Bevy Of Elims For Glamour Pacers Among Jam-Packed Menu Of Stakes Features All Weekend
The projected and the surprise racing stars of this season landed in Ontario, Canada, this week to joust for positions in top stakes by racing in eliminations at Mohawk on a huge Saturday program this June 11. Leading the pack of important events is the North America Cup. There are two eliminations to decide the field of the $1-million event next week for glamour-boy pacers.
Filly glamour gals also have an event, the Fan Hanover, and two elims on the Saturday program will settle the final field for that stakes. And so do four-years-old-and-up mare pacers, in three elims of the Roses Are Red. On Friday, four-years-old-and-up trotters are kicking up a storm in Armbro Flight elims.
The Graduate Series moves to Tioga for both gaits and we will also cover some other features around the circuits.
On the Hambletonian Trail Friday, June 10 at Mohawk, and some other tracks, sophomores shape up for the August classics. Check the Hambletonian Trail blog, exclusively brought to you by TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society, for the soph trotters and read on as we cover the rest of the action.
The TwinSpires harness blog’s popular features, the horses-to-watch list (H2W), continues to follow harness racing for top wagering opportunities on tracks across the continent, giving you hot contenders you will not read about on any other handicapping sources in print or on line The H2W delivers many wins, places, shows and exotics. Always consider H2W horses when constructing your wagers.
In order of their appearance this weekend, here are our speculations on the Friday-and-Saturday features.
HOOFS IN ‘FLIGHT’
On Mohawk’s Friday, June 10 program, trotting mares, most of them already veterans of the older division, have two $35,000 elims to find a spot or not in the Armbro Flight Final. One note—due to injury, one major mare, Bee A Magician, will not compete in either elim. However, Shake It Cerry is here, in division one, and looks the best of the other six solely on her back-and-current class. She should be the overwhelming choice but if for some reason the locals go for hometown gals, or if the Ron Burke-Yannick Gigras trainer/driver team send them betting on Hannelore Hanoverthen, “Cerry” will turn into a major overlay. Rockin With Dewey could wind up a decent exacta partner with Cerry.
In the second elim, the seven involved are not so name-worthy. The Burke-Gingras team is behind Kelseys Keepsake, who will get action mostly due to those guys. It would seem that Barn Doll could capture the public’s top spot but every mare here is subject to more criticism than praise. That being said, My Happiness E P coming from the Henriksen barn, may be ready for this race and could try to be impressive enough to go into the final as a major contender. Price? It should be large enough for a spot play and could work well as an exotic partner with Barn Doll.
FAN HANOVER FEMMES
Also with two $35,000 elims are the glamour-gal pacers on Saturday, June 11’s big Mohawk program. Jimmy Takter’s Pure Country, feeling the pinch of loss for the first time during this fresh sophomore career, will be hammered in round one, where six other fillies attempt to challenge her. Fortunately for Pure Country, Darlinonthebeach, her main foe, will go in round two, leaving Pure Country a clear path to victory unless something freaky occurs. This leaves the bettor with a key for exotics and a mystery of which other to put in which position. We mildly suggest Mayhem Seelster, who could suck along in second and roll home on Pure Country’s tail for an exacta.
Darlinonthebeach, as we predicted before she began her soph season, has been brilliant. She made Pure Country humble; having to duel to dust the only time Pure Country beat her. What price is too low for this glamour gal? Perhaps none. She is a jewel of a key for exotics, though second and third best here are near impossible to nail. The best strategy for an exacta may be the same as in elim one, this time using Party In Rome to suck along as Darlinonthebeach hurls a possible speed mark.
NORTH AMERICA CUP ELIMS
There are only two elims for the top attraction (each is worth $50,000) with 18 of the 59 eligible dropping into the box for a duet of nine-colt fields. Elims are often better bets than the final they produce, since losses from top public selections can fail in the elim and still qualify for the big money. Let’s look for the value, then.
The Burke-Gingras team will get heavy support in round one with Check Six but his defeat last week proved once again that a soft trip can beat a hard front-pacing speedster. Casie Coleman’s Betting Line will have her fans tapping into their savings for this one. He looks tough, as does Lyons Snyder, who beat Control The Moment. This is the tougher of the two elims but it may wind up a good bet.
Control The Moment should have lost favor with the public since the others mentioned here have taken a stronger winning profile. However, “Control” could be the best of them and in the mile could sweep by the other three mentioned after that trio spurts blazing speed to three-quarters. Getting a good price on Control is the goal and one we did not think we would get considering his sterling frosh year and all the early touting about him leading the division and winning the “Cup.”
The second elim touts Boston Red Rocks, who has great Ontario presence but has already shown he will have to fight for a top spot in the division. Burke has two here, Big Top Hanover and Manhattan Beach, both still earning their bones and Tony Alagna’s American Passport has to deal with post 8 but he will want a good early position to end with a spot in the final. Such an easy trip could put him in an upset position at a price far better than the chances of his upset. That would be a productive way to cash in this mile.
The Roses Are Red elims ($35,000 each for three) gathers mare pacers of the familiar kind. Last year’s top names are here, a few in the first elim—Divine Caroline, Sandbetweenurtoes, Sassa Hanover and Anndrovette. Getting a strong price on any of these could prompt a bet but we hope to look beyond them and see a winning performance from Storm Point. Trainer Nancy Johansson’s barn is stuffed with pacers that will earn a lot this year and this gal may be the matron saint of the group, having matured and trained greatly.
Round two delivers an H2W horse listed for the second time. We’re taking her off of the list and putting her in this feature’s contender column. She is Our Hot Majorette. Ready to put in a great mile and bound to be behind in the betting as most of it goes to the two Burke horses and the ever-competitive Yagonnakissmeornot.
Round three matches a few good gals, all in the top three posts, Venus Delight, Katie Said and Colors A Virgin. But outsider Bettor Be Steppin is a Joe Holloway mare that is especially good at upsetting just those types and usually at a price.
MORE MATURE MARES
At the Meadows on June 11, five older trotting gals unite in one of that division’s rare high-profile events (though the purse is merely $46,500). For a small field it may offer some strong value, since trotting mares are equines of a persnickety nature.
The highest earner here, Magic Shelley, is bound to be the highest odds of the quintet. Her morning line is 5-1, which indicates the slim distance between the talents of these ladies.
KING OF THE ‘HILL’
The $210,000 Charlie Hill Memorial brings together 10 veteran trotters on the Scioto June 11 program. This is a mixture of East-and-Midwest heroes with a speculated local favorite, Muscle Up The Goal. However, stalwart Natural Herbie does great in these types of events and Il Sogno Dream is just getting started this season, this being his second race. Burke brings a pair of vets from the coast, Gural Hanover and DWs NY Yank, both gritty competitors. And Obrigado is red hot so far this season.
Canada’s Flanagan Memory is two for three and in a perfect spot for his late-closing shenanigans, especially since there appears to be some traffic in the early-speed department. Although his morning line is 4-1 he may be a tad higher and worth the shot here, where the big money seems to compel him to do his best.
GRADUATES GO ON
At Tioga on Sunday, June 12, the older pacers and trotters settle in for another leg of the Graduate Series for $75,000 a toss.
The pacers are on track first and they number 11. Rockin Ron gets to face Wiggle It Jiggleit again and that one’s speed nemesis, In The Arsenal could be out for another duel, leaving from the “Wiggle” left. Neither “Ron” nor “Rock” will offer any significant dollars, so get brave and back a sheltered trip that fires the engines of Shades Of Bay late for a huge upset.
In the trot, where only eight battle, big dollars will squash the offerings of Musical Rhythm and Maestro Blue Chip but Wings Of Royalty could get a glorious trip behind “Rhythm” while “Maestro” struggles to save ground leaving from the outside and take this at a wonderful price. “Wings” should be ignored by the public.
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.
6/11/16, Moon Landing R5; Fall Bliss R8
6/10/16, +Bruener R2; Serious George R5; +Cracker Stoney R6; Hailstorm Grace R9
6/10/16, +Outlaw Goodnready R6; +Kim Chee R7
6/9/16, Official Version R5
6/13/16, +Double Miles R2
6/9/16, HS Karissa R3; +Double Stitched ae R6; A Local Band R9
6/9/16, Jessica La Bar R2
6/10/16, +Arabella J R3
6/11/16, Celtic Prince R5
6/10/16, +Irish Scotch R2; +Barockey R6; +Business As Usual R9; +Naughty Lady B R12
6/11/16, +Mach Pride R4; +His Boy Elroy R4; +Wazzup Wazzup
6/9/16, +Chester Hanover R3
6/12/16, Moonshine Malone, R3; Mr Bigglesworth R9
6/9/16, Don Dorado R13
6/10/16, Jeffers Party R3; +Tormented Princess R5
6/11/16, +Arsenal R4
6/12/16, +First Of Itskind ae R10; +Moonliteonthebeach R12
6/9/16, Jailhouse Lawyer R3; Shooter Ontheloose R4
6/10/16, Pembroke Lil R2
6/11/16, +One Bad Night R2; Glammit R5; Dreams Beachboy R6
6/12/16, Worth Watching R2
6/11/16, +Kiss On The Lips R10; +Midnight Destroyer R11
6/9/16, +Fancys Destiny R1
6/10/16, Luigi R8
6/11/16, Rafferty Hanover R1; Jitterbug Hanover R2; +Giddylicious R5; Charlot Semalu R7
6/12/16, Bad Bad Baylee R9
6/9/16, Real Infusion R6; +Last Minute Cindy ae R9; Game Madison R13
6/10/16, +One Way To Win R1-
6/12/16, Yankees In Six R2; +Energy Shakes R3; Seafood Linda R12
6/9/16, Royal Air R4; Mustang Sally R10
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition