Older Pacers, Frosh Trotters Wrestle To Earn Big Bucks

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

September 2nd, 2015

In the battle of the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby title, only one entry is not Breeders Crown (e) eligible—Nirvana Seelster. Mohawk’s stakes-laden Sept. 5 program presents this older-pacer stakes mile and the stars are here after earning their berths from last week’s eliminations.

The division leader for a few months now has been State Treasurer. He has stalked and devoured most of the best veterans campaining this season. He will receive the bulk of support in the win pool and that could shift the balance too strongly in his favor to ignore other possibilities.

The greatest threat will be JK Endofanera, who has been ripping through super miles since going to the Jimmy Takter barn at four. We may be guaranteed a decent price on him in this, with Canadian bets bound to over-play the likes of McWicked and even offer too much support to Nirvana Seelster. Foiled Again has his loyal following but they could bow out considering the 9-hole position.

There is a lot of early speed here; even Limelight Beach may try to leave quickly, having to fight off an inside spot with All Bets Off and McWicked. That all helps the top two, unless “Treasurer” gets himself tied up in an early hustle. That would also be good for “JK.”

So, most of the scenarios point to an off the pace surge for JK after saving ground behind a non-productive few cutting flashy fractions to three-quarters. The only way to come out with a fat exacta is to have one of the outsiders second to JK, possible with a quick pace that sets up some late opportunities from the lesser of the field: Shamballa and Captive Audience, to be exact. You can’t leave Treasurer out of a triple but unless he is third in a combo with JK first, the rewards won’t be worth the wager.

At the Meadows on Friday, Sept. 4, three Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) for frosh-colt trotters are each worth $69,000-plus.

Six of seven in the first split are looking to October for a spot in the division’s “Crown” contest (two-year-olds cannot supplement to the Crown, so they have to earn their way there in dollars). The big choice here is five-for-five winner Love Matters. But we can challenge him with, of all things, a maiden.

One of the two maidens, Open Road Hanover (e), is by the proven sire Andover Hall and will get little support. He is a bit classier than the other maiden, Heightend Sxcrutiny (e), and is in good hands for improvement, being trained by Julie Miller. Breedlove can certainly make some noise in the exotic positions and will add some dollars to them, even if Love Matters makes the board.

In the second PASS split, we find a colt we liked very much on Hambo day—Alexander Hanover—in for more big money. He won’t be in the Crown series but he is a good earner so far and could be a bigger money maker for trainer Bill Popfinger. Oddly enough, Truemass Volo, his main foe here, also won’t be going to Canada for the Crown.

The third PASS for these classy youngsters should show favoritism to Milligan’s School, who starred in a Peter Haughton elim (we gave him to you at 8-1) and the good earner Lagerfeld. However, we have our eyes upon the chances versus odds for Hititoutofthepark. John Butenschoen’s sharp colt is as good as “School” on any given day and may go off the third choice or more.

From the 8 hole, those two have to ward off Iron Mine Buddy (e), who is three for six and will be winging for the best check here. The outside launching position may give us more dollars to win, since it will turn off a lot of bettors, even though this son of Explosive Matter has every reason to thrive among these. The aforementioned duo will pump up all exotics.

Follow major BC hopefuls on their road to the Breeders Crown at Woodbine at the Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the TwinSpires harness blog weekly, with archived reports on the results at the Hambletonian Society web site.