Adios Week Wild With Action; Stakes Shuffled Around The Circuits
The glamour- pacer divisions’ gold continues to stack on weekends as August looms in the thick air of summer. Many of the season’s top colts are headed to Pittsburgh for the Adios Pace as the Grand Circuit comes to the Meadows. Adios week at the house that Del Miller built begins Friday, July 24 and presents full cards, including 13 stakes with purses approximately $1.5 million and overnight events through Saturday, Aug. 1, which is highlighted by the final of the 49th Adios Pace for the pacing colts. Eliminations for the Adios are on the Saturday evening (July 25) program.
New Jersey offers the glamorous group a state-bred “Classic” and a crown at The Meadowlands on July 25, Ontario supports three six-figure Ontario Sires Stakes Gold splits for the boys, while Indiana state-bred colt pacers fight for top status. Meanwhile, Saratoga presents its premier event, the Joe Gerrity mile for threes-and-up pacers.
The Hambletonian Trail blog at TwinSpires features the “Zweig” Memorial on Sunday, July 26. Some colts (there is a filly Zweig, too) will be racing for their decisions to drop or not to drop into the box for the big round. The fillies’ crop is wide open and may not mean a lot to connections looking to the “Oaks.” Due to the draw dates for the Zweigs, the H-Trail blog will be posted after this one. The exclusive blog covers the events in these last few weeks before Hambo and Oaks elims and finals. It’s top coverage from TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society.
About the classics on Aug. 8: TwinSpires’ harness team will be live at The Meadowlands for the entire program.
More hot contenders, many at great prices, appear in our horses-to-watch (H2W) list. Hot across-the-board/exotic action deserves your attention when you look through the list. Don’t miss out on exclusive probabilities from our personal files.
TwinSpires also continues to team with Hoosier Park for another season of player perks. Click here to check it out. A spring special offers free harness past performances through June. Click here to take advantage of the deal.
New Jersey Giants
In the $100,000 Miss New Jersey for soph-filly pacers bred in the state, most of the division’s active gals are in the field, a few of them spending the week around the area (all Meadowlands horses are ship-ins since the reconstruction of the facility) after last week’s Mistletoe Shalee. But the field also includes some state-breds that are not so well known nation-wide.
In the “Shalee,” The Show Returns (at 5-1) had some space problems from post 2 as the outside horses left rapidly and the flow became very crowded by the half. “Show” was buried by the half, stuck inside and seventh at three-quarters. Then she took advantage of every step available but could only get fourth, still only 2 lengths behind the trio in front (they were only 1 ¾ lengths between each other. She has had her traffic problems but even when she does her best the crowd is not very supportive (we first had her this season with a 40-1 win price).
This field is much softer than the Shalee and Show may tower over these at a decent price. The crowd will back Stacia Hanover too much, like the recent races of Ideal Nuggets and even the 10 horse, Wicked Little Minx, has her fans to swell the win pool, so Show may win with another bright payoff.
The boys go next, in the $200,000 New Jersey Classic. It’s a big purse for only seven colts and all of them are from the division’s second tier, disinterested in the Adios elims.
The shining star here is Artspeak, whose Meadowlands Pace performance was down a notch from his elim the week before. However, he was 10-1 in the final and didn’t race much until the stretch. He will try to steal this purse with a pace-away mile, else he will prove his last two races were signs of a softening sophomore getting worse by the week.
It’s a good time to go with him but not, perhaps, at the price that will be offered. Split The House could make a pace-away mile a chore for Artspeak, as could Hurrikane Ali if that one fires from the gate. This could be a great spot for the rested Pierce Hanover to sit in the pace and let the speedsters burn. The crowd won’t pour win money into “Pierce,” for one, because Doug McNair drives him. They will wave their bucks at Campbell, Tetrick and Gingras, giving Pierce a hike in the spike.
In this year’s Adios, say hello to some of the division’s lesser-known campaigners. Say goodbye to Wiggle It Jiggleit, Artspeak (see New Jersey Classic), In The Arsenal or even Wakizashi Hanover; they are passing. The 19 divided into a trio of elims may make you feel as if you are playing a Pick 3 with overnighters. That may make for less glitter but there could still be wagering gold for the digging.
In the first elim (each are worth $25,000) there are only six and the crowd will be looking more at trainer/driver combos than equines, since the sextet is a mystery. When the best known colt and highest earner is National Seelster, you are left with many questions. He has been a terror but not against the top class. He may wind up the favorite, though he will have to battle with Ron Burke’s Rufo, two for eight with popular Yannick Gingras aboard, for favorite status.
Since most of them are proven losers, per se, we take a close look at the mildly raced Dreams Beachboy, going only his fourth of the season here, with one win and one second. Tony Alagna’s student may be better than these, especially since he has not proven to be worse them these. He’s a good hookup either way with “Seelster” for a decent exotic in a small field, especially if he wins.
In the second round, three vagrants from the Meadowlands Pace bring their experience to a seven-colt field, though they belong at this level more than they did against the “Pace” crew. Even Dude’s The Man, who pinched a place against “Wiggle” in the final, is better off here and due to that finish will get the best of the dollars to win here. But his second to Wiggle was a product of chaos and though his confidence may have boosted, he is on a level playing field with Lost For Words and Badiou Hanover, the 1 and 2 horses, respectively.
In the “Hempt,” Lost For Words had a tough trail to tread. He took a week off and he comes into this fray with the flash he could not show at Pocono. We like him here, almost certain to be a better price than “Dude” and certainly with “Badiou,” who could have beaten Dude in the Pace were it not for a burdening 10-hole start.
The last elim looks like any Meadows race, with seven of the division’s dullards looking for the nearest thing to glory available to them. This makes it fodder for a price, though, and that is what you will get if your winner is Jo Pa’s Well Said. Jim Campbell’s three-for-11 trouper should go under the betting radar and that makes his price better than his chances. Seven of his 11 races find him first or second and he has the speed to match any of these.
The biggest race of the Saratoga season is going Saturday, July 25. The $260,000 Joe Gerrity Memorial Pace has eight three-and-up pacers looking to take the biggest share of that purse.
You should know most of these by now and they know one another well from battles around North America. Look out for PH Supercam, who is back on the half-mile and sporting the off-the-pace style that could be most powerful when it counts. As well, he should not be the choice off of some recent losses and the major attraction of Dancin Yankee and a few others that are tough.
A $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for glamour-boy pacers is on the docket at Hoosier on July 25. The 10 top boys go at it for the crown. Rockin Ron will get lots of play as the obvious best looking colt, Gallipolis to his right has a roll going in state-bred action and Freaky Feet Pete is four for five with the top earnings. We see a price, then, for Skim The Top, whose six for nine in-the-money races (three of nine winners) could be ignored.
Friday, soph-filly pacers finalize their state-bred standings for a $75,000 bounty. Nora Rockwell should lead this group in the wagering. A strong outside chance to Dali West should get your attention. She is as good as the next behind “Nora” and should be in the mix, not to mention her upset chances.
Frosh filly state-breds battle on the same program in their $75,000 final. Only a few sires represent the entire 10-horse field, with Ginger Shark’s three-for-three lifetime and a brick load of earnings from it set to lead in the win pool. From post 1, though, Topville Cadillac is two for two and a morning-line outsider that could continue her desire to win and at a much greater price.
Ontario Golden Guys
Three $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold splits are on the menu at Mohawk on July 25. These province-breds are competitive, yearning to make good and get into Grand Circuit stakes for the division.
The first split may be an easy and forceful trip on top all around for Casie Coleman’s Mikes Powerhouse. Coleman has her colts in ship shape for the big bucks and this one looks ambitious to boot.
The middle edition seems to rightfully belong to Sporting The Look, as the Jamiesons continue to do well with the Sportswriter progeny. This colt is getting better and may contribute greatly to his sire’s average earnings for sophomores this season.
The third edition for the evening has got to be a walk-around mile for Go Daddy Go or the colt isn’t going anywhere else. His disappointments over the boarder certainly make one take pause but here he has to perform and may very well look sterling again, though the price may be low, it is negotiable. Judge for yourself.
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.
7/24/15, Windsong Destroyer R5
7/25/15, Terlingua R8
7/24/15, Capitol Hill R4
7/25/15, +Keystone Vanyla R7; Too Ideal R7; +Kumu R8; Hilldrop Shady R9
7/25/15, Holly Mollie Maggie R2; Shellys Man R3; Ebcbruno R3
7/23/15, +Pet Shark R13
7/24/15, Rockin Good R4; Body Talk ae R7; +Dali Treasure ae R10; +Shirleys Dream R10
7/25/15, Lets Drink On It R10
7/24/15, Obrigado R6; Jolene Jolene R8; +energy Bar R11
7/25/15, Racing Hill R4; +Witch Dali R9
7/24/15, Cheapskate Hanover R1; Biggle R2; +Ladystar; +Jessamys Jetta R7; Fashion Katie R13
7/25/15, Momas Got A Gun R7; Pretty Boy Hill R8
7/23/15, Gansevoort R2
7/23/15, +Milano Grande R15
7/24/15, War College R1; +Bellas Quick R6
7/24/15, +Mic Mac Beau R8
7/23/15, Lagerfeld R2; Hititoutofthepark R5
7/23/15, No Tears Blue Chip R4
7/25/15, Mr Tommy Fra R9
7/26/15, Darlington Stripe R10
7/25/15, Ahead Of The Curve R10; Carols Comet R12; +Sharp Returns R13
7/24/15, Crazy Over You R5; Worldwide R7;
7/25/15, +Mystical Con R1; Driving Miss Crazy R3
7/26/15, Surface Tension R11
7/24/15, Our Els Dream N R5; The Filly Princess R7
7/25/15, +Lucan Hanover R12
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.