Earl Beals Bestow Bright Betting Opportunities for Hambo And ‘Oaks’ Hopefuls
Pocono Downs’ Saturday stakes-packed program includes dashes for the Hambletonian hopefuls, competing in the $75,000 consolation for the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial and the $500,000 final on July 1.
The consolation only includes two ineligibles, with the remaining seven on the Hambletonian Trail. Hopefuls here include Snowstorm Hanover, Ei Ei O, President Lindy, Muscles Jared, Southwind Woody, Giveitgasandgo and Don Dream
Betting in this race should be focused mainly on more of the outside starters, like Muscles Jared, Southwind Woody and Giveitgasandgo, who display the most evident form from their losses in the eliminations last week. However, further digging unearths two possible value contenders with Ei Ei O and Andy M.
Making his second start following gait issues, Ei Ei O was closing to finish sixth in his “Beal” elimination last week, gaining ground in a final-quarter sprint. Likely to improve with an inside draw and second start off the bench, he will likely be the lower of our two contenders.
Andy M is purely a circumstance contender, since he will be able to position himself in a race that lacks general speed. As he has shown in races prior, he can capitalize off of ground-saving trips and he could possibly work one out here, though if he can’t, he’ll more likely be completing exotics as a long shot.
The Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial Final lines up eight Hambletonian hopefuls, including Ariana G, the filly who could be aiming for a challenge against the boys in the August classic. However, theoretically, this is Long Tom’s race to lose, since he has shown dominance over the division in his last few starts, including a 6-length victory in his elimination last week. Starting from the rail, he will be the value of the race if he is dismissed to be the second choice (and maybe as the first).
More than likely though, Long Tom should go off the favorite. If so, then this race becomes total bargaining, with each horse being deserving of a shot at his or her own price, even Ariana G.
For instance, Bill’s Man could get a perfect trip to upset this race. Yet, his 4-1 morning line would be too low matched up against Long Tom. We would demand double-digit odds for this venture to be lucrative enough to pursue.
There’s also Devious Man, who was clearly used too hard in his elimination when trying to race on the lead. More likely to stalk to pace from his outside draw, he should be a greater factor than his elimination performance demonstrated. He too, however, would only be worth a play closer to double-digit odds, which could be possible if the public’s play between Long Tom and Ariana G is contentious enough to inflate the prices of everyone else.
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.