Scores At Pocono, Meadowlands, Produce; $22 Northfield Winner Tops Lot

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June 29th, 2015

Our week began on an up note, with a winner in the Meadowlands’ $50,000 Open on Friday, June 26. We took it straight up with Obrigado ($10.20, $5.00, $2.80).

Pocono’s Sun Stakes Saturday’s overture featured a bevy of eliminations on June 27 to set up the dynamic card coming next Saturday, July 4 at the Pennsylvania racetrack in the mountains.

In the glamour-boy pacing elims for the Max Hempt Memorial, we stuck with our North America Cup analysis and apparently the public agreed with us as we won with Artspeak ($3.40, $2.10, $2.10). In the second elim our choice made the final by finishing third. Betting Exchange ($2.10) is a truly professional pacer and deserves to be among the big boys. The third elim was also obvious with “Cup” winner, the “now colt,” Wakizashi Hanover ($2.80, $2.10, $2.10). Once again the Cup winner delivered a perfect trip, letting Lost For Words, who finished second, take the brunt of leading the field with a stressful early brush.

In the filly-pace elims for the James Lynch Memorial, we had the two top horses in the first split with Stacia Hanover ($4.20, $3.00, $2.20) and Bettor Be Steppin ($3.60, $2.40) for an exacta worth $14.80.

In the second split we were second with Sassa Hanover ($2.60, $2.60) and concerned that Jk Shesalady failed again, this time with a fifth-place finish, not making the final. We’ll keep you posted on her status when we hear anything from reliable sources. To our surprise, Divine Caroline went off the favorite in the third split but was second ($2.60, $2.20).

The Ben Franklin elims began with one of our choices winning at the best price of the featured miles on the night. Luck Be Withyou ($14.40, $6.20, $3.00) was surprisingly strong leading the group and winning, while Domethatagain finished in a dead heat for third ($2.10). In the second “Franklin,” we were second with Dynamic Youth ($16.00, $6.20) at 13-1.

The trotters on the Hambletonian Trail blog, going in the elims for the Earl Beale Memorial, finished fifth (Walter White, 8-1), third (Centurion Atm $3.00, 10-1) and fourth (Billy Flynn, 14-1).

All Hambletonian Trail race stories are archived at the Hambletonian Society website.
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The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Also, exactas listed are included when a H2W horse finishes second with a race favorite or the first two finishers making up the exacta are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses were listed to complete the exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices published are correct even when a show price exceeds a place price or any or all of the prices are the same. This week, there were 64 active horses (a 16-percent win hit rate and a 39-percent in-the-money hit rate).

Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place and/or show results occurring after press time and that it is up to you to follow those horses that have not performed before this weekly review is posted.


So Long My Love, $22.20, $8.20, $5.20, Northfield
Chewy Baca, $11.40, $5.60, $4.80, Running Aces
Suit And Tie, $10.80, $5.20, $3.80, Meadowlands
Fox Valley Disco, $9.20, $3.80, $2.40, Running Aces
Great Vintage, $6.20, $3.50, $2.90, Yonkers
Perchance To Dream, $6.00, $2.80, $2.60, Ocean
FF Bigshow, $5.80, $5.80, ok $2.40, Pocono
Sleek N Wow, $4.00, $3.60, $2.60, Ocean
Ideal Rocky, $3.80, $2.60, $2.40, Meadowlands
Bobs Hope, $2.20, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Philadelphia


Dynamic Rayzer, $22.60, $10.60, Scarborough
Ponyta Boy, $8.30, $2.90, Buffalo
Spin A Dream, $6.20, $4.00 (Exacta $23.20), Ocean
Perfectly Royal, $4.80, $3.60, Scioto
Karate King, $4.40, $4.20 (Exacta $11.20), Century
Final Say, $4.00, $3.60, Century
Real Kid, $3.60, $2.80, Hoosier
Mysticole Maggie, $3.00, $2.80, Vernon
Sagebrush Sam, $3.00, $3.60 ok, Maywood


Janet, $4.40, Saratoga
Presidential Pass, $3.50, Century
Crystal Sphere, $3.20, Saratoga
Lilys Real Boy, $3.00, Tioga
Blue Gem, $2.60, Vernon
Catchajolt, $2.40, Bangor

News & Notes

Pennsylvania offers $800,000 for a new stakes, the Pennsylvania Classic for three-year-old pacers, in 2016. The pair of races will be open to Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacing colts and fillies racing anywhere in the U.S. Purses are an estimated $700,000 for the colt race and $350,000 for the filly race. Pennsylvania’s three harness racing tracks – the Meadows, Harrah’s Philadelphia and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs must submit advertising and promotional proposals for the opportunity to host the inaugural event. The state racing commission will review the submissions and select the site for the 2016 event.

The connections of 123 soph-pacing colts and geldings have made their final payment to remain eligible to the 70th edition of the Little Brown Jug this September in Delaware, Ohio. The hopefuls total a 19.4 percent increase over 2014. The list of horses aiming at the iconic race includes this year’s top glamour boys to date: Artspeak, In The Arsenal, Go Daddy Go, Lost For Words, and Wakizashi Hanover. The North America Cup winner, “Wakizashi,” was originally not eligible for the “Jug” but due to his victory in the $1 million event, the gelding can now supplement into the event. Jug conditions allow non-eligible winners of the Cane Pace, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and Messenger Stakes the option to enter for a $45,000 fee. Also heading for the race are Cartoon Daddy, Hurrikane Ali, Joe Hill, Lyons Again, Lyons Levi Lewis and Pierce Hanover.

In Australia, 1991 Horse of the Year Precious Bunny recently passed away at the age of 27. Precious Bunny died at Empire Stallions in VictoriaHe was foaled in 1988 and purchased in 1990 by R. Peter Heffering of Ontario. Heffering, who died a few years back, was a friend to this scribe through the colt’s champion campaign at three. Trained by Bill Robinson, the colt raced from 1990-1991.

It was his sophomore season that hurled the colt into prominence. He won 20 of 25 starts, including the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Art Rooney Pace, Adios, Little Brown Jug (in straight heats) and Cleveland Classic. With his Cleveland Classic victory, Precious Bunny became only the second standardbred in North America (Beach Towel--1990) to earn more than $2 million in a single season ($2,217,222). He was the first to win two $1 million races in one season (“Cup” and “M-Pace”) and the first to win the Jug, Cup, M-Pace and Adios in the same year. Precious Bunny was voted Horse of the Year. At the time of his retirement, he ranked as the number one single-season money-winning standardbred of all time.

Precious Bunny stood in New York from 1992 to 2000. He has sired North American winners of more than $50 million and three millionaires, including 2001 Horse of the Year Bunny Lake, Stout and 2001 Precious Delight. Precious Bunny was exported to New Zealand in September 2000 and enjoyed his retirement.

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.

Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog

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