Sires Stakes Gathers Colts and Fillies In Two States; Grand Circuit Groups At Meadowlands
With one week until final preparations for the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks, hopeful colts and fillies go in several Hambletonian Trial events this weekend including fillies in two divisions of the $121,500 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) at Vernon Downs on Thursday, July 19, colts in three divisions of the $170,490 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) at Philadelphia Friday, July 20 as well as colts and fillies in a $61,900 and $68,600 division of the Tompkins-Geers respectively at the Meadowlands on Saturday, July 21.
Division one of NYSS action collects “Oaks” contenders Lima Novelty, Ciao Dolce, Mooshka Stride and Tribute To Seven with Lima Novelty, off a win in the Reynolds, likely taking the most public money. While she won off a perfect trip in her last outing, she may have stronger form than others in this group. Expect her stable mate, Tribute To Seven, to play a major role at the finish possibly even as a value prospect to win.
Atlanta fronts the latter split of Oaks hopefuls, which includes Fury Road, Fair Chase, Supergirl Riley and Repentance. Assuming Atlanta continues to be faster than the rest of her competition, as she has proven thus far, she will be the first horse to the wire. Make the call for value yourself.
Hambo hopefuls Lawmaker, Garnet and Missile Hill compete in the first division of PASS with Lawmaker being the likely favorite off a third-place finish in the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial. For a price, try Make It A Double from the rail as he enters off an easy win at Philadelphia last out and has also competed well against much better on the Trail.
For A Dreamer, Patent Leather, Hat Trick Habit, Bautista and Gemologist go in the second PASS grouping where value likely lay with For A Dreamer as he makes his second start on comeback avenue. Putting in a decent mile in his first start back in the Stanley Dancer, he should provide a good price if Patent Leather and Hat Trick Habit take the money that’s expected.
Beal-champ Crystal Fashion starts widest of all in the final PASS split, going against fellow hopefuls Quality Kemp, Hill Street and Thrust Control. If he’s still to the form he displayed in the Beal or even a little duller, he should still be the best horse in the race and a tough one to beat.
Mississippi Storm draws well in here and makes his first start off a break in the Beal final and he has raced well at this level before but whether he’s a good enough price to try beating Crystal Fashion is the question.
Helpisontheway is the lone ineligible in the colt class of the Tompkins-Geers and could go a decent price given horses like Met’s Hall makes his second start of the year after chasing in a world-record mile and Zephyr Kronos competes against weaker after finishing third in the Stanley Dancer. Of course, if neither of them take money then they can be value as well.
There’s also Evaluate, who appeared empty in the “Dancer,” drawing the rail again and making a drop in class. He likely goes at a higher price this week, which could also be an enticing win proposition. The tote will tell.
A full field of 10 Oaks eligibles compete in the filly division of the Tompkins-Geers fronted by Hey Blondie, who finished third in the Del Miller Memorial last out. Likely to fly unseen on the tote board is Bill’s Lady, entering off a second-place finish in her return mile from a sick scratch. Racing well against this caliber, she’s a valid outsider.
* * *
Follow Hambletonian Trail action from in this blog on Twitter @Hambletonian_ , #Hambo18 and @FrankCotolo in cooperation with the Hambletonian Society.