• Absorbing Kentucky

    POSTED Oct 2, 2013

    The harness scene remains in Kentucky, at The Red Mile, for this weekend, with seasonal stars from all divisions staying for more purse bulging, trot-and-pace pulsating miles, including the traditional Kentucky Futurity for colts and a lone event for fillies. These two stakes are as historic as the sport can offer, highlighting, once again, the glamour-boy-and-girl soph trotters of the season. As well, Captaintreacherous, arguably the harness hero of 2013, takes on his battered foes, all of whom still chase him with all of their hearts, in the Tattersalls Pace.

    The stream of stakes in Lexington stand on their own as classy affairs but also serve as preps for the Breeders Crown, which offers elims at Pocono on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12. We will be at Pocono live with the official press corps for the elims and the Oct. 19 finals. Stand by for details.

    Friday at Maywood, two frosh stakes that have historic significance in Illinois, even though their status has declined, as have their purses. The Cardinal Final for pacing boys and the Violet for the pacing girls are covered below.

    Don’t forget to check out the horses-to-watch (H2W) list below for live contenders in overnights all over North America. The exclusive list is hot with possibilities for win, place, show and exotics—however you use them, use them. The H2W produces some mighty prices and excellent exotic elements that boost combo prices.

    winSpires offers special bonuses for Hoosier Park throughout the harness meet. Check out the Hoosier details here. 
    Our featured Breeders Crown Countdown event this week is coverage of the Kentucky Futurity for both sexes. For that, Go to Breeders Crown Countdown 
    Friday Froshes 
    Three divisions each of the International Stallion Stake (ISS) for two-year-old colt trotters and two-year-old filly pacers are the features Oct. 4. Most of the boys return from last week’s Bluegrass efforts. 
    In round one they will be again trying to beat Odds On Amethyst, a hearty chore. The one arriving in Kentucky for the first time, Monkey Man, may be a bigger threat than the crowd will offer in odds and is our chance to defeat the obvious choice. 
    In round two we find the return of our choice from last week, Outburst, who set a record mile at 7-1. We have to go with a scenario that does not give him as smooth a trip as last time and look objectively at Il Sogno Dream. After a brief layoff from racing against the top ilk of the division in the “Wellwood” where he was not embarrassed, “Dream” shows up fresh and armed with some sharp credentials in Pennsylvania stakes, as well as his second in a Wellwood elim from post 10. 
    The last $86,000-plus ISS may produce a public-choice winner in Speak The Truth. But there is s slight question as to whether he comes up the top choice. There could be action on Trixton, who also won a Kindergarten stake in Lexington. Outsider E L Titan (photo left) may be the best chance for a huge price. He has held up in three races as a late starter this year and cannot be dismissed for lack of experience—these two-year-olds are better wagered upon having trust in potential along with recent positive performances.
    In the fillies ISS, the first field we support, again, Ravinia Hanover. We liked her in the Kentuckiana stakes at Hoosier but she had a tough trip mid-way through. She could go back to her Vernon race two back and be quite competitive here.
    In the second split there should be many opinions about this evenly matched field but we have our eyes on My Lady Day. Her trip last week was wide and brave, with a good finish at 36-1. Fans may lay off of her because to win this is to break her maiden but that is testimony to the fine placing talents of her boss, trainer Joe Holloway. She may race as she did in August at the Meadowlands, a performance good enough to beat these and at a very good price.
    Finally, who can beat Precocious Beauty this week? It’s her race to lose so perhaps she is a better key for exotics than a win bet. You be the judge, we would rather pass than play.
    Saturday Twos And Threes
    ISS for frosh pacers and landmark Kentucky stakes for soph pacers are the Oct. 5 highlights.
    Beat The Drum should have command of this first ISS field, coming from top stakes. Fresh, late-season-starting Skyful Of Lighters could be a handful and will be a price considering how badly bettors treat such youngsters. 
    Next, On Golden Ponder may lose some action from post 9 but still win, which is our kind of horse. His recent pair were well supported and rightfully so, he is fit and raring to pace. 
    We’ll again support Carracci Hanover, last week’s beaten favorite. He is on top of his game and should take his first victory handily here. 
    Some Major Beach was right behind On Golden Ponder last week and liking one helps to like the other in the fourth ISS journey. This is a great place to break the maiden status.
    The sophs are split into two divisions each. The fillies are in the Glen Garnsey Memorial and round one will attract most win bettors to Shebestingin, last week’s strong winner. With a good trip, however, Mistresstothestars can turn the tables. Smooth sailing has not been on her plate recently and if she gets clear here she could win and pay some. 
    I Luv The Nitelife sits one out in the second filly stake so at last there is a race in her division that can offer a winner’s circle photo without her. Handicappers will go to the next best but we are looking seriously on outsiders that were showing spunk at the “Jug” meet. This puts our old favorite, Parlee Beach on the menu. She was second at 15-1 from the outside to Shebestingin. As well, Carols Desire was second in the Jugette final at 57-1. 
    The first division of the Tattersalls Pace belongs to Captaintreacherous (photo left). Pundits will disagree but if you are not convinced by now there is nothing else that can happen to convince you short of the colt literally taking flight in the stretch and landing in Pennsylvania in two hours without the help of the jet stream.
    The second division presents a few possibilities, especially if Fool Me Once is bet to smithereens. A strong outing could be expected from Apprentice Hanover. His recent two are good; one a toss out because he raced against Captaintreacherous and the other a stronger performance than a 13-1 shot should have delivered. We don’t know how to support Wake Up Peter any longer; he just doesn’t seem to know how to win this season and chances are good he will not find out here.
    Shades Of Chicago
    The Cardinal and Violet stakes may be shadows of their former selves but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fine wagering events. Friday at Maywood both finals are on the program. 
    The $49,000 Cardinal for frosh- colt pacers offers a full field of eight, where our interest leans toward Ringo’s Z Tam. Almost a guaranteed overlay, he is the lightest raced and most productive of the field. Without proving himself to be anything but improving, he could be a well-paying winner in a field near impossible to predict a favorite.
    The $48,000 Violet for the girls has seven expected at the gate. My Little Bit is almost bound to be the short price and most popular on raw data but Party Hangover Two should not be ignored. None of these gals may be gifted enough to dominate the others, especially with concerns of unexpected trips on the half-mile, so there is a good chance that “Party” may be every bit as good as the rest and just a better price. 
    H2W Legend
    Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are 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 it 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. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires. 
    10/4/13, Western R8 
    10/5/13, +Hillybilly Charmer R1; +Vesper As ae R3; Indescribable R6; Furious Five R9
    10/5/13, +Allstar Blues R3
    10/5/13, +Ally-con R7
    10/4/13, Sure Anything R2; +Zeller’s Island ae R3; Fox Valley Presto R5; Prosper R7
    10/4/13, Dragontine R9; Chi Omega R10; Nelly Hanover R11; Pine Tab R14
    10/4/13, +Flying Lucia R2; +Iemma Machine Baby ae R7; +Felicia Hall R8
    10/5/13, +Crown Time Yooray R3    
    10/4/13, Broadwood R9 R3 
    Ray Cotolo contributed to this edition.

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