Bring On The Breeders Crown Finals, 2014

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November 20th, 2014

The Breeders Crown finals, this year at the Meadowlands, are being held over two nights, Nov. 21 and Nov. 22. Here’s the exclusive coverage from TwinSpires’ harness department, the consummate on-line harness-racing advisory center for ADWs, featuring coverage of all the races on line and live from the Meadowlands.

Between this blog on the TwinSpires site and our Breeders Crown Countdown blog, we will analyze all of the finals, offering the best possible contenders that may offer profits for bettors, including win, place, show and exotics. That is, after all, what we always do year in and year out, but for these two programs we will also add special coverage live from the scene in New Jersey. We will be tweeting from the Press Box with any and all late info and data on the wagering, including insider comments.

All divisions for both nights are thoroughly patrolled with cooperation from the Meadowlands, the Hambletonian Society and TwinSpires. Follow the tweets at @FrankCotolo, @Twinspires and @HarnessRaycer all night, both nights (there are other races on the program and we will address them as well).

The eight finals for two- and three-year-olds on both gaits for both sexes are analyzed below by the day they appear on the program.

Friday, Nov. 21

Two-year-old filly trot ($500,000)

The meeting of Wild Honey and Mission Brief highlights this final. The former has not lost this season and the latter has only lost when galloping out of contention. The top two are so close that only a cruel duel will make them cancel one another out and that’s if Mission Brief doesn’t jump. The outsider here, who could pick up pieces and topple the choices or finish sharply as a valuable exotic partner, is Livininthefastlane.

Three-year-old filly pace ($593,750)

Poised to take the divisional title, supplemented Colors A Virgin comes from her great elim performance and all of her races from the Jugette inclusive. She defeated the winner of the second elim, Gallie Bythe Beach, as well as Allstar Rating and Beach Gal in the Jugette and none of the others in this field have been threats along the way. Precocious Beauty was also impressive last week. In the Colors A Virgin elim, Precocious Beauty sat third and was shuffled back as the second tier developed. She did not shake loose until late in the stretch and was moving rapidly chasing Colors A Virgin. If you are looking for an upset, Precocious Beauty is the prime suspect. 

Three-year-old filly trot ($500,000)

It has taken more wins than most horses deliver to convince the 2014 betting public that Shake It Cerry is the leader of this division. When she lost at the Meadowlands on Hambletonian day to Lifetime Pursuit, who is in this field, the fickle public allowed “Cerry” to return and win at an unbelievable price. It is impossible for us to deny her here. We can only use her as a key in exotics, unless something goes awry and “Pursuit” wagers challenge Cerry in the win pool. Almost any but Pursuit will make for a good exacta and can be there so look for long prices, especially on Struck By Lindy and Market Rally.

Saturday, Nov. 22

Two-year-old filly pace ($500,000)

This could lock up Horse of the Year for Jk She’salady but it won’t do much for a bettor’s bankroll because don’t expect any odds greater than 1-10. Even as a key for exotics there may be no reason to invest. This is the closest thing to a “mortal lock” that has been seen in a long time. This freshman seems to need to encouraging no matter how tough the competition becomes—and it has gotten a bit tougher as the season ensued, with some of these green gals showing great improvement.

Two-year-old colt trot ($500,000)

These youngsters have gone back and forth with one another since summer and it seems there is no dominant trotter in the division. Rather, whoever gets the trip and behaves, takes the marbles. Last week’s elims were adorned with outside moves and duels and that gave the two winners the edge. If we assume the boys will be wrestling for fractions, then we have to look at Muscles Diamond as the contender most likely to give us value and take advantage of burned-out speed. He was the favorite over French Laundry and finished second, flying late. “French” also came from behind but that was not by choice. At his best, he liked to zoom up front. Muscles Diamond won’t be the favorite with the Takter factor so prominent and Burke’s duo is bound to get enough attention to leave our choice with a price more than worthy of what we expect of his performance.

Two-year-old colt pace ($500,000)

Our delicious win with Traceur Hanover in one of last week’s elims (the highest win price of all elims) is history. But in the final we may find another, if not higher paying, strong outside contender. With that in mind, we look at the other colt we eyed in the “Traceur” race, Tomy Terror and we see that the Matron Stakes for this division could be the key to what the public may miss when betting this final. “Tomy” was 2-1 in the Matron, where In The Arsenal was the favorite. That one won, while Tomy was plagued with an early overland journey that tired him badly. He made the final, though, just up for fifth. In that Matron, Lyons Levi Lewis went off at 121-1 and finished second, which he maintained by sucking along behind “Arsenal ” and because Tomy was done by the stretch for good reason. With win money in the columns for Go Daddy Go (our winner in the second elim last week), Arsenal and “Words,” Tomy should offer a chunk of change, certainly good enough for one that cannot be easily dismissed. 

Three-year-old colt trot ($500,000)

We still don’t think—and we know Takter feels the same—that Nuncio is better than Father Patrick. Twice, Nuncio defeated him when “Patrick” galloped out of the race—in the Hambletonian (where Nuncio was also beaten) and two races ago in the Matron. Nuncio won the Kentucky Futurity because Patrick made two moves and left the inside open for Nuncio to take advantage of his easy trip. Here we are again, the stable mates and the Takter factor in full swing. E L Titan, a non-Takter colt (trained by Takter’s daughter, so there is an asterisk on that statement) that beat Patrick at Hoosier, must negotiate post 10 here, which will take away enough steps to stay behind Patrick. Who knows if the crowd will lean towards Nuncio and give us a better Patrick price? That would be fine with us.

Three-year-old colt pace ($531,250)

The inflated purse is due to the probable winner and late-season division-leading Always B Miki, who paid to be in the elim—which he won—and now gets to show off in what may be a whopper of a mile. Not that we like speed but if “Miki” is only a tad better than his elim mile, he could beat or match his own mark of 1:47.4, clocked at The Red Mile. It’s tough to even whisper an upset possibility unless you are that non-existent breed of fortune teller that is correct about shocking developments even mathematics cannot defy. So, where Jk Endofanera was the best through most of the season and where the opportunistic Meadowlands Pace winner Hes Watching turned out, as we predicted, unable to keep up with the glamour-boy talent that included Miki in the “Pace,” and where Limelight Beach shone in the great heats of the Little Brown Jug, where Miki and “Jk” were absent and Hes Watching tanked again, Miki makes Jk and the rest give chase in the final mile that means anything to this division in 2014.

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.


11/21/14, Enzo Seelster R1; Black Ace Hanover R5; Shadow Baran R5

Cal Expo
11/22/14, +Bettormeboy R7
11/23/14, +Ulysses Blue Chip 8 

11/20/14, +Artist From Above R9
11/22/14, +J’s Six Pack Attack R13

11/20/14, +Artistic Director R1; +Major Bucks R9; +Something Blue R11 

11/20/14, Uncharted Speed R1; +Big Sky Angelina R5
11/21/14, Fancy Pants Gram R3; +Mackenzie’s Power R6

11/21/14, +Dew N Doughnuts R1; +Ardelle R12; +Doctor RJ R14  +

11/22/14, MG Home Run R5

11/20/14, +One True Friend R6
11/21/14, Temptation Queen R4; Imwideawake R5; Jelectric R6

11/22/14, +Manchine R9

11/21/14, Campanile R11
11/22/14, +Can He Go R11

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.