American-Nationals Feature Stars On Weekend Bulging With Action
The following weeks are not transitional in the standardbred calendar; they are actually crucial as it draws closer to championship weekend, the Breeders Crown. The stars are out and campaigning all over North America and the American-National finals at Balmoral Park on Oct. 11 could have a lot to say to the connections of top divisional entries as a great deal of the stars battle down the sport’s longest stretch.
Also in the Midwest, Hoosier hosts more lucrative Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) and classic Grand Circuit events take place at Harrah’s Philadephia. Those Grand Circuit stakes will be covered in the Breeders Crown Countdown. They begin with the Historic Debutante on Friday and will be updated for the Harriman and Goshen, raced on Sunday, Oct. 12. We link to the “Countdown” blog from this TwinSpires address for coverage of races through the rest of the season leading to the championship events in November, in cooperation with the Hambletonian Society and TwinSpires.
Up north, the Canadian-breds are at it again. On Oct.11 Mohawk offers a slew of Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals with huge purses. In this blog we go through the races looking for valuable contenders that may be missed by the public.
HARNESS OCTOBER – During the month of October, TwinSpires is offering harness bettors some great deals when you wager on standardbreds at any racetrack we carry.
Check out the details by clicking here.
Blasting At Balmoral
Here come the top stars for another round of action, this time in Illinois at Balmoral Park. The traditional autumn American-National finals, each worth top dollar, headline the week of stakes. In order of their appearance, here are our suggested contenders per division.
The frosh-filly pace is the cheapest of the Am-Nats ($61,150) and the least appetizing for handicappers. How to eliminate or use Well Hello There is a personal judgment. Certainly the local gal, Mr Leland’s Filly, will get her share of the wagers and it would not be foolish to take her if she is offering a fair second-choice price.
The glamour-boy colt trotters once again must face Father Patrick and he is not through winning big races. This is a poor group of foes for him and he should roll away my many lengths down the sport’s longest stretch. Odds On Amethyst could follow him for a decent exacta; this one has been racing better since joining team Takter.
The soph-filly trot ($150,000) is once again in Takter’s court. Lifetime Pursuit gets the rail and Shake It Cerry has the far outside. That could make “Cerry” a better price than usual, especially with Lifetime Pursuit getting the inside. If push comes to shove, after all, Cerry is the better filly.
The $86,000 frosh-colt pace is a good event to go for locally bred King Of The Swamp. He has been in the thick of all his races and is the best of the three Sportsmaster colts going in this seven-horse field.
The four-and-up trotters battle for $166,300 without Sebastian K. But Creatine, who beat “K” in Lexington at 31-1 and is sharp now, is here and will get a lot of play. But Master Of Law, who jumped out of his most recent start, is a Takter property improving and cannot be dismissed because of one mistake. From post 8 he may offer some decent dough and certainly would be no upset surprise.
In the three-year-old filly pace ($173,500) we have a dead-even field, with good cases for many of the 10 at the gate. A probable overlay under these circumstances will be Weeper, who launches from post 8 but can negotiate the speed in front of her and win at a strong price.
The glamour-boy pacers face another big purse ($227,000) and the crème of the crop is here. Ron Burke has a strong quartet but there are some late-season improvers here that could make major noise, even if it is their moment in the sun. Winds Of Change was super in Lexington and may find a jolly ride in the catbird seat here, since the muscle is on the outside. The same may go for Capital Account, who Takter has collecting checks with regularity. It all may settle back to the familiar guys after this but Am-Nats can shake up divisions this time of year, especially with streaking horses, as those we mentioned.
The four-and-up pacers ($179,000) are most of the usual suspects and another Burke quartet hovers over the win pools. Instinct tells me it is time for Foiled Again to get on his late-season shoes and begin a strong march to the Breeders Crown and here he may even be a formidable price.
Hot At Hoosier
The freshmen Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) groups race on Oct. 10 and the sophomores go on Oct. 11; here are our suggestions for the $75,000 INSS legs in the eight races presented.
On Friday—colt trotters: Homicide Hunter; filly trotters: Churita; filly pacers: Image Of Felicia; colt pacers: Camturo Rock.
On Saturday—filly trotters:Baby Steps; filly pacers: Metro Shopping; colt trotters: Double A Cash Call; colt pacers: Bluehourpower
The ONSS Super Finals are no afterthought; these are worth double the finals. In the list that follows we will offer the best possible contenders that we feel can pay the best possible prices.
Two-year-old filly trot
Muscle Baby Doll has a powerful kick and if she can put it in gear at least midway through this mile she could wallop this group of youngsters.
Three-year-old colt trot
We must take a close look at Verdi as an outside contender and a great upset candidate. He was ruined with a big move in a conditioned event last time from post 9, troubled from the same post in an ONSS the time before that and fast but out of it in a Simcoe. His ONSSes at Rideau-Carleton and at Mohawk in August, however, make him ready to win his first race at a terrific price here.
Two-year-old colt pace
While the locals spend on Casie Coleman’s Sportswriter colt, we will shift the focus to Make Some Luck. His 10-hole failure last out was a sharp performance and his win two back is more like how he will perform here.
Two-year-old colt trot
Lets Be Honest may fly right out and command the fractions after being lost in the fog last out. His Balmoral qualifier is super but may turn off the public, which is good for us, based on the time and place.
Two-year-old filly pace
Finally getting a good draw after working hard and reasonably in ONSS events, Code One Hanover could be the Sportswriter product that surprises the crowd. Trainer John Darling has this one in a good spot to win her second and pay primo bucks.
Three-year-old filly trot
White Becomes Her may have post 10 but the Kadabra gal is so productive (only one break in six races marred her summer) when it comes to cashing checks that the post may help us get a price on her.
Three-year-old filly pace
Brookdale Shadow has put in two grinding performances and has nothing to be ashamed about in her recent six. No wins on her past performances will keep the bettors away and if she does her best, she may find a chance for her strong brush tactic.
Three-year-old colt pace
Boom Boom Ballykeel is back where he belongs and should perform far better than he did on his road trip. His September ONSS at Mohawk is swift and shows the kind of zip he had when he came to prominence at two.
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.
10/11/14, Rascal Shark R1; Silverlode R4; Im Fasterthan U R6
Gritty Millie Boy R7; Pow Chicka Pow Pow R7; Bettors Promise R9; Barabzon R12
10/11/14, Blutux R2; Stirling Bijoux R9; +Notorious Terror R10
10/4/14, +Tickle My Fancy R5
10/10/14, Fitness Craze R7
10/11/14, Superbo Hanover R9
10/9/14, +Feel Like Dancin R8
10/10/14, +Buttered Noodles R4
10/10/14, +Iwannashowusomethin R11
10/11/14, Bestfillyntown R1; New York Kitty R1; Stingy R2; Shady Mountain Ga R6
10/11/14, Docdor Laughing R5
10/11/14, Zoe’s Fortune R8; Rice Crisp Breeze R11
10/11/14, Grandpa Don R3; All Powerful R4; Avagadro Hanover R5; Major Way R12
10/10/14, Fox Valley Shannon R5; +Hobsons Choice R8
10/11/14, +That’s Ideal R5
10/12/14, +Riviera R7
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.