Habitat And More Hot Hopefuls Trot On

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

June 3rd, 2015

Thursday, June 4, New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) filly trotters grind it out at Saratoga in three divisions, each worth $54,125.

Six head out in split one, four of which eye the “Oaks.” When the NYSS held filly trots at Vernon in May, we liked one of these but she scratched. Lindy Land, from the Antonacci crew, will be looking for a second win this season in as many starts and she should get it here—and not as the favorite. She is one of a few the Antonaccis have trotting for Oaksville [sic].

In the second split of six, only Katniss and My Lucky Word are Oaks-approved. This is a good spot for Katniss, Ake Svanstedt’s trained-and-driven soph. She has been involved in her six soph races, though only one was a win, and could get a fine trip here to improve her speed badge,

Finally, round three closes the program with another six fillies. Only Dynamite Daisy is Oaks-eligible but she is aiming for trainer Nancy Johansson, and as the lone hopeful she will get our support but we are sure the public will dismiss her.

Aside from sires-stakes action on the Hambletonian Trail on Belmont Stakes weekend, the Meadows holds filly divisions of the historic Currier & Ives miles, each worth $31,000 (and some).

Starting the charge are seven gals, with a quartet of hopefuls. The hottest of them is I’m So Fancy, with three wins in four starts for Ron Burke and as of press time, local hero Dave Palone is driving, so you can forget being offered a strong price. But Jimmy Takter’s Fly Angel Fly is also here and still looking for her first win at three, as is By And Bye Hanover for Svanstedt. “Fly” is our choice, especially if Palone goes with the Burke filly.

More brand-name trainers send out fillies in the second C&I, which has a full field of eight, with three eligibles. Takter’s Smexi is one of them and Palone will handle her, as well as shrink the odds. This leaves open some dollars for the other two, Classical Annie and Sweet Shurga. “Annie” gets our vote, going here in only her third soph mile with one second. Driver Aaron Merriman, every bit as good as Palone, remains under rated and under bet for our the benefit of our money.

The third and last C&I also has eight going; three are Oaks highlighted. Of them, the crowd is bound to like Jim Campbell’s Onda Di Mare, since regardless of post 8 he gets Palone. Burke’s Gatka Hanover is getting better every time she races and will be a good price here if she does her best yet.

At the Meadows on June 6, the track’s special afternoon program holds a single, $119,565 colt division of the historic Currier & Ives miles. Five hopefuls go in a field of nine. There was little reason, even though he lost, for Boots N Chains to go off 112-1 in a sires stakes event on May 29. He finished fourth and I still in the race for August’s classic. In this event, he surely cannot be so ignored, though however he is dismissed (a few in here will take money from brand named trainers and drivers) we will take him. 

Vernon holds a pair of NYSS miles, each worth $61,300, for colts on June 6, featuring the return of Habitat in round one. His jump last out was nothing to be concerned about, so as long as he is well-gaited he should easily take this. The price may be paltry but as a key, exotics may be worth a few bucks. Apostles Creed is still alive in the division race, though he has not raced well after winning his “Dexter” elim. And Buen Camino, a non-eligible from the Trond Smedshammer barn, could also be involved in the mixes.

In the second split, Mythology Blue Chip and Fashion Creditor are the only Hambo-eligible colts and although the latter gets post 8, Tom Fanning’s colt should be considered for price and his one for three winning record because he is still fresh and will still offer a price and the 8 hole is not the death spot it used to be. Those two should dominate either way.

The racing of classic divisions—soph-colt-and-filly trotters—on their quest to the Hambletonian and “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