• Sizzling Stakes Ensue

    POSTED Aug 7, 2013

    There may be a breather for some horses, most of which participated in last weeks barrage of Meadowlands stakes on Hambletonian day, but there is a herd of others, trotters and pacers, two- and three-year-olds, battling for state-bred stakes money in Pennsylvania, New York and Indiana.  
    Also on the docket, the famous Gold Cup & Saucer primes participants this week with trials for Charlottetown Driving Park’s biggest event, which presents its 54th edition on Aug. 17.
    More winners are projected as our exclusive harness horses to watch (H2W) list from tracks around North America returns.
    TwinSpires offers special bonuses for Hoosier Park throughout the harness meet. Check out the Hoosier details here. 
    Enjoy the concluding essay from the Hambletonian Trail blog by clicking here and stay tuned for the Breeders Crown Countdown.
    Hoosier Harangues 
    Four Indiana Sires Stakes Gold Level events are on the menu at Hoosier Park this Friday, Aug. 9. Frosh and soph affairs are worth $30,000 each. 
    In round one, a two-year-old filly trot, the probable choice is Earls Dixie Darling. The winner of six races in nine starts hasn’t just won more races than all the members of this field combined, she has also won far more money than them. Her only burden could be post 10. Getting the rail advantage is Banker’s For All, who should be one of the other two top choices and perhaps an overlay due to the post advantage. Along with Jesse’s Gift, an unproven filly going for only the second time in her career and who is a product of productive-sire Jailhouse Jesse, these three could make up a well-priced trifecta. 
    The second group of filly trotters features another 10-hole special in the undefeated Andi’s Alana. However, starting nearest to the rail is ER Sweetheart, who could be a bargain. She has been a factor in seven of her eight starts and may get a few steps ahead of the 10-hole favorite. 
    Meadowbrook Mike gets our support in the first colt split. He’s one for one and there is no reason why he can’t make it two for two against this group, which includes Joe Tucky, a winner of six of eight. But “Joe” hasn’t beaten much and “Mike” has shown a propensity for beating speedier types.
    In the last colt episode, we could make a case for a few but the Ron Burke trained Rose Run Parker has faced better company in his short career than most of these. At face value, the crowd should go for Teddy Bear as the speediest but that will not be such a strong factor here. 
    Continuing on Friday, the state-bred action includes the $237,045 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) at the Meadows for glamour-boy trotters. Division one appears to be a wide-open affair but Midwest native Longwell has shown superb consistency recently (we chose him July 13 when he won the “Connors” in Michigan as a Hambo-eligible). He makes his first start off of a sick scratch and should have no problem returning to his winning stride. 
    High Bridge slides down the condition ladder in division two, making his first start off a seventh-place effort in the Hambletonian. Showing improvement in this field is Smoother Ride, although he doesn’t have the class of the Jimmy Takter-trainee. The colt just needed a good draw to be considered into contention, with post 2 he qualifies for victory, seeing that he seems to prefer stalking the pace rather than closing on it.  
    Valley Of Sin and Possessed Fashion are the eye-catchers of the finale of the PASS trio. Lindy’s Tru Grit has been showing improvement against this group and debatably draws into the weakest division. With a good draw, he can sit back and pounce on the leader come the end of the mile. 
    Tioga Tigers 
    Tioga Downs hosts the $107,360 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for frosh colt pacers, with four divisions to be held on the Aug. 9 program. 
    Division one is our shot to use a first-time starter who appears to have rounded into form and may be dangerous on a three-turn oval. Ron Burke’s Double Your Bet will likely be ignored for his lack of racing experience. With his last qualifier five days ago, he should be fresh Friday night. A longshot to key in exotics is Hands Off Frank, who is questionable stepping up in class but as been a major contender in the Excelsior Series. 
    Design Guru and Thereisapaceforus will share favoritism in the second division. The family duo of Pat and Mike Lachance team up on Sir Sam’s Z Tam as he makes his second start. He showed prominence in his qualifiers at the Meadowlands but his talent seemed un-justified in the slop at Monticello on Aug. 1. He’ll be a price come post time and should give us a good mile. 
    “Sheppard” winner Forty Five Red will be an incredible underlay in division three. Stay Up Late is beginning to get himself together after a mediocre draw in his debut put him far off the pace, ending up fourth. Heading to Monticello, he got away far off the leader, flying past horses to get nosed at the wire in 1:58.1. In his third start, he should be ready for victory.  
    Wagering in the final division will likely be scattered between the eight entrants. Coming into this mile is Twin B Speedo, appearing to be ins top form. He has shown he is not one-dimensional, racing on the lead and off the pace in his first four starts. He took a liking to the Meadowlands surface and should prefer the Tioga oval. 
    Saturday Sophomores 
    Closing out sires stakes action is Pocono Downs on Saturday, featuring the $234,672 PASS for sophomore mare pacers. 
    For her class and resume, Charisma Hanover is more than likely to be the favorite in division one. Coming off of a layoff is Mattie Terror Girl, who was surprisingly good against the top of her age group in the James Lynch Memorial back in June. She is coming off an effortless qualifier at the Meadowlands on July 27, winning in 1:54.2. She is fresh coming into this event, drawing the rail and appearing to be a menace.     
    Novascotia Hanover headlines the second division off of a second-place effort in the Adioo Volo on Adios day at the Meadows. Beginning to turn around is Handsoffmycupcake, who showed no improvement against this group early on but is now coming off an impressive first-over mile in the Adioo Volo. She displayed power and endurance in that start. She’ll need the right trip to dazzle on the clay oval in the Pocono Mountains.
    Somwherovrarainbow and Nikki Beach will be overwhelming favorites, with both coming off victories in the Adioo Volo. Canary Island is a filly that starts from the rail in this field; she has also been getting stronger as months passed. Her most recent appearance in the PASS was on July 20, closing and finishing third in 1:52. She is coming off a “refresher” mile at Harrah’s Philadelphia and will be peaking in her second start off a short layoff.
    Gold Cup & Saucer
    There are three Gold Cup & Saucer trials leading to up the 54th running of the final, which will take place Saturday, Aug.17 at Charlottetown Driving Park. Twenty-one horses have being nominated, setting the stage for trials on Saturday, Aug. 10, Sunday, Aug. 11 and Monday, Aug.12.
    At press time we only have the Aug. 10 past performances, so here is our analysis of the first trial (we will cover the final in next Friday’s blog).
    Now five, Up The Credit seeks a minor stakes reward after a rocky career following his best achievements at three. He is much the class in this seven-horse field of older pacers but there may be reason to feel he can be defeated as a major underlay here. He will share favoritism with State Treasurer, who gets the rail, but value may settle in a third contender, Ron Burke’s Escape The News. Look for a marked improvement as the Artiscape gelding steps down to a class that may be easier for him to handle than the aforementioned.
    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.
    8/10/13, Adelia’s Prince R3; Union Man Hanoer R7; Every Girls Desire R9; Native Roots R13; Marvelthisbliss ae R13
    8/9/13, Ladyofcastlebrook R4; Ray’s Big Bubba R6
    8/10/13, Preachinatthbar R2; Stingy R2; Rockin Ray R3; Hidden Ability R5; Nanetts Nordic R6
    8/9/13, Princess Samovar R11
    8/10/13, Jack’s Reef R1; Rose Run Marcus R5
    Ray Cotolo contributed to this edition.
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