Racing For Cash And ‘Crown’
This year’s eliminations will feature most of the 156 horses entered in the season’s-end championship events, which begin on Oct. 11 and continue through Oct. 12 with elimination miles. The “Crown” returns to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania after two years at Woodbine in Canada.
We will be on site for the three days of racing, with tweets @FrankCotolo , @RayCotolo and lie extended coverage. Follow us, we hope for some major wagering opportunities, as well as presenting exclusive insider comments.
This week’s blog splits into two volumes. We cover, below, the Saturday, Oct. 12 elims. At the Breeders Crown Countdown blog, we cover the five Oct. 11 elims and provide other information about the finals.
Elims are unnecessary for the soph-filly pacers and the Open Trot because both received only nine entries. Eliminations for frosh-colt-and-filly trotters plus frosh filly pacers are Friday, Oct. 11. Post time is 6:30 p.m. both nights.
What we enjoy about the eliminations is that they provide many more races than the dozen finals, allowing for us to pick and choose our spots. But they also may produce good-paying winners that may not be valuable bets in the final. Elims pit different horses against one another and are strong wagering occasions with, obviously, more winners. Keep in mind we are handicapping these races with the same mindset we use for all of our suggested contenders through the season and strive for the strongest returns while respecting the standout horses.
Seven divisions line up on Oct. 12 to battle for berths in the finals. Four have divisions and two offer spots in the final fields to the first seven finishers. There is no order to our analysis, so check your programs for race number and post time.
The glamour-boy pacers offer two splits. In the first of them, six colts that have been co-stars in most of the bigger divisional stakes meet sans the intimidation of Captaintreacherous (see below). Sunshine Beach is the only colt this year to beat Captaintreacherous and he will be winging early to place the three turns in his favor. How much the other two top choices will offer could make either of them worthy of a bet against “Sunshine.” Lucan Hanover returns from a rest after winning a “Jug” elim and is perfect for this track. Fool Me Once was beaten in Lexington as a dead-on favorite and has far more credentials to be considered here. Right behind his loss was Apprentice Hanover, who raced better, closing tough from far back, and he is the true outside challenge here.
Division two goes to Captaintreacherous, who has won here before under the worst conditions and would be our choice if it began to rain daggers in the Pocono Mountains.
The glamour-boy trotters face each other again and a few that passed over Lexington come back for the big show.
Division one won’t be handed to Smilin Eli, though his best recent wins were here (he also began to tank here). Bluto won here, though, and could be the overlay as “Eli” and All Laid Out gather stacks of win dough.
Kentucky Filly Futurity-winner To Dream On may get more action than she deserves in round one, as trainer Jimmy Takter does not have great confidence in her doing three turns and the general public may not know this or take it into consideration. This could be good for wagering around her. Frau Blucher should be a co-choice, despite tanking in Kentucky but Bouncing Bax may be the big spoiler. This race is rife for an upset.
Division two may or may not hold some exotic wagering opportunities but it is impossible to bet against Bee A Magician or use her as a key. She has been fiendish and comes off of a brief rest that could find her exploding in this season of world-record breaking miles.
The mare trotters surprise bettors with two divisions. This is a category usually soft on entries but here they are in two splits, none of them avoiding a chance to race in the final dozen.
The first split seems to have a lot of promise for D’Orsay, though she may be bet heavily despite the morning line for Bax Of Life suggesting otherwise. “Bax” has had a hard time winning against any of these, so the favorite prediction seems undeserved. Certainly if Cedar Dove in on her game, she will play a part in the outcome, so D’Orsay may present a decent price.
Episode two points distinctively to Maven, though you can make a case against her to win here. Win Missy B just broke a speed mark at the Meadows on Oct. 9 and will be filled with spunk three days later to attempt a steal here. She could be in better shape now than Check Me Out, who has awoken late this season and seems ready to look something like her sophomore self. But “Missy” should be the outside contender and priced higher than her chances.
Swinging Beauty may offer fine odds to back her in the Mare Pace, as the obvious choices will rule the pools. We toss out her loss in Kentucky and point to her Milton place at 25-1 from post 8 at Mohawk. It’s likely she will not try to come from far back but find a good spot to save ground and launch a winning bid two wide or up the speedy open stretch lane.
Green Colts Pacin’
Three divisions for the frosh-colt pacers also adorn the Saturday program at Pocono.
In chapter one, we are leaning toward Lets Drink On It, who could provide a price worthy of a win bet against some obvious contenders almost guaranteed to go off at short prices. “Drink” lost to the probable choices here (but beat them earlier in the year fairly and squarely) but was a strong contender two back at Philly where he was hanging by a thread through the toughest part of the race (at 5-2).
In the middle split, Western Vintage appears tough on a few levels but will be pennies away from being an underlay. We may be able to nab top dollar putting some faith in Beat The Drum from the inside. He has raced better than his odds all season and has a chance to make major noise here while “Vintage” has to work too hard to win (but makes the final).
The third elim for the young guns offers yet another upsetter in Luck Be Withyou. This guy has been showing speed and stamina in Canada and but for some bad trips may have won a lot more than three in nine starts. He is in a perfect spot and has rested for the trip across the border and should be a price.
Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races.
10/11/13, +Romeo Star R1; Mcbunny R9
10/11/13, +Nelly Hanover R4
10/11/13, +Twinky R7; +Twin B Shasta R8; +Iemma Machine Baby R13