Stakes Parade, Solid Action On Hambletonian Day
On this page we will cover all of the stakes action for Aug. 2 except the Hambletonian events, which this year are single race (no elimination heats are necessary based on the number of horses dropping into the boxes). Our spin-off blog, the Hambletonian Trail, features the jackpot-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow events, The Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks.
Friday, Aug. 1 at the Meadowlands, a slew of Kindergarten stakes legs for two-year-old filly trotters adorn the program. See our horses-to-watch (H2W) list below, under the Meadowlands heading, for horses that have impressed us in these categories.
All H2W through North America –our suggested contenders—are valuable additions to your win, place and show bets and exotics. See our weekly list of “lookouts” below.
Weekdays, check out the TwinSpires-Hoosier perks for players. Tuesdays, wager all you want and earn 10 TSC Elite Points per dollar bet. Click here for details. Every Thursday night, there is a 20-percent bonus on hitting the Pick 4 starting at Race 3. Click here for details. And the ongoing 10-percent Pick-4 bonus every racing night on Pick-4 hits continues through the meet. Click here for details.
Ima Lula Ladies
The $52,000 Ima Lula final, features four-year-old mare trotters. The last two editions have featured the winner of the Hambo Oaks, with Bee A Magician looking to become the first to win this event.
Big Boys’ Best
The U.S. Pacing Championship features stalwart older pacers but is not truly a championship. That is, winning the $257,700 event bears no resemblance to a divisional crown and neither does it hold any more reverence than any of the older-pacing stakes. This season, all entries attempt to do what they have been trying to do for a few months—defeat Sweet Lou.
Though he has been great, Captaintreacherous has been better than most of these, who are over four (Sunfire Blue Chip is the other four-year-old). Here is the difference in this event compared to the others: Daylight. But could that mean so much? Could an “off track” be a detriment to “Lou”? We doubt it; few scenarios put him behind any of these. Bettor’s Edge has done well chasing Lou and may once again race with odds better than his chances (10-1 and 18-1 respectively, when second to Lou in their most recent two meetings. And there may be the exacta and trifecta, keying Lou with the two mentioned in both exotics.
New Jersey-bred colts make up the $225,000 New Jersey Classic, a race that may unfold with a bargain or two. It’s difficult to predict a favorite or an underlay here but our hope is that Western Vintage may get less attention than he deserves. He has had a rougher time than we forecast as a soph but he is still lightly raced and has been rested with two prep qualifiers on his side coming into this battle. However he tries, from the front or with some cover close to the pacesetter, he is a big danger that the public may not support enough.
Doo Wop Hanover, on the other hand, won’t be ignored; he may be the choice of the crowd, since his state affairs have been sterling and he has faced far stronger than this group. His Meadowlands Pace failure was no surprise, having no change to make up ground with a slow start from post 10 and fractions that steamed by the stretch, allowing Hes Watching to glide off of a near-perfect trip.
The $100,000 Miss New Jersey, restricted to New Jersey-sired filly pacers, seems to be a toss-up when it comes to talent. Off a victory against older mares, Gettingreadytoroll appears to be the one to beat if her gait is truly no longer an issue. Yet, Cut A Deal, who comes from an average company for this group, could be eyeing an upset. Traveling first over and sustaining third in her last start, she appears to be sharp enough to gain victory given the right trip.
On Their ‘Merrie’ Way
Frosh-filly trotters engage in a $352,050 event, the Merrie Annabelle Final, and for many of the 10 involved (five are still maidens) it may be the last time they partake in such a wealthy race. The elim winners, Lock Down Lindy and Mission Brief will take most of the money, with the latter dazzling bettors with her green speed, so to speak.
In the fastest elim, Jolene Jolene was second at 27-1 (we had her) and the race before that she was 30-1 against Lock Down Lindy. Her 9 post here may cause a problem but it will just help her to go off again at a bargain price. Any improvement for her is a major challenge to the obvious top contenders.
Top Trotters Truckin’
The $300,650 John Cashman, Jr. Memorial finds older trotting hero Sebastian K on the rail with the usual suspects raring to bring him down. The latest gunner is Archangel, who last week knocked a super mile into place in an elim (“K” was in the other elim). Also, Uncle Peter goes for his second mile since returning from abroad and he was good last week, just behind Mister Herbie, who took second the week after we called for him to upset K in Canada (it was Intimidate that got the nose victory and he is here, too). Then there is Market Share, always a threat but recently subservient to K. And there is Servruga, our huge upset last year in this race, who this year is far from showing his best.
Where does this leave us but with it being K’s race to lose? We can make cases for the others but only Uncle Peter gets a nod as the least experienced falling to K. In an upset scenario, he is the culprit, especially on a day when team Takter can rule on so many levels.
Ladies Of Liberty
The $177,750 Lady Liberty hosts the pacing mares, all of which have had their days and all of whom come into this affair with modest credentials. You could make good cases for most of them so you have to look outside of the obvious to find value. In that order, opportunity may shine upon Jerseylicious, who has been doing well while racing at odds far more than she deserves (11-1 and 70-1) against similar at this top level.
Tough trips have found better horses—Shebestingin and Somwherovrarainbow—recently losing largely and this fray may also be too demanding for them. Charisma Hanover may be a great exotic participant under these circumstances, too, and prices may blind the toteboard while flashing the top three.
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 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.
8/1/14, Sanskrit R6
8/2/14, +King William R1; +Larrys Dream R3; Sbm Innocentoutlaw R4; Whipmeintospape R12
8/2/14, Oaklea Winfrey R3; +Got What It Takes R8
8/1/14, Cons Legacy R9
7/31/14, Wilfully Scootereva R6
8/1/14, Christine Sixteen R2; +Sweet Thing R2; Josies Joy R3; Saturday Mornings R4; Cathys Princess R13
8/1/14, Sawbuck Hanover R7; +Mattacardle R7
7/31/14, +Best Risque R12
8/3/14, +Ok Amelia R4
7/31/14, +Baximum R4
8/1/14, Real Legacy R4
8/3/14, +Corky Duke R14
7/26/14, Somerset Minibob R1
8/2/14, +Luck Be Withyou R12
8/1/14, Still Electric R12
8/2/14, +All Powerful R8; I’m The Real Major R10
8/2/14, +Bullseye R4
8/2/14, QB Killa R1
8/2/14, KJ Brenda R2
8/2/14, Curlys Son R1; Guilty Man R5; Royal Deceptor R6; Deadhead Royalty R11
7/31/14, +Mystical Pacer R8; +Sir Lehigh Z Tam R12
8/1/14, Putnams Attack R7
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.