Art Rooney, Lismore Sophs Seek Champs; Camluck Classic In Canada; PA Holiday-Weekend Features And Sires Stakes

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May 24th, 2018


Feature action on Memorial Day weekend focuses on Saturday, with some Sunday stakes (no pun intended). Sophs are battling again at Yonkers in the big-money Art Rooney Final and the Lismore Final. As well, the glamour divisions race in minor-series finals at the Meadowlands and in some Indiana Sires Stakes at Hoosier. The oldsters [sic] hit the half-mile at Western Fair for the six-digit Camluck Classic.

Due to the extensive action on Sunday, per this holiday weekend, the Update blog will post on Sunday night-Monday morning, as opposed to the usual schedule, so that all the recent accomplishments and failures can be documented.

As for soph trotters, The Hambletonian Trail blog posts with coverage of the Empire Breeders Classic Finals and sires stakes as the trotting colts and fillies again offer great betting opportunities while they flex their muscles for August.

Our powerful suggested contenders are listed from Thursday through Monday in the TwinSpires exclusive horses-to-watch (H2W) list. As usual, these possibilities are for bettors to use in any wagers in which they engage. If you know the program then go to it—do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections.


Regardless of elim-winner Decoy drawing post 8 in the Art Rooney Final for glamour-boy pacers on May 26 at Yonkers, it’s impossible to say he will not still be the favorite to win the $380,000 final. His elim win was a dynamic performance this early in his sophomore career. Though there was turbulence in the field behind him, the field was always behind him and he won by a distance of about another eight-horse field.

In round two, favorite Springsteen, Trump Nation and Babes Dig Me were at the finish line together and Trump Nation barely won it. For the sake of price here, with the hope that the 8 hole may cost Decoy a step or two, the elim-performance scenario to count upon is the closing-on-speed route taken by Babes Dig Me. He made up a great deal of ground through the four turns to get to be one of the three across the wire and he will certainly offer a better price than all others mentioned.


The soph-filly partner of the Rooney is the $131,444 Lismore Final, also on May 26. Last week we went with Believe In Me, one of the fillies in one of the two-pronged entries making up the nine-horse field. We finished sixth while Jewels Forreal, a member of the other entry, out-performed his partner, Python Blue Chip, who finished eighth. The winner made it home with a perfect trip, while Believe In Me ground her way from 11 lengths off the pace to lose by 2 ¼ lengths at 8-1. From post 3 in this group, Believe In Me may not have to close as far, saving some energy for a mid-mile move to the outside with or without cover, a perfect trip or a and a strong blast between two closers late and at a good price.


The older pacing set is at it again on the half-mile track in Western Fair’s $150,000 Camluck Classic on May 26. The field looks similar to last week’s Open Hanidcap at Yonkers, where favorite Evenin Of Pleasure beat Bit Of A Legend N, Sunfire Blue Chip finished fourth, in front of Killer Martini. Added here are the familiar Rockin Ron and Dr J Hanover along with Isitfridayyet and Easy Lover Hanover.

This is a great spot for Rockin Ron. He has not been his up-front self so far this season but has a few excuses for that, on the track at least. There is little tactic involved leaving from post 4 in an eight-horse field here: Rockin Ron has to leave, command the fractions and stay afloat. He may not be supported for a performance so simple but that is the best scenario we can hope to have and get a price—an awaited return—for Burke’s brute.


Two minor series conclude at the Meadowlands on May 26. At $47,000 he Escort Final comes up first on the program. From post 8, Street Boy appears to have a marked edge for bettors. Five times in seven, he has been first or second and enjoying that kind of consistency among lesser-than-stakes company puts him in a good position here. There is no need to worry about post 8 but we hope some bettors do to improve the odds. Cases could be made for many here, but none would make our choice less appetizing.

The $42,500 Rainbow Blue Final also sends eight to the gate. Last week, in a leg of the series, we scored double digits winning with Ideal Talker. She is here again for Noel Daley and may still propose a good price considering the crowd should be leaning on KJs Justine, who has won two of two and Painted Lady, the field’s top earner this season. Ideal Talker, however, certainly can string two wins together, with the second at a good price, too.


Three top affairs, a few series legs and some Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) for filly pacers headline the Memorial Day holiday program at Philly on Sunday, May 27. We offer our suggested contenders in all:

The $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for older trotters is one of the three major events for aged horses. The field is not short of famous names. Marion Marauder, who returned to the races with a win last week, gets the rail and brings along much money from Canadian fans. Crazy Wow is into his fourth race so far and Broadway Donna came back this year with an impressive win.

Crazy Wow may be stronger than last year and that is strong. He may be every bit as talented as Marion Marauder and has an edge in this division. He also may offer a good price in this variety of stakes types. A good exotic element will be Warrawee Roo. From Canadian Luc Blais stable, this one is going to show some improve among these through the season. 

Millionaire pacing mares attack the track in the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational. This is a tough bunch, including Shartin N, undisputed Matchmaker heroine, and a few of last year’s solid sweeties. Pure Country has not won in two starts so far but Takter’s tough tart is always dangerous. Agent Q has won her first pair and Darlinonthebeach could be faster this season.

It’s difficult to predict the odds graph here but if the crowd lets Pure Country go off anywhere near double digits, she could be the best bet. Last season she performed well but finished poorly to begin the season and when she struck she paid very well. Don’t count her out if the crowd is more interested in the names that have wins already in that column for ’18.

Eight older male pacers have been invited for the $150,000 Commodore Barry. Included here is the Confederation Cup winner, Filibuster Hanover. An already busy Western Joe (12 for 15 this season) is in the cast, along with Mcwicked and Mach It So. Four off-the-grid pacers add to the traffic.

Filibuster Hanover will fire again and so will all of the bettors, hammering him into oblivion, leaving us with a pass or a plot. If we go with a plot, the scenario is for a ground-saving trip from Ross Croghan’s Heaven Rocks A to take the extra few steps late and beat Filibuster Hanover. A price on this guy is near guaranteed in only his second start, no less against these types, with his lack of fame in favor of good odds for supporters. 

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


5/25/18, +Paris Beau R8

5/26/18, +Screentest Hanover R11

5/26/18, Stylomilohos R7

5/25/18, Urbanite Hanover R9
5/26/18, +Piece Of The Rock R5

5/24/18, +Master Faster R4; Quint Largo R6; Tucsons Memory R10

5/28/18, Rock Proof R4; Slick Tony R6; Wont Be Nothing R10

5/24/18, +Mighty Oaks Mandy R6
5/25/18, Ernie The Mooss R6; Fox Valley Gemini R8
5/26/18, Twin B TK R5; Gran San R7
5/27/18, +Duneside Life R9

5/24/18, Suddenly Royal R4; Felona R8
5/26/18, Makers Mass R2; Blues Queen R4; +Always Giggling R5

5/26/18, So Confused R2; Cindys Party Boy R4

5/24/18, Ex Hanover R3; +Hurricane Beach R4; Internet Hanover R11

5/24/18, +Thisguysarockstar R4; +See You Smile R7

5/26/18, +Spanish Dream R3

5/25/18, Bearly Behavin R3
5/26/18, MG Kid R10; Airguitar Rockstar ae R11

5/25/18, +Explosive Ridge R5; +Foolish Virgin R14

5/24/18, +Neverdie R5; +Zorgweijk Nova R7; Midnite Craze R9
5/25/18, CR Hotshot R9

5/26/18, +Appealing Art ae R2
5/27/18, Centurian Hanover R2

Running Aces
5/26/18, +Im Blue Too R3; Banker Volo R7
5/27/18, +Friskies Angel R4; +Bringoverthemoney R6

5/24/18, +Treasured Tina R4; +Chili R7
5/26/18, +Freedom Reigns R5

5/26/18, Ricks Sign R6
5/27/18, Shuttletruth R1; Im A King R5; Blue Fin R6

5/25/18, +War Chief R4

5/25/18, +Iaquinta R2
5/27/18, +Thatsjusthowiroll R2; +Joes Life R2

5/26/18, +Atomic Tom R12