The Breeders Crown Overture
We begin with the first of a pair of two-year-old colt pace elims on the Friday program. There have rarely been, in any divisions, as worthy a 1-5 morning-line shot than is Captaintreacherous. Perhaps his sire, Somebeachsomewhere qualifies, but outside the family, so to speak, what is there to do with this race that has not surfaced in the other eight races of this colt’s career?
There are only seven horses here, two of which have never met “Captain.” One of them, Up And Out, appears to be no threat by means of speed or class. The other, Twilight Bonfire, may have more speed than he has shown in 10 races but he has only won a pair of them and has beaten others that do not seem to stand as tall as Captain.
So you pass or you watch in wonder or you see an upset that is unpredictable because for it to happens would involve bizarre circumstances that have no place in any scenario one should use handicapping a harness race. Perhaps the two others mentioned could add to a decent priced trifecta if criss-crossed behind Captain.
The second frosh-colt elim is where to look for value. The outside contender here is Good Day Mate. He may be the fourth choice in this group but cannot be overlooked per his recent trips, a pair of excused journeys and both against Captaintreacherous.
He was second to Captain at 5-1 two back at The Red Mile, while his second venture there found him fourth against Captain while taking the overland route. He shapes up against the obvious top three (the 4, 5 and 7) and will not get the kind of action he received in the pair of failures. In one of those, he beat Apprentice Hanover, the morning-line favorite here.
The single elim for frosh-colt trotters (Don’t You Forget It and Major Athens have byes) sets up to be a tempest between some heavy young hitters. One of them, Wheeling N Dealin, is yet to lose in his career, bringing a streak of seven wins to this mile. He must deal with Fashion Blizzard for the first time and these two face the danger of canceling each other out, leaving an outsider in a great spot to upset.
That colt is one that failed us in the past two weeks but has every right to be the tortoise to those two hares in this situation. He is Caveat Emptor, a son of Deweycheatumnhowe that suffered enough trouble to make every event where he has appeared since he won on Aug. 19 suspect of his losses.
What a price this colt will offer having a legitimate chance to strike down the streak by Wheeling N Dealin and leave “Blizzard” for an exotic-ticket position. Beware of this colt, he could even wire this field if he improves and stays out of trouble and, of course, if he doesn’t jump. But at the price he will be worth the shot.
The single filly pace mile has 10 of the 13 to go in the final. A trio received byes included top divisional filly I Luv The Nitelife, Parlee Beach and UF Dragon’s Queen. The 10 left are a tightly knitted field of competitors making this event rife for an upset.
It’s difficult to tell as of this writing but if Love Canal lives up to her morning-line odds or is at least the second choice to L Dees Lioness or tied with Nikki Beach, she would be an overlay worth supporting.
A bigger surprise could come with the performance of Power Pack Hanover. She is two for two and could be getting better by the step. She certainly will be worth a chance to win, as the crowd will most likely dismiss her. We would rather speculate on her improvement with a wager, as the Somebeachsomewhere filly could be awaiting a monstrous sophomore season and be able to send up a flare with this elim and next week’s final.
For Saturday’s Crown action at Woodbine, click here.