Little Brown Jug Thursday, Then Saturday Yonkers, Hoosier, Mohawk And Freehold Stakes
The weekend begins early, on Thursday, Sept. 24 for The Little Brown Jug. The late afternoon American pacing classic is analyzed below, along with some other major events on the “Jug” program. Saturday, Sept. 26, we head to Freehold in the afternoon for the Lou Babic Final for frosh-colt pacers. Then we go over the river to Yonkers, where New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) freshmen race for championship status. Then, it’s off to Hoosier Park for a stupendous Saturday night program that TwinSpires account-holders can play for profit and points. Finally, the Milton Final for pacing mares rolls at Mohawk.
This week, the Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC), the addendum to our main harness blog, at TwinSpires.com in league with the Hambletonian Society covered the Buckette and the Jugette at the Delaware Ohio Fairgrounds. A review of those races will be included in our weekend update blog Sunday night.
Unlike the past few Little Brown Jug episodes, the 2015 pace, on Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Delaware Ohio Fairgrounds’ half-mile track, is star-studded. As expected, glamour-boy division-leader Wiggle It Jiggleit got in thanks to a supplement of $45,000.
Presented in two elim heats, the winner of the second heat takes the title. We will focus on the elims and then speculate on the second, final heat based upon our elim essays.
Certainly, the first elim (both are worth $108,320) looks open compared to the second, where “Wiggle” room for handicapping is tight, so to speak).
It appears Lost For Words will at last get the most respect for being in a race. We have supported him a lot to win but he has only complemented exotics with some of his foes here, including Dudes The Man, Yankee Bounty and Cooperstown, as well as some of the second elim’s cast. He has been made the morning-line favorite in elim one but for us it is too little and too late.
We will take Rockin In Heaven, hoping he is at least the third choice. Let’s urge the public to bet Dudes The Man and watch him become hopelessly hanged. In fact, this could be a Canadian-based finish. Split The House, under new management and here to make a mark, could be a strong come-from-behind second to inflate an exacta, maybe the best one we could hope for in the trio of “Jug” events.
“Wiggle” already won in Ohio on a half-mile track, wiring the field in Northfield’s “Milstein.” No doubt he will be trying to bore a hole in the wind in this mile and if he makes it, attempt to top that in heat two. It is highly possible, of course. We know how well Wiggle races. We also know that he can be challenged to a fault. Which scenario prevails?
We have to go with the probabilities that the Jug may go to Wiggle but the elim that gets him there could find him second, third or fourth. There is no money to be made otherwise. Even if Wiggle loses the elim he should make the final and there he may be so revved up he wins easily. It won’t be the first time a great horse becomes greater in a second mile on the day.
That being said, elim two could be a problem for Wiggle if he duels with Rise Up Now, My Hero Ron or Arque Hanover. The three unlikely winners, we feel, are the most likely spoilers. However, Artspeak has post 1 and the most to gain if the challenge scenario leaves him room to squeeze inside and excel late. However, the most dangerous upset in this scenario will involve a surge from Revenge Shark. That upset should provide a terrific win price and if Wiggle winds up third, “Shark” and Artspeak will form a big-o’money exacta.
The $126,000 Old Oaken Bucket is on the Jug program, presenting some familiar entries from the soph-colt trotting division. The top few are unavailable but from Jimmy Takter’s barn come French Laundry and Walter White. The latter is bound to try taking it on the engine, though he has struggled this season with every attempt but one. His stable mate has also been racing in the shadow of Takter’s best and seems stakes-weary already this year.
It looks best for Suit And Tie, especially if we get anywhere near his morning-line prediction. He has been very good in this second tier of the division and could take this with a power move. Look for Billy Flynn, who was knocked out of the Yonkers Trot in a crazy interference situation that disqualified Pinkman from second, just as he seemed to be coming into true form for the season.
Lou Babic Babies
There’s $85,400 to be divided in Freehold’s Lou Babic Final for frosh-colt pacers, some of which hope to be around for betting in stakes at three. It’s a field of eight, all of them sired by the late, great Rocknroll Hanover; so much for breeding angles.
The top dog here will be Ideal Rocky. He’s earned the most and gets what bettors feel is the best Freehold post—1. Jim Campbell’s Katies Rocker is the second highest earner, so both of these will dominate the wagering pools.
The question is: How good is Boston Red Rocks? In only three starts he has won two and placed once. Still, the crowd my sway from him for the obvious pre-mentioned contenders. Even as a third choice, Boston Red Rocks should be worth the shot. He could be the best of the three, it’s too early to tell if he has given his best and as usual, we want to be with him if he gives his best and pays the most.
Two-year-olds bred in the Empire State of both sexes and gaits go in their NYSS finals on Saturday, Sept. 26 at Yonkers.
Colt trotters – Undefeated Dayson, Reve Royale and Allerage Echo should rule the betters here. The outsider for us is Dog Gone Lucky.
Filly trotters – Pampered Winner offers a good spot to wager on a Jimmy Takter youngster outside of the box, so to speak, since the two by Lucky Chucky here should take all the win money.
Filly pacers – Joe Holloway continues to train great earners, young and old, so take his student, American Ivy, in this one for a decent price.
Colt pacers – Travel Playlist has not lost yet and may lose some support for being in post 7. If you think the price is right, get on board.
Hot At Hoosier
Hoosier Park on Sept. 26 offers a handful of stakes. The big bucks are up for frosh-filly pacers and trotters in two Kentucky Stallion Management stakes. The trotters are first, five of them going for a whopping $207,300. With only three starts, Wildflower looks to make an early mark for trainer Ake Svanstedt while being the race’s outsider. A sharp mile can beat the three Takter gals, including top-earner Womans Will, in this field of only five.
Pacing femmes are next for $125,900 and the inexperience Roll To Glory (two places for two starts) could surprise this betting crowd with an improving mile. Eight more filly pacers go for $127,150 next and we are going again with JK Fannie as she looks to break her maiden and can considering she faces a softer field for a change.
Eleven frosh-colt pacers battle in the $150,150 Elevation. Mindtrip won’t get much support but could be in the thick of this, having only four starts and two seconds. He is well-bred and sent out by Tony Alagna—no stranger to this type.
Glamour-boy pacers number 10 in the $110,250 Jennas Beach Boy. Wakizashi Hanover didn’t go to the Jug meet to be here and test the Indiana monster, Freaky Feet Pete. Both will be heavily bet, leaving the 10 horse, Roland N Rock, in a spot to make history. He should be in the mix and may not be of the big duo’s class but if the two cancel one another out with speed hijinx, “Roland” will be there, as well as he could complete an exacta and/or triple with them.
Finally, older trotters, the best from last week’s “Maple Leaf,” are presented in the $210,000 Centaur Trotting Classic. On the outside, Bee A Magician will have to use one big move or two small ones while carrying most of the crowd’s win money with her. The remaining nine is well matched. We like who we liked in the Maple Leaf, Lindy’s Tru Grit, forgiving her for last week’s mile, where she could not close as well as she may be here, especially of Wind Of The North tries to defy “Magician.”
The $300,000 pacing mares Milton Final is the top attraction at Mohawk on Sept. 26. Ten from last week’s elims are reaching out again in this stakes en route to the last Grand Circuit events of the year.
Of course this is always a contentious group, even with the new four-year-olds added to the division. Last week, we were impressed by Precocious Beauty, who at 18-1 was best of the rest to Venus Delight’s victory in an elim. Both elims features late-storming winners and the final may also result in such a configuration at the finish line.
Sandbetweenurtoes was also a great second. At 10-1 she haunted the winner and tonight’s probable favorite, Yagonnakissmeornot. Of those working hardest, though, was Katie Said. She may be greatly ignored in the final, while delivering a grand performance. We’re on her side, even from post 10.
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.
9/25/15, Muscle Max R3; Tequila Haze R7; September Hall R9; Almost Midnight R11
9/25/15, +Blue Arctic R1
9/26/15, +Lizard King R10
9/26/15, +Neal R5
9/24/15, Twinspeak R4; True Hero R5; Three Beans R6; D’orsay R16
9/24/15, +Pair A Dice R9
9/25/15, Darkesthighway R2; Alwaysafirstime R6
9/26/15, +Rise Above It R4
9/24/15, Bells Are Ringing R10
9/24/15, +Hoosier Image R11
9/25/15, +DP Angel R3; +Jimxys Delight R6
9/26/15, +Roll On R1
9/24/15, +Fox Valley Wave R3; +Western Dame R7; So Reserved R9
9/25/15, +Ready R1; Major Degree R12
9/25/15, Mistys Prince R4
9/25/15, Olivia V R12
9/25/15, Kayla Grace R5
9/26/15, Victorious Valle ae R5; +Pick Of The Day R8
9/24/15, Kings Treasure R1; +Rushing Hero R2
9/24/15, Sumatra R7
9/26/15, Lyonssweety ae R1; Southern Lady ae R8; O Narutac Supremo R9; +Niyama ae R10
9/24/15, Bullville Nickolis R1
9/25/15, Shasham R6; Ideal Wedding R12; Autumn Estelle R13
9/25/15, +Big Chocolate R6
9/26/15, Wils Shot Hanover R7
9/24/15, +Highland Rockstar ae R4
9/26/15, +Kippenberger R1; +Somewhere In LA R6
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition