State-bred Sophs On Parade; Tremendous Trotters Take To The Track
Soph-colt-and-filly trotters are covered on our spin-off blog, the Hambletonian Trail, where you can follow divisional races with eligibles to this year’s August trotting classics at The Meadowlands. For this weekend’s events, go to the “Trail” blog and peruse our analysis. Check in between blogs, too, since some events covered will not fall into our regular weekly scheme.
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The A.J. Cutler Final is the feature this Saturday at the Meadowlands. A cast of mighty side-steppers takes a shot at the $175,000 purse. The focus will be on world-record breaker Sebastian KS and Hambo-winner-turned-aged-monster Market Share. Last week in an elim, Ake Svanstedt’s Swedish trotter tied the record for fastest trotting mile, cutting through the night to win in 1:50.1. Market Share won the other elim and in the final they leave from posts 1 and 2, respectively.
Arch Madness, a star in his own right, is also here. He was second to Market Share last week and has come back to the races at 10 with a vengeance. Modern Family made the final, as did our two choices from the elims, DW’s NY Yank and Undercover Strike, along with Possessed Fashion, Archangel, Intimidate and last year’s winner, Sevruga.
Long prices will be spread out across this field, for sure, but how high will be considered value if the top two don’t bounce from their soaring wins last week? Drivers on all trotters other than the top two are probably hoping for divine intervention. Certainly Modern Family will leave hard and try to get to the top but what will that cost him in real estate? It will give Sebastian KS great cover. There are enough mid-race movers here to give Market Share a covered second-over trip, with Arch Madness hoping for similar assistance coming from behind. This is where the race will be won or lost, since so many of these guys like to start their engines late. If Modern Family gives Sebastian KS the cover he needs, he could break last week’s speed mark by sitting cold until the charging begins. Nothing short of a major speed duel will ruin his mile and nothing short of putting him in irons will keep Modern Family on the lead past the finish line.
With Sebastian KS as a key for exotics you may wish to hope for Market Share to have trouble with all of the closers and be nosed out late. If Modern Family can hold on to second or third, all you need is another lightly supported trotter to come up with a decent priced triple. It’s your choice which or how many to join in the multi-horse exotics with Modern Family and Sebastian KS. It is the only way we see getting some decent payoff for your efforts.
A $50,500 New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) mile for soph-colt pacers features the return of Western Vintage, our choice to head the division this season—all he has to do is pace. This guy was dynamic last season when he was on gait. He has jumped in one of his three qualifiers prepping to debut at three and the two he won were gorgeous miles. What we hope is that all the recent predictions for soph heroes, most of which have not placed him on top, will allow for a decent price in this fray.
NJSS split one for the filly pacers goes for $27,500. Gettingreadytoroll should go off the public’s choice off of her “Reynolds” win last week, where Rockingcam Park was second and should inherit second choice by the public. How the public supports Ideal Helen, debuting her soph season after a strong frosh season, remains to be seen. But if a good price, even as third choice, surfaces, we trust she will be ready to rear her class and win.
Split two is worth $27,000 and appears more contentious than split one. Last week we afforded Blixtra a shot with Sebastian KS’s Svanstedt aboard. At 15-1 she was buried on the inside and not with much force to close. Ron Burke has three in here, two coupled, but we like the looks of Boxed Chocolate, a well-bred Jersey gal that shows mild success in the Midwest and may embrace this mile track after battles at Balmoral. She should get little support due to her first visit here and her trainer, Todd La Fontaine, who is a stranger among the likes of Burke, Alagna and Sholty.
Three $66,000-plus PASS miles for soph-colt pacers bred in the state are on the Pocono program May 17. This is the glamour-boy division’s debut among their hometown cohorts.
Split one presents a probable favorite that almost won for us at the Breeders Crown when we reported live from Pocono on a rainy evening of finals. Sometimes Said was second at 34-1 to the great Luck Be Withyou. After his first win at three he joins the stakes ranks again for trainer Jim Campbell. Limelight Beach is his main rival here, so we will go beyond and take a price with Seventh Secret. He is consistent and should improve as he races more with the big boys, so he could upset the top two. There is a good triple with him and the other two, especially with Seventh Secret the key.
The second PASS episode is tightly contended, though the public will lean toward Pierce (the horse, not the driver), Cannikey and Maxi Bon. This could, however, be a great stage for Mojito Hanover, largely dismissed last out because he only broke his maiden two races back, and Mattaerican, a beaten favorite that suffered a rough middle mile at the Meadows last week. “Mojito” should be the outcast of the two and worth a shot.
The nightcap PASS is bound to be a wagering carnival for Somewhere in LA, that one coming from Canada where he won the Diplomat Series Final over a suspiciously awkward National Debt. Somestarssomewhere makes his soph debut and should suck in some bets but we like the 7, Parnu Hanover and the 8, Playerosa. The former meets softer here and was 2-1 against Sometimes Said (from split two) and probably will be disrespected by bettors. Playerosa will definitely be dismissed and among the longer shots, most likely having better chances than his odds indicate.
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. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.
5/17/14, Gus Is All Lane R2
5/16/14, Her Ideal Hanover R1; +Moon Lake R6; Dropping Star R9
5/17/14, Cheyenne Patti R13
5/15/14, +Four Boys R11; +Royal Heart R11; Cantabs Pride R12
5/15/14, Prince Ponder R9
5/16/14, Zumba R3; +Dontmesswith Angel R3; +Makena Cat R3 +Josting Jack R5; +Tiza Mojo R9; +Pure Smoke R11
5/16/14, +Hot List R9; +Clementine Dream R3
5/17/14, Word Power R2; Hilarious Halo R14
5/16/14, Our Crown Law N R3; Heres Ethel R6; Case Dismissed—ae—R14; Incredible Dragon R15
5/17/14, Fun N Pleasure R6; Obee R7; Mateo M R12
5/17/14, Wishful Desire R4
5/18/14, Ornate Hanover R2; +Fantastic R3; +Roundaboutmidnite R7
5/18/14, BL Class Act R3
5/15/14, Major Way R8
5/17 Major Way R13
5/17/14, +Flash’s Camilla R1; Ladyofcastlebrook R2; Bettor’s Night R3; A Fool For Mark R9
5/17/14, Jaipur R3; Magnum Kosmos R8
5/15/14, +Highway R8
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.