Breeders Crown Freshman Filly And Colt Pacing, Trotting Finals Stuffed With Surprises—Except For One?
This is it, the final blog for the Breeders Crown Countdown.
The finals covered in both of our blogs this week race Saturday, Oct. 27 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. This blog will cover the $2.4-million worth of two-year-old finals. We chose these divisions because among the finalists—not necessarily those winning—may be next year’s glamour-boy-and-girl heroes or those predicted to be such. Those probabilities could help your handicapping, especially early in the season when you follow our TwinSpires harness blog, where we are brutally honest about the projected best in sophomores. Visit our main weekly blog for infomation and analysis of the remaining races on the program.
Posts are in parenthesis after horse’s name. Check your program for the order of the races below.
TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT $600,000
The trio of elim winners leave from the first three posts. We could expect that at least two of them will get strong support. When Dovescry (1) dethroned The Ice Dutchess (8) with two wins, inheriting much pubic fancy from those wins. Woodside Charm (2) is unbeaten and was beastly winning her elim. Champagne Jane (3) was the surprise of the trio at 7-1; her odds here may be much the same or higher since she won less impressively than the other pair.
One of the Jimmy Takter-trained fillies here—The Ice Dutchess (8)—may offer a better price than usual, maybe the best since we scored with her at 4-1 on Hambletonian day. From that race on she dominated the division. The crowd may penalize her now, though, for her two recent losses to When Dovescry and with whatever money they pour into Woodside Charm, giving The Ice Dutchess bettor an advantage.
Still, we also cannot leave out Julie Miller’s Special Honor (5). Rarely getting the bettors’ respect she deserves, Special Honor, who we grabbed at 18-1 in July, quickly came to the attention of the masses after that and lost last week’s elim as the close second choice. She could easily get the jewels here and at a fine price.
TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE $600,000
Ron Burke’s Warrawee Ubeaut (4) was the favorite in her elim; no one was frightened by her 8-hole position. She finished fourth to Tall Drink Hanover (3) who has been at her best recently. These two could be the public choices, respectively, despite the talent making up the rest of the field (there are good arguments for most).
In the Tall Drink Hanover elim, we went against both favorites, which included Zero Tolerance (7), backing Beautyonthebeach (1). She is in a perfect spot here after closing well at 11-1. To support the fact she may be peaking at the right time in the right place will give us a better price for an upset.
TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE $600,000
Gone are Captain Ahab and Stag Party, two of the public’s most promising possibilities to cross swords in this event. Since Linda Toscano took control of No Mas Amor (2), the colt’s love for winning appeared (pun intended). Proof (1), the other elim winner, will get his share of public adoration at the betting windows after his elim win further impressed handicappers. Captain Trevor (5) won the third elim with a cover-easy trip to win by a neck at the wire.
At 7-1, Blood Money (9) closed to almost beat Captain Trevor in that elim. Takter’s green colt may offer a big reward to do a “neck” better here for a few reasons, but that race was no fluke. With Proof most likely to make a move or two against speedy Captain Trevor and Captain Crunch (4)—as well as an early move from Mangogh (8) might affect the fractions—Blood Money will have our money while out for blood (no apology for the dramatizing here).
TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT $600,000
Sometimes a race surfaces that does not challenge the mind but may take some work to assess its win-bet value. Here comes one now because looking beyond Geimpanzee (5) feels more and more worthless a search as it ensues.
The New York-bred son of Chapter Seven (a sire becoming a source of far better blood than his own successful career on the track displayed) merely played with state-breds in the sires-stakes program until he became their official champ. He did not venture onto the national scene until last week’s elim. Trainer Marcus Melander sent him on one Meadowlands qualifying trip after winning the Empire State program’s championship, just to keep him alert, we imagine. He did not win it but probably because he did not have to win it, he just had to stay alert.
In the Crown elim he was an overlay as a 1-1 favorite, mostly because, we guess, he left from post 8. Gimpanzee could not care less about the post, the new track or the competition—if you could call it that. We assume (because who knows what a horse thinks) all he knew to do once leaving the gate was what he has done successfully in seven starts—find a way to get or stay in front of the horses trotting with him. That he did for his eighth-straight win in that short a career.
We loved Gimpanzee at 1-1. He should have been 1-20, thus, the value shone. He may only be valuable as a key in exotics here; we expect 2-5 or less. Without him in this field, it could be almost any other colt’s race to win. Not being privy to betting odds (do not rely upon the morning line), we will stalk the toteboard as late as possible to find the highest odds to partner in a exotic.
By the way, Gimpanzee is our official 2019 Hambletonian pick until further notice.
That does it for the series and for our spin-off blog, the Breeders Crown Countdown, for this season. Our thanks to the Hambletonian Society, specifically Moira Fanning and society head John Campbell, for all of the support received by the TwinSpires harness blog to bring specific and exclusive information and analysis to harness bettors.