Sophs Energized For M-Pace Elims; Top Trotters Joust

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July 9th, 2015

Regardless of losing some of its stature over the tough years, The Meadowlands Pace is still a coveted prize to horses and horsemen. It’s time for the eliminations on July 12 to set the stage for the final.

The glamour-boy pacing division has been taken over by Wiggle It Jiggleit after the colt’s sterling mile in the Max Hempt Final last week and he is looking to add this event to his resume en route to seasonal honors and a lot more earnings. We cover the two elims below.

The four-year-old trotters doing the best so far this season also meet at The Meadowlands on July 12 in the Graduate Trot Final and soph-filly pacers go in a single heat to make next week’s field for the Mistletoe Shalee.

The Hambletonian Trail blog at TwinSpires covers this week’s Reynolds Stakes for the glamour-boy trotting colts and fillies, also at The Meadowlands on July 12. The exclusive blog covers the events in this last month before Hambo and “Oaks” hopefuls drop into the box for the big August affairs. This week we continue our own Top 10 Hambletonian contenders list. It’s all exclusive, extended coverage from TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society.

It’s freshman stakes time, too, and Yonkers presents elims for the Lawrence Sheppard on July 12’s program.

Live contenders, many at great prices are paraded in our horses-to-watch (H2W) list. Hot across-the-board/exotic action deserves your attention when you look through the list. Don’t miss out on exclusive probabilities from our personal files.

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.

’Pace’ Perfect

There are only two Meadowlands Pace elims ($25,000 each) and only 14 colt pacers shooting for the final. Did Wiggle It Jiggleit scare off a few after his marvelous mile in the “Hempt”?

In round one we know he did not frighten Artspeak, In The Arsenal or Pierce Hanover; they are all here, along with lower-profile colts Dealt A Winner, Dude’s The Man, Hurrikane Ali and Revenge Shark. Clearly, Artspeak will share favoritism with In The Arsenal, in that order. Last week, “Pierce” came first up and gallantly challenged Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Hempt final but it was too fast for him going into the stretch. Pierce is an honest third choice, here, though, due to name recognition.

What parts do the others play? Hurrikane Ali is three for six but not against the likes of the top three. He will probably try to gun to the lead and get a spot when Artspeak or “Arsenal” take over. It’s difficult to get off of Artspeak, though, on the track where he went as fast a mile as “Wiggle” did at Pocono last week. To pump up an exotic, “Ali” could stay the course with a good trip.

What can we say about round two? Wiggle will shake the toteboard with bets and post 7 could mean nothing to him. Wakizashi Hanover, who could not get the kind of cover needed to win in the Hempt, will be looking for a spot to rest before charging and Badiou Hanover, who has been better than expected, may be better still, getting himself a spot in the final. Wiggle could bounce; stranger things have happened. Perhaps “Badiou” could ne the foil, if only by a hair, in that circumstance.

Graduate Day

After the pacers pummeled in the $250,000 Graduate Final at the Meadowlands last week, the four-year-old trotters enter the ring Saturday, July 11 for their opportunity at a $250,000 purse.

This race will be a staple for the rest of the season, with Father Patrick aiming at redemption having left the breeding shed to pursue racing fully, as well as the seemingly unstoppable Jl Cruze, who defeated Sebastian K in that one’s first race this season last week at Pocono last week. Shake It Cerry, last year’s soph-filly trotting queen, also readies to tackle the boys in what will be a race of total domination or utter catastrophe on the betting platform.

Undoubtedly, Jl Cruze will take a majority of the betting dollars over Father Patrick, since he fell to Jl Cruze in the last two legs of the Graduate. If Father Patrick is above the 3-1 plateau because of this, we feel he is worth the bet. Otherwise, there are two other trotters that have the capability to provide the spoils.

The first is Gural Hanover, who finished third to Jl Cruze and Sebastian K in the Sun Stakes. Taking the lead early, he later became the beneficiary of a pocket trip while Sebastian K and Jl Cruze dueled. He was also the only one in the field who could keep up with the duo. That start most likely strengthened him more than any qualifier, so expect a sharp performance from this guy.

The other is Opulent Yankee, who put in a stronger performance in the final leg of the Graduate versus the penultimate. He also draws a better post this time around and can make up ground if the final quarter does not turn into a sprint off.

Mistletoe Shalee Show

Glamour-girl pacers come from last week’s “Lynch” to ready for next week’s Mistletoe Shalee Final at The Meadowlands. It’s a $25,000 mile with 10 fillies, two of which won’t be around next week if they finish ninth or 10th.

Top-ranked Stacia Hanover drew post 10. Ron Burke has four here, including the disappointing Happiness, Band Of Angels, Well Hello There and Storm Point. Failed favorite Divine Caroline goes for Joe Holloway, Deli Beach comes off a terrible mile in the Lynch and Single Me has been getting better (finishing second in the Lynch at long odds to Bettor Be Steppin).

Divine Caroline may not offer much to win but she could still offer more than the sum of her chance. Holloway has a hot crew this season and is great with fillies (he trained the Lynch winner). Single Me may get another shot at being in an exacta (no wins yet this season for Ross Croghan’s gal) and if Deli Beach’s Lynch debacle can be tossed out and she rides like she did two back, she too could contribute to a pricey exotic.

Freshman Flock

Yonkers presents a major frosh stakes as the youngster colts address their classes, the Lawrence B. Sheppard Stakes. A pair of $25,000 eliminations takes place July 11 to set the field for the big final next week.

Six take flight in the first elim, with the Rock N Roll Heaven-colt Rodeo Rock well ahead of the others in earnings with only two place finishes. All of these green guys are maidens. Mark Harder’s student, Autotune Hanover, starts for the second time and sits in the 3 hole where he could coast until that crucial fourth turn. The well-bred Art Major colt may be a good price for a six-horse field.

Seven go in round two and Harder’s colt here will get the most attention. Joe Larry N Curly has shown speed in his first win, which earned him 18 grand. If George Brennan gets the call to drive, the crowd will be all over him. However, Fly With The Best has been second twice already and the crowd at Yonkers doesn’t like the horse farthest on on the gait, so from post 7 we may get a good price on an Artiscape colt that is bred to be very good.

H2W Legend

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.


7/10/15, +Makes Me Stupid R2; B Rock Solid R4; Bettor Buns R6

7/11/15, Cobble Beach R2
7/10/15, Skade R1; Kumu R3;

7/11/15, +Union Dues R8; +Ufit R10; +Smiley Bayama R11

7/9/15, +Chip Again R3; Angel Or Dali R10; Pet Shark R11; Dali Undaunted R13
7/11/15, Lets Drink On It R12

7/10/15, Western Slammer ae R1; +Too Tall Tamarac R2; +Sagebrush Sam R6; Financial Effort R8; Excelerated Speed R10; Na Zdrowie R12

7/10/15, Energy Bar R1; Jazebel De Vie R3; Winning Linc R4; Marion Marauder R6; Witch Dali R7; Roll To Glory R11; Mr Ridgetaker R12

7/9/15, Fools Run Around R8; Talkin Foolish R10

7/10/15, +Kelly Blue Chip R7; Rulers Best R11; Tashia R11; Tainted Money R15

7/9/15, +Chemistryof Terror R1; Revergreen R2; Truly My Way R7
7/10/15, I Turtle R5
7/12/15, Said It Best R6

7/9/15, +Its Chocolate Time R6
7/10/15, +One More Kid ae R4; +Dapper Don R9
7/9/15, JJfs Miss Caroline R4

7/10/15, Hudsonandbernard R3; +No Gin R9

7/10/15, I Got The Life R12

7/10/15, +Fox Valley Spencer R1; +Trottin Trice ae R5
7/12/15, +Ginobili R8

7/9/15, Sign Of A Diamond R4; R Journey Together R9; Bettor Think Twice R10
7/11/15, +Tobins Fusion R9; Ahead Ofthe Curve ae R9; Lincolnjames R11

7/11/15, +Glorious Winner R4

7/9/15,  +Freetime R11

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.