Go-Go Glamour Divisions
Sophomore pacers and trotters flood a stakes weekend that brings back many of the stars from last week in Canada. We are in the Pocono Mountains for this week’s action, on June 27 at Pocono Downs’ five-eighths mile, arguably one of the fastest three-turn ovals in the world.
Three eliminations for the next top pacing stakes include the Max Hempt for the boys and the James Lynch for the girls. The divisions are cooking, with a trio of elim miles for each, including North America Cup-winner Wakizashi Hanover and the rest of this sterling crop.
The glamour-boy trotting colts match steps again in Earl Beale Memorial elims, covered in the Hambletonian Trail blog at TwinSpires. The exclusive blog covers all events for Hambo hopefuls (soph-colt-and-filly trotters). There are great betting races for these classic divisions as they fight to make it to the second weekend in August to race in the classics. It’s exclusive, extended coverage from TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society.
There are also two Ben Franklin elims for the older pacing crowd. These two contests attracted a slew of older pacers, one reason why only six go in an Open trot at the Meadowlands on Friday, June 26, with a $50,000 purse. Despite the minimal field, there are a few interesting foes going for the big money.
It may be a soft stakes weekend but the scores of overnight racing present specially chosen contenders, which you will find in our horses-to-watch (H2W) list. There are serious contenders for across-the-board/exotic action. Please peruse the list and don’t miss out on exclusive probabilities from our personal files.
TwinSpires also continues to team with Hoosier Park for another season of player perks. Click here to check it out. A spring special offers free harness past performances through June. Click here to take advantage of the deal.
In this $50,000 free-for-all for older trotters at the Meadowlands, the Friday feature, the six-horse field is split in half by the known and the unknown. That is, on the national scene, Dw’s Ny Yank, Melady’s Monet and Master Of Law are each easily recalled, but Obrigado, Flanagan Memory and Mr Picolit S try the memory.
Ken Weingartner of the USTA tells us that Mr Picolit, who is in the Ake Svanstedt barn, is an eight-year-old that won the Copenhagen Cup in 2013 and is racing in America for the first time. Obrigado is from Canada, trained by Paul Kelly. He had a strong season in 2014 including a strong defeat of Melady’s Monet at Yonkers. He looks for his first win this season. Flanigan’s Memory hopes your memory recalls his good 2014 season. He started 17 times with only two wins but earned over $140Gs in the process for trainer Rene Dion, also from Canada.
Obrigado is very competitive and should eclipse his four place finishes with a win here at a price. He certainly is a contender and most likely will not get the attention of the first two, as “Yank” also features Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras, while “Monet” gets John Campbell to steer for Kevin McDermott and those elements are all fan favorites. We don’t think there will be much action on Ake’s new arrival and we have no idea how well he will trot. If that is too much of a mystery for you, then you either play him out of fear or toss him out feeling he needs a race in this country.
To The ‘Max’
The first of three elims for the Max Hempt Memorial Pace (each worth $25,000) leaves no question that Artspeak returns to top form and we may still get a good price for his effort. After two failures in Canada he could fall behind in the betting, here, to Pierce Hanover and In The Arsenal. That would be our best scenario; we have to hope the public has lost interest.
In the second split, Wiggle It Jiggleit will look to prove he does not have to be short while speeding (his North America Cup loss became a pocket-trip win for Wakizashi Hanover—in elim three). However, Betting Exchange from the rail may have something to say about getting the lead, no less trying to keep it. Even Rock N’ Roll World will want to show early foot. But Betting Exchange may have the opportunity to control this pace and make the others work too hard—especially “Wiggle,” who has now tasted defeat. Tom Fanning’s colt should have a good price on him, as well, so Betting Exchange gets our support.
Round three has “Wakizashi” written all over it. It’s the weakest field of the trio and he is right where he needs to be to either come off the pace from the outside off a good covered spot of shoot up the open stretch inside lane. Burke’s duo will try to outsmart him but may find that hard. Expect Monte Gelrod’s Allbeef N Nobull to make a brave move but only a considerable about of luck will see him in the winner’s circle. Could be a good exotic partner.
The soph fillies have $20,000 in each elim for the James Lynch Memorial Final. In the first split, Joe Holloway’s Bettor Be Steppin gets the rail and a terrific shot at wiring the six others. Burke’s Well Hello There will try to suck along second and come out late but may get buried as the others push to finish second or third and be around next week. Stacia Hanover should make the final, giving her a role in the exotic here.
There are no reports of sickness for Jk Shesalady, so getting the rail in the second “Lynch” elim will prove to assist in any comeback she and trainer Nancy Johansson have planned. But expect plenty of dollars to support Sassa Hanover, which could give “Jk” a price to prove her soph career is on the road to recovery. It’s a good chance for sweet revenge on the filly that stopped Jk’s winning streak.
The third elim favorite is unpredictable to us, so we don’t have a clue if Holloway’s other filly, Divine Caroline, will attract win money over Burke’s two—Happiness and Southwind Roulette. She has not been out of the money yet and that alone could plant her in the favorite position but the Burke factor is powerful enough to shut her down. So watch the value meter in your head as we look to “Caroline” for the win.
Ben Franklin Elims
In the first of two $30,000 elims, nine veteran pacers meet, most of them for the umpteenth time. Vegas Vacation is back and so is his old stable-mate Michael’s Power. King-of-all-earnings Foiled Again is here, adding a lot of speed to the first half. That is good news for pocket-winning Domethatagain and Luck Be Withyou, both of which could take full advantage of the third turn with brushes that will bring back big returns. In that order, we will take this race.
The bookend elim is tough to evaluate, since all nine are capable of a win as a favorite or as an outsider. Again, however, there will be no change in strategy from the speedsters, so if Dynamic Youth can get a good spot and thwart traffic, a huge upset will result. It is hard to imagine this crowd going with an Aaron Lambert-trained, Andy McCarthy-driven entry over the likes of the brand names around him. And that’s that.
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.
6/26/15, Catchajolt R1; Taylor Rei R5
6/26/15, +Art Of Duty R1; +Ponyta Boy R3; China Dream R7; +Put It In Gear R7
6/26/15, Promise We Can R1; Final Say R2; Too Ideal R5; Meet Me Tonight R5; Rich Native R6; +Make It So R6
6/27/15, Karate King R1; Double L Fab R4; Presidential Pass R5; +Bruadar R6; +Cenalta Fireworks R8
6/27/15, +Sandhill Star R4; +Fleurje R11
6/25/15, Real Kid R8
6/26/15, Rever Ever R10; Hoponit R14
6/27/15, Tobins Fusion R7; Chip Again R1
6/26/15, Sagebrush Sam R4; +MJs Last Dance R11; +Too Tall Tamarac ae R12
6/26/15, Ideal Rocky R1; Rileys Dream R2; Suit And Tie R9
6/26/15, +Glimmer N Shimmer R2; +Magic Will Work R7; Tune In R9
6/26/15, +Kelly Blue Chip ae R3; +Exhibitionist R4; So Long My Love R9; +Bettors Choice R11
6/29/2015, War Cry Hall R10
6/25/15, +A Bettor World R6
6/25/15, Perchance To Dream R1
6/26/15, +Spin A Dream R1; Sleek N Wow R2; Chemistryof Terror R3; Red Feather R9
6/25/15, Bobs Hope R7
6/28/15, Lucan Hanover R8; +Doctor Butch R11
6/25/15, +Briefly R4; +Bettor Angel R6; JJfs Miss Caroline R8
6/27/15, D’orsay R16
6/27/15, +Fox Valley Disco R2; +Winoneofrdoug R7; Chewy Baca R8; Littlebitaclass R9
6/26/15, Janet R4; Crystal Sphere R6
6/26/15, +Dynamic Rayzer R2
6/26/15, +Artie’s Last Party R3; +Garbo R3; Your Beautiful R7; Perfectly Royal R8; +Thats My Girl G R10
6/27/15, +Lilys Real Boy R4
6/26/15, No Speed Limit R3; +Blue Gem R7; Mysticole Maggie R10
6/27/15, +Saint Pattys Doll R2; Dj John Boy R4;
6/27/15, +Duc Dorleans R5; +Great Vintage R6; +All Bets Off R6
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.