• Alpha Trotting, Pacing Males Joust

    POSTED May 9, 2012

    Two big finals, each for the older, stronger and sometimes wiser divisions of standardbreds, highlight the stakes action this coming weekend. The pacers pound the limestone in the Graduate Final and the trotters go at it in the A.J. Cutler Memorial Final at the Meadowlands on Saturday, May 12.  

    At the Meadowlands this Friday, May 11, soph-colt and soph-filly trotters aiming at the August classics go head to head in divisions of the John Simpson stakes, premium Grand Circuit events. These two affairs are covered in our exclusive blog, the Hambletonian Trail.  

    Get to TwinSpires for wagering all of the great races leading to the Hambletonian and “Oaks” and read all the result stories at Hambletonian Society’s exclusive “trail” section.  

    At Cal-Expo, TwinSpires-Cal-Expo’s exclusive no-takeout Pick 4 gets another once over from those of us seeking to take down the pool with the less-than-probable participants of races 12 through 15.  


    The $180,000 Graduate Final was nowhere near the trial older pacers withstood in the “Levy” marathon of legs last month but this field on Saturday, May 12, is quite the collection of muscle-bound steeds.  

    Our first choice is Bettor Sweet. This tried-and-true oldster cannot read the toteboard. When he is on, he barrels right by the best (remember last year’s Breeders Crown). Last week he raced well from a horrible post. With post 2 in this group, he will likely be in the mix and be poised to win over some hot contenders with his favorite pilot, John Campbell.  

    One of those is the winner we gave you in last week’s Graduate prep, Rockincam. Along with this year’s Levy champ Atochia and veterans Foiled Again, Golden Receiver (already eight for 10 this season) and a few other recognizable names, this could be one sizzling mile. Bettor Sweet has beat them before and could be in the spot to do it again.  


    The international crowd assembles for the A.J. Cutler Memorial with a purse of $210,000.  

    Coming back after peaking too late for a giant soph season, Big Rigs looks like he could be a big deal at four. He performed well, coming in second in the “Cutler” prep from post 7 last week. He gets post relief and will be one to beat.  

    Magnum Kosmos was scratched out of prep. His breaking problems at three left him in the division’s dust but when he was on stride he was on fire. If he has changed his ways and fires to the top here and can hold the lead from Winning Mister, we could be looking at a major upset.

    Cal Exotic

    Now, we go on to the May 11 no-takeout Pick 4 at Cal-Expo. This week, the legs begin with Race 12 and end with Race 15. Let’s look at some likely contenders that could make it a worthy hit.

    Leg 1
    (1) Wicked Tony carried his 2-1 backing to be second last week in a strong effort. The outsider, though, is (8) Mighty Fine Hi Ho. He brushed with courage, going deep into the outside path to finish second at 7-1. 

    Leg 2
    (7) Poorlittlerichgirl dueled on top after devouring 8 lengths from post 10 to get that far. She has popped a big number already this meet and is not getting the respect she deserves (she was 4-1 last week). (8) Tutiming Gal was hung to dry for two calls while second and stayed better than your average 50-1 shot. She could be a surprise here and is worth including.

    Leg 3
    (3) Doc’s Sea Lion was a strong choice, won for his backers and may repeat.

    Leg 4
    (6) Devilish Donnie is quite a warrior, always giving more than the betting public seems to expect of him. Last week he was second at 25-1. He may be less here but considering the lack of competition he may be worth less and still be a bargain..

    Ray Cotolo contributed to this edition.

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