Meadowlands Pace Program Plentiful With Stars In Stakes; Young Guns At Yonkers
A hundred thousand dollars more than last year’s purse, the prestigious Meadowlands Pace presents the best of the glamour-boy pacing division on a huge stakes card, July 18. All eyes are on Wiggle It Jiggleit as he continues to show remarkable versatility as well as speed. Glamour-girl pacers go in the final of the Mistletoe Shalee. This division continues to be competitive and deliver great prices.
Four-year-old trotters are on the program, including JL Cruze, who has supplemented to the Hambletonian Maturity. Older males battle in the William Haughton and pacing mares are featured in the Golden Girls.
The Hambletonian Trail blog at TwinSpires covers this week’s major preps for the classics on Aug. 8. Glamour-boy trotting colts and fillies at The Meadowlands on July 18. face big bucks and big hopes in the Stanley Dancer Memorial for the boys and the Del Miller Memorial for the girls. The exclusive blog covers the events in these last few weeks before Hambo and “Oaks” hopefuls drop into the box. It’s top coverage from TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society.
It’s freshman final time with big bucks across the river at Yonkers in New York Saturday with the Lawrence Sheppard pace.
Live contenders, many at great prices are paraded in our horses-to-watch (H2W) list. Hot across-the-board/exotic action deserves your attention when you look through the list. Don’t miss out on exclusive probabilities from our personal files.
TwinSpires also continues to team with Hoosier Park for another season of player perks. Click here to check it out. A spring special offers free harness past performances through June. Click here to take advantage of the deal.
Sweethearts Of ‘Shalee’
Glamour-girl pacers go at it again, this time on the mile at The Meadowlands in the $201,350 Mistletoe Shalee Final. These gals are a determined bunch, none of which can make claim to being the best in the division quite yet.
Joe Holloway is having a great season with soph-filly pacers and two of his gals are here. Bettor Be Steppin leaves from far outside of Divine Caroline, the latter coming from two tough trips but getting the rail in this after grinding on the outside on Pocono’s three turns against Band Of Angels (post 6 here). We have gone with her in both of her recent two and are prone to do it again, since she will be a great price and has a marvelous chance to outwit these on the mile.
The Show Returns is in a similar situation, after an impossible ride in the “Lynch” final off of a Lynch elim win, she gets post 2 and will be alive and high in odds compared to her chances to win. We backed her on May 30 at a remarkable 40-1. What a great exacta these two would produce, either way.
Meadowlands Pace 2015
There was no way of predicting what this contest would look like when the division set sail for the season. Let’s see where we stand horse by horse in this $706,000 glamour-boy prize.
1—Lyons Levi Lewis
He just made the final. A Ron Burke trainee, he has never been a top-tier racer and is extremely lucky to be with this class.
2—Dude’s The Man
When he won a Somebeachsomewhere split in June, he became recognized. But he clearly is not even in the top five of these. He is a professional racehorse, cashing checks and getting on the board but to win this he needs divine intervention.
He is the former two-year-old champ we all know is a great horse, yet he seems to have a pause button because we cannot figure why he backs up now and then. However, he will always be a threat until he proves he has a stop button.
4—Wiggle It Jiggleit
He lost the North America Cup but showed he had more in the “Hempt” and last week in his “Cup” elim he took back and still beat six others handily. Colts like this can, however, come up short now and again. What is scary is that he could possibly become even better than he is now. Yikes.
5—Rock N’ Roll World
Never strongly supported by a crowd, he is yet to win at three. He picks up pieces and has managed to make almost six figures finishing only second or third. It would take circumstances with little chance of happening to have him the victor.
6—In The Arsenal
Always a contender, one of the top sophs in this division so far this year. He won his elim by controlling the pace last week. His win before that in Canada mid June was clearly his best effort to this point.
Tony Alagna’s Artspeak sidekick has picked up some dough while chasing some good and some not so good pacers and he is one of a few in this field that no one would have expected to be here.
8—Dealt A Winner
He is yet to win at three and only unsuspecting scenarios could find him ahead of any of the top three. Another surprise entry and the next-to-worse earner (“Lyons” is the worst) this season.
He is a top tier contender but he will always need hot cover for a ground-saving trip to win, sometimes coupled with a speed freak racing short, as is what happened in the Cup. The way “Wiggle” beat him in last week’s elim shows that Wiggle lost the Cup more than “Wakizashi” won it.
If he were to prove he is getting better he would prove it in a big way from post 10 against the obvious contenders. Julie Miller’s gelding is five for nine, though much of that was beating far lesser talents than are here.
Analysis—Wiggle It Jiggleit could defeat a better field than this, so what can we possibly do with him but key him on top and look for some exotics? In the win pool, you can take the “racing short” scenario, in which case give it to Artspeak. Or you could back the chance that Wakizashi gets a good early spot or a second-over trip and is a hair better very late. Beyond that, a good exacta or triple must include one of the field’s vagrants. We would use Badiou Hanover, Lyons Levi Lewis and/or Rock N Roll World to boost prices.
The most wide-open affair of the Meadowlands Pace card is the $213,450 Golden Girls, which gathers 12 free-for-all mare pacers to go 1 1/8 miles. This division is yet to have a distinguished standout competitor and this race is yet another episode up for grabs.
Among the probable favorites are Color’s A Virgin, Table Talk, Beach Story and Rocklamation, all of which have their share of incurable traits. Our chances to nab a price in this race rests on two mares: Sandbetweenurtoes and Act Now.
Sandbetweenurtoes enters off a 1:50.4 wire-to-wire performance in a Preferred at Mohawk as the favorite. She also raced well in the $283,500 Roses Are Red Final, finishing third after being out of contention early. She should have no problem racing a longer distance and she seems to be getting better.
As for Act Now, she’ll likely be among the higher priced mares in this field. Having three starts in the last month due to sickness issues, she has bounced back quite remarkably, most notably last week as she finished third with a fierce closing kick. She has shown she can tango with the best and can certainly get a check at the least.
The second edition of the Hambletonian Maturity features only six trotters, compared to the 14 that competed in the inaugural edition. Likely due to the world-record performance by JL Cruze in the Graduate Final last week, many of the four-year-old trotters eligible to this race were frightened out of even attempting to compete against the trotting talent once he was supplemented.
With that in mind, JL Cruze will be the betting choice here along with Shake It Cerry, who nearly caught JL Cruze last week. Those two may make this race a more interesting betting proposition.
Among the inflated prices should be Father Patrick, who, despite finishing sixth, raced well in the Graduate considering he was first over for the whole mile. This might finally be the moment we strike with Father Patrick, as we can achieve the 4-1 price that we’ve thought he’d reach over the last few weeks. Resolve may take some money off his closing kick to finish third to JL Cruze through an easy trip but Father Patrick would be worth the bet more than Resolve.
Free For All Monsters
The $430,600 William Haughton Memorial is also on “Pace” night. Here we have some regulars, some four-year-olds and a whole lotta speed. The vets include Foiled Again, who has only won a single race of seven so far; Bettors Edge, now six; State Treasurer, now six and hot going into summer; Dancin Yankee, seven; and Mach It So, five. Four-year-olds include red-hot Doo Wop Hanover, Jk Endofanera; Lyonssomewhere; and Luck Be Withyou. Take a breath. Can’t you just see the shuffling going on by the half? Which of these would dare to try to steal the mile on top? Maybe the crowd goes directly to the “now” horse, “Doo Wop” and leaves others to wander around the toteboard?
Jk Endofanera hasn’t been on fire at four but please notice that Jimmy Takter has taken over and drove the horse in a tightener Open at Pocono just after a monster qualifier. This is a good time to take stock in a terrific horse ready to make an impression at four (Takter doesn’t take over a horse without intent to cash). Look for a bargain price on this guy, who tends to win big when ignored (remember last year’s North America Cup?).
L.B. Sheppard Stakes
Yonkers holds the Lawrence B. Sheppard Final on July 18. It is worth $107,500, the top prize for green divisions thus far this year.
Ray Schnittker’s Tailgunner Hanover will attempt to go wire to wire, as he did in an impressive elim at 10-1. The other elim winner, Do Over Hanover, gets stuck with post 8 here. Schnittker way find a stronger foe this week in Artmagic. Trond Smedshammer’s 37-1 shot in the elim followed “Tailgunner” better than Endeavor, who was second, and Artmagic was third. He will be a good price again, as “Do Over” will be bet strongly even from the outside and Tailgunner won’t get away with an easy lead. Artmagic is a well-bred colt getting better and this cold be the best time to get a deal on him for a win price.
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.
7/17/15, +Catchajolt R5; +B Rock Solid R8
7/16/15, Better Lucky R1; +I Got The Life R2; I Want Crazy R4
7/17/15, Skade R1; Keystone Vanyla R3
7/18/15, +Cowboy Caper R8
7/16/15, +Real Kid R2; Pet Shark R2; +Dali Undaunted R3
7/17/15, Dali Treasure R11; Shirleys Dream R12
7/17/15, +Excelerated Speed R7; R Duneshine R11; Western Slammer R12
7/17/15, +Winning Linc R2; +Jazebel De Vie R3; +Marion Marauder R7
7/18/15, +Hurrikane Ali R5
7/17/15, Lucas A Nast R2; Fashion Katie ae R13
7/16/15, Gansevoort R10
7/17/15, Umygeorgia Hanover R4
7/20/15, St Lads Zoom Zoom R10
7/16/15, +Truly My way ae R9; Helaines Firebird R5
7/17/15, +Revergreen R2; Mic Mac Beau R4; +I Turtle R5
7/16/15,; +Special Package R10
7/17/15, +Witch Dali ae R6
7/17/15, +Mr Ridgetaker R7; +Dynamic Youth R10
7/16/15, +Janet R11
7/16/15, +Trottin Trice R3
7/19/15, +Taylor Rei R1; +Bettor Buns R8; Electric Mayhem R10
7/18/15, Sharp Returns R1; Carol’s Comet R11; +Keystone Real Deal R14
7/17/15, +No Speed Limit R3
7/18/15, Mystical Con R18
7/16/15, Cartoon Daddy R6
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.