Hambletonian Afterthoughts: There Is No ‘Gimp’ In Gimpanzee; Follow The Bet-Backs
It was this reporter’s 30th year of Hambletonian-day coverage and though I did not cash a winning ticket in the event, I continue to study the final heat to extract bet-backs; they will be sprinkled in races throughout the next month or so. All of the horses in any Hambletonian Final—along with most that finished sixth or worse in either elimination heat are worthy of backing in their next two races—but in final fields it pays to study the losers for horses that raced better than most handicappers noticed. Some of them may be on the precipice of extraordinary performances which could also produce very big overlays. First and foremost in 2019’s final is Gimpanzee. Gimpanzee started slowly, racing eighth on the outside to the first quarter (:26.1). He found a slot on the inside, ninth and was gapped into the half (:55). He took cover in the second tier behind Don’t Let’em and by three-quarters (1:23.2) was passed by that one. In the second turn, Gimpanzee races ninth, next to last, about to be overtaken by Soul Strong. Into the stretch, Gimpanzee lingered in a row of the last four racing behind five horses were strewn across the track, behind six beginning to fan across the track. The common focus from that point was favorite Greenshoe closing mid-track to catch Forbidden Trade to his left. And, of course, all eyes rest upon Greenshoe’s brief struggle to beat Forbidden Trade, which failed. Eluding the winning drama was Gimpanzee, who closed to finish third—best of the rest. Better miles loom boldly for Gimpanzee, some of which could be against the likes of those in the final. He finished third at 7-1 against favorite Greenshoe; he could offer as much again against lesser, no less beat Greenshoe and Forbidden Trade. The rest of the backfield deserves certain merits. Green Manalishi S (who was number one on our TwinSpires Hambletonian Top Ten for the first few weeks of the poll), will not have to go two heats again. His elim win was super, even though he could not repeat it in the final (he tried). Soul Strong (18-1) circled the field from last, a near 8 lengths behind and finished right behind Gimpanzee. Osterc (84-1) had it too tough in the second heat, pushing it too early. He will win again, soon. Watch for the others—Marseille, Pilot Discretion, Cantab Fashion and Don’t Let’em—to return with victories. That is the order in which I put the bet-backs from this year’s Hambletonian Final. The elim trotters not making the final follow in importance. They are Swandre The Giant, Mr Vicktor, Summit In Sight, Reign Of Honor, Gerry (yes, even Gerry) and Super Schissel. Watch the TwinSpires harness blogs for all the names above as they appear in summaries for features and our horses-to-watch list (H2W). Follow the Hambletonian Society’s classic races on TwinSpires harness blogs.