Thursday, June 30, 2011

TRI’s Picks- June 30 Maywood

Maywood Park Pick-4, Races 8-11, Thursday, June 30, 2011
Last week, we were able to produce two winners, Tamarac Sassy ($9) and Mike Lanigan ($6.20). Stryker went off at 7-1 in the second leg and was passed by better horses, which is excusable. The third leg was very disappointing, with our horses LT’s Sporty Babe (7-2), Steph’s Melody (9-2) and Butchie Lil Tax (17-1) finishing second, fourth and eighth, respectively. This week looks a bit better with a cheap ticket and many obvious selections.

$2 Play: 5/3/18/2


Race 8- Always coming into contention at the last minute, (5) Delightful Dot gets some post relief. She has proven that she can move, regaining 12 lengths in her last start. And her post in mid pack should help her get a good position for her closing style.

Race 9- (3) Our Big Dog showed some talent last time out, where he made two moves and did not fade, he was passed. His last start was also in too tough of a field for him and this week the field looks poor, which will give him the advantage.

Race 10- (1) Fox Valley See Ya has a well-rounded closing style. He has the rail and is stepping down, which will give him a huge edge in here. (8) Stryker is coming off of an okay performance last week. He drew the outside, which will give him an advantage to close instead of getting buried at the rail.
Race 11- After some poor attempts, (2) Bouncy’s Mate will get some post relief in this poor field. She can get into the race if she gets cover and the 2 hole will help her do so. She will also go off at fairly high odds most likely.

TRI’s Picks- June 30 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack Pick-4, Races 6-9, Thursday, June 30, 2011
Hopefully, we don’t have the bad luck today as we did last Saturday. We finished fourth/sixth, sixth/third, second in a dead heat and second through all the legs, respectively. I have provided an economical ticket for the start of the Meadowlands racing week.

$2 Play: 89/3/1/2 = $4


Race 6- Despite a first over trip last time out at Pocono, (8) Pacific Oakie Dokey should show some improvement against this poor field. He drew the outside, which may help him pick up cover. (9) Untold Legend tried to go wire to wire last week but faded by 1 ¼ lengths to finish seventh in non-winners of $6,000. Stepping down may help.

Race 7- (3) Chilitodayhotamale is showing the best improvement of all the two-year-olds in this field. But then again, these are two-year-olds. We will see how they do.

Race 8- Despite getting shuffled back last time out, (1) Commit still came back, but finished fourth. He may show some improvement as he gets the rail again.
Race 9- This may have been the toughest leg to handicap but (2) Upside Hanover may be ignored at the windows. She won both qualifiers from the outside at Pocono in 2:01.2. If I’m right, she will keep on improving throughout the season. But then again, these are two-year-olds. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

TRI Harness-Weekend Review, 6-26-11

This weekend was filled with stakes, including the last edition of the $500,000 Hoosier Cup at Hoosier Park. Also featured were the New Jersey Sires Stakes at the Meadowlands, the Ben Franklin elims at Chester, the Ellamony at Flamboro Downs and the Titan Cup prep at the Meadowlands.

Starting with the Hoosier Cup, our pick, Custard The Dragon, was a dominant winner, paying $18.60. The favorite, Big Bad John, went for command, looking to go wire to wire. Townslight Hanover started his move at three-quarters, applying pressure to “John,” while “Custard” sat in the pocket third. Montrell Teague brought him outside at the eighth pole and went right on by to win. Alscase Hanover was second andYannick Gingras brought Wink N Atcha up for third. This is the second time John has quit in the stretch, the most recent being the North America Cup. This was George Teague, Jr.’s second Hoosier Cup victory; his first was with Mr Wiggles in 2009.

In the New Jersey Sires Stakes for the fillies, Krispy Apple won the first division, with Honky Tonk Woman second and Rockratese third. Pretty Katherine was victorious in the second division, with Rocklamation second and Myluvmylife third.

In the Titan Cup, it was Arch Madness who returned victorious after his failed attempt in the Elitloppet Final. He won a Elitloppet heat and the Oslo Grand Prix in Norway. He went wire to wire to hold off a charging Slave Dream for second and Buck I St Pat went a leisurely mile to finish third. Our pick, Pilgrims Chuckie, made a first-over bid but faded to fifth. Our other pick, Slave Dream, was second at 2-1. All horses will return for the final on July 1, along with Neighsay Hanover, Sir Caviar, Lucky Jim and Coreleone Kosmos—all received byes to the final.

In the first Ben Franklin elim, Canadian-native Aracache Hanover won easily, with We Will See giving way for second and Ideal Matters closing for third. Our pick was Ideal Matters, who went off at 20-1. “Aracache” came through the passing lane to pass “See,” which had just taken command. “Ideal” was charging along side Foiled Again to try and take over but was a little short. Aracache Hanover, We Will See, Ideal Matters and Foiled Again will all return to next week’s $500,000 final.

In the second elim, Won The West is beating the east, after he “woke up” in the Mohawk Gold Cup in 1:47.2. “West” cleared the lead at the half and never looked back to just beat Vintage Master. Bettor Sweet was third. Won The West, Vintage Master, Bettor Sweet and Atochia will return to next week’s final.

In the Ellamony, Dreamfair Eternal won with a game effort, with Ticket To Rock second and Western Silk third. Our pick Tomorrowpan finished last (ninth) at 12-1.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stephen Hambo Status Intact; Historic Trots are History

On Saturday, June 25, winter-book favorite for the Hambo, Pastor Stephen (Cantab Hall) remained on top of the choice list to win the August classic even though he came in second in the $500,000 Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial at Pocono Downs.

The strange state of this status emerges due to the victory by non-eligible Dejarmbro. The Trond Smedshammer-conditioned New York-bred soph took down “Stephen” and six other hopefuls in the event.

Third was Broad Bahn (Broadway Hall), the colt that has been improving at three after a bout with injury at two. Fourth-money went to Big Rigs (Andover Hall), our choice to upset. Fifth place went to Leader Of The Gang (Muscles Yankee), the “Pastor” stablemate for trainer Jimmy Takter. Then, Buffalino Hanover (Cantab Hall) finished, followed by Bambino Hall (Tom Ridge) and Opening Night (Broadway Hall) was ninth.

Make note that Pastor’s place was accomplished from post 8 and he still reigned over the eligible crowd.

At Tioga, the Historic Cups for colts and fillies aiming at August were contested. To no one’s surprise, heavily favored Jezzy (Credit Winner) won in the $75,500 Coaching Club Trotting Oaks for fillies from post 8. Schnittker never nudged Jezzy for trot and cruised across the wire in 1:56.2. Angelette Hanover (Yankee Glide) took second, while Cabaret Princess (Yankee Glide) got up for third.

The other eligibles in the field finished in the following order: Cabaret Princess (Yankee Glide), Firstclassprincess (Classic Photo), Don’t Cry Lindy (Chocolatier) and Massive Drama (Credit Winner).

In the $78,200 Historic-Dickerson Cup for colts, Live Jazz (Andover Hall) surprised the public somewhat with a win at $15.80. He took the lead at the half and went on to win easily for trainer Scott Andrews.

Whit (Classic Photo) finished second, while Winuendo (Windsongs Legacy) got the third spot. Favorite VC Chocolate (Chocolatier), who got off to a very slow start, assisted in the upset by going on an interference break and, unable to recover, finished seventh.

Second-choice Tigers Too Good (Conway Hall) put in a disappointing mile, fading to finish eighth. Other hopefuls finished off the board, including Johnny B Kemp (Credit Winner), fourth, Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee), sixth, and Glidenfordollars (Glidemaster) broke and finished 10th. At the Meadows on June 25, 17-1 outsider Bold And Fresh (SJ’s Caviar) came from far behind to win in a stake-fastest 1:55.4. The “Oaks”-eligible filly won a split of the $202,135 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes.

Celebrity Katie (SJ’s Caviar) was third, Pacific Splash (American Winner) was fourth, Lady Ridge (Tom Ridge) broke but was fifth, Migisi (Andover Hall) broke and was eighth and Broadway Starlet (Broadway Hall) busted at the start and never got into the race.

In another split, Don’t Think Twice (Andover Hall) finished fourth and Hot Off The Press (Cantab Hall) was eighth.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pacers, Trotters Share the Limelight

It’s back south of the border this week for the mainline artery of harness racing as a number of divisions hold major events in the Midwest and the East.  

Soph-colt pacers bred in the Empire State cross paths on the half-mile at Yonkers in sires stakes events on Friday, as does the same division with competitors bred in the Garden State on Saturday on the Meadowlands mile. Glamour-boy colts also contest the $500,000 Hoosier Cup Saturday at Hoosier Park in Indiana. 

Pacing mares are the highlight in Canada in the $121,000 Ellamony Classic at Flamboro Downs on Saturday. And on Sunday at Chester, elims for the Ben Franklin puts stalwart FFA pacers in the arena.

At our exclusive Hambletonian Trail blog, there is info on classic eligibles in action Saturday. First, there is the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial for soph-colt trotters at Pocono Downs in northeast Pennsylvania. Then, at Tioga Downs in upstate New York, where the GrandCircuit’s Historic meet moves from its usual haunt at the Meadowlands. This year, Tioga hosts the Historic-Coaching Club Trotting Oaks for soph-year-old filly trotters and the Historic-Dickerson Cup for soph-male trotters on Saturday. Check out the blog late in the week for the scoop on the best on the bill heading for the August classics.

Hoosier Harangue

The half-million dollar Hoosier Cup brings together some of last week’s other Cup colts at Hoosier Park. Big Bad John is here, trying to make up for a poor performance as the favorite in Canada. He is destined to be the choice in this event, too. Also on the bill is our Cup-consolation pick Townslight Hanover, who was disappointing against the second tier of the Cup

Our eyes are upon Custard The Dragon for value. Also in the consolation, “Custard” made a big statement from post 8 by soaring to the lead and holding it to three-quarters. He beat Wink N Atcha, also in the Hoosier field. He is the best of two that trainer George Teague has in here. Feel Like A Fool is the other.

Meadowlands Mania

On Saturday, June 25, top New Jersey-bred-colt pacers battle in two divisions of the NJSS at the Meadowlands. In the first division, the likely favorites will be the coupled entry of Line Officer, Rollwithitharry and Howard’s Rock. But Lookinforadventure, disappointing of late, is capable of beating these three at a price. If you throw out his races in Canada, he has done moderately well at the Meadowlands. Maybe he will do better coming back from Canada.
In the second division, Shadyshark Hanover seems like he will race like a monster in here. He is coming off a poor performance in the North America Cup, but seeing as now he is going up against a weaker field and they add Lasix for the first time, he should improve off of that last effort. Besides, there was trouble closing from far off the pace on “Cup” night and some good colts raced under par.

Ellamony Mares

The $121,000 Ellamony Classic for mare pacers has two stars: Western Silk and Dreamfair Eternal. The former gets post 2 and the latter post 9. This could be the perfect spot for the 3 horse, Tomorrowpan, to take advantage of the star duo.

“Dreamfair” has to display speed and “Silk” will try to compromise it. However, Silk could be a spoiler here, forcing Dreamfair to waste the few steps she may need to win, handing the win to Tomorrowpan, who can save ground on the speedy half-mile trip around Flamboro Downs. Vote on the upset.

Ben Franklin

On Sunday, June 26, 14 FFA pacers combat in two elims of the Ben Franklin at Chester. The top four in each elim will go to next week’s final.

In the first elim, Foiled Again will be the likely favorite for his accomplishments this year and with a rest behind him. Still, he has been a bit vulnerable lately. This is why Ideal Matters is the horse to back for the upset. He won his first start this year at Chester and is as strong as most of these veterans. He has paced with the best at the Meadowlands and will have a good shot. Also watch Gallant Yankee in your exotics.

In the second elim, Won The West will be a betting magnet after racing the fastest mile mark in Canada, a 1:47.2, last week. He will be the one to beat but Bettor Sweet looks even better. This two-time world champion recently won on the five-eighths at Tioga, where he set a record. He is a tough horse and should show much talent against “West.”

TRI’s Picks: June 25 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Pick 4 Races 6-9, Saturday, June 25, 2011

First I would like to apologize for having no pick 4 yesterday. We experienced some difficulties here, but now we are back. On Thursday, we had two winners. The first was Sashay ($5.40) and the other was Tireman ($10.80).  Guiding Hand, whom I had picked in the third leg, did not show what I expected of her by finishing eighth at 82-1. The same goes for Must Be The Bunny in the closing leg by finishing sixth at 39-1. Life Of Ease was excused in his performance since he made a first-over bid at 5-2. I keep trying to save all of us some money with my economy strategies and was able to do so tonight. There are some strong contenders in every leg, but below were the best in my eyes.

$2 Play: 47/24/6/3 = $8


Race 6: (4) Corky Baran is making a slight hike up in class after a valiant first-over effort last week. I would expect to see some improvement as he gets some post relief this week. (7) Master Stroke had some difficulty finding a rail spot last week. He was forced to stay first over from the quarter until three-quarters when he picked up cover. I think this horse has not shown how good he is just yet.

Race 7: Despite his poor effort last time out, (2) Keepthepeace N did acceptable in this company before they put him in the claiming handicap event. Seeing how weak this field is will likely give a chance to Keepthepeace N to improve. (4) Native Lightning is stepping down after a well-run effort in the claiming handicap company. He has the capability to improve tonight with the same reason as Keepthepeace.

Race 8: Forgetting about his trip last time, (6) Keep Going has done well in higher company. Stepping up is a positive sign that his connections think he can improve. But in his last start you will see that he made an interference break and regained 12 lengths. I think he will be well bet, yet still be an overlay.

Race 9: After fighting for the top in lower company, (3) Four Starz Sue looks the best in this field. She came first over from the 9 hole at the half and faded in the stretch. But then, she came back to regain 2 ½ lengths at the line. Since this is a poor field, she could get the advantage to have a better trip.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

TRI’s Picks- June 23 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack Pick 4 Races 6-9 Thursday, June 23, 2011

$2 Play 246/8/5/311 = $12


Race 6
(2) Windell Winkie is undefeated so far in his four-year-old campaign. He won his second race in non-winners of three as the odds on favorite at Chester. I suspect he will be the favorite but low odds will still make him an overlay. (4) Sashay is stepping up from two wins in non-winners of two at the Meadowlands. She should have a good shot as she has visited the winner’s circle four times in her racing career. After racing against a tougher field, (6) The Lindy Reserve has a better shot this week, as this field is weaker than the one he was against last week. I suspect some improvement and a price.

Race 7
Coming off of three bad trips at Pocono, (8) Tireman should have some better game than his failed efforts at Pocono. Although he has the outside, he may get some cover for the way he likes to close.

Race 8
(5) Guiding Hand was hung last time out in this company (non-winners of two) at Pocono. She should show some improvement if she could get the trip.

Race 9
(3) Life Of Ease will race the first time in the Nick Sodano barn. He was hung last time out in this condition, he should do better with the three hole. (11) Must Be The Bunny will get an advantage this start as he drew the second tier. He was first over from the nine post last time and should get a good position in the second tier.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Up The Credit Takes ‘Cup’ 28; ‘Peelers’ makes it 18

On Saturday, June 18, top glamour-boy pacers and top filly pacers contested in the North America Cup and Fan Hanover, respectively. Consolations for both stakes were featured as well.

In the North America Cup Consolation, Bestofbest Hanover sat close to the top and won easily, with Mystician finishing second and Custard The Dragon third. “Custard” took command through a :26.4 quarter, with “Best” in second and Lookinforadventure in third. Best came first over at three-quarters and took command at the 3/16ths. Mystician was closing hard to finish second and Custard was third.

In the Fan Hanover Consolation, Honky Tonk Woman won, with Tea Party Princess finishing second and Swinging Beauty third. “Swinging” took the lead with “Tonk” in second and “Party” in third. Party made a first-over move at the five-eighths to take a short lead from Swinging. Tonk was stalking them in third. Tonk circled out in the stretch to challenge Party, dueled with that one to the wire and won it by a nose. Swinging was 3 lengths back in third.

In the Fan Hanover Final, See You At Peelers won it easily, to make it 18 for 18. Krispy Apple was second and Idyllic was third. Idyllic took the lead, with Whats New Pussycat in second and “Peelers” in third. Peelers made a quarter move to the lead and went from there to the wire to win it by 3 lengths. Krispy Apple was no match for Peelers and settled for second and Idyllic faded to third.

In the $1.5-million North America Cup Final, Up The Credit won in fine fashion, with Roll With Joe for second and Big Jim closing for third. Powerful Mist took the lead, with “Joe” in second and Big Bad John first over in third. “John” took the lead at the half and Joe came first over, giving cover to “Credit.” Credit was on John’s wheel at the seven-eighths and took over at the 1/16ths. Joe and “Jim” were closing hard to finish second and third, respectively.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Eligibles Sprout on ‘Cup’ Day

On Saturday, June 18, Hambo and “Oaks” eligibles contested in the Goodtimes and Elegant Image finals at Mohawk Raceway. Also, Hambo eligibles squared off in three elims for the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial at Pocono Downs.

In the Elegant Image final, Crys Dream (Taurus Dream) dominated the field, with Beatgoeson Hanover second and Lady Rainbow (Muscles Yankee) third. Eagle Canada went for the top with Lukes Sophie in second and Crys Dream sitting 5 lengths back in third.

Seducedbychocolate (Chocolatier) came first over at the half, “Beat” sat second over and “Lady” came third over. “Crys” came first over at the five-eighths and took the lead at three-quarters. She was drawing off, while Lady was making a bid, as well as was Beat. Crys won it by 2 lengths, with Beat second and Lady third. The other eligibles, Iron Lady (Daguet Rapide), Oh Sweet Baby (Angus Hall), Seducedbychocolate (Chocolatier) and Cedar Dove (Andover Hall), finished sixth, seventh, eighth and 10th, respectively. The also-eligible Crème De Cocoa (Chocolatier) scratched. “Crème” won a three-year-old, non-winners of three at the Meadowlands on Thursday, paying $21.80.

In the Goodtimes Final, Blue Porsche (Glidemaster) beat the field up impressively, with Sim Brown second and Onirique third. “Sim” made a first over bid for the lead, with Onirique in second and Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee) in third. “Porsche” was stuck first over in the back of the field, with VC Chocoholic (Chocolatier), Soulful Delight and Tamarind on the outside in the back.

Porsche took command at the 3/16ths pole and started to draw off. Sim was giving chase in second and Onirique was third. Porsche won it, despite a first-over trip. Sim was second and Onirique was third. The other eligible, Highland Thunder (Conway Hall), broke at three-quarters. He finished 10th.

In the first “Beal” elim at Pocono, I’m The Answer won easily, with Opening Night (Broadway Hall) second and Buffalino Hanover (Cantab Hall) third. “Buffalino” took the lead at the quarter, with I Love New York in second and I’m The Answer sitting third. Whatever It Takes (Credit Winner) came first over at the half from fourth. He was in third by three-quarters, while “Opening” came second over and Swan In A Million (Andover Hall) went off stride circling three deep. “Answer” was drawing off in the stretch, with Buffalino in second and “Love” in third. Answer won, with Opening finishing second and Buffalino for third. The other eligibles, “Swan” and “Whatever” finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

In the second elim, Pastor Stephen (Cantab Hall) won, with Broad Bahn (Broadway Hall) finishing second and Big Rigs (Andover Hall) third. “Bahn” took command, with “Pastor” second and “Rigs” was first over in third. Luckycharm Hanover (Andover Hall) went off stride. Rigs took command at the half, with Bahn in second and Pastor in third. Pastor came first over at three-quarters and Way Back When (Broadway Hall) came second over. Rigs was under pressure from Pastor in the stretch and Bahn was starting to move.

Pastor took the lead and won over Bahn and Rigs finished third. The other eligibles, “Lucky,” “Way” and Whit (Classic Photo), finished sixth, fifth and fourth, respectively. In the last elim, Dejarmbro won, with Bambino Hall (Tom Ridge) second and Leader Of The Gang (Muscles Yankee) third. Winuendo (Windsong’s Legacy) took command, while Magnum Kosmos (SJ’s Caviar) was first over in second and “Bambino” was second over in third. Bambino took command at the half and “Magnum” was in second. Charlie De Vie (Yankee Glide) was first over in third. “Leader” circled out second over at the half, behind Dejarmbro.

Dejarmbro took command as “Charlie” broke in the stretch. Dejarmbro drew off and won it easily, over Bambino and Leader was third.

The night before, June 17, the Goodtimes elimination at Mohawk, Whiskey Tax (Revenue S) was the only of a quartet of hopefuls to be on the board. Pegasus Blue Chip (Glidemaster) was fourth, EL Rock (Yankee Glide) was fifth and finishing sixth was Just In (Andover Hall).

At the Meadowlands, some colt hopefuls went at it. The Breeders Crown-winning Manofmanymissions, now looking towards the August classic, took on older trotters in a conditioned event and was second as the prohibitive favorite.

In leg 2 of the Magician series for glamour-boy trotters, neither division produced an eligible winner. The Evictor (Valley Victor) came closest, finishing second at 24-1. Celebrity Bombay (Yankee Glide) was fourth in that split, with Glidenfordollars (Glidemaster) out of it after a break.

In another Magician division, Unabating (Yankee Glide) finished fourth; Consus Blue Chip (Muscles Yankee) was fifth; Aequitas (Glidemaster) got sixth; Man O’War (Chocolatier) took seventh; and Wicked Schooner, at 139-1, broke and finished 10th.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Canda Highlights Weekend Stakes

This weekend features several stakes finals and consolations, some on the undercard of the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup. They are the Elegant Image, Goodtimes, Goodtimes consolation, Fan Hanover, Fan Hanover consolation and the North America Cup consolation.

Saturday starts with the $519,000 Elegant Image final. It looks as if Crys Dream will be the likely favorite and one to beat. If you want to play this, watch Lady Rainbow. She is still an improving horse and may have a shot here. But if you think Crys Dream is the best, pass the race.

Next is the $100,000 Pepsi North America Cup consolation, it is tough to find a clear cut favorite. Since it is like that, Townslight Hanover has the best shot. He was shuffled back last time out and came up for fourth. He could get a better trip in here.

In the $347,000 Goodtimes Final, Blue Porsche and Vc Chocoholic will get all the play. But one that will be ignored is Mr Joe Sixpack. He dueled for the front at the quarter and then went first over at three-quarters to finish third.

In the $601,000 Fan Hanover final, See You At Peelers looks to go 18 for 18 in here. Since she is in here, it would be a wise choice to pass this race. But if you think she will lose, then watch Krispy Apple. She will be a better price since she is going against “Peelers.”

In the $75,000 Fan Hanover consolation, there is no clear favorite. Since it is like that, Honky Tonk Woman. She was shuffled back and came up short at the line. She should do better facing this group. The buzz horse is JK Soundofmusic. Don’t be surprised if she puts in a big mile as she is improving by the week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Field Set for North America Cup

The field for the 28th $1.5-million Pepsi North America Cup was drawn Tuesday morning, featuring some of the most aggressive three-year-olds in North America. They will contest the mile at Mohawk Racetrack.

Elimination-winners Big Bad John, Powerful Mist and Up The Credit got to choose their post positions. Powerful Mist chose first and got post 3, then Big Bad John chose post 4 and Up The Credit took post 2.

Elimination-winner Up The Credit has displayed talent on the seven-eighths oval. The Diplomat Stakes champion broke the stakes record in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes (formally known as the Burlington Stakes), making it 1:49. In that division, he defeated another elimination winner, Powerful Mist, as well as world-champion Big Jim. He is co-owned by trainer Carl Jamieson, along with Thomas Kyron, Brian Paquet and Joanne Morrison.

The Western Hanover colt Big Bad John is the “now” horse. Being undefeated at three, he dominated in his elimination despite a bad trip and won it by 2 lengths. Trainer Ron Potter said he would be afraid to make any change to the colt’s equipment. “He wears a tight hopple, that’s just what he’s always worn. I’m scared to death to let them out,” Ron Potter said. “We are going to stay with what we are doing.”

Powerful Mist with the 3 post is trained by Melvin Wayne Givens and Dave Miller will drive. He has finished on the board in the Max Hempt Memorial and the “Somebeach.” He defeated Big Jim in a 1:50.2 North America Cup elim. Legacy Racing of De Inc, Niel Gargiulo and Louie Paglierani own Powerful Mist.

Listed below is the field for the 28th $1,500,000 Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack.

Post Position-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line Odds

1.Big Jim-Phil Hudon-James Dean-7-1
2.Up The Credit-Jody Jamieson-Carl Jamieson-5-2
3.Powerful Mist-David Miller-Melvin Wayne Givens-6-1
4.Big Bad John-Brett Miller-Ron Potter-2-1
5.Shadyshark Hanover-Tim Tetrick-Erv Miller-5-1
6.Rockabille-Brian Sears-Dr. Ian Moore-15-1
7.Roll With Joe-Randall Waples-Ed Hart-8-1
8.Eighteen-Paul Macdonell-Dr. Ian Moore-25-1
9.Dutch Richman-Scott Zeron-Erv Miller-30-1
10.Foreclosure N-Sylvain Filion-Mark Steacy-25-1

Big Bad John will be the one to beat in here. Shadyshark Hanover may be the horse that can upset. He gamely tried to beat Up The Credit but just lost by ½ length at the line. He is a strong horse returning at three though he has not started the season with a bang. With Big Jim is off his game, “Shady” can have an advantage. He lost to Big Jim in the New Jersey Classic and now Shady is doing better than “Jim.” All Shady has to do is move at the right time. Seeing that he went a final quarter in :25.4 in a qualifier, we know he can close.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Racing Inquirer- Weekend Review 6-13-11

Racing Review

Eliminations for the Goodtimes Final next week at Mohawk included three races with a dozen Hambo-eligible colts spread through them.

High-profile eligible Blue Porsche (Glidemaster) was tons the best in the opener, while the other four hopefuls failed to menace. He paid $2.60.

Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee) was fourth, Attorney Hanover (Angus Hall) was fifth and Del Cielo (Broadway Hall) finished sixth.

The Chocolatier colt, VC Chocolate, came on late and held on to win the second elim, paying $4.20 as the choice.

Highland Thunder (Conway Hall) got third, with Whiskey Tax (Revenue S) just behind him and Just In (Andover Hall) following that one. Spectator K (Conway Hall) broke again and was eliminated. There was only one eligible in the last elim and he was nowhere near the longshot ineligible that won at 23-1. Pegasus Blue Chip (Glidemaster) jumped and was out of the race at three-quarters. Fort Valley As (Tom Ridge) scratched sick.

On Saturday, June 11, 23 sophomore pacers squared off in three eliminations for the 28th Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack. Also featured were three eliminations for the Fan Hanover for three-year-old filly pacers at Mohawk.

In the North America Cup elims, I had two winners, one of whom was a short price. Powerful Mist overtook Big Jim to upset to win the first elim, Rockabille at 63-1 finished second and also just passed “Jim.” Jim had to settle for third. “Mist” paid $12.20 to win.

Up The Credit paid $3.40 to win in the second elim, Shadyshark Hanover was second and Eighteen was third. My other horse, Lookinforadventure, showed nothing in the elim. Going off at 57-1, the public seemed to know he did not want to race. They were right, he quit, even though he had a perfect trip. Up The Credit I was hoping to be 6-1 and up.

Big Bad John was the overwhelming odds-on favorite. He took the last elim with Roll With Joe finishing second. There was a dead-heat for third between Dutch Richman and Foreclosure N. Big Bad John paid $3.60 to win, I was hoping for 4-1 and up.

The Fan Hanover had three splits for the filly pacers. In the first elim, See You At Peelers made it a perfect 17 for 17. She paid $2.30 to win, with Idyllic second and Live Inspired third. Honky Tonk Woman surprisingly did nothing in here. She sat behind horses and faded. She could have not liked the surface. Still, it’s too early to tell.

In the second elim, Krispy Apple took it as the odds on favorite. Pretty Katherine was second and Monkey On My Wheel was third. Rocklamation made a break at the quarter and was pulled up at the half.

In the last elim, my horse What’s New Pussycat won it, paying $39.70. Athenas Legacy was second and the “horse to beat” Cammile was third at 12-1.

Down at Harrah’s Chester on Sunday was the $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial final for free for all trotters. In that final, Anders Bluestone just held off Buck I St Pat to win it, with Coreleone Kosmos finishing third. Watch “Kosmos” in his next start. Kosmos was hung at the half. “Anders” paid $11.60 to win.

At Tioga Downs, the Artiscape for open mares and the Bettors Delight for open horses were the highlight of the card.

In the Artiscape, it was Anndrovette to win it, Ticket To Rock was second and Laughandbehappy was third. The defending champion Dreamfair Eternal finishrd fourth. Anndrovette paid $4 to win.

In the Bettor’s Delight, Bettor Sweet added another world record to his resume, going 1:48.1 on the five-eighths track. We Will See was second and Giddy Up Lucky was third. Bettor Sweet paid $10 to win.

Harness Racing News

We apologize for overlooking the news that John Campbell was injured in an accident on May 30 at Chester. John is recuperating but sources report his injuries are worse than earlier diagnosed.

 “I’ve got cracked ribs and a broken collarbone,” Campbell is quoted as saying, “but they are underneath the broken shoulder blade, so I can’t really differentiate between the different pains.

“I can move around a little better than I could the first few days, obviously but I have a broken bone in my knee that I’m not going to be allowed to put weight on for another eight weeks. I can’t use crutches; I basically can get from the bed to the wheelchair, to another chair and back to the bed . . .  I can’t even get one of those little scooters because of the position it would put my broken knee.”

These injuries put the champion driver on the sidelines as the stakes season gets rolling, leaving John out of the picture for most of the season’s highest profiled events. We all wish him a strong recovery, no matter the duration.

More reports on two-year-olds are coming in from baby races. Two colts by Horse of the Year Rocknroll Hanover (sire of last season’s Horse of the Year, Rock N Roll Heaven) were the fastest recorded last week.

Mybrothergeorge won in 1:56.3. This colt is owned by the “Heaven” connection Frank Bellino and trained by Bruce Saunders.  Time To Roll won in 1:56.3 for trainer Jimmy Takter.

In the trotting kindergarten, a daughter of Hambo-winner Donato Hanover, Real Babe, won in 2:00 for the second-straight time, putting almost 10 lengths between her and the next filly. Ray Schnittker trains and is a part owner.

Ruler On Ice Reigns Over Belmont

On Saturday, June 11, twelve three-year-olds competed in the $1,000,000 Belmont Stakes going the distance of 1-½ miles over the Belmont Park surface. The track was sloppy due to rain over Elmont, NY.

In the final jewel of the Triple Crown, Ruler On Ice stayed close to win the 143rd Belmont Stakes, Stay Thirsty was second and Brilliant Speed was third. Shackleford went for the lead, with “Ruler” and Stay Thirsty sat third. Santiva was sitting in fourth and the favorite Animal Kingdom was last.

By the mile and a quarter marker, Shackleford was starting to fade and Ruler was sitting close. “Speed” was moving up as Santiva was fading.

Ruler took the lead at the quarter pole and Shackleford was caught. “Thirsty” was following Ruler and Speed was with him. “Animal” was catching up and Nehro was starting his move. Ruler never lost command and won the Belmont Stakes by ¾ of a length.

Ruler On Ice is by Roman Ruler out of the Saratoga Six mare Champagne Glow. Ruler On Ice is trained by Kelly Breen and was ridden to victory by Jose Valdiva Jr.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Colts Contest & Fillies FIght

On Friday, June 10, 11 “Oaks”-eligibles squared off in two eliminations of the Elegant Image at Mohawk. Hambletonian eligibles went to post in the Magician at The Meadowlands, along with a three-year-old open.

In the first “Elegant” elim, it was Beatgoeson Hanover to win again, over Eagle Canada, Iron Lady (Daguet Rapide) was third and Lukes Sophie was fourth. Fitness Girl (Muscles Yankee) had scratched out of the elim due to sickness. “Eagle” went to the front with “Iron” and Cleopatre Duharas (Cantab Hall). “Sophie” had come first over at the half with “Beat” following and Lady Rainbow (Muscles Yankee) coming third over. Eagle was under pressure at the seven-eighths as Sophie was coming up. Beat was inching in, “Lady” was fading and “Duharas” had made a break. Beat came surging at the 16th and caught Eagle. Lady and Duharas finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

Beatgoeson Hanover is not eligible but has the same connections as 2010 Hambletonian Oaks favorite Poof She’s Gone. The team of Richard “Nifty” Norman and David Miller gave Beat another win. Beat paid $6.80 to win.

In the second elim, Crys Dream (Taurus Dream) won by 3 lengths, over Seducedbychocolate (Chocolatier), China Pearls was third and Ceder Dove (Andover Hall) was fourth. Oh Sweet Baby (Angus Hall) had taken the lead in the first eighth of a mile, with “Seduced” in second and Andover The Top (Andover Hall) in third. As Ya’ll Like It (Yankee Glide) had made a break. Then “Andover” broke at the quarter.

“Crys” had taken the lead at the half and was gone. She started drawing off at the seven-eighths and she took it, with Seduced closing in and China Pearls moving, too.

Crys Dream paid $2.40 to win.

In the first Magician split, the eligibles finished fifth (Aequitas [Glidemaster]) sixth (Consus Blue Chip [Muscles Yankee]) and seventh (Man O’War [Chocolatier]).

The middle chapter’s eligibles were topped by Celebrity Bombay (Yankee Glide), finishing third, followed by The Evictor (Valley Victor) getting fifth, Orlando (Andover Hall) breaking and finishing eighth, Wicked Schooner (Broadway Hall) finishing ninth and Mr Web Page (Muscles Yankee) scratching.

No eligibles took the late Magician mile. Unabating (Broadway Hall) got the place money, Muscles Malone (Muscles Yankee) took fifth and Matrix (Yankee Glide) was ninth.

Buck I St Pat Vies for Third 'Maxie' Title

On Sunday, June 12, the $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial final will run at Harrah’s Chester in Chester, PA. It consists of eight free for all trotters, including two-time winner Buck I St Pat.

Featured in the final are some of North America’s best free for all trotters, including Coreleone Kosmos, Buck I St Pat, Pilgrims Chuckie, Looking Hanover and Neighsay Hanover. Seeing that Buck I St Pat is the defending champion, she is the likely favorite. She just lost to Neighsay Hanover in the second leg by a nose.

She will be tough to beat, but Coreleone Kosmos may not get some play. He is one to watch because last time he came from the second tier in the Maxie Lee and now draws post 2. This horse has improved so much. Last year he was in non-winners of $6,000, but now he is doing incredible in stakes, plus he overcame his breaking problem.

Also watch Anders Bluestone. He left the gate slowly, trailing the field by 11 lengths coming to the quarter. He regained 8 lengths. He gets the rail and he should leave the gate better than last time.  

North America's Finest

This is a talented group of glamour-boy pacers, proven by the Somebeachsomewhere divisions last week that prepped most of them. Those three splits, all won by outsiders, were not flukes; this crop is already showing deep star power.  

In the first elimination “Cup,” Big Jim will be the likely favorite in his group. Since he was defeated last time, he may continue to be vulnerable to other striking pacers. Which is why Powerful Mist looks plenty the best here. He came first over at three-quarters in the “Somebeach” where “Jim” was defeated. That three-quarters went in 1:21.3, quarter in :27.1. He went a little too fast in that event. Seeing that, driver Tim Tetrick may change his strategy when he drives “Mist” against Jim again. Just how good is Custard The Dragon? It would be no surprise to see him getting into the final (top three in each split and fastest of the fourths make the 10-horse final field). 

The second elim is the toughest of the trio because you have Feel Like A Fool in here, along with Betterthanchedder, Up The Credit, Grams Legacy, Eighteen, Lookinforadventure, Townslight Hanover and Shadyshark Hanover. This field may be very aggressive; someone may set a track record. But if there were one to watch, it would have to be Lookinforadventure. He is still an improving horse and may show his best to get into the Cup. Also expect a big move from Up The Credit.

In the last elim, Roll With Joe looks as if he will be the favorite for beating Betterthanchedder last week. But there is still no clear favorite. Since it is like that, you got to go with Big Bad John. He is an improving colt. Also watch Wink N Atcha.  Check out the Facebook Twinspires page for our projected final Cup field.
Saturday, at Mohawk, the glamour-girl filly pacers, led by the star of stars, See You At Peelers. Just off the Yonkers win against some mediocre soph pacers, “Peelers” has little to combat in the first Fan Hanover elimination of the program.  

If you want to key Peelers, on top of exotics, then Honky Tonk Woman is the choice. She is an improving horse. If you are brave enough, you would put her on top.  

In the second elim, it looks like Krispy Apple will be the favorite and although hard to beat, Rocklamation looks like she is improving at three. We cashed in well with her at two and support her as a possible upset.  

In the third split, Cammile is the likely favorite and certainly one to beat. This field is just not that good, which is why Cammile will be the huge choice. What’s New Pussycat is showing signs of life for an exotic or upset if you get brave, else it is a pass.

Trotters go for Goodtimes

On Saturday, June 11, 10 Hambletonian eligibles will square off in third eliminations of the Goodtimes at Mohawk. 

 In the first elimination, Blue Porsche (Glidemaster) will likely be the public choice for his near perfect record. Other eligibles in here include Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee), Attorney Hanover (Angus Hall), E L Rock (Yankee Glide) and Del Cielo (Broadway Hall).    “Porsche” will be the one to beat, which is why Ice Machine will be good in his exotics. “Ice” will likely be higher odds than usual due to Porsche and since he broke in the New Jersey Sire Stakes. It was most likely just a little flaw and he should return well.    

In the second elimination, VC Chocoholic (Chocolatier) will be the likely favorite as he raced well here in the Champlain stakes. Also in here are Spectator K (Conway Hall), Highland Thunder (Conway Hall), Whiskey Tax (Revenue S) and Just In (Andover Hall).     Since “VC” should get a lot of play, Whiskey Tax may be ignored. He has raced very well in Canada and you can give him that one race at the Meadowlands.  

 The third split offers a pair of eligibles, Pegasus Blue Chip (Glidemaster) and Fort Valley As (Tom Ridge). Neither looks as if an upset is possible considering the strong non-eligible favorite here.  Reviews, results and archives appear at the home page of the Hambletonian Society.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fillies Vie in "Elegant" Elims; Magician Splits Make Colts Appear

On Friday, June 10, 11 Hambletonian Oaks eligibles go to the gate at Mohawk in the two Eligantimage elims, while the Meadowlands hosts three splits of the Magician series for the colts, with eligibles included. 

In the first “Elegant” elim, it is tough to predict the public choice. But it could be Lady Rainbow (Muscles Yankee). Also in it are Iron Lady (Daguet Rapide), Fitness Girl (Muscles Yankee) and Cleopatre Duharas (Cantab Hall). “Lady” did not show her potential in the Casual Breeze at Mohawk. She should be able to do better here.  

In the second elim, the likely favorite and one to beat is Crys Dream (Taurus Dream). Also in it are Andover The Top (Andover Hall), Crème De Cocoa (Chocolatier), Seducedbychocolate (Chocolatier), Cedar Dove (Andover Hall), Oh Sweet Baby (Angus Hall) and As Ya’ll Like It (Yankee Glide). Crys Dream is tough but Andover The Top may be able to do it. She draws the rail after a poor performance in the Casual Breeze. Also watch Crème De Cocoa.  

In $15,000 splits at the Meadowlands, three fields of the Magician host 11 Hambo hopefuls them.  

Man O’War (Chocolatier), Aequitas (Glidemaster) and Consus Blue Chip are in the first mile and “Man” holds the edge, having been racing with better than the non-eligibles here and racing more consistently than the hopefuls.  

The second chapter has five hopefuls: Orlando (Andover Hall), Celebrity Bombay (Yankee Glide), The Evictor (Valley Victor), Mr Web Page (Muscles Yankee) and Wicked Schooner (Broadway Hall). Orlando, despite his gait problems, has been productive and is the top money-earner among the Hambo-aimed colts here. He is a formidable favorite.  

In the closing division, Unabating (Broadway Hall), Matrix (Yankee Glide) and Muscles Malone (Muscles Yankee) take on seven others and don’t stack up very well against the best of the others so far this season. We may be seeing improvement from Unabating, who could be a longshot to win this, though he has the most money in the bank.

Check all reviews, results and archives at the Hambletonian Society page.

Belmont Brings Longshots to Sight

As most handicappers know, it’s that the Belmont Stakes undercard at Belmont Park is one of the best in the world. It features the Grade I Acorn, Grade II True North Handicap, Grade II Woody Stephens Stakes, Grade I Foxwoods Just A Game Stakes, Grade I Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap and the Grade I Belmont Stakes. But catching most handicappers' eyes is the $1,000,000 guaranteed all staked pick 6 and all stakes pick 4. This year’s Belmont card looks as if there will be many upsets. Listed below are the horses that I think will do well in that race and bring a price.

$300,000 GI TVG Acorn Stakes 1 Mile
Race 6- (3) Savvy Supreme has shown speed in every race and is now stretching out. But the crazy thing is that you don’t see second time maidens go 44.4 for a half. If you look at the last two years, it is that speed has dominated the Acorn, with Champagne D’oro and Gabby’s Golden Gal, both longshots, went wire-to-wire. Knowing that Turbulent Descent will close, she may not be able to catch her. She couldn’t get horses going one mile at Santa Anita.

Race 6- 3

$250,000 GII True North Handicap 6 Furlongs
Race 7- (6) Khan Of Khans is some of the prime speed in this race. Coming from a Starter Allowance to a stake and going 1:10 at six furlongs is pretty impressive, especially in this field.

Race 7- 6

$250,000 GII Woody Stephens Stakes 7 Furlongs
Race 8- (3) Derivative ran an incredible race last time at Churchill in an Optional Claiming $100,000. In the slop, he went 21.3 and 44.4. He had dueled throughout the race and ended up winning by ½ length. With that kind of speed, he could light up the tote board. As the morning line favorite, 1 Travelin Man, I think are bad favorites.

Race 8- 3

$400,000 GI Foxwoods Just A Game Stakes 1 Mile (Turf)
Race 9- (3) Amen Hallelujah’s closest race to turf was the GI Madison Stakes at Keeneland on the main track and tried to leave the gate. Now she draws inside a bit and should show more speed in here.

Race 9- 3

$400,000 GI Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap 1 ¼ Miles (Turf)
Race 10- (9) Straight Story is the only one in this field with speed that can hold on. He is stretching out a bit and it should not be a problem.

$1,000,000 GI Belmont Staked 1 ½ Miles
Race 11-(1) Master Of Hounds did really well in the Kentucky Derby. Now he draws the rail and could do better with a smaller field. (4) Santiva really didn’t show what he was capable of in the Derby. He was mid-pack, 5 lengths off the leader and just got the room to move to late. He draws further inside and that could really help.

Below are the Pick 6 cost and Pick 4 Cost

$2 Pick 6-3/6/3/3/9/1,4- $4
$2 Pick 4-3/3/9/1,4- $4

Add or subtract horses to fit your budget.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fillies fight in Currier & Ives

On Wednesday, June 8, 10 Hambletonian Oaks eligibles went to the gate in the $120,000 Currier & Ives at The Meadows.

In the first division, Celebrity Katie (SJ’s Caviar) won it, over Lady Ridge (Tom Ridge) and Backstreet Hanover for third. Pacific Splash (American Winner) took the lead, while “Celebrity” and “Lady” sat mid-pack and Too Busy To Care was far back. “Pacific” gave way at the three-eighths, while Celebrity came second over. Lady was sitting at the inside still.Celebrity drew off in the stretch by 5 lengths, with Lady sitting second.

In the second division, non-eligibles took it easily. Lady Andover (Andover Hall) broke at the quarter, while Cheetah Hall (Tom Ridge) and Hot Off The Press (Cantab Hall) sat far back. “Hot” came first over at the three-eighths and “Cheetah” sat at the rail. Both of them never got up to the top four.

In the last division, it was I’m A Centerfold at 15-1, over Pantholops (Andover Hall) and Linnea P was third. Pantholops took the front and was caught at the three-eighths, around the time Pay Me Sister broke. Then Bold And Fresh (SJ’s Caviar) broke at the five-eighths and Pantholops was boxed in third. She came through the passing lane and couldn’t catch I’m A Centerfold.

Pick 6 Headlines Hollywood Card

Today, Thursday, June 9, Hollywood Park features a $117,269 Pick 6 carryover in races three-eight. Listed below are selections from I for today's Pick 6.

Claiming $40,000 1 Mile (Turf)
Race 3- (1) Big Son Of A Gun had raced well against higher company at Golden Gate. He is stepping up off the claim and is making the transition from synthetic to turf. Knowing that, he may bring the price. (3) Fifth Dimension is making a huge step down from Allowance Optional Claiming company. He did show little speed and against this field, it may work out. (6) Triple Action looks like the horse to beat as he is stepping down from a $40,000 Starter Allowance at Golden Gate. He is two for three on his career and his loss coming off of his Maiden is explainable. He was coming off his Maiden.

Race 3- 1/3/6

Maiden Claiming $40,000 5 Furlongs
Race 4- (4) Warren's Diggers posted an outstanding workout at Santa Anita four days ago. 47.3 for four furlongs is amazing for a two-year-old. He may bring an upset as the public will dislike him not ever working out on the synthetic. (5) All Squared Away is the likely favorite as one, his trainer is 21% for two-year-olds and two, he as done the best of any of the raced colts in this event.

Race 4- 4/5

Claiming $25,000 1 Mile (Turf)
Race 5- (3) Hameildaeme did not break well last time, but he was in such higher company than this. He is already a proven winner in this class and should show even better than in those races. (4) Red Hot Charlotte has done well at Golden Gate and is also taking a class drop, which should help.

Race 5- 3/4

Claiming $25,000n2l 6 Furlongs
Race 6- (3) Bullybullybully has shown tremendous speed in previous starts. He did well last time out in this condition and may do better.

Race 6- 3

Optional Claimer $40,000n1x 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
Race 7- (4) Victorian Prince stayed off the pace last time and closed for third racing at this distance. Could do better in this race.

Race 7- 4

Claiming $8,000 6 Furlongs
Race 8- (2) Fire Glow was forced eight wide last time and broke badly at the start. He may get a better trip and win gate-to-wire.

Race 8- 2

Pick 6 Ticket
$1-1,3,6/4,5/3,4/3/4/2 = $12
$2-1,3,6/4,5/3,4/3/4/2 = $24

If you would like to play the 50 cent Pick 4 then here is my ticket

50 cents-3,4/3/4/2 = $1
$1-3,4/3/4/2 = $2
$2-3,4/3/4/2 = $4

Add or subtract horses to fit your budget.