Sophomore Stampede Across The Continent
More sophomore pacers take the limelight on Saturday in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) and New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) and New York Sires Stakes (NYSS). These state-bred events turn out a good number of divisions at a few different tracks, which we cover in this blog.
The sophomore trotters are also engaged in sires stakes as they sizzle on the Hambletonian Trail. Look for that blog, which follows great betting races for the classic divisions—soph-colt-and-filly trotters, on these pages. It’s exclusive, extended coverage from TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society.
At the Meadowlands there is the A.J. Cutler Memorial for the older trotters. This is such a competitive group that we may be able to knock out some profits. Speaking of profits, on May 17 we take on the Confederation Cup Final after nabbing both elims last week.
Opportunities continue to abound in overnight races and our exclusive horses-to-watch (H2W) list once again publishes serious contenders for profit in across-the-board/exotic action. TwinSpires also continues to team with Hoosier Park for another season of player perks. Click here to check it out.
A spring special offers free harness past performances through June. Click here to take advantage of the deal.
Be A Magician’s return to prominence was definitive last week in the A.J. Cutler Prep when she blasted the boys with a scorching mile—and at 12-1, undermining the public’s dismissal. She is two for two and looking strong but this mile, the $183,650 A.J. Culter Memorial, is deeper in talent than she may be able to hustle or handle.
Even though it is the same group from last week, this time the strategies will change and other conditions are altered. For one, Market Share needed last week’s mile, his first this season. For another, Dw’s Ny Yank broke and recovered early, wasting time and energy (he was the second choice). For others, still, favorite Melady’s Monet will be pushing every button to get a good trip and even tip some speed scales; Master Of Law is in a spot that may not require the two moves that slowed his performance; and last but not least, our outsider from last week, Appomattox, didn’t struggle to pick up fourth and had some left at 76-1.
So once again, the trips will decide the drama and the drama will announce the winner. Unless “Magician” has more than speed up her saddle sleeve, she has her work cut out for her and her odds won’t examine those possibilities. Expecting lots of scrambling instead of speed, we stick with Appomattox, who could actually benefit from post 9 and become one of the rare Ron Burke toteboard-light-up winners. Exotics could include “Law” and “Yank” for huge returns.
Jersey Girls And Jersey Boys
The NJSS for glamour-girl pacers gets rolling May 16 at the Meadowlands with a pair of $20,000 divisions for leg one starting the program. Round one should draw attention to Burke’s Fashion Rocker, already sucking up purses this season. Also in the spotlight again is The Show Returns, whose return to racing as a soph began with finishing third for trainer Chris Ryder.
Perhaps not enough respect will go to Lindys Old Lady, who is one for one this season and comes into this prepared to battle to the final, if not sweep the series. Frank Antonacci’s pacer can do this mile easily and deliver a price.
Seven more femmes hit the road in the second episode, with Happiness sharp off of her win last week. Don’t let her speed badge fool you, she is, step for step, only as fast as the other six in the field. Certainly Hollyrocker will be very competitive and almost certainly will be supported less for trainer Larry Remmen than the Burke duo (Happiness and Lissan). She will receive our support, certainly.
Two colt-pacing NJSS divisions ($20,000 each) also adorn the evening’s menu. In split one we see the return of the season’s highly regarded Artspeak. If he is anywhere near his freshman shape in this sophomore debut he could blow this field sky high, but in order to wager on the race we must support the nature of contradiction.
In that spirit, we suggest Mitt Jagger, who is improving and may be a threat to Artspeak as the season ensues. The Ron Coyne, Jr. colt that can inspire a billion headlines with his name, is going to go at higher odds than his perfect-so-far season should allow, and the very presence of Artspeak could help “Mitt” express a pace he has not yet been asked to deliver.
The next NJSS colt adventure has a field of nine and looks competitive. Here, speed could be the deciding factor, as Hurrikane Ali has qualified more swiftly than necessary and delivered a win in his seasonal debut. He could be a lot better, too, and that is the unknown factor that we always embrace in order to catch a price that later in the season will be impossible to match.
Four PASS colt events headline Pocono’s program on May 16. The four splits go for $56,000 plus each and feature some top colts that debut in their sophomore season. One of those, Lyons Levi Lewis, is in the first division. Burke’s colt was strong but not dominating at two and may need a race or two. Looking good early on is Mcardles Lightning, Steve Elliot’s colt with two under the belt so far, one a win, and a likely overlooked contender in the wake of the aforementioned.
Division two’s debut colt is a horse we have great faith will be a much better sophomore than he was a freshman. Lyons Again was a bit wild but looked as if he could overcome his innocence and mature, becoming a force in the division. As he enters his soph season he faces much less talented types than he took on at two. If we are right about him he may come right out of the box and show it but we will try to catch him now as he won’t be a popular bet in this, just a great price.
The third PASS has two streaking winners, Rise Up Now (four) and Blood Brother (two). Our eyes are on Joe Hill, Burke’s colt. This guy has some potential and may go under the radar with bettors among the seven in this mile.
The last colt event may not have much to present in the way of price, as the crowd should be attuned to Wakizashi Hanover, who we won with last week in a PA All Stars on this oval. The debut colt here is Linda Toscano’s Asap Hanover and Burke has a pair from the outside posts that will get some action. Our only shot against the seemingly dominating “Wakizashi” is Paparazzi Hanover, a solid winner first time out at three and student of Jim Campbell, which is never a minus.
The ‘Cup’ Paceth Over
The Confederation Cup Final on May 17 at Flamboro takes form with the four-year-old pacers that excelled last week, when we nailed both elims. The final could shape up to be a mirror of the second elim, where Lets Drink On It swept over anxious speed horses to draw away. This factor could be intensified by the presence of the first-elim winner, All Bets Off. This scenario could once again favor Lets Drink On It but not in the eyes of the public, which is, so to speak, addicted to speed.
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.
5/15/15, Goldstar Thumper R6; Nighthawk Hall R9; A Sharks Life R11
5/16/15, Youshouldseemenow R2; +Sports Wizard R3; Pureform Aurora R4; +American Passion R5; +Kumu R7; Sportsonthebeach R9
5/17/15, Runway Model R2; Burning Prospect R3; Elska Min R5; Beauty Of Nature R6; Capitol Hill R7; +Wigesjet R11; Onemoreglance R11
5/18/15, Hf Nancys Babygirl R2; Raging Fingers R4; Cowboy Caper R4; Camblazer R9
5/14/15, Truly Kissed R2; Goldengear R3; +White Fish Flash R5; Sand Fortune R6; Sinfully Slick R8; Sorento Hall R10
5/16/15, +Cactus Billy R9
5/14/15, Image Of Felicia R8
5/15/15, Island Jet R3; Melodie Hotspur R10
5/15/15, Chocoholic R9
5/16/15, Elm Grove Inarush R2
5/17/15, Hall Bro R5
5/17/15, Jk Patriot R5; +Live Action R14
5/14/15, +Briefly R4; Whirlwind R6
5/16/15, +Shake It Cerry R2; Kingofthejungle R13
5/17/15, +Well Well Well R7
5/16/15, +Fearless Chip R1
5/16/15, +Tricky Artist ae R10
5/14/15, +Sir Kensington R7
5/15/15, It’s A Miracle R5
5/16/15, Orderingin R1; +Bubeleh Stone R9; Republic Of Panama R10
5/14/15, +Baby Kay R7; +Julias Song N R10
5/15/15, Kirty Dream R2; +My Hare Lady R6; +Yankee’s Lady R9; +Yankees Lady R9; All Terror R10
5/16/15, Newbeginning R3; Rock Me Please R4; Creighton Hanover R5; Shootin Tyme R6; +Winchester R6; Tempster Hanover R8; +Royal Outlook R9; +Regil Tiger R10; Stop The Traffic R10; Full Code R13; Dress The Part ae R13
5/15/15, +Air-stewart R1; +Paradise Paintball R3
5/15/15, Diamondkeeper R4; Dukes Up R5; +Box Car Johnnie R8; +Fitness Crazy R11; Dune In Red R12
5/16/15, Thirty Two Red R3; +Machs ; Beach Boy R3; Ronny Bugatti R7; Duel In The Sun R9; +Crazy About Pat R11
5/17/15, U Belong To Me R1
5/18/15, +Redneck Fortune R4
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.