• Racing For Cash And ‘Crown’

    POSTED Oct 9, 2013

    The Breeders Crown is not as old as some of the events just raced at The Red Mile but  in its brief life it has earned a place in the history of harness racing. Since adopting a format to race all the event’s finals on a single evening, which stacked any and all eliminations the week before, the Breeders Crown has established fecund ground for harness bettors.

    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 Stakes

    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.

    In the second split the competition looks to be deep but perhaps that is a smokescreen for Royalty For Life to win at a decent price. After losing the second “Futurity” heat in Lexington, money could float to Spider Blue Chip and the Futurity winner, Creatine. Plus, bettors may not be so forgiving of the bad trip that saw “Royalty” losing badly here a few races back. So watch the odds, Royalty may offer a surprisingly good win price.

    The soph-girl trotters include a few Kentucky-skippers in two splits. The first may be the best betting situation, as undefeated Bee A Magician leads division two and is bound to create a negative pool.

    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.
    The Open Pace and Mare Pace offer a single mile where the first seven go on to the final. The first seven male pacers will meet Clear Vision and Pet Rock, who have byes, next week. The mares will meet byes-takers Drop The Ball and Feeling you in their final. 
    Tossing out last week’s Red Mile races for a few here is not restricted to the bad finishers. Indeed, Golden Receiver found a front trip in the mess of a track the key to finally taking care of these types, which he has had a great deal of trouble beating over the summer. A Rocknroll Dance should be back firing on all cylinders after having a bad go of it in that same race. He may not offer much to win but he is certainly the late-season star of this field. Look out for Sweet Lou in exotics, he hasn’t been winning lately but is fond of cashing checks.

    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.
    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.
    10/11/13, +Romeo Star R1; Mcbunny R9

    10/11/13, +Nelly Hanover R4

    10/11/13, +Twinky R7; +Twin B Shasta R8; +Iemma Machine Baby R13

    10/11/13, +Broadwood R11 
    Ray Cotolo contributed to this edition.

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