Swift And Strong Sophomores Pacing For Plentiful Purses
Sophomores are beginning to steal the headlines as summer looms boldly. At Yonkers on May 30 the Art Rooney Memorial Final brings together the early season colt-pacing stars and the Lismore has fillies. Across the river at the Meadowlands, New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) three-year-olds of both gaits and sexes that evening in finals. Hoosier has a quartet of Indiana Sires Stakes for the soph divisions, too. The Thursday before Saturday, more pacing colts tangle at Philadelphia in lucrative Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) divisions before sunset.
The soph trotters on the Hambletonian Trail are out in full force, so look for the blog covering the classic divisions on these pages. It’s extended coverage as the crop creates a path to glory. It’s exclusive from TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society.
Older pacers are active at Western Fair Friday in the Molson Pace, the track’s signature event, attracting spring’s sensational veterans for another money-packed purse.
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Three divisions of PASSes worth $70,000 are the features on the afternoon of May 28 at Philadelphia. No-doubt favorite Wakizashi Hanover leaves midway from a seven-colt field to go for his fourth straight while Rise Up Now looks at six straight. Cardiac Fashion fits neatly as the third choice, But we go with Gallic Beach, who could be better than his one-for-one record and will offer a price for the chance to find out.
In the second round, upsets hover from the outside. It’s a tight group that will produce a soft favorite, giving good shots to Lyons Again and Paparazzi Hanover from posts 7 and 8, respectively. Lyons Again is one of three Ron Burke products, which may reduce his offerings but Jim Campbell, the “Paparazzi” tutor is usually overlooked.
The capper for the PASS contests pitts a Jimmy Takter pacer, Blood Brother, against a Burke trio. Burke’s top dog here is soph-season-launcher Lyons Levi Lewis. Post 8 features two-for-two soph Lost For Words, who may clog the flow of the aforementioned. Amid the forecasted chaos sits My Hero Ron, who’s improving, sitting pretty in post 3 and will offer an honest upset price.
Molson Final Brewing
For $150,000, a group of familiar older male pacers take to the track at Western Fair for the Molson Pace. Of course this is a blend of ages, so four-year-old All Best Off, fresh from his Confederation Cup win, has to deal with the likes of some rowdy elders. Among them is PH Supercam, who almost swept the “Levy” but for a little real estate.
Also from the oldest crew is State Treasurer, an Ontario star who could muster up bets even from post 8. Lucan Hanover made a bunch at the Levy and will aim to add as much as he can from this pot. And Lets Drink On It is always aound to take advantage of anxious early speedsters.
PH Supercam could get much less on his nose than All Bets Off, who may not be good enough yet to keep “PH” from destroying this field and for us to take full advantage of a PH price that makes a lot of sense, though not in the double digits.
Art Rooney Attack
The Art Rooney Memorial still stands tall with a purse of $380,000 as it presents high-profile pacers with a long season ahead of them to settle what fame may come. In The Arsenal should lead as favorites but last week’s second from Cartoon Daddy is not an easily dismissed race. “Daddy” was beaten by our choice, Sonofa Sizzle, who gets the dreaded Yonkers 8 hole here. Daddy may be more aggressive from post 7 as he tries to trump “Arsenal” and that move could win it for him. In fact, with National Seelster in the picture, the betting may sway from Daddy and offer a remarkable price.
Lismore Or Less
The $177,724 Lismore soph-filly-pacer final drew short and no elims were needed. So here is a final with only six gals lining up very evenly behind the mobile gate. The fickle crowd will swarm to the four-time-four-start winner Totally Rusty over Sassa Hanover and that would give us an edge with the latter, who may increase the value of her credentials while being underrated. Tom Fanning’s Special Package could get a shot at a late charge that could increase the worth of the exotics, especially if that charge nips the best of them.
New Jersey Pacing Champs
Garden State-bred sophs from both sexes and gaits are featured in $100,000 finals. The trotters are covered in the Hambletonian Trail blog. Here is how we see the pacing duo.
The colts are first and the star is Artspeak. Even from post 8, the sizzling soph will suck in the dough because no one truly believes—yet—that the 8 hole will matter on any track. Certainly the recent performances by Hurrikane Ali will make an impression on some but he has a way to go before turning any heads away from Artspeak.
That being said, it we try to beat the beast we have to go to the ropes. There, we see Edward Teach, a Ron Burke product with raw numbers that are not dismissive. In only five starts he has won two and his earnings make him a solid contender, all things being equal—and there are times when, for many reasons, all things can be such. So, with a price that shouts upset, Edward Teach may be in the mix for all paying positions (use him in exotics, for sure).
The filly pacers number 10 and there are good arguments to be made for most of them to win. The first two on the inside come off wins, Wicked Little Minx the surprise and Lindys Old Lady a sharp princess from the Antonacci crew. The Show Returns is to their right; she has not started her soph season with much noise. Burke’s Happiness will get action and deserves it, while Stacia Hanover has been productive with only four starts.
”Minx,” from Nancy Johansson’s small barn, may offer more than her chances to win, even returning from a victory. As well, The Show Returns has yet to return, so to speak, with her expected thrush. Those two deserve your attention for mutuels and exotics.
Indiana Soph Stars
Four Indiana Sires Stakes finals for sophomores are on Hoosier’s May 30 program. Each is worth $75,000. Filly trotters go first, with 10 at the gate. Quick Hit Jessie should take the most win money and Burke has one that could get more money than deserved, possibly leaving us with a decent price on Dirty Secret? It’s not impossible.
Round two is for the filly pacers, another 10 in action. Cool Desire meets her biggest purse and may make the grade, though the crowd won’t believe it. Take her.
The colt trot is next, with a contentious field of 10. Bluebird Reverend leaves with four wins in as many starts this season and surely takes the public’s favor, But second-time soph starter Hominy Hill could be missed off of a victory that may begin a streak in this market.
Colt pacers line up for the nightcap and the current rage of the game, Wiggle It Jiggleit goes for his ninth straight win this season. No one thinks this guy has any competition due to his raw speed and wins against virtually no proven colts in his division. So, why would he lose here? Maybe he won’t but his presence allows all others to go off at giant odds. Jon Anderson’s pair, My Buddy Ninkster and Rockin Ron are perfect for exotic additions and either can turn the tables, especially if second-choice Freaky Feet Pete works to burn out the big choice.
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.
5/29/15, Uncle Ben R6
5/29/15, A Sharks Life R4
5/30/15, Southewind Whiski R8
5/29/15, +Youshouldseemenow R1; +Pureform Aurora R4
5/28/15, The Queens Jubilee R3; Money Show R5; Jamantha R7; First Art Down R12
5/29/15, +Melodie Hotspur R1; +Ra Ra Steven R3
5/30/15, +Truly Kissed R4
5/28/15, Fox Valley Norman R5; +Perfectly Clear R7; Outspoken R7; Aubsession R8
5/29/15, +Makena Cat R11
5/29/15, Crocadile Canyon R7
5/29/15, Bad Glamour Girl R4
5/27/15, +Sally Goodin R6
5/28/15, Hally R2; +Spymistress R7; Cb Sammy Suit R11
5/27/15, +Benns Clearout R9
5/31/15, Nuclear Attraction R4; +Jk Patriot ae R10
5/28/15, +South Jersey Hey R1; Judgemental R2; Im A Princess R3; Tropical Trice R9
5/30/15, Frau Blucher R13
5/29/15, +Eve Ning Out R6
5/30/15, Insane In Spain R5
5/28/15, +No Excuses Please R6
5/30/15, +Shootin Tyme R1
5/29/15, Kylers Valentine R4; Curlys Son R9
5/29/15+Bullville Kyle R9
5/30/15, +Frankies Dragon R9
6/1/15, Ideal Cowboy R10
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.