horse racing author, handicapper, and podcast host, Derek Simon of Denver, Colo. offers his insightful, humorous and sometimes controversial take on the horse racing industry. He even publishes the ROI on the picks he gives out.
TwinSpires' harness racing expert, Frank Cotolo follows all of the big North American circuits throughout the year, providing the best value picks and latest news from the sulky.
The Director of Marketing for Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and astute handicapper, Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times.
A writer and editor who has been following horse racing for fifteen years. Peter has written books for the Daily Racing Form Press; Crown; and Simon and Schuster; among other publishers, and regular features in The Horseplayer Magazine.
A television racing analyst for Churchill Downs, Jill has earned acclaim and a loyal audience throughout Thoroughbred racing.