Saturday, June 23, 2012

TRI’s Picks June 23 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack, Races 6-9, Saturday, June 23, 2012

Last night, we had two winners, Ram Rocker ($9.20) and Banker Volo ($3.20). Cathy's Princess was second in that race, providing a chalky $11.40 exacta. Tonight’s ticket isn’t one of my favorites, but has a good chance. Good luck!

$2 Play: 2,5/3,4/1/2 = $8


Race 6- (2) Cullens Blue Jean did well against this bunch from bad postpositions. He gets a better post this week and we may see his full potential this week.  (5) Intheblinkofaneye may get an advantage to close this week. With all the speed in this race, he should be ready to come flying down the stretch.

Race 7-
(3) Freddy Day Hanover returns to the company he did the best against. He could not face the non-winners of $16,000, but now returns to the $10,000 ranks, where he won from post 8. He gets a better post as well and should be sharp. (4) Kevlar Hanover raced well after stepping up into this class from non-winners of $6,000. He is at his peak and should continue to impress.

Race 8-
(1) Art For Arts Sake returns after a layoff from a tough trip against similar. He was parked from post 8 and tried for the entire mile. He gets post relief and should be ready to race.

Race 9-
(2) Lucky Land has done well against this group. He should continue this streak as an invader from Pocono.

Friday, June 22, 2012

TRI’s Picks June 22 Meadowlands

Last week, we had one winner, Mambo Italiano ($5.00). This weekend should prove good for us. Good luck!

$2 Play: 1,6/2,6/9/2,3 = $16


Race 6- (1) Ram Rocker was third as the favorite against better at Pocono. Although she may be bet, she will be tough. (6) Clear View Hanover goes against softer this week. After disappointing efforts in the New Jersey Sires Stakes, she should be better suited against these horses.

Race 7-
(2) Cathy’s Princess went a tough first over mile against this group last week. She drew a better post and should get a pocket trip and trot late on the scene. (6) Banker Volo is improving every start. He should continue that streak and perhaps be a slight upset.

Race 8-
(9) Don’t Know Chip has found his groove again. He has moved back to the Rob Harmon barn this week and should put on a show against this bunch.

Race 9-
(2) Zot worked hard to get off the gate to come up short in the stretch. He draws a better post this week and should have some left in the tank in the stretch. (3) My Aching Back is in the same situation as Zot. Except My Aching Back came from post 8 last week and faded to fourth. He should be more aggressive from the rail.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

From Michigan to Pennsylvania, Eric Carlson has done it all

Eric was Michigan's Driver of the Year in 2010

Conceived by a teacher, Eric has been around horses for most of his life. Growing up in the state of Michigan, his dad owned low conditioned horses that raced at Hazel Park, Northville and Sports Creek. Today, he has migrated from car country, to Illinois and now the Keystone State. Eric, who is very lenient when it comes to catching drives, is the first call man for the Ken Rucker stable at Pocono Downs. He is currently ninth in the driver standings, with 19 wins out of 210 starts and earnings of $279,635 this meet. But you will figure out that his stats are miniscule in the big picture that Eric views.

The Racing Inquirer: What I want to know is how did you get involved into the sport?

Eric Carlson: My dad had horses, that’s basically how it started. He was a school teacher but he had a couple of hobby horses, then I qualified $1,500 Claimers and they were pretty good, they made some money and I just kind of caught the bug you know.

TRI: So, this was at like Northville and all in Michigan right?

EC: Yeah. Northville, Hazel Park, where ever.

TRI: So I see that you started at Northville and Hazel and all those tracks and when did you get involved?

EC: I had horses and I trained horses for a long time and I graduated college and got some pretty good, decent jobs and bought some of my own horses. I trained them and drove them as well and I did pretty well with my own, which were just average horses you know, mid-level, conditioned claimers you know, mostly cheap. I did pretty well with them and you know, I started catch-driving more and more and I guess that’s how I got to where I’m at.

TRI: When did you decide to stop training and become a catch-driver?

EC: It was probably about three years ago. I had an opportunity to drive a horse in the race that was better than the horse that I owned. I sold a couple here and there and emptied out. The driving kind of picked up and took off from there.

TRI: With the problem that Michigan is purse-wise, like there top level race is the Invitational for $10,000, I can see that you moved to Balmoral in 2011 and how were you able to pick up drives?
Eric driving Zall Good to a victory in the Orange & Blue at
Balmoral Park

EC: I had a couple connections and I got hooked up with a guy named Perry Smith and Perry does pretty well there in Chicago. He said come on out here and I’ll put you on all of my horses. I did that and picked up drives from people there; things went really well. I did well and met up with another guy named Ken Rucker and he said do you want to come out to Pocono, Pennsylvania and drive my horses. I said yeah and it kind of went from there, meet people and driving. I seem to make them happy when I drive for them. I try to get the best out of my horse with every drive and so far, nobody seems to be unhappy with everything that’s going.

TRI: I see with Balmoral and how their purses have increased very well, you still wanted to come out East. Other than the connections, what else influenced your decision?

EC: Just opportunity, you know the opportunity towards the east coast is great as there are more tracks and the purses are better. Trainers are better, horses are better, tracks are better. Chicago is not bad, its good racing, the purses are pretty good over there right now, but you’re still limited. Racing in one state, versus the east coast. There is just much more opportunity out on the east coast.

TRI: Even though you were fifth in the standings (and he still is) at Balmoral Park, does it matter how much you win?

EC: No, I don’t even think about winning, I never did and I just hope whatever horse I’m driving, I just hope I hit the board; try to figure out how to get the most out of whatever I can in the race. I focus on whatever I’m on in the moment and if it totals up to some pretty good numbers or whatever that’s great.

TRI: So what you’re saying is that you don’t care about your standing, but you just care about making the owners and trainers happy, basically.

EC: Well, that’s it, you got to make your owners and trainers happy and then, you’ll do fine in the standings. But if they’re not happy, then your not going to have any work. So yeah, you just do the best you can with whatever you’re driving and try to make whoever your driving for happy. Try to take care of the horse and get the most that you can out of the horse without hurting it.

TRI: Do you have any tactics for when you’re driving in a race?

EC: It depends, its all relative to what you’re driving and what you’re against. What your post is, what class and it depends. If you have to gas hard, that makes sense or if you have to layoff the pace, it makes more sense. Every race is different, you’ll have to alternate or change your tactics every race. You may have a game plan, but you may have to make changes. I think that’s a part of what makes a good driver is that they don’t necessarily have a fixed plan, but you just have to be able to go with the flow and modify your tactics. Usually, I hope I make pretty good decisions while doing that.

TRI: Have you ever persuaded Ken Rucker to try at another track like Yonkers or the Meadowlands?

EC: Truthfully, no. Ken Rucker and like a lot of these guys out here they’ve raced everywhere and they know what their stock is, they know what they have, they know what they are best to race. I don’t really offer too many suggestions to trainers or where they should go with their horses. The only time I suggest anything to a trainer is equipment wise or lameness or how the horse raced. Where they want to go with their horses is completely their business. It’s not a rare occasion that you may have a suggestion but mostly, trainers like Ken, these guys are keen and they know where their horses belong and they don’t need my help.

TRI: When you’re driving in a post parade, is there anything that bettors can look for to see if a 30 or 40-1 shot, perhaps an 8-1 shot too, is ready and prime for a race even though his past performances may not show the exact same thing?

EC: Truthfully, not a lot. The only thing that I sometimes notice is if a horse is really hot in the post parade, it doesn’t always translate into the race. If a horse is hot, by that, I mean that they are anxious, ready and wanting to go usually means that they want to race. It means that they will usually try to get into the race somehow and sometimes it can backfire and sometimes it may work out. Usually if a horse is kind of hot, it usually means they’re excited to race. It’s up to the driver and the trip, but usually it means they’re ready to go. Behind the post, sometimes the horse is a little lazy or acts a little off in the post parade, if he’s kind of dead scoring down; as a gambler, if I went out and saw a horse scoring dead, I would be more tempted to throw one of those horses out than something that’s kind of hot and ready to roll.

TRI: Other than Ken Rucker, is there any trainer you’ve been trying to catch drives?

EC: Not really, you know I just try, talk to people and sometimes offer my services to some people. But I just work hard and be friendly, you do the best you can and I’ve been lucky that some of these really good trainers are throwing me some good horses here and there and things seem to be picking up, so I’ve been doing some pretty decent work and making them happy. I’m just appreciative that these trainers are throwing me good drives. I just keep trying to do the best I can. I drive to win, I try to get the highest placing I can with whatever I have. One thing that most people know about me when they put me up to drive a horse is I’m going to try and get all I can without hurting the horse. I’m trying to do well.

TRI: Is it possible that we can see Eric Carlson training again in Pennsylvania?

EC: Its possible. I’ve had a few people call me and they want to send me a horse or two. It is definitely possible, I’d probably take lower level horses to take something. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to train an Open horse here and there, but I don’t really want a stable because I’m not trying to go back into training so much. I like driving and I like having the opportunity and if I have a stable of my own again, I am obligated to drive my horse, which kind of limits my opportunity because I can’t drive for other people. I enjoy driving and I’m going to stick with that and if I pick up a horse or two here or there, its possible definitely. I’m definitely sticking more towards the driving side of it.

TRI: Your still in your 30s and approaching the midst of your career, is it possible that you’d be able to meet up with the top drivers at the Meadowlands?

EC: I guess I would say its possible, but I’m just going to try; I’m not going to even look towards that. To me, its just mostly trying to do the best I can with what I’ve got and where I’m. You can’t just get there, you have to climb the ladder and do the best you can here at Pocono and if you do well there, you might get an Invitation to drive a horse here or there. I guess anything is possible. I don’t look towards that like I said, I don’t look towards standings or anything like that. I just look at whatever I’m driving tonight and try and do good with that, then look forward to tomorrow night. If in two or three years I land somewhere else down the road, that’s terrific. If not, I’ll do the best I can with where I’m at and that’s all I can really do. I am really privileged to do what I do. I’ve trained and I’ve always been a fan of the equine athlete. So I guess I’m pretty much here and I’m very privileged.

TRI: What is a bigger influence in the race, the driver or the horse?

EC: It’s definitely the horse it is the overriding factor. I don’t care who’s driving the horse. If you’re 20-1, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t have enough horsepower to be there, then you won’t. Drivers are very important to, but the main thing is that you have to have horsepower. That’s how its been and its going to always be that way. It doesn’t matter who’s driving; if you don’t have power, you won’t be there no matter what.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Year of the Milestone

With all the hysteria following Dave Palone going after the record for all-time dash winning driver, others aim to reach other milestones of their career.

Geo. Napolitano at Pocono

Over the last couple of months, drivers and trainers have been accomplishing several feats that make their name stand out among the rankings. Recently, George Napolitano Jr. racked his 5,000th win at Harrah’s Philadelphia on June 17. On the training side of it, Mark Ford earned his 3,000th win at Saratoga.

Other drivers that reached a milestone this year includes Yannick Gingras (4,000 wins), Tim Tetrick (7,000 wins), Anthony Morgan (14,000 wins) and Wally Hennessey (8,000 wins).

Ron Pierce moved up the standings to second in all-time earnings. With his recent victories in the Goodtimes and Mohawk Gold Cup, he passed Mike Lachance with career earnings of $186.06-million, as Lachance’s were $185.92-million. John Campbell is the all-time leader with $278.2-million.

Many drivers and trainers are approaching major milestones in their career. Driver Pat Berry is approaching his 3,000th win. The Illinois native is currently nineteenth in the standings at the Big M, with three victories out of 153 starts.

Dave Palone doing the "Filion" to the
winners circle
Dave Palone has received a lot of attention from his bid to 15,181 wins (making him North America’s all-time dash winning driver). The fifty-year-old has finished on top of the standings at The Meadows a whopping 23 times in all three categories!

Herve Filion is the all-time dash leader until Dave passes him.

Listed below are other horseman that should reach a milestone by the end of the year:

Ron Burke- 3,000 training victories
Casie Coleman- 2,000 training victories
Greg Grismore- 6,000 driving victories
Roger Hammer- 2,000 training victories
Mark MacDonald- 5,000 driving victories
Paul MacDonell- 5,000 driving victories
Ervin Miller- 4,000 training victories
Julie Miller- 1,000 training victories
Brian Sears- 8,000 driving victories

We wish them the best of luck in marking their name as the best in the sport.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thinking Out Loud Roars in North America Cup; World Record in Fan Hanover

The Bob McIntosh trained Thinking Out Loud took advantage of the fast fractions and closed on pace setters Warrawee Needy and Sweet Lou to take the 29th edition of the Pepsi North America Cup. Also contested was the $642,000 Fan Hanover and the $376,000 Armbro Flight.

Pembroke Heat Wave trotted a tough mile to upset in the $376,000 Armbro Flight. Cedar Dove was second, China Pearls was third and Bax Of Life was fourth.
Pembroke Heat Wave dead-heating in her elimination

Frenchfriesnvinegar set the pace for the first half of a mile. Pembroke Heat Wave started the two wide flow, while Cedar Dove and Unefoisdansmavie were tracking her cover. Pembroke Heat Wave stuck her head in front in the final eighth. Cedar Dove fanned wide and China Pearls found racing room and was starting her bid. But Pembroke Heat Wave showed she was much the best and crossed the line in 1:54.

Pembroke Heat Wave is a six-year-old mare by Like A Prayer out of the mare Super Earl by Earl. She is owned by William Varney, trained by Gregg McNair and Brian Sears was in the bike.  

American Jewel pacing a world record 1:48.2 in the Fan Hanover
American Jewel went wire to wire to win the Fan Hanover in a world record 1:48.2. Nobody was able to challenge the filly, but rather give chase. Romantic Moment took the pocket and finished second, Big Mcdeal was third and Angel Scent fanned off the cones to close for fourth.

American Jewel is a three-year-old filly by American Ideal out of the mare Trim Hanover by Camluck. She is owned by Brittany Farms, trained by Jimmy Takter and Tim Tetrick was in the bike to win in a world record 1:48.2.

The North America Cup audience was shocked when Sweet Lou faded in the stretch. Longshot bettors were extatic when they saw Thinking Out Loud cross the line first.
Thinking Out Loud crossing the finish line in 1:47.4

Randy Waples brought Thinking Out Loud to the back of the field, 15 lengths off the leader by the :25.1 first quarter. Sweet Lou started the two wide flow, coming first over at the half in :52.4 (:27.3). Dapper Dude came second over, Time To Roll was third over and Thinking Out Loud was fourth over heading around the far turn. He fanned three wide, having to pass Dapper Dude and Time To Roll. Sweet Lou was aggressive turning for home. Thinking Out Loud swooped right by him as Time To Roll and Dapper Dude were gaining their momentum. It was too late as Thinking Out Loud crossed the line to upset Sweet Lou in the North America Cup. Time To Roll was second, Dapper Dude was third and Sweet Lou settled for fourth. The mile was paced in 1:47.4, a world record for pacing geldings. Thinking Out Loud returned $18.60 at the windows.
Thinking Out Loud is a three-year-old gelding by Ponder out of the mare Los Angeles by Camluck. He is owned by Bob McIntosh, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc., trained by Bob McIntosh and Randy Waples was in the bike to score his first North America Cup, along with Bob McIntosh.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Favorites Disappoint in Ellamony Eliminations

Fourteen of North America’s top free for all mare pacers contested in two splits of the $40,000 Ellamony Pacing Classic eliminations. Both splits were for $20,000.
Voelz Hanover winning the 2012 Forest City Pace

Voelz Hanover got the perfect trip to win the first elimination in 1:51.3, equaling the world record. The Benoit Baillargeon trained mare got away second behind pace setter Rocklamation. Dreamfair Eternal, the 2012 Artiscape winner, came first over and locked in Voelz Hanover for most of the mile. Mario brought Voelz Hanover up the passing lane to pull off the mild upset in the first elimination. Rocklamtion was second, Dreamfair Eternal was third and Strike An Attitude was fourth.

Voelz Hanover is a seven-year-old mare by Astreos out of the mare Vassar Hanover by Big Towner. She is owned by Richard Berthiaume, trained by Benoit Baillargeon and his brother Mario Baillargeon was in the sulky.
Warrawee Koine winning at Woodbine

Warrawee Koine and Randy Waples pulled off the 19-1 upset in the second elimination. From post 3, she took the lead and never looked back. Favorite Western Silk came first up to challenge Warrawee Koine at three-quarters, but gave way into the stretch. Warrawee Koine paced home to a 1:51.1 victory, lowering the world record by two-fifths of a second. Ginger And Fred was second, Camille was third and Swinging Beauty was fourth.
Warrawee Koine is a six-year-old mare by Astreos out of the mare My Gal Hall by Cambest. She is owned by Dr. Michael Wilson, trained by Corey Johnson and Randy Waples was in the bike.

TRI’s Picks June 16 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack Pick 4, Races 6-9, Saturday, June 16, 2012

Last night, we had no winners. It was favorite mania last night but tonight ensures for big payouts and us cashing a ticket! Good luck!

$2 Play: 2,3,5/4/2,3/2 = $12


Race 6- The first leg of the Pick 4 seems to be a great race to bet long shots! We’ll start with the (2) Lettherockbegin. He was a game third against similar and draws a better post this week. He should be able to get off the gate, sit mid-pack and close to win. (3) Pedro Island has shown improvement in his last two starts. It seemed he was not himself, but looks to upset and show us that he is back and ready to pace. (5) Kevlar Hanover is coming off a valiant victory against slightly lower company. He steps up this week and should have no problem finishing in the top three.

Race 7-
I hate to single favorites, but (4) Mambo Italiano looks much the best against this field. He has already beaten these guys twice. If he doesn’t win, I’ll have to change my name to Phil Schiffley.

Race 8-
(2) Sir Ziggy’s Z Tam has been competitive against similar in every start. If he gets the right trip, he will fly right by this field. (3) Western Trademark finished a game second against similar. He gets a better post this week and should be competitive through the entire mile.
Race 9- (2) Must Be The Bunny paced an okay mile against this group last week. He draws a better post and will be looking to upset.

Friday, June 15, 2012

TRI’s Picks June 15 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack Pick 4, Races 6-9, Friday, June 15, 2012

Last week, we had no winners. This week looks a little better, though our ticket is a little more expensive than usual. Bet these horses to win if they are 4-1 and up. Good luck!

$2 Play: 2,3/2,3/4/4,5 = $16


Race 6- (2) Tasty Max has raced against similar over at Yonkers. He seems to be a little off, but should be able to ship onto the mile and win for fun. (3) Brandos Muscle Man has been very consistent going against similar company. He gets first time lasix and should be able to win as he won’t have a bleeding problem.

Race 7-
(2) Mystical Diva ships in from Pocono after a game effort that resulted in a victory. She goes against slightly better and may be able to pull off the upset. (3) Odds On Aventure won from post 9 against similar. She gets post relief and will be one to beat.

Race 8-
(4) Cathy’s Princess has done well against this group. Although she broke two starts back, she was a game second in two of her last three. As long as she stays flat, she should win.

Race 9-
(4) Witch Is Bettor was caught wide against this group and was able to close to finish a game fourth. She gets post relief this week and should get a better trip and nip this group at the line. (5) Signal paced a tough first over and faded to sixth. If she gets the right trip, she’ll finish in the trifecta.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sweet Lou: He’s not alone

After his 1:47.4 victory in the North America Cup, crowds all around the standardbred hemisphere think that he’ll dominate this division this year.

Then, I come in, proving he won’t.

It may be true that Sweet Lou leads the division, but that doesn’t mean he will beat this group in every start. What makes a great horse is he can lose, but make up for it the next start by doing something tremendous.

I’ll use Rock N Roll Heaven as an example. He was the super horse of 2010 and he lost some of the major races, including the Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup. But that doesn’t take away from how he did it that established his great legacy.

Rock N Roll Heaven started out his campaign with a win in the Berry’s Creek, which was not run in 2012, and rebounded to go the fastest mile in New Jersey Sires Stakes history, going 1:48.3.
Rock N Roll Heaven banked $2,748,818 in his campaign.

One of his major lows came in the Burlington, where he was caught in the fog and the light of the teletimer spooked him. He broke stride and circled the course in the wrong direction.

Qualifying four days before, Rock N Roll Heaven then took his North America Cup elimination in 1:48.4 (One second slower than Sweet Lou), to come up short in the final and lose to Sportswriter.

When Rock N Roll Heaven shipped back to the Meadowlands, he went the fastest Meadowlands Pace elimination in 1:47.3. Is it possible that Sweet Lou can face the same fate?

That is where I’m getting at. Sweet Lou may never equal Rock N Roll Heaven, but he is in the same spot as he was two years ago. Breaking the Canadian record, Sweet Lou will have to face the misfortune of some of the favorites in the North America Cup.

Right now, you’re probably saying well, who can beat Sweet Lou. One quote said that, “Every so often, there comes to racing a horse so perfectly conformed, so talented and so tragic that it breaks the hearts of even the most hardened horsemen.” That book came from The Complete Book of Thoroughbred Racing, aimed towards the great filly Ruffian.

It can slightly relate to Sweet Lou. There is no doubt that he is talented, but talent is one thing and luck is another. Any horsemen will tell you that it is entirely based on the trip, unless you get that horse of a lifetime. If that horse is Sweet Lou, that is too early to tell, but from a handicappers view, anything is possible.
Hurrikane Kingcole winning a leg of the NJSS
One competitor throughout the year will be Hurrikane Kingcole. Making a break in his elimination, he paced some unbelievable fractions. He went :30.3, :58 (:27.2), 1:23.3 (:25.3) and 1:49.2 (:25.4). Analyzing those fractions, you will see his final half was in :51.2 and final three-quarters in an astonishing 1:18.3! If you don’t know, the fastest three-quarters ever was in the 2009 Meadowlands Pace, where Somebeachsomewhere paced 1:19.1. The three-year-old son of Cams Card Shark was not in tip-top shape at two, but looks to beat a monster closer at three.
Ontario-Sired Warrawee Needy

Another threat on the trail is the Jamieson trained Warawee Needy. The three-year-old went amazing miles in the Ontario Sires Stakes, but did not equal Sweet Lou’s sub-1:50 Breeders Crown triumph. But, it takes one bad move to change the entire outcome of the race and Warawee Needy will likely follow Up The Credit’s path, just being slightly greater than he.

The Virgil Morgan trained Pet Rock also seems to be a likely-spoiler this stakes season. The Rooney champ always gets into the race late and seems to know how to get the trip. He may be like Rockin Image in 2010, running-up to Rock N Roll Heaven in nearly every outing.

The last one I’ll mention is oddball Simply Business. He seems to be as tempered as Hypnotic Blue Chip, by that I mean he races when he feels like it. How can we tell? Look at his last couple of lines. He lost his Metro elimination last year and exploded in the final. Its all up to how he looks before the race.
There are many more that can challenge Sweet Lou in his 2012 campaign. You can’t assume that he is the best from one race. A good horse can win, a great horse can win big, but a champion is truly the best. It is too early to tell if Sweet Lou is harness racing's next superstar.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mohawk Conducts Draw for 29th North America Cup

With drawmaster Michael Del Zotto, the defenseman for the New York Rangers, at the side of the Mohawk executives, ten of the seasons top sophomore pacers received their posts for the 29th edition of the Pepsi North America Cup.

Listed below is the field:

1 Bettors Edge             Tim Tetrick           Linda Toscano
2 Dapper Dude            John Campbell      Bob McIntosh
3 Time To Roll           Andy Miller           Jimmy Takter 
4 Sweet Lou                Dave Palone          Ron Burke
5 Thinking Out Loud  Randall Waples     Bob McIntosh
6 State Treasurer         David Miller         Dr. Ian Moore
7 A Rocknroll Dance  Yannick Gingras   James Mulinix
8 Warawee Needy       Jody Jamieson      Carl Jamieson
9 Pet Rock                   Brian Sears           Virgil Morgan Jr.
10 Simply Business     Ron Pierce            Jimmy Takter

All eyes are on Sweet Lou, as he dominated in his elimination, pacing a 1:47.4 mile and setting a stakes, track and Canadian record. Although its impressive, its possible that he won’t have as much in his tank for the final as he did in the elimination.

“The thing I like most about him was that it was a track record, but the thing I dislike most is that there were horses behind him. I think this year’s crop is the best crop in a long time. Its not just going to be the two of us, everybody has a chance. This is the best week he’s had as he’s had a little bit of a virus, but it went away; his temperatures back to normal. Everything seems to be on go, so hopefully he’ll be sharp and ready,” trainer Ron Burke said, after choosing post 4 for Sweet Lou.

As usual, I attempt to choose against the favorite as Sweet Lou has a great chance of loosing. Its possible that he can follow the route of Rock N Roll Heaven, which is what I believe.

Last year, Jimmy Takter sent out Simply Business, a 20-1 shot who looked like he had no shot. He came into the stretch of the Metro final and flew by A Rocknroll Dance. It seems that this colt’s best races come in major finals and not the eliminations. Although he drew post 10, which I might add has not won a race the entire meet at Mohawk, he should be able to defy the odds once more and pull of major spoils in the North American Classic.

Also with a shot is the Art Rooney champion Pet Rock. As the luck of the draw was unkind to the mid-pack pacer, he may have to close this time. This makes a lot of sense as there are many speed demons, such as Sweet Lou, Warawee Needy and A Rocknroll Dance, that will be vying for the top spot and control the tempo to their advantage. How the race seems it will go in my head is that it will set up for closers. Simply Business and Pet Rock are two pacers in the field that I know can close well. Watch out for these two as North America Cup XXIX will be the year of the upset.

Also on feature is the $642,000 Fan Hanover for sophomore filly pacers. Here is the field (drivers were not available at time of draw).

1 Angel Scent
2 Legal Entity
3 Big McDeal
4 Romantic Moment
5 American Jewel
6 Jet Wash
7 Pirouette Hanover
8 Shelliscape
9 Economy Terror
10 Kiss Dont Bite

American Jewel proved that after injury, she is still at the top of the division. But a wise man once told me that, “The best horse doesn’t always win.” That wise man obviously didn’t know how generic that quote was, so he’s more of an ordinary bystander. Any person can tell you that quote. So can I.

One horse that can give American Jewel a run for her money is Angel Scent. Coming from post 8, Angel Scent went a tough first over to clear the top through a :26.4 opening quarter. She slowed the tempo while she led the field. It wasn’t until Pirouette Hanover swooped by that she started to pick up the tempo. She will likely get a pocket trip and be let loose into the stretch.
Another game competitor is Pirouette Hanover. She challenged Angel Scent, took the lead and lost it to Romantic Moment, who got the perfect trip in that elimination. She will need to get a pocket trip, get cover and she’ll win like she did in the Sweetheart last year.

Field Set for North America Cup XXIX

With drawmaster Michael Del Zotto, the defenseman for the New York Rangers, at the side of the Mohawk executives, ten of the seasons top sophomore pacers received their posts for the 29th edition of the Pepsi North America Cup.

Listed below is the field:

1 Bettors Edge             Tim Tetrick           Linda Toscano
2 Dapper Dude            John Campbell      Bob McIntosh
3 Time To Roll           Andy Miller           Jimmy Takter 
4 Sweet Lou                Dave Palone          Ron Burke
5 Thinking Out Loud  Randall Waples     Bob McIntosh
6 State Treasurer         David Miller         Dr. Ian Moore
7 A Rocknroll Dance  Yannick Gingras   James Mulinix
8 Warawee Needy       Jody Jamieson      Carl Jamieson
9 Pet Rock                   Brian Sears           Virgil Morgan Jr.
10 Simply Business     Ron Pierce            Jimmy Takter

Full story later.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I apologize for the lack of reviews here at The Racing Inquirer, but everything is back on track and the Bettor's Delight and Artiscape Reviews should be up later today. Thank you for your patience.

~^ Ray Cotolo

Saturday, June 9, 2012

TRI’s Picks June 9 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack Pick 4, Races 6-9, Saturday, June 9, 2012

Last night, we had one winner, Celebrity Playboy ($8). Tonight looks a lot better and hopefully, we will cash. Good luck!

$2 Play: 4,6,10/4/1,3/2 = $12


Race 6- (4) Freddy Day Hanover usually closes against this group. If he can catch the two wide flow, he should be able to close with no problems. (6) Pacinello faced similar pacers at Vernon in the Opens. He was a good third from post 7 and fierce in his start before that. He ships back to the Meadowlands, after an absence of two years and may be able to upset. (10) Big Bam Ray will be unattractive with his outside post. There is no doubt that he is one of the best in the field and will bring a price with his draw.

Race 7-
(4) Allamerican Inca ships in from Yonkers after doing well against better horses. He steps down this week and should be sharp.

Race 8-
(1) Woodstock Hanover steps back up into this company after winning from a gruesome first over. He should be able to handle this group this week. (3) Sniper Seelster was a game third against this bunch last week. This field is competitive, but he gets some post relief this week and should provide us with another good effort. 

Race 9-
(2) Frog Juice won convincingly last week against this group. He should be able to repeat this week.

Friday, June 8, 2012

TRI’s Picks June 8 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack Pick 4, Races 6-9, Friday, June 8, 2012

On Saturday, we had no winners. Tonight looks a little better. Remember, bet horses that are 4-1 and up to win as well. Good luck!

$2 Play: 1/5,6/3,9/6 = $8


Race 6- (1) Valdez closed well from post 7 against tougher company. He draws the rail and steps down this week and may go off at some sort of price.

Race 7- (5) Speed Mcqueen just strolled along last time. Before that, he was aggressive, going first over and claiming the lead, but quitting later. He steps down today and may bomb out this ticket. (6) Crown Lady steps down after finishing a close third. She should be sharp and perhaps a favorite.

Race 8- (3) Dig For Dollars went a game mile in the Arthur Cutler. Although he was far back, he was first over early and never got his act together. He was a good third against top conditioned company at Woodbine earlier in the year and may surprise the public this week to show what he’s got. (9) The Evictor is coming off three straight victories in the Opens at Tioga. He was won them all valiantly and may be ignored as he’s shipping from Tioga.
Race 9- (6) Celebrity Playboy trotted a tough first over, cleared and held his bid just to lose positioning against similar last time. He should get a better trip and provide a mild upset.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

TRI’s Picks June 2 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack Pick 4, Races 6-9, Saturday, June 2, 2012

Last night, we had no winners. Lady Andover was one considered for our ticket, but we thought Proud Moment was better. Oh well, tonight should make up for it as we start off with the $150,000 final of the New Jersey Sires Stakes. Good luck!

$2 Play: 3,9/3,4/1/4 = $8


Race 6- (3) Brent Montana is an amazing closer. Although he raced from the top last week, they will likely go very fast upfront. After they tire, Patrick Berry and Brent Montana will be closing on the outside and upset like he did at two. (9) Simply Business has not had the luck he’s needed in the two legs. He’ll have to stay in mid-pack and close like Brent Montana to have a chance to win.

Race 7-
(3) Home Again Dragon gained 13 lengths to finish fifth last time against similar company. He gets a better post this week and should be able to get a better trip and be the first to cross the red and white striped pole. (4) Sand Savage closed with Home Again Dragon last week. He gets mild post relief and should finish either first or second tonight.

Race 8-
(1) Must Be The Bunny does better in this company from the rail. This field is so weak that he’ll be able to win like Secretariat in the Belmont and that’s saying something!

Race 9- (4) Pedro Island has raced well against better. You can forgive his last race as he went up against the likes of Mcclelland, Big Bam Ray and Oscar Oscar. He gets class relief this week and should be sharp at a price.

Friday, June 1, 2012

TRI’s Picks June 1 Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racetrack Pick 4, Races 6-9, Friday, June 1, 2012

After a long vacation, we are back and rolling on the Meadowlands Pick 4, one of the best bets in harness racing. Our last ticket was from May 25, where we had two winners. They were not a bet though. This week is sure to bring long shots, shorter shots and of course, a winning ticket. So lean back in your chair and keep your eyes close to your computer for tonight’s Pick 4.

$2 Play: 2,8/1,6/3/3 = $8


Race 6- (2) Panthalops closed very well against this bunch last time from post 7. Although she finished fourth, this horse is known for staying off the pace and coming onto the scene late, its how she was fourth in last years Breeders Crown. She draws a better post this week and should be able to close better than last time. (8) Proud Moment makes his fourth start in the Marcus Johansson stable. He moved three wide at the half last time and was stuck there at three-quarters as well. He closed hard and was third from post 10. He gets some mild post relief but should still be in the top three.

Race 7-
(1) Ace Of Pace closed well last time. She caught the cover flow and was 2 lengths off the leader in fifth as they passed the flash of the finish. She gets a better post and should be closer to the pace to win. (6) Best Boss was too far back last time, but still caught up to get minor money in fourth. If she is closer up in the cover flow or in the pocket, she’ll have a great shot to either romp or nip the leader at the wire.

Race 8- (3) Good Night Hanover stepped up into this class after winning in non-winners of one. She hung and hung on very well. If she gets a better trip, she should have no problem winning.
Race 9- (3) Ms Bettys Hope raced against similar company two starts back. She parked and still finished a close fourth. She gets post relief and should get a better trip and win for fun.