Historic Buckette And Jugette Stakes Test Sophomore Filly Pacers And Trotters At Delaware, Ohio Fair
Here are the races for week six of the 2018 Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC), the exclusive blog that coordinates with our weekly harness blog at TwinSpires.com and the Hambletonian Society to find great wagering opportunities for "Crown" eligible horses (noted in all texts with an “e” next to their names) from all 12 divisions as they race their ways to the finals. For the divisions’ best of the week, check the BCC companion blog, BCC Top Five Lists, generated by current winners and losers most likely to make it to the elims at Pocono this season.
This week’s divisions in play come mid-week from the Delaware, Ohio Fair’s historic Little Brown Jug meet. We offer only two divisions in this week’s BBC due to the schedule. They are soph-filly trotters in the Buckette and soph-filly pacers in the Jugette, both on the Wednesday, Sept. 19 program.
The $82,200 Buckette has been the “Jug” version of the fair’s stakes for soph-filly trotters. Four of the seven fillies are already paid up for the “Crown” and a good showing here would almost lock in a drop in the box come the October elims.
Atop that list of four trots Looking For Zelda (e). She is the richest of the quartet and has won four of nine in the division, though she has not toppled any of the top fillies. However, in this field she towers over the rest. How could she not be the favorite?
One possibility is brand. Though Bella Glos (e) leaves from post 7 (no bargain to bettors at this half-mile, though we feel that is a bit over-estimated), Jimmy Takter trains her and popular Yannick Gingras will guide her. Those factors alone could give her action. However, she seems to have succeeded at three in the lower rung of the division’s ladder.
Courtney Hanover (e) is tough to evaluate due to her erratic behavior at three. She enters the Buckette coming off of a fair qualifier at Pocono and also has brand recognition, being trained and driven by Rick Zeron. She’s a Cantab Hall product, supplying expectations of high-class performance, but she has only one win this season but has been competitive in exotic plays with four places and three shows, all in 10 starts. She gets post 7 in this field of seven, which will knock down some of her support.
From post 4 comes the other Crown hopeful, Follow Streak (e). She comes from the Julie Miller barn and has only lost three of 10—but all of her performances were in cheaper company against tepid compeition. She continues to turn a moderate winning streak into something dangerously Crown-like, if you will. This, for us, along with the sterling conditioning and driving records of the Millers (Andy is driving), whets our bankroll-investment plan. Your judgment is necessary to gauge the value of the crowd’s support but we feel she would be a bargain as the second choice.
The trio in the field that would have to supplement to partake in the Crown come from posts 1, 2 and 3. They may help spread out the odds because of their post positions and their drivers, which are always over-estimated in handicapping values. Midwest-hero Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. handles Pinecraft Nellie, who has won a bunch at Hoosier but never in a top class. Still, she could get decent action considering the driver and the weakness of her competition.
Kenziesky Hanover and Shes Got Pizazz, from posts 1 andf 2, respectively, have little chances to win here. Of the two, “Kenzie” has the class and experience to stay strong afoot. If David Miller is aboard that will also strengthen her support. Kenzie could be a good exotic partner with Follow Streak, using the inside post to save ground and gain a few short steps to get in the mix late, which is a fine scenario for a rare Jug-week exacta payoff with high two figures.
The years of Jugette elim heats have gone, so the filly version of the colts’ signature race will find its 2018 champion in a single heat, worth $230,700.
All but two are paid up for the Crown, the obvious star of the eligible six being Youaremycandygirl (e). Even though she lost the Simcoe last week (and did so not as the first choice), she has all the qualities that the Jug-week-betting crowd loves—speed and a good post. Combined with brand—Ron Burke-trained, Gingras-driven—she will be the bloated, biased and bountiful public choice to the extent where a track could lose money on a pari-mutuels event.
However, speed is prevalent as a factor for a number of the eight fillies involved. Strong Opinion (e), another of three Burke entries, enjoyed success as a mile guide in top events. Alexa’s Power (e) has challenged “candygirl” foot for foot before and for reasons not involving talent has not caught her. As well, Sidewalk Dancer (e) has enough early foot to get a field chasing her.
We will ignore the 8 horse, Aldine Hanover, whose luck of the draw is not her only burden against this lot; she has not won at all this season, either. E Dee’s Well Said may be well bred by her sire Well Said but she is not well fit for the likes of those eligible given all-things-being-unequal scenarios.
Here’s the rub: Burke’s third entry, Sansovina Hanover (e), comes off a race that does not deserve the penalty she will get in this field from old-school handicappers.
She was 50-1 and non-threatening from start to finish in the sires stakes championship at Pocono with Gingras. Here she gets post 2, a terrific position if there is dueling with candygirl or not. The public won’t care.
Gingras is aboard candygirl, which the public will care about, dismissing Matt Kakaley as an equal taking over “Sansovina” as his charge. That’s so wrong an evaluation—there is truly no separating the two pros.
At a price, Sansovina Hanover is the most valuable bet to win the 2018 Jugette.
Follow major 2018 BC hopefuls on their journey to the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs at this Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the TwinSpires harness blog weekly, along with further information on the Hambletonian Society web site.