• Steadfast Steeds Star In Stakes

    POSTED Sep 10, 2014
    September’s stay in Canada ensues as Mohawk stays the center of attraction with the sport’s top events of the week. Frosh trotters of both sexes, many stars of the season, including glamour-boy-and-girl trotters from the Hambletonian Trail, are the focus of the Saturday, Sept. 13 program.

    Freshman colt-and-filly-pacer battles will also be covered on our exclusive blog, this year’s Breeders Crown Countdown, including the Reynolds Stakes from Tioga Downs’ penultimate program of this meet. Also, the Milton Stakes elims at Mohawk add to the content. We link to the “Countdown” blog from this main blog for coverage of races through the rest of the season leading to the championship events in November, in cooperation with the Hambletonian Society and TwinSpires.

    Check out TwinSpires-Hoosier Park’s 10-percent bonus for hitting Pick 4s every night there is racing at the Indiana track. And, of course, our horses-to-watch list (H2W) offers live contenders for win, place, show and exotics from tracks across the continent.

    Of course, the H2W list rolls on through the ninth month with suggested contenders that may complement your win, place, show and exotic combos at many harness tracks across North America.

    And a special, added attraction to our weekly blogs goes into play with Little Brown Jug week and all the weekday action starting Monday, Sept. 15. Look here and watch the TwinSpires Facebook page and Twitter feed to be on top of some hot contenders during the week that ends after Thursday, Sept. 18, with America’s Pace, the Little Brown Jug.

    Classic Trotters In Canada

    The $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic (CTC) headlines Saturday, Sept. 13, at Mohawk Racetrack. As has been the case all season with the glamour-boy trotters, a major stakes field is highlighted by the Jimmy Takter-trained duo of Father Patrick and Trixton.

    We all know that what happened to Father Patrick in the Hambletonian was a striking misfortune and that his stable mate, Trixton, took advantage of it to win. Then Father Patrick returned and was nipped by Datsyuk for his only two losses of the season. He regained dominance by winning the Zweig and Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship just like the Father Patrick that would have won the Hambletonian.

    It is important to pay attention to Takter, who wrote the following tweet recently: “Father Patrick, so special, just makes it look so easy, my best horse ever.” So go no further with your CTC handicapping—Father Patrick is still the best this division has seen in a long time. As well, he is undefeated in three starts at Mohawk.

    If Trixton is looking to defeat his stable mate once again in a rich stakes event he will have to pray that Father Patrick is a victim of circumstance again. Even though Trixton has had success at Mohawk this season and holds the Mohawk track record for a three-year-old trotter (1:51.3), he has to beat Father Patrick fair and square once to prove he is near as good.

    Local standout Harper Blue Chip has dominated the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit this season and finished third in the Hambletonian, though he was far back from Trixton and Nuncio. “Harper” is definitely an exotic wagering element. The other four are E L Titan, Muscle Matters, Il Sogno Dream and Damfoolrmillionair, minor to no threats.

    Elegant And Elite

    The $409,000 Elegantimage Stakes, which used to be contested in June, is also on the Sept. 13 program at Mohawk, featuring 11 of the best soph-trotting fillies. Takter sends out the favorite in this event, too. Certainly a standout for us during the season, Shake It Cerry trots a mile above this group. Takter also senda out Scream And Shout, yet to be proven worthy of this caliber.

    Completing the field are Demanding Sam, Tosca, Riveting Rosie, Vanity Matters, Chivaree Hanover, Sweetie Hearts, Muscle Babe, Designed To Be and Ake Svanstedt’s Heavens Door. Since “Designed” is bound to be a second choice, Ake’s “Door” may go off as a good exacta choice and if Designed happens to be beat for third, any of the others will key a great triactor.

    Well, Well, Wellwood

    Two eliminations were raced last Saturday as non-betting events (after being cancelled on Friday due to a lightning storm at Mohawk) deciding the 10 two-year-old colts making up the field of the $390,000 William Wellwood Memorial final.

    Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry, won the first. Trained by Takter, Uncle Lasse has won three of six starts and has never been worse than third. The second went to Lookslikeachpndale, a son of Muscle Hill, trained by Luc Blais, in 1:56.2. It was the graduation of maiden to winner for Lookslikeachpndale. Completing the field are Gifted Way, Dont Rush, Aldebaran Eagle, Habitat, Jetpedia, Southwind Stryker, Wheels Ah Smokin and Big Rich.

    We had Jetpedia last week and he was second in one elim and we had Wheels Ah Smokin in the other where he finished sixth. However, they appear to be strong exacta partners this week for Habitat. Were there wagering, Habitat would have been a huge favorite, so it works out for bettors that there were two other elim winners; now Habitat may be a second or third choice and that is a good thing for a win bet and, as mentioned, to be keyed with the two we supported last week.

    Peaceful Ways

    The $385,000 Peaceful Way Stakes, for two-year-old filly trotters features another standout, a world champion in a group of 10, Mission Brief. The daughter of Muscle Hill won her elimination last week in a world record time of 1:52.1 and has been a sterling model for victory most of the second half of the season for trainer Ron Burke. Driver Yannick Gingras said she hasn’t even given her best yet. “She had plenty left [in last week’s elim], she is scary scary fast,” said Gingras.

    Jolene Jolene won the other elimination, a daughter of Muscle Hill trained by Jonas Czernyson, in 1:55.1. We supported her as she approached her current form and peaked recently. Jolene Jolene has won three consecutive starts and finished second to Mission Brief on Hambletonian day (we supported that exacta). These two represent the exacta, which will return very little, leaving your judgment as the to-play-or-not-play factor.

    Ruling The Empire

    The New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) Night of Champions at Yonkers is the Saturday, Sept. 13 highlight in the Empire State’s standardbred business and bettors beyond the borders can wager on eight events featuring the best two- and three-year-olds of the 2014 season. Each final is worth $225,000. Races two through nine on the 13-race card ($10,000 guaranteed pool Pick 5, 50-cent base wager races 5 through 9). For the sake of brevity, we will list the final and our two suggested contenders in the order the races appear on the program.

    Two-year-old filly trot: Concentration; Kaliska
    Three-year-old filly pace: Table Talk; Medusa
    Two-year-old filly pace: Mosquito Blue Chip; Band Of Angels
    Three-year-old filly trot: Market Rally; Avalicious
    Two-year-old colt trot: Royal Deceptor; Crazy Wow
    Three-year-old colt pace: All Bets Off; Stay Up Late
    Two-year-old colt pace: Cartoon Daddy; Americanprimetime
    Three-year-old colt trot: Gural Hanover; Zoey De Vie

    The Company ‘Smith’

    On Friday, , Sept. 12, Freehold presents the Charles Smith for $55,000. Once a stable in the Hambletonian Trail stream of races, glamour-boy trotters take to the half-mile in the new millennium with less initiative, as well as less to win from a purse reduced greatly. In any event, this seven-horse field is an opportunity for Well Built to dominate as was once thought he could do this season in the division. He is up against far less than he faced when his gait problem began in May, so it remains to be seen how the public approaches this crew. We would use him as a key if he turns out to the be top choice and use Skates N Plates and Hillustrious with him.

    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 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.


    9/12/14, +Studio City R7
    9/13/14, +King William R6; Sbm Innocentoutlaw R8; Peter Pumpkineater R11

    9/12/14, +Fancy Pants Sandy R6; Big Sky Angelina R10
    9/13/14, +Mooshead Jack R5; +Card Shock R8 

    9/13/14, Allthatgltrsisgold R3; +Matt The Bruiser R6; Ransomed R6; +Red Scooter R7; +Light Up The Sky R8; Jammin Joseph R12; +Battle Gun R14; +Star City Hero R14Z

    9/11/14, +Delightful Dot R7
    9/12/14, Brianna Official R1; +R Dunshine R4; +Donald Himself R8; +Online Learning R9

    9/12/14, Upfront Dean R5; Violet Eyes R8; Southern Allie R9; Iwanashowusomthin R10; +Incredible Dragon R11

    9/13/14, +Painting The Town R8

    9/11/14, +Smilin Eli R6

    9/13/14, Speeditup Hanover R6; +South Dakota R12

    9/11/14, +Dontmakemelaugh R4
    9/13/14, Big Bambu R1; Major Steve R3; Mr Rockford R3; Avogadro Hanover R11

    9/12/14, Shakin Friskie R10

    9/12/14, +Mcardles Lightning R4; Winbak Glory ae R9

    9/13/14, Avivas Winner R11; Skyway Poncho R12 
    9/13/14, +Big Jer R12

    Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.     


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