Multiple Sires Stakes, Big Soph Contests, Northfield ‘Battle’ And Graduates Adorn Weekend Programs
Top sophomores attack at Mohawk in the Somebeachsomewhere stakes on June 3 in valid preps for the North America Cup elims next week. Graduates of both gaits are also up north at Mohawk on that program, while Northfield’s Battle of Lake Erie sends open pacers through Ohio’s flying turns.
Sires stakes load the menu. June 1 opens the weekend with Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) soph-filly pacers at Philly. Then there are finals in New Jersey (NJSS) for three-year-old pacers (trotters being the focus of this week’s Hambletonian Trail blog) at the Meadowlands and New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) at Saratoga features prelims for filly pacers, all on June 2.
The prolific and profit-layered weekly H2W (the horses-to-watch) list is also here for solo wagers, single-race and multi-race exotics. Choose wisely, do your own handicapping, and then compare and consider our H2W selections when playing your bets. Of course, remember to be fully armed with a plentiful TwinSpires betting account.
The glamour-boy pacers are at it again, chasing Pennsylvania Sires Stakes dollars, this time on June 1 at Philly. Three splits are on the card, each worth $49,000-plus. The first split of six should be total domination from Fear The Dragon. As we have predicted here, this guy is the division’s main threat. After winning three, he is bound for support, though the crowd could invest in Ocean Colony, Jimmy Takter’s addition. But he has something to prove. “Dragon” to Ozone Blue Chip would pay well.
Split two offers seven and another one of our predictions hits the public and will be bet heavily. Summer Side was 53-1 to complete a $21-plus exacta in the Art Rooney with 1-9 Downbytheseaside and here he gets post 1 and a top Morning Line (ML) spot. He should win and with Darling’s Dragon will hand over a good exacta.
And then there is Huntsville, looming boldly as the big favorite in round three. Tasting defeat (from Fear The Dragon) may have knocked his preordained greatness a bit, as well as it is evident he is in deeper at three than most (not us) predicted. Here we will try to beat him with Takter’s Blood Line, who is shaping into another foe Huntsville did not expect.
Friday’s NJSS finals settle the champs for soph-filly-and-colt pacers. Though the state-bred crowns are not as valuable as they used to be (only two sires represent the program in these events), it would not be a shock to find a national competitor or two from the results.
The first $100,000 pace favorite will be Every Way Out, who won the two legs leading here. In a six-horse field he will eat the win pool clean. The only chance for an upset will be for him to give in to second-choice Deo Galileo for the first time in the series. The race is arguably unplayable unless you toss the dice and expect a much better performance from Foundmytreasure.
The fillies also offer six and a huge favorite, Colorful Jasmine. Here, however, an upset may be more viable than it would be with the colts due to Misqued. Leaving from post 6, Misqued has raced twice and been on the board twice. She will also offer a good price. Condition-wise, Misqued has every right to become a better performer and this could be the spot that justifies her move into other classy divisional action this season.
EMPIRE SOPH STAKES
Saratoga hosts a quartet of NYSS divisions for soph filly pacers on June 2, with each split worth $44,000-plus. In the first episode, Joe Holloway’s No Chaser stands out for a few reasons, one due to Joe’s talent sending glamour-girl pacers out for big cash. Playing Favorites could certainly contribute to the exotic pools.
Round two also includes a Holloway entry, Rockinsangria, that must be respected. However, a second win for Marquesa Seelster could be imminent and may promise a price better than expected.
In the third chapter, a wave of inexperience leaves the gate. The public choices will most likely be Tequila Monday and Double Down Jo. A good shot against them may be Robin J, who takes her second shot at the new season and deserves a chance to be much better than her first shot.
The nightcap offers a brand-name trainer filly, St Helena, in post 1 and the Takter name will pump money into the win pools along with the filly’s two successful races this season. Dangerous with a solo win so far will be Artrageous, who should pace much faster than the mark that was necessary to win her first outing this season.
The four-year-old pacers split into a pair of $67,230 divisions and the trotters go with a single $100,845 field at Mohawk on June 3. A dozen fly off the gate in the trot field, including new additions to the series. Last season we had a great win with Per Henriksen’s Blenheim, who scored with verve during the “Jug” meet. It was not a fluke and Per has him back at four eyeing some bigger cash. The crowd should employ Dayson and Broadway Donna to handle the win pools, so Blenheim will offer a strong dollar. Also consider Cufflink Hanover, who could play a role in pumping up the exotic prices.
The pacers’ first Graduate division sends six out and we go again with Roll Away Joe, who was forced to take a struggling overland journey in the Molson Pace, giving in to the favorites. With any luck for his supporters, the public will lean on Boston Red Rocks and Lyons Snyder, leaving a lot of good cash for “Joe” backers.
The other pacer six-horse field puts the top three Molson choices in the three inside posts, where they can suck up all the obvious money. We would love to see them cancel one another out and let a ground-saving Artmagic show his breeding at a price. It should be a good price considering the top three in the innermost posts with the name-brand drivers/trainers. It may not be art or magic that supports such an upset.
ON THE ‘BEACH’
Two $70,000 legs of the Somebeachsomewhere stakes at Mohawk on Saturday, June 3, are the overtures of the North America Cup elims. There are 16 of 22 soph-colt pacers eligible to the “Cup,” and they take to the track to prove to their connections they should go for the big bucks.
Division one presents Tony O’Sullivan’s top charge, Beyond Delight. At two he won the Metro and is the top earner in the groups due to stakes wins at two. The most alluring for us in this division is Hurricane Beach. Trainer Luc Blais’s barn is winning at a 31-percent clip and having this son of the stakes’ namesake going in this race could improve that number for Blais. In this field of 11, Blais is the top trainer of the season among the conditioners of his horse’s foe.
Division two includes O’Sullivan’s other Cup hopeful, Stealth Bomber. The colt finished last in the Art Rooney Final but handled half of the mile brilliantly. Leaving from Yonkers’ dreaded 8 hole, “Bomber” was 7 lengths off the pace by the half when he delivered a 7-length brush that found him first over in third place. It was a huge move, though it only threatened others for the length of the move. Here he gets post 4, a striking position behind Ideal Wheel, a Casie Coleman student that will attract many bucks.
On June 3, Northfield’s Battle of Lake Erie takes the older-pacer season into another realm—the Midwest and on the home of the “Flying Turns.” Eight aged horses get in line to fight for the best shares of the $200,000 purse.
There are no giants here and the public is well aware that inside posts will play a huge part in deciding the winner. However, the majority rarely offers the kind of price worth shooting for as a bettor, so we will look, as we always do, beyond the obvious and into the great contradiction.
On the inside, support will engulf Soto, Luck Be Withyou and All Bets Off. They will benefit the masses for having inside posts. However, should the outsiders (in post and betting) get the best shots they could afford through four turns, they will upset the public and reward the courageous bettors.
One of them is Sunfire Blue Chip, who last week defied a bad post at Western Fair, took third (paying the best of all the mutuels) and showed that he can be in the mix of a lot of these older battles. To cash in on this he must overcome adversities like outside posts, at least on half-mile tracks, and betting he can provides the best value available if one wishes to invest in him.
To his left is Rockin Ron, who has suffered through failures in which his post has contributed. He could be in the mix here, as well, while being disregarded by the fans. A speed duel may be beneficial to our outside contenders but the other factors are their talents, which can prove to be more potent than the public decides at post time.
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.
6/2/17, Poocham Pal R4; Sachertorte R7
6/3/17, Thunderbolt Jaxon R10; If You Want Fire R11
6/1/17, +Fleurje R2
6/5/17, +Life Is Good As R1; +Big Place R10
6/2/17, +Atomic Art R7; +Our Dragon King R9
6/3/17, Ohio Larry R2; +Northern BB R10; Shymaster R9
6/1/17, Shakeitformegear R1
6/3/17, Jacksrluckytoo R9
6/3/17, +Ghosts And Legends R13
6/2/17, +Selling The Dream R3
6/2/17, +Art For Arts Sake R5; +Troon R9
6/3/17, Hot Cycle R5
6/5/17, +Always Sunday R11
6/3/17, Times Are Tight R7
6/2/17, +Moments Of Joy ae R12; +V String R12
6/1/17, Jupiter Rising R1; Storyofmylife R5; Keystone Ace R6
6/2/17, Mister Moni R4; Allamerican Extra R5
6/1/17, Good Luck Kathy R7; Hellas Angel R8
6/3/17, Al Mar Foxyeclipse R3; +My Guiding Light R6; +Broadway Jose R6; Franks Best R7
6/3/17, Do Over Hanover R3; Bet You R6
6/3/17, +Hedges Lane R8
6/4/17, +Only Way I Know R6
6/1/17, +RM Imp R3
6/2/17, Endeavors Ladyluck R4; +Rosas Touch R9
6/4/17, Consolidator R5
6/2/17, Rockin Show R9
6/3/17, Tidquist R3
6/2/17, Keene Olivia R2; American JJ R7