Breeders Crown elims total 13 at the Meadowlands
It's time for the big contest elims and finals, two weeks of tremendous Breeders Crown harness racing, this year at the Meadowlands over four nights, two for elims (Nov. 14 and Nov. 15) and two for finals (Nov. 21 and Nov. 22).
The elim weekend begins Friday with six frosh races. Saturday presents seven, including a one-dash elim. Five divisions go straight to finals. In cooperation with the Hambletonian Society and TwinSpires, we will be coverning the finals live from the Meadowlands, so follow the tweets at @FrankCotolo, @Twinspires and @HarnessRaycer for late updates and insider comments.
Here are our suggested contenders in the eliminations, in their program order. The first five finishers make the finals in the divisions with two elims; the top six make the final in the Open Trot’s single-heat elm.
Friday, Nov. 14
Two-year-old filly trot, elim 1
Mission Brief is much the best in this division but only when she doesn’t gallop. Her stride problem usually starts at the gate and she never recovers. Though she may blow them away with a clean gait here, we will take a strong look at Gold Cora and hope the public does not do the same. Her Matron race was excellent for a tough trip on a day when the best went down swinging. Two back she nailed the Madison at Hoosier and some tough journeys before that only prove she works hard for whatever she gets. If “Mission” fails and if Smexi gets a lot of action, Gold Cora will offer some sweet win money.
Two-year-old filly pace, elim 1
Jk She’salady comes into the frosh elim never having tasted defeat. What can you say against her? Ron Burke’s pair, Sassa Hanover and Bettor N Better are sharp now and should be among those going next week. The only possible surprise in the bunch is Ake Svanstedt’s Wicked Little Minx. She just broke her maiden after racing against winners in stakes affairs. She was very good three back and could make some noise here. She would be a major upset if you want to support one against the be-all-end-all filly pacer. Hmmmmmm …
Three-year-old filly pace, elim 1
What happened to Act Now in the Matron has got to be a glitch. It is a mystery to us, having heard nothing negative from insiders about the filly. Tossing that out, we may actually get a better price on him than he has offered on her rampage through stakes this fall. With Burke’s Saitall BB coming in with supplemental cash support, he will be all out and hammered in the win pool. Some of the others in this elim have not been so sharp in the division of late, so watch for a decent price on Act Now and act upon it.
Two-year-old filly pace, elim 2
Canadian-bred Sports Chic, by the super-hot sire of freshmen Sportswriter, comes into this affair with class, strong support in stakes, big-brushing capability and a rest. How the public will address her in dollars is questionable but she may offer a bit more than she is worth. That could also be the situation with Divine Caroline, who has not raced since Lexington but paced calmly and flat in two qualifiers. She could also offer a decent price, as the Burke duo and lightly raced Heart Major, get the public’s main attention.
Three-year-old filly pace, elim 2
This elim is the cash-and-carry appearance of Color’s A Virgin, the Jugette winner and late-season bloomer on the national scene. Her connections think a lot of her and she is here for a swing at the divisional championship with a dozen wins in 16 starts, most in the Midwest. Also in on the extra-cash method is Weeper, who just won a Matron. “Virgin” looks tough but Jimmy Takter’s Uffizi Hanover, who we urged to victory in the finals last year, seems to be back in form and would not be a shameful wager here. Certainly there will be decent odds on her, with Virgin, Weeper and others getting a fair share of play.
Two-year-old filly trot, elim 1
Takter’s Wild Honey is looking a lot like Shake Me Cerry at two. Nine for 10 with one second, she is a virtual lock in this affair. A smooth gait trotting at two is a sterling quality and she has it. Stubborn Belle is also fast, likes the front and is the other live figure in this field of uncertain talent.
Saturday, Nov. 15
Two-year-old colt trot, elim 1
Burke’s Habitat, arguably the division leader now, takes on three Takter boys, Pinkman, The Bank and Walter White. Also here is the lightly raced Peter Haughton winner, Centurion Atm. That one comes from post 8 but comes freshened, unlike the aforementioned, all which have been campaigning hard. A good price here on Centurion Atm may be the key to bargains in this one, since an upset by him would be no surprise.
Two-year-old colt trot, elim 2
Takter sends two out in this elim—French Laundry and Uncle Lasse—while his daughter, Nancy Johansson sends one—Cruzado Dela Noche. The latter should get bettors’ attention even from post 9. However, this could be the perfect spot for Muscle Diamond. The Takter factor is strong but Muscle Diamond is a contender and won’t be heavily bet upon. He is two wins for eight starts and has been in the picture seven times. From post 4 he should get an accommodating trip and if the others work a step or two too hard early, we could have a jolly old time cashing on Muscle Diamond.
Three-year-old colt pace, elim 1
Hes Watching is back after qualifiers but he has only been a threat this season in theory. Fired up and fueled with financial support, Always B Miki is raring to release these guys from their pseudo-competitive sparring this season. Second best is Jk Endofanera and he, too, may be chasing “Miki” this week and next. As for price, we may be happy Hes Watching is here so he can burn some money and Miki can be offered at a little more than the equivalent of his chances. Some others here may also assist. A win bet to Miki if the odds are right (he paid $5.00 last time and that was a gift) and a key position for him in exotics.
Three-year-old colt pace, elim 2
Here is the second tier of glamour-boy pacers. What would we give to get 157-1 on Capital Account this time? We had him to win at that price and he was second, paying $81.00. It won’t happen this time but he shows up in the shape that almost gave him a monstrous win. We liked him a few times along the way and he pumped up some exotics for us. Now the cat is out of the bag with the bettors and he won’t be quite so ignored. But praise be for Mcwicked, who is adored more than he deserves, for he will attract dollars. So will Limelight Beach, who could be the second element in the exacta with Capital Account.
Two-year-old colt pace, elim 1
Go Daddy Go has legitimate excuses for every loss before his Oct. 25 finish in second against Artspeak. Lost For Words, despite his loss in that very race, the Governor’s Cup, will get plenty of action, lightening the betting load on “Daddy.” As a second choice, Daddy is worth it but he may be less than that and we hope so for a strong win bet.
The top six will return next week but that doesn’t make this race easier to evaluate. The crowd will enjoy betting on Maven again, even more so now that Takter handles the mare for new owners. But the true threat of the Takter factor is Master Of Law. He was raring to peak when he started to gallop in two events but he qualified nicely and staying on gait will make his chances huge. These two are definitely worth investments in this prep for the big one next week. Lightly raced Your So Vain is fresh and will be a factor. Watch the betting for value judgments.
Two-year-old colt pace, elim 2
This is quite a cast and arguments for a bunch could be made successfully. We lean toward Tomy Terror, whose Nov. 6 race is a total toss out. Chances are that the public will lean away from him, thus denying the power of the two wins that preceded it, especially the Simpson, which produced two moves to win. In a similar case, Traceur Hanover will be dismissed, which is unfair because his recent pair show trouble. Unlike “Tomy,” though, “Traceur” has only posts to blame for poor performance, with a break and an interference episode that may have meant little in his Nov. 6 race. The two would make a huge exacta, though, and with probable favorite In The Arsenal offering little and going from the outside, as is Cartoon Daddy, this race could be the theater of the absurd prices.
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.
11/14/14, +B Rock Solid R4; +Double Down Yankee R4
11/15/14, Dinneratartsplace R5; Ulysses Blue Chip R5; Ahh Panama R8; Get Down Tonight R10; Bettormeboy R12
11/14/14, +Winemen Dine Me R5
11/15/14, Rokingcastle R2; Rolling Thunder R2; J’s Six Pack Attack R10
11/13/14, Major Bucks R1; +Rip N Rock R5; Something Blue R6; Don’t Ya Know R8; Artistic Director R9; +Osceda Gold R13
11/14/14, Big Sky Angelina R3
11/15/14m +Cf Sting Rei R6
11/1/4/14, Hoponit R2; Caribbean Shooter R8; +Crime Of Passion R10; Starven Darven R10; Thisjetsabookin R12; Fashion Delight R13; Maddysonofafun R14
11/14/14, +Cinnamon Spider R6; Mackenzie’s Power R12
11/14/14, +Dibs R5; Dew N Doughnuts R8; Doctor RJ R10; +The Pepperoni Kid R10
11/1/14, +Prairie Jaguar R1; +Bold Willie R3; +Cascata 8; Mcgreat R8;
11/15/14, Uncharted Speed ae R2; Linganove R7
11/14/14, +Lucid Thoughts R3; +Pembroke Popeye R7
11/15/14, +Malek Hanover R3; +Medoland Snuffy R6; +Dragon Power R6; Manchine R7
11/15/14, +Justified R8
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.