Habitat Chases Streak; Sires Stakes Battles All Weekend
This week the Hambletonian Trail starts on Thursday, May 21, with glamour-boy colts on the Yonkers half mile in New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) divisionsworth $54,000-plus each.
The first NYSS split has three eligibles in its six-colt field. It would seem one of them, Mythology Bluechip, could be the favorite with top earnings from seven starts and seven in-the-money finishes. And Royal Deceptor, a non-eligible, is three for four and bound to attract dollars. Our sites are on the hopeful Fashion Creditor. Tom Fanning’s gelding is one for two and raring to make more.
Here comes Habitat again, fresh off of easy wins at three and few challengers so far. He meets three other hopefuls in the field of seven and our choice to beat him is one of them, Apolstles Creed. Since winning the Dexter Cup elim, the Jimmy Takter-trained colt has had to contend with some deep trips. He could have it easy here and get a step or two ahead of Habitat, who must leave from the outside and sustain.
No colts entitled to the August classic are included in the field of the third NYSS for the division.
On May 22 at the Meadowlands, a single division each for boys and for girls is on the bill. The fillies go first, for $25,000, and the usual state-breds aiming for the “Oaks” are here. There’s Rileys Dream and Rules Of The Road, both quite active in their miles so far, though Rileys Dream has finished a stream of five seconds for five starts. Another outside draw for Southwind Cartier, last week 91-1, gives us pause but under these circumstances deserves a chance for a big pay off, which we know is coming soon. The debut filly is Josies Joy, who could race well but is not expected to have many chances winning without a field full of jumpers.
Thirteen colts all go in one division. Only Saturday Night is not a hopeful and seven are products of Muscle Hill while the other three are sons of Muscles Yankee (neither sire stands in New Jersey any longer). Oddly enough, Greg Peck, the trainer of Saturday Night was the trainer of Muscle Hill, who won the Hambletonian and now his colt goes against seven of his sons. Aside from that, we have a inexperienced pack of sophs, with none except Saturday Night having raced more than three times this season (Peck’s colt has raced five times with two wins).
Guess Whos Back should be the obvious choice but we look beyond what anyone can see to Trond Smedshammer’s El Diablo Br. Along with Jonas Czernyson’s Aldebaren Eagle, there should be marked improvement and good prices. Perhaps they can complete a solid exacta one way or another, which is a fine play, too.
Four divisions of Ontario SBOA elims feature three hopefuls in the first two $25,000 splits at Mohawk on May 23. Two take on the rest in the first division: Stubborn Belle and Battle Mage. There is your exacta one way or the other and your judgment for the win price makes that choice.
In division two, the sole Oaks-aimed filly is Danielle Hall, thus giving her the usual hopeful’s edge, having much more to gain than the others.
More fillies vie for glory in August, this time on May 23 at Vernon where three $40,000-plus NYSS divisions are on the program. In the first split, Takter’s Shaqline is one of three hopefuls in the field. Coming off of a win, Shaqline gets post 8, which may discourage some bettors. The other two eligible fillies are Lady Winona and A List Lindy. Lady Winona broke last out and will be a good catch if she is smooth here.
In round two, hopeful Lindy Land, who gave us a 10-1 win last week, returns and should fly from the rail, just not at that price. Balancing the betting, perhaps, will be Magic City, not staked to the classic but looking sharp right now. We will stay with Lindy Land and use the other two Oaks-targeting fals, Frou Frou and Waiting Room in exotics.
The trio ends with two fillies looking to advance to August—Concentration and My Lucky Word, the latter looking very much the dominant gal and having a good chance to be a decent price among some non-eligible gals looking for the most cash they may see all season.
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.