Summer Spectacular At The Meadowlands
Saturday, Aug. 8 at The Meadowlands is the pinnacle of programs for the summer, featuring the Hambletonian (in heats and a final this year) and more, as listed and analyzed below.
As we have been doing exclusively for TwinSpires over the years, reports on the day will come live from the New Jersey reconstructed Meadowlands press box, winner’s circle, apron and more with our all-access pass in league with TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society.
The TwinSpires exclusive Hambletonian Trail blog this week covers the Hambo heats, final and the Hambletonian Oaks Final. The best on-line wagering for harness anywhere on line is the top coverage from TwinSpires and on the big day you have to be in tune on Twitter for tweets about betting the stakes-filled program, exclusive comments from horsemen and up-to-post-time changes.
And is still a bevy of horses to watch (H2W) on our weekly list, covering action around the continent with suggested contenders for across-the-board and –exotic wagering on harness racing.
Here are the Aug. 8 Meadowlands Stakes and our thoughts on the betting. They are in order of their appearance, except for the Hambletonian heats/final/Oaks. Go to the Hambletonian Trail blog to read about them.
Jim Doherty Memorial, $389,450
Frosh-filly trotters that want to be around for next year’s Oaks line up from post 1 to 10. Among them is Broadway Donna, who has yet to taste defeat in five starts. Takter has four starters, all available to turn the tables on last week’s trio of elim winners, “Donna,” Kathy Parker and Womans Will. The latter two are also looking to beat Donna. The betting will spread out liberally from Donna.
Some of these are maidens and the rail filly, Celebrity Eventsy, who was second twice in two starts (not counting a Kindergarten, where she was also second), one of them in the Donna elim last week. If this gal gets up the speed of her sire (Manofmanymissions) she may surprise everyone and charge from gate to wire. With such little experience and her sire’s prowess a possibility yet to be seen, she can only get better.
Lady Liberty, $251,250
The action for aged horses kicks off early on the Hambletonian card, with the $251,250 Lady Liberty for mare pacers. With 11 horses entered, it is one of three stakes going the distance of 1 1/8 miles.
The betting scheme for this event was obstructed by the draw, as Color’s A Virgin, presumably, would have been the favorite if she had not drawn post 10. Other contenders for favoritism here are Anndrovette and Table Talk, both racing at the top of their games. This race has something about it most races on Hambletonian day have—in wide-open races there is often a mild favorite who is usually upset. This makes for win value within higher-priced horses.
Sandbetweenurtoes may be a mild upset here. She finished fifth recently in what seemed to be a conservative effort, as she never left the pylons until she needed a seam to pace through in the stretch, also responding when she needed to in the final quarter mile. Remember that she was also the favorite in the Golden Girls only a few weeks ago and she lost that respectably after traveling first over for most of the mile. So, if we were to establish a division leader among the mare pacers, Sandbetweenurtoes would top the polls.
U.S. Pacing Championship, $215,400
The $215,400 U.S. Pacing Championship is the only aged stake going the mile distance on the program. Once again, we are left with a division with no clear standout, leaving many scenarios. Off of an impressive effort in the prep last week, Jk Endofanera may have distinguished himself from the rest of the division, enough to make him the public choice. Outside of him are Doo Wop Hanover, who is still racing at his peak, and State Treasurer, who seems to always be a neck short at the finish. Then there’s everyone else, and two of the horses in the “everyone else” group could show up.
Last week, Dancin Yankee opted to drop to the back of the field, an uncharacteristic move by a horse that is nearly always near the top. Considering he has been racing well with the open division all season, his performance last week may be considered a conservative trip around the track that makes him ready to fire in this event.
If the fan club doesn’t show up at the windows, Foiled Again could also provide some value. He raced well in the prep last week and closed sharply in the “Haughton” to finish third. While the Gingras-Burke duo may bring its own fan club to the windows, Foiled Again’s outside draw could place him at a similar price plateau to where he was last week: the 9-1 range.
John Cashman Memorial, $301,500
The best way to describe this event for aged trotters is by saying “it’s a doozy.” This is another race where we rely solely on conjectures, as this field has numerous questions surrounding it. The Elitlopp winner, Magic Tonight, comes in off a qualifier that was in no way visually impressive, but will that matter? Flanagen Memory is obviously sharp heading into this race but will he get the trip he needs? How will Wind Of The North perform from post 10? Then, after giving our heads a good amount of time to spin, we came up with Obrigado and Natural Herbie.
Obrigado seems like he’ll be a higher price here, despite being the favorite in his last three starts. He was jumpy in the prep last week, nearly breaking twice in the backstretch but managed to keep his composure and close well in the final quarter, finishing fifth. Of course his main issue will be if he can stay flat.
The one issue with Natural Herbie will be how heavily he’ll be bet off of his spectacular effort last week. Caught first over for the final half mile, he never faltered and fought to the wire until he came a nose short of victory. His price may inflate because of post 9 but otherwise we may be looking at around a 5-1 price on him.
Fresh Yankee, $181,450
The inaugural edition of Fresh Yankee could end up being a match-up between Bee A Magician and Shake It Cerry in the stretch but it also could be the moment where Bee A Magician is not the best of the aged trotting mares. “Cerry” has been racing sharply heading into this race, finishing fourth against the boys with a :27.2 final quarter and more notably finishing second to JL Cruze in his sub-1:50 performance. She’ll start from the second tier, which could make her either a second or third choice.
Allie Labrook and Handover Belle are both racing at their best heading into this as well. Allie Labrook was third against the boys with a :27 final quarter and draws the rail here. The mare by Here Comes Herbie could be better today than “Bee” and that means a good price. As for Handover Belle, she won the Open in which both Cerry and Allie Labrook competed, doing so in near wire-to-wire fashion. She has suddenly reappeared in the mare trotting division, with her main issue likely being her price due to the Gingras-Burke association.
Peter Haughton Memorial, $349,850
This is where the winter-book favorite for next year’s Hambletonian may surface among 10 frosh-colt trotters. All the hot-trot trainers are involved, including veteran Bill Popfinger, whose son of Cantab Hall (and his only offspring in this field), Alexander Hanover, was caught wide early in an elim and lost that ground to finish second. Our biggest hit last week ($18.80) was with the outsider Milligan’s School, Julie Miller’s overlooked colt in an elim. He won’t be that generous on the board this week but “Alexander” may be better than the 5-1 given him last week.
Takter’s duo gets the two outside posts and only one has a win, anyway. Jonas Czernyson has a pair, neither looking deadlier than the other. We are all for Alexander Hanover, then, and hope that the crowd is shopping beyond him, though Tim Tetrick’s drive will attract some bucks.
Vincennes Invitational, $75,000
The Vincennes lines up both trotters who could have taken on the big names in the “Cashman” and those who are just involved in the top conditioned level week to week. Shipping from Canada, Daylon Magician has been racing well of late, including a win in the Cleveland Trotting Classic a few weeks ago, and should be the betting choice here. Of course, Il Sogno Dream and Resolve are also candidates in the publics’ purses but by drawing post 10, Resolve could be a better price. He has been showing a ton of speed recently, which should make him an early factor from the far outside.
Dewycolorintheline should also be a factor here. He ships in from Yonkers, where he was second in near wire-to-wire efforts at the Open level. He should be able to get a position early on, but it may be more beneficial if he were to stalk the pace versus set it
Cane Pace, $319,400
The soph-colt pace is at the Meadowlands and a one-mile track for the first time, bringing to the day an appearance of Wiggle It Jiggleit, who supplemented for the chance. “Wiggle” is bound to be the lowest price of the entire program’s events and with some rest behind him and coming off of a Meadowlands Pace victory that showed stunning courage, he deserves the prohibitive status.
As you watch the crowd pile on an exacta that includes Dudes The Man, who just won the Adios off of his second to Wiggle in the “Pace,” draw away and toss “Dudes” out if you key the Wiggle. Artspeak is here and he will be third choice, at best, which is a fabulous price. The public is not forgiving so early in the game and Artspeak is tons better than Dudes, regardless of the Pace and the recent N.J. Classic where he was third. We wouldn’t blame anyone betting on an upset, in fact, with Wiggle second. The price and the circumstances may be right. After all, stranger things have happened to the hot stars in the hot August afternoons at The Meadowlands. Complete a Triple using Yankee Bounty and you have one great payoff even if Artspeak doesn’t upset.
Wiggle is here to go for the Pacing Triple Crown, which starts here. If he wins, you can count on his Little Brown Jug appearance to try for the second jewel and to pack the Delaware Fair track heavier than the last five, at least, “Jug” days.
Shady Daisy, $109,500
The filly counterpart to the Cane Pace, the Shady Daisy, has three main betting factors: Band Of Angels, Wicked Little Minx and Sassa Hanover, with “Sassa” entering off a sharp effort at the Meadows in the Adioo Volo. With that in mind, Sassa may be the shortest price of the three. Yet, there are two other contenders who will likely be better prices than these three.
The first is Divine Caroline, who made her first start since the Mistletoe Shalee in the Adioo Volo last week and was in no way disappointing, since she acted as the catalyst to the fast pace.
Her constant placement into troubled trips could make her a higher choice here, which should be good for us because she will likely get a good trip.
The Show Returns could also play spoiler here. She is known for her gate speed, as she tries to get a pocket spot because of it. She is the kind of filly that needs to draft behind pacers who are doing the dirty work and she could very well sweep up to the top and let someone claim command midpoint just to pop out of the pocket and slide by her competition. Because she draws post 10 and also enters off a performance that did not look good, she could go off as a long shot.
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.
8/7/15, Outlaw Falcon R6
8/8/15, +Capitol Hill R4
8/6/15, +This Bird Will Fly R11
8/8/15, St Lads Coach R6; Shadow Newton R8
8/7/15, +The Ladies Man R5; +Rockin Good R13
8/6/15, +Desire Bellabella
8/7/15, Iron R5; Magic Marker R6; +Rileys Dream R7
8/7/15, +Riverdancer R1; +Delightful Syd R8; +Y Mach Me R11; Schmatie R11; +Rulers Blast R10
8/6/15,+Brussels Hanover R6; +Gold Star Smokin R11
8/7/15, +Truly My Way R4
8/9/15, Perchance To Dream R1; Cedar Hall Dream R8
8/6/15, +JJfs Miss Caroline R4
8/7/15, Deli Beach R3
8/9/15, Shesasmokinlady R10
8/6/16, Don’t Dali Around R3; Sandys Candy R5; Fine Fine Fine R6; Planet Ocean R7; Beachy Dreamer R8
8/6/15, +No Tears Blue Chip R8
8/8/15, +Imprudent Speed R6
8/9/15, Gals Romeo R4; +Darlington Stripe R7
8/7/15, +Woman Of Terror R4; +Duet R13
8/8/15, +Ahead Of The Curve R8
8/7/15, Winkys Gal R5
8/915, +Celebrity Stimulus R6
8/6/15, Report For Duty N; +Cartoon Daddy; +Just That R9
8/7/15, +Our Els Dream N R3; Sweet Ashley T R7
8/10/15, Apostles Creed
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.