More Matrons At Dover; Meadowlands Opens With Final Four Preps
Again this week and on a Thursday (Nov. 11), Dover Downs features a quartet of Matron Stakes. Three-year-olds hit the track in the Grand Circuit’s last batch of frosh and soph stakes. As the year winds down, we return to the Meadowlands for its fall-winter meet for a first-weekend presentation of elims and prelims for some of the meet’s larger events, including the Fall Final Four, bringing top two-year-old stars in action again, pounding their way to their sophomore season.
Sophomore Matrons for both sexes on both gaits go on Nov. 12 at the Delaware five-eighths mile. The soph-filly pace, worth $201,450 starts the foursome.
Finally catching on to a win habit, Divine Caroline has had a great end-of-the-season campaign and will be the big choice in this Matron. Still, the division looks as it did all year—competitive. Mosquito Blue Chip, our outside contender from the “Crown” is here, as is Wicked Little Minx, who we scored with before the Crown event. All of the others can easily have reasons to win. We are going to go with Sassa Hanover as the contender we feel will offer a good price and have a great chance. She was super in the Crown as an overlooked contender. Mosquito Blue Chip is the other outsider up for a big exotic price if not a major upset.
Next, the soph-colt trot brings eight on the track for $243,550. Pinkman is missing, probably done for the season, but Jimmy Takter is not lacking entries, offering Bluebird Reverend, French Laundry and Whom Shall I Fear. Crazy Wow will pick up the most action but we have our eyes on Crescent Fashion. He was our 40-1 partner with Pinkman in the Kentucky Futurity and though he may not be so generous here, there’s a good chance he will be fourth choice or worse.
The $187,400 soph-filly trot finds Mission Brief back from her tough galloping loss in the Crown, with her nemesis Wild Honey on the rail. Wild Honey doesn’t have to hope “Mission” miscues, she can beat her on her best day, but Ron Burke’s other gal, I’m So Fancy, could cause them both trouble. At a price, “Fancy” could be in for a good trip, even if the top two stay flat, and can take advantage of any dueling to win, if only by a step.
Wiggle It Jiggleit, who gets the rail and doesn’t have to worry about Freaky Feet Pete’s year-end surge, leads the glamour-boy pacers. The $201,900 mile may find some bettors shying away from “Wiggle.” The bettors’ buzz is that he is wilting with the winter. Where to turn, however, is not as easy as taking Wakizashi Hanover, who will be a huge under-lay. So, the price on Wiggle could be better than expected and he certainly could be worth it against these. For a hefty exacta (and to add for other stronger exotics available), Badiou Hanover could be cause for a good cashing.
Two Matron Consolations ($25,000 each) follow the finals. In the first, for colt trotters, look for Cue Hall to improve upon a huge-priced second. In the filly-pace consolation, Frost Damage Blues won’t be intimidated by the bank accounts of her foes and could put in a top mile here.
Three For Four
The Fall Final Four events, the Valley Victory, Goldsmith Maid, Governor’s Cup and Three Diamonds, go partially on display this opening weekend of the Meadowlands’ current meet. The Three Diamonds won’t offer eliminations; the Goldsmith Maid offers one elim and the other two offer a pair of elims.
Friday, Nov. 13, a solitary Goldsmith Maid elim ($20,000) sends 10 frosh-filly trotters, eight that will go to next week’s rich final. The obvious three top gals will leave from the far right, each with their own burdens. Haughty leaves from post 7 for Jimmy Takter and becomes suspect after breaking so badly in a Kindergarten Stakes last week that she opened a path for 91-1 Wildflower, who leaves here from post 4. Takter’s All The Time (post 8) just won the Breeders Crown as the favorite and shows a bad break when trying to leave quickly from the outside in the Peaceful Way. Womans Will gets post 9 and shows her most recent losses against Haughty and All The Time.
From the rail, Ultimate Shopper may have a foot or two of an edge, more so because she has been improving since September and is lightly raced compared to the tough schedules of the others. She was scratched from the “Crown” for reasons unreported but there is no speculation it was due to something that might stop her from racing her best here.
Saturday, Nov. 14, the Governor’s Cup for frosh-colt pacers presents a pair of $20,000 elims. We won’t even stop to address the obvious choices, we will go directly to the colt we had in a $109 exacta last week with the favorite in a Matron Final. Beach Ogre was 123-1 and vigorously challenged the winner, Big Top Hanover. He won’t be that high in this elim but he should make the final and can do that winning this mile. Also an outside contender promising double-digit odds will be Spider Man Hanover. He was hanged in the Crown at 18-1 and should play a major role with the speed brigade here.
The second elim is a bit of a quiz, with cases for winners plentiful. How the wagering will go is as much a quiz but we feel, based on brands, Mark Harder’s Autotune Hanover could be overlooked. His Matron race was very good. Most bettors, we hope, will look at his seventh-place finish and not the trip that he had, making two moves in a swift pace.
The green colt trotters also compete in a pair of elims for next week’s Valley Victory Final. Takter’s pair—Love Matters and Honor Above All—will attract dollars. Ron Burke’s late-season starter, Mikkeli Hanover, deserves attention simply due to the lack of experience, which often can produce strong, early improvement. But, obvious or not, it seems Celebrity Express is the best colt here. The Kindergarten loss was a traffic problem; he was racing far better than his 12-1 odds. We can only hope he is penalized by the public and ignored in the win pool somewhere near those odds because with no break, he would have won there and he wins here.
Just when we predicted that Takter’s Lagerfeld was becoming better, he galloped like a steeplechaser in the Crown final and finished last. However, he was 13-1, and the jump was not common behavior. It could have been any reason that disrupted his gait, including the moisture that night at Woodbine. The point is that we will stand by our claim and hope that the Crown non-performance just heightens Lagerfeld’s odds and we wind up with a strongly priced Takter entry.
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.
11/14/15, Silverlode R6; +Whoop D Do Bazzle R7; Little Bit Country R8; +Perfect Pitch R9; Outlawpocketrocket R10; +Just The Way Itis R12; Red Star Wild One R12
11/15/15, +Miri R8
11/14/15, +Kims PJs R3; Sea Anna Win R7
11/15/15, +Osprey Impact R4
11/14/15, Lexington Avenue R1
11/16/15, +Moore Ok R1
11/13/15, Alverna R2; Ninetymile Hanover R3; Nitrous Force R5
11/14/15, +Hey Carrie Ann R2
11/15, Rock Allstar R2; Red Star Johnny R4; Art The Third R10
11/13/15, +Kanaris R5
11/14/15, +Always Wearable R 4; +Marquesas R6
11/13/15, Playa Del Rylee R3
11/13/15, Jk Fannie R4; Radar Contact R6; Explosive Man R8
11/14/15, +Resolve R7; +Jk Endofanera R12
11/12/15, +Cool Runnings R5; +Banging The Drum R6; +Fuzzylegsandall R8; +Ideal Vintage R9
11/15/15, Lyons Johnny R3; +Abreathofreshart R6; +Mr. Rightnow R11
11/14/15, +Lil Miss Bourbon R1
11/13/15, Need Help Here R5; +Blueridge Jezebel R10
11/14/15, +Diana Blue Chip R2
11/15/15, Rodeo Du Ruisseau R3
11/14/15, Sassy Hanover R6
11/13/15, Camps Bay R1; Wine Photo R6; Boy Meets Grill R6; High Fashion Mel R7; Bet Ya R9
11/14/15, Forever Just R1; Camaes Fellow R4; Mystery Bet R6; Crafty Master R7; My Kid Sister ae R8; Jake Loewen R11
11/13/15, Bad Night Mare R6; Al Raza N R8
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition