• Young Guns, Glamour Groups, Fire

    POSTED Jun 26, 2013

    Even though Pocono Downs gets the week’s top headlines with Saturday, June 29’s finals at the Pennsylvania oval next week, including another appearance by Captaintreacherous, the weekend agenda launches herds of freshmen onto the 2013 scene.

    Frosh-colt-and-filly trotters and pacers star in state-bred action on the East Coast and include many of the two-year-olds we have been reporting on in baby races. Saratoga hosts New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) frosh events on June 28 and the Meadowlands brings out the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) youngsters on both gaits that night and the following night, June 29. Freshmen show up for their initial battles of the season all around the U.S.A., including at Bangor, Scioto and Running Aces.

    The soph-colt-and-filly trotting events on the Hambletonian Trail are analyzed on the exclusive blog. This includes the Earl Beale, Jr. final, trotters in sires stakes and Yonkers’ Hudson Filly Trot eliminations.

    Our exclusive harness horses to watch (H2W) list from tracks around North America is short but sweet, presenting horses you need to take seriously at tracks around North America.

    TwinSpires offers special bonuses for Hoosier Park throughout the harness meet. Check out the Hoosier details here.

    Sun Stakes Sunday

    Pocono Downs' big program on June 29 features stakes finals and consolations.

    The Ben Franklin Consolation has five heading to the gate, with favoritism probably in the court of Sweet Lou. Favored in his elimination, Sweet Lou had no chance past the quarter, making a bad break. He’ll likely go to the front this week from the rail as will another horse, who will likely get a pocket trip. 
    On countless occasions, Bolt The Duer has shown his prowess only when he sits a pocket mile; such occasions include the Dan Patch and last year’s Adios. He’s poised to get away in the two-hole with his draw and with fractions that will come nowhere close to extreme, he will fly up the passing lane providing an upset. 
    Lonewolf Currier, a horse that received plenty of buzz heading into the “Hempt” eliminations, will be the likely choice in the event’s consolation. Good Day Mate sat a pocket mile in his elimn. He had no chance to move out of the pocket, seeing the fractions that were being posted. He showed he can keep up and will likely be placed well and have enough for the stretch drive. 
    Speed is the word to define the James Lynch Final. Ms Caila J Fra, Charisma Hanover, Shebestingin, Somwherovrarainbow and I Luv The Nitelife all have the ability to leave the gate quickly but getting the lead is the trick. With speed developing in the race, it provides us an opportunity for an upset. 
    Somwherovrarainbow will likely get a pocket trip in this cavalcade of speed. In the elim, she led the mile, while I Luv The Nitelife sat the pocket trip. Since I Luv The Nitelife drew to the outside here, it’s likely she’ll leave faster than Somwherovrarainbow. She races very well from a pocket trip and a slight Pocono bias has presented itself often enough to give the pocket sitter the greatest benefit. She’ll provide bettors with value and a good race. 
    The Max Hempt Memorial has become a major tango for the glamour-boy pacers over the last few years and 2012’s edition was won by A Rocknroll Dance, who proved to become one of the best in the division. This year’s edition has the already division-leading wonder boy, Captaintreacherous. A touch of drama for the “Captain” here is overcoming post 9. It will be a challenge but the Captain has shown how well he adjusts to the Pocono surface, as well as how cogently he meets all challenges. With many trying to beat him yet again, the Captain may offer great value (anything over even money). For more bang for your buck, there are two horses that will provide a big exacta, Emeritus Maximus and Johny Rock. 
    Emeritus Maximus (our choice that paid $19.20) won his elim with a pocket ride through monstrous fractions. He showed great fight heading to the wire and will be in the mix at some point nearing the wire here. As for Johny Rock, he was the one that set the monstrous fractions. Pacing his third quarter in :25.4, he came home in :27.3. He can race either on the lead or in the pocket, either way he’ll be big odds and near the top late. 
    Another race displays a giant speed scenario, the $500,000 Ben Franklin final. Razzle Dazzle, Up The Credit, Foiled Again, Pet Rock, Betterthancheddar and Dynamic Youth are the names that will likely launch off the wings of the starting gate. This race will likely set up for a pace stalker rather than a deep closer. No other horse’s resume fits this position other than Modern Legend. He has been flying late in his last three miles, two of them being world records. He drew a good post to close from and will likely have cover to ride into the stretch and he’ll do his thing from there. 

    Freshman Frenzy

    On Friday, frosh colt pacers go around four turns in $45,000-plus divisions of the NYSS at Saratoga plus the Excelisor Series features froshes. These are tough races to handicap, as most performance lines consist of qualifier miles. Let’s go through each race with brief comments.

    R2 Excelisor Series—Bettor On Top; Ontario gelding has raced with winners.
    R4 NYSS—American Tower; should improve and close on this fresh speed.
    R5 Excelisor Series—Southwind Scorpion; has the practice to win at first kick.
    R6 NYSS—He’s Watching; great style, late kick could out-maneuver these.
    R7 NYSS—Great American; prepped great at farm with long journeys, ready.
    R8 Excelisor Series—Miracle Jjabe; big overlay with great early form.
    R11 NYSS—I’m All Heart; Schnittker student is in top shape.

    The Meadowlands’ NJSS presents frosh colt-and-filly trotters on June 28. Let’s go through these races with brief comments.

    R2 NJSS—Fortunes Of Fables; Muscle Hill babies should excell, especially on the Meadowlands mile.
    R4 NJSS—Before I Die; bettors may overlook this youngster whose sire sends out lots of young winners.
    R11 NJSS—Chocolate Day; ditto on R4 comments about sire, though this one is bound to be a short price.

    H2W Legend

    Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track to decide how you will use the information. The list has shortened as the stakes season ensues but still offers the best possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races.

    The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means that horse is appearing on the list for the second (and last time) because it failed to win the first time it appeared.

    An “ae” signals the horse is entered but on the also-eligible list (so it might not get into the race). Multi-horses may be listed in the same race.  Horses from previous lists that are not racing this week will no longer appear until they are confirmed in a race.

    Wagering on any of the H2W listed horses is based on your own judgment. Your handicapping skills should include decisions to wager to win, place, show or in exotics. If you have any questions about the H2W list, send them to us through the TwinSpires blog channel. 

    6/29/13, +Cheyenne Cam R4; + Gerald N Sam R12

    6/27/13, Innovation R4
    6/28/13, +Too Tall Tamarac ae R2; Guts N Glory R11; The Riddler R12; Really Lucky R12

    6/29/13, +Timer R1; +Lost Photo R4; +Misty’s Dignity R7; +Majestic Duke R10; +Mj’s Victory R11; Columbia Art R13; +His Eminence R13
    6/29/13,Hillbilly R3; +Victory Connection R4; Diamond Amber R8

    Running Aces
    6/29/13, + Parthenon R1; + Furious Five R2; Twentyone Guns R9

    6/29/13, +Vodkas Terror R3; +Daydreamin Lynx R6; +They Call Me Brice R6; +Mighty Art R7; Prince Argental R12

    6/28/13, +Keystone Howie R3 
    6/29/13, +Lislea Bonita R1; Fourth Page R7
    6/28/13, Ee Bay 8
    6/29/13, +Dontstiffthevet R10
    Ray Cotolo contributed to this edition.

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