Colts Clash In Goodtimes, Empire Breeders Classics And Sires Stakes; Filly Foes Joust, Too
Hambletonian prospects continue down the Hambletonian Trail Saturday, June 18 in the $268,000 Goodtimes Trot at Mohawk Racetrack, as well as the lucrative Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) final on Sunday, June 19 at Vernon Downs. “Oaks” hopefuls will also go in three divisions of the $162,636 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) on Sunday at Pocono Downs, as well as the EBC final.
The Goodtimes gathers seven eligible trotters, highlighted by elim-winner Dayson and runner-up Bar Hopping. The duo will likely share favoritism on the betting board, leaving a probable sharp effort by Will Take Charge, one of three non-eligible trotters. He should be overlooked. In his elim, Will Take Charge launched for the lead from an outside post and was shuffled into a stalking spot where he then chased the leader, Dayson, and pocket-rider Bar Hopping to finish third. His improved post makes him a bigger factor in the final, but his gate speed is the ultimate reason.
Kicking off the three divisions of PASS filly trots is a nine-horse field compiled entirely of Oaks hopefuls, including Broadway Donna, winner of the PASS final at two. Her class should make her a prohibitive choice in her seasonal debut, and will also generate value on Lookin Sharp, who won at Pocono in wire-to-wire fashion from post 9 and followed up with a win at The Meadows in the Currier & Ives.
Division two gathers nine Oaks hopefuls, including the Ake Svanstedt pair of Dancing In Thehall and Ginny Weasley, both entering off of a month layoff. Aside from the obvious duo, My Pink Bike may offer value in her rematch against PASS fillies, with her last race against them being a fourth-place effort from off the pace at The Meadows. She has competed against conditioned stock over at The Meadows since then, demonstrating a talent for coming off the pace, and that could transpose well over the Pocono surface.
The final divison only has six Oaks eligibles, with those not eligible including Moots, Hot Curry and Pink Pistol. Of the six going for the classic, Ultimate Shopper should be the best value from the rail, as she comes into this race off a win at Scioto. Of the non-eligibles, Moots should also be a great price, since she has competed largely against conditioned stock versus on the PASS circuit, but nonetheless has the ability to compete with this bunch.
At Vernon the EBC finals begin with the fillies going for a $234,375 purse. Of the two trained by Trond Smedshammer, Fad Finance is his Oaks hopeful. She has been in the money all three of her starts, winning last out, and is in a good spot to take another win here for the best money she has raced.
The colts’ EBC is worth $222,975, with two sons of Hambo-champ RC Royalty the only August classic possibilities. Of those two, The Royal Harry looks to be in fine fettle for trainer Svanstedt, whose other colt is non-eligible and starts from post 9 (Dante). The Royal Harry has two starts, a win and a place and sits on the rail where he could command the trotters from beginning to end.
The racing of classic divisions—soph-colt-and-filly trotters—on their quest to the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks finals continues its exclusive, extended coverage from TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society. Recaps of races covered in this blog can be found at the archive section of the web’s home for the Hambletonian Society.
Ray Cotolo contributes to this blog.