Meadowlands hosts single ‘Pace’ elim atop full weekend menu
Captaintreacherous, the bravado glamour-boy pacer, won’t be in the Meadowlands Pace eliminations this Saturday, July 6. The Meadowlands will, however, be the highlight of the weekend in the standardbred world with elims for the major event’s final next week, as well as two for older pacers going for the William Haughton Memorial championship.
The soph-colt-and-filly trotting events (Hudson Filly Trot at Yonkers, Reynolds Stakes at the Meadowlands and Pennsylvania All Stars) on the Hambletonian Trail are analyzed on the exclusive blog.
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.
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Meadowlands Pace Elim Examination
After a hard, well-earned, courageous win the Max C. Hempt Memorial last weekend at Pcono, Captaintreacherous will not have to earn his way into the final field of the Meadowlands Pace by racing in an elimination. He is one of three horses to receive a bye (he is exempt from qualifying for the July 13 final) based on seasonal earnings.
When a total of 13 horses entered the race, a single 10-horse elimination was all that was needed and it will be held Saturday night, July 6 at the Meadowlands. The top seven finishers join Captaintreacherous, Wake Up Peter and Twilight Bonfire in the final.
Here is the elimination field in post-position order:
Someplace Special, Johny Rock, Sir Cary’s Z Tam, Sir Richard Z Tam, Sunshine Beach, Resistance Futile, Lonewolf Currier, Rockin Amadeus, Beach Memories and Odds On Equuleus.
We have to endorse Johny Rock, who finds a shot here to become first-tier divisional material. His “Hempt” elim was a fine race but he could not handle, as most could not, the final field. The “Pace,” now a $600,000-and-change race, presents some horses that do not seem to be as sharp as he has been against some tougher groups.
Captaintreacherous’ trainer, Tony Alagna, said he was hoping for this scenario when he decided to skip the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes in Canada and focus on the North America Cup, Hempt and Meadowlands Pace. He won four races, elims and finals, of the first two and, undefeated in five starts at three, he has $808,293 in earnings.
“When we decided to go to the Hempt,” Alagna told Ken Weingartner of the USTA, “we thought it was possible the Meadowlands Pace could have only the one elimination and we would get a bye. Everything has just been falling into place … I have all the faith in the world in him – I know what kind of horse he is. He even impressed me and I’m not easily impressed. But that was a monster trip [he used to win the Hempt] … He came out of the race super; excellent.”
Captaintreacherous is the defending Pacer of the Year, winning that title as a two-year-old. He has won 13 of 15 races and earned $1.72 million for the ownership group known as Captaintreacherous Racing.
Alagna, who also trains bye-taking Wake Up Peter, winless in six races this year but still having earned $156,225 thanks to third-place finishes in the North America Cup and New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. Wake Up Peter will qualify on July 6 at the Meadowlands to prep for the Meadowlands Pace final while Captaintreacherous will relax.
Twilight Bonfire, the other bye-earner, has a win in four starts this year and finished second in the North America Cup. He has earned $304,336 this season for trainer Danny Collins, and was the striking longshot to finish second to the “Captain” in the “Cup.” He will race in a $30,000 Invitational at Scioto on July 6 (see H2W below).
The older pacers are at it again, this time in two elimination divisions to get into the field of the William R. Haughton Memorial (WHM). The top five finishers from each elim will advance to the July 13 final.
The first division presents the return of hot-and-rich Foiled Again, who woke up two races ago after a few disturbing performances. Last week Foiled Again won the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace at Pocono over his usual foes and became the first pacer in harness racing history to reach the $5-million earning mark.
Also in this split is Golden Receiver, who has been terrible lately with no excuses from his connections or performances. Though some are saying he is a “cold-weather horse,” the claim is unfounded in his history. He returns to his favorite oval and still deserves attention.
Warrawee Needy, A Rocknroll Dance, Sapphire City, Hugadragon, Heston Blue Chip, Razzle Dazzle and Our Lucky Chip round out the elim field. Heston Blue Chip has come back at four stronger and able to match the veterans of the division. In this group he may be a strong overlay.
The second WHM elim features Aracache Hanover, Bettor’s Edge, Fred And Ginger, Bolt The Duer, Up The Credit, Pet Rock, Hurrikane Kingcole, Dynamic Youth and Sweet Lou. Last week we handed you Bolt The Duer, who won in 1:47.4, equaling the fastest mile ever for a pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. We supported Bolt The Duer because we thought he could win the way he usually wins—taking advantage of a suck-a-long trip behind a speedy pacesetter. That is exactly how he won. This time the pacesetter was Heston Blue Chip, cutting fractions of 1:21 to three-quarters.
On the two-turn Meadowlands oval in this combination of pacers, Bolt The Duer won’t get the convenience that affords him victories. Although Hurrikane Kingcole is capable of cutting deadly quarters and coming up short, most of the other foes here are superior pacers to “Bolt” and could take advantage of a fiery three panels. We like Sweet Lou to be tactically placed for a big mile at a very good price.
Eliminations for the July 13 Mistletoe Shalee were scheduled for the same program but are unnecessary, since only enough three-year-old female pacers entered. The field for the final is Acquavella, Charisma Hanover, I Luv The Nitelife, Jerseylicious, Nikki Beach, Novascotia Hanover and Shebestingin.
The second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for freshman pacers is on the Saturday agenda at the Meadowlands also. In the first colt pacing split take a hard look at Doo Wop Hanover, who had the toughest trip against the likes of these youngsters and will be a good price here.
Then, in split two, Rockeyed Optimist is a perfect longshot play. His qualifier presented a big brush that must be respected as he comes into his first pari-mutuel start. He is a well-bred Rocknroll Hanover colt from a mare by the great Artsplace.
The fillies’ initial split offers a sharp chance with Danielles All Aces. She showed her first signs of good speed in a NJSS leg against Ideal Helen, who will be the drop-dead public choice in the next split. “Danielle” could be ready for her first powerful mile and not as the favorite.
My Lady Day deserves a shorter morning line than 10-1 and has a big advantage over Ideal Heaven with an inside post so we should take her at the overblown price and see if she can turn the tables on the obvious.
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.
7/4/13, +Fiorenza R10
7/5/13, Billy Mccool N R5; +Destinationunknown R11
7/6/13, +Creating A Dream R3; +Win A New Day R4; Spender Hanover R5
7/5/13, +Five Cougars A R1; +Too Tall Tamarac R2; +Innovation R5; Bluebird Muffler R9; +Guts N Glory R11
7/6/13, +Casimir Luckynutz R2; A Bay Bay R12
7/6/13, +Diamond Amber R9; Scoot Diablo R11
7/6/13, Lo Hot Pancakes R8; +Twentyone Guns R9
7/6/13, +Hazel Nut R2; +Jds Memory R2; Fly High R5; +Mighty Art R7; Pop Z Pop R7; Prince Argental R12
7/6/13, +Mr Sigle’s Dream R3; +Fourth Page R5
7/4/13, Ee Bay R6
7/6/13, Twilight Bonfire R7
Ray Cotolo contributed to this edition.