Sires Stakes Championships Headline Top Contenders’ Cruising For Cash
The Helen Smith stakes for soph-filly trotters is not the classy mile it was years ago and it does not attract many from the division (this year only four will go) but a quartet of top gals from the division will go in the $30,000 event at Freehold on Sept. 11. Two in the field are Breeders Crown (e) eligible.
Rules Of The Road (e) has won more money than twice of any of the other three and should take the lead as soon as she wants to please the public that makes her the huge favorite. Chasing her as usual should be Riley’s Dream (e), second in earnings but only one for 14 this season.
Ake Svanstedt’s student Blue Muse may be the biggest threat, however. Svanstedt aims to put more speed and money in her resume and the lightly raced filly, who has won half of her six starts, may look to take advantage of the short field with a good trip and perhaps good odds for the lack of the foes here.
At the Meadows on Friday, Sept. 11, four Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) championships for frosh-colt and-filly trotters are packed with purse money at $350,000 each.
Colt pacers include eight at the gate, four which go under the Ron Burke banner. Of those four, three are sons of Somebeachsomewhere, each capable of toppling the others. Even with the Burke quartet, serious attention will be given to Ideal Jimmy, four for seven and highly touted in the division. For a price, we will support Brian Brown’s Spider Man Hanover (e), who may go a bit ignored considering the name brands around him.
The filly pacers have to beat the Jimmy Takter-trained Pure Country (e), who is five for five and about to take a load of money to be six for six. Don’t look now but Chris Oakes’ I Said Diamonds has a great chance at stopping that streak and won’t be supported near as strongly, with Burke’s two getting action to become probable second choices.
The colt trot bettors will also lean into Takter’s cast with Love Matters (e), six for six, but we were impressed choosing and winning with Hititoutofthepark last week and will take her to reject “Love” and pay decently to boot for trainer John Butenschoen, who has her in tip-top shape for this.
Then there are the filly trotters, with another dominant player, Broadway Donna (e). Seven starts have produced seven wins. Her Hambletonian-day rumble was toying with the opposition. However, Julie Miller’s Womans Will (e) has not proven to be unfaithful, with four wins in six starts and there is no law of physics that stops her from winning faster than her mark (they’re two-year-olds, all right?) and she can get a hell of a trip on the inside of the favorite.
Saturday, Sept. 12, fresh off his Yonkers Trot victory, Habitat (e) looks superior in the New York Sires Stakes Final (NYSS) for soph-colt trotters. Perhaps completing the exacta for some decent cash will be Wings Of Royalty from post 7 at Yonkers Raceway.
The soph-filly trotters also conclude the NYSS season at Yonkers with a $225,000 final, which is a good spot for Jewels In Hock to upset obvious public choice Barn Doll. But Lady Winona (e) could fight harder than both and win, giving her the green light to take on her toughest foes in the Crown.
The glamour-boy pacers bred in New York battle for the NYSS championship on the same program and Tom Fanning’s Betting Exchange is in the perfect spot to show his best and probably at a price.
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.