The Best Put To The Test
The freshmen and the sophomores continue in combat for further assurances that going to the Breeders Crown is a sound idea and this season there are plenty of contenders in each division for hopes to be high. This weekend, many eligible frosh stake players go in the Fall Four finals after eliminations set the fields last week at Woodbine. There were upsets and there could be more, as explained in our analysis.
The Yonkers Trot leads the Oct. 25 barrage of battles at Yonkers for sophomore pacers and trotterss and a $250,000 preview mile for the international set.
This week we cover the newest additions to the stakes calendar, derbies for older pacers and trotters at the newest oval in the business in the Breeders Crown Countdown. The “Crown” contenders from the older sets knock around Ohio on Oct. 24. We link to the “Countdown” blog from this TwinSpires address for coverage of races through the rest of the season leading to the championship events in November, in cooperation with the Hambletonian Society and TwinSpires.
HARNESS OCTOBER – During the month of October, TwinSpires is offering harness bettors some great deals when you wager on standardbreds at any racetrack we carry.
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We offer the Fall Four finals analysis per event, colts, then fillies, with suggested contenders that could topple the tote board at Woodbine, Oct. 25.
The $565,000 Governor’s Cup does not belong to Artspeak. Other colt pacers may be peaking for a spot in the limelight. Artspeak was beaten in his elim by 21-1 Pierce Hanover, who took advantage of a great trip. Lost For Words, in another elim, worked hard and the colt that beat him, 14-1 Lyons Again, rode the most fortunate trip. Driving hard on the inside, making the grade for the final, was Traceur Hanover. The tight quarters in the drive stopped a full-on closing move, which was his second move of the race since he left hard at 10-1 and settled inside of the pulsating action throughout.
Taceur Hanover drew post 10, assuring long odds. However, those two moves put together could allow for a huge drive outside down the stretch for the upset. Last week, Go Daddy Go had post 10 and closed after a slow start. He draws in closer this week and could find a path late to share in a big exactor.
The $521,000 Valley Victory doesn’t include some of the trotting frosh colts that attracted predictors of next year’s Hambletonian when they won earlier in the season. The hot horse now is Habitat. This is the favorite’s favorite, if you will, of the Fall Four. As a key, Habitat is strong. His partners in exotics that should up the ante include Big Rich. At 25-1 in his elim, Big Rich rode cover from the upset winner, Whataworkout (that one totally winning from opportunity). Big Rich closed strongly three wide. Also, Pinkman had some tight quarters late in his elim and should do better here.
The $464,000 Goldsmith Maid offers filly trotters a bundle and the crowd will once again hammer Mission Brief, the undisputed champion of the division. But the pressure is on; she may be beaten, certainly if Danielle Hall gets her way. “Danielle” was a powerful second to Mission in the elim and even beat Juanita’s Fury, who was 2-1 and closed well to make the final.
In the $424,000 Three Diamonds, Jk Shes’alady certainly will be the public’s grand investment, perhaps even more strongly than Habitat, but outside of her and The Show Returns and Band Of Angels, we will get a big price on Ideal Nuggets, who should be listed a contender despite the talents of the three mentioned. She has been getting better and her elim presented her with a chance to zoom late, three wide in the process, not far from the wire. However you play this one, don’t leave her out of the mix, because even with a top choice she will add stuffing to the exotics.
Bury The Messenger
Yes, we mean bury the number in the $250,000 Messenger Stakes at Yonkers on Oct. 25. Here is what was once a giant event for the top glamour-boy pacers with shadows of the best from this season. Consider: Mcwicked has been as weak as we predicted; All Bets Off, good on a half-mile at Yonkers and when he did it for us at Northfield, has softened his blow; Lyonssomewhere, though speedy, is inconsistent; National Debt never lived up to his frosh reputation; and the winner of last week’s elim, Luck Be Withyou, which we gave you at $23, shone for the first time against his ilk in that mile.
The elim mile was a poor test of what talent is left here and inspecting it closely allows us to focus on National Debt, who was decently supported (7-1) and who never lost a step while racing on the outside most of the way. He is the outside contender with the value, as the crowd leans on the Burke duo and Mcwicked. You can bury the exotics if you key him and Lyonssomewhere, who was right there with him gaining to the finish.
The filly companion stake, the $150,854 Lady Maude, should be a pacing parade, with Act Now on top. She is a good exotic key, the true “now” horse, so to speak, but her exotic partners we will leave to your judgment.
What does one do with this year’s Yonkers Trot, part of the Oct. 25 stakes offering at its namesake track? Trixton has retired and Father Patrick is not here, reducing the Takter factor to one—Nuncio. Burke’s Gural Hanover is very sharp and gets the rail; Don Dorado has been improving but gets post 8; and Datsyuk, with only five wins, has the most wins of the rest.
Nuncio and “Gural” (post 2) will get the win dollars, just be careful if it turns out too heavily in Nuncio’s favor. Gural isn’t as battle beaten and may, overall, be better. As a strong second choice he could be a steal. If there is little between them, a 1-2-6 triple could have a very good payoff.
The $250,000 Yonkers International Trot Preview is not exactly a meeting of the United Nations of Trotters. Sebastian K has been a U.S. invader all season (even though he was Horse of the Year in Sweden a few years back), Bee A Magician, though Canadian-bred, is a North American star, leaving Commander Crowe as the sole invader. Sebastian has beaten his Swedish-bred counterpart in events overseas and we feel it is about to happen again in this preview of the giant affair next week.
In fact, the “Preview” could mark the return of the monstrous Sebastian K that was untouchable a few months ago. His dip into repeated defeats does not disqualify him here as the strongest contender. His one huge move will be perfect for Yonkers and this event is a good launching point to win the International Trot and travel to the Breeders Crown with all cylinders firing. Best of all, “K” may leave the gate here at the best price we have seen for him all year, one that makes him a wise wager as well.
The $124,590 Hudson Filly Trot could produce the surprise winner of the evening. Takter’s Yoga has continually shown signs of life and may receive a great gift from the obvious favorites if they are too liberal with their speed early in this short field. This could be a blistering half for the gals and in a short field it won’t take much for Yoga—with plenty of breath left, to swing around and win.
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.
10/24/14, Double Down Yankee R5
10/24/14, Emiliana R2; +Bruisers Sister R7
10/25/14, +Ideal Rowan R5
10/25/14, Village Benjamin R4; Toucam Sam R8; Hollywood Star R13; +Fork In The Road R14;
10/23/14, Devilish Toy R9; +Stirling Bijoux R9
10/25/14, +Blutux R2; Sleek N Beautiful R9; Donttellporkies N R10
10/23/14, +Kaufman Hanover R10
10/25/14, Andwin Hanover R7; Cheyenne Robin R9
10/24/14, Il Sogno Dream R1; Silent Opera K R2; Rompaway Galaxy R5; Broadway Socks R6; Weeper R7; Jk Endofanera R9; Jet Airway R10; +Sweet Talkin Satin R13
10/24/14, Westport R7; Van Gundy Hanover R7; Object Of Art R11
10/27/14, +Obee R3
10/25/14, Avantage R1; Sky Lauxmont R3; Tumblin Dice R5; Cascata R5; +Erichs Best R8
10/25/14, Xlassic Mosee R4; +Dvc Kolor Me Krazy R7
10/23/14, Pan Grad R9
10/24/14, +Cheyenne Louie R11
10/25/14, +Avagadro Hanover R4
10/24/14, Muzzysearlybloomer R1; Kate At The Gate R2; Handsoffmycanoli R4; Remix R6; Bolero Loupet R8
10/25/14, Kiwi Ideal N R1; Sky Is The Limit R2
Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.