Thursday Harness Preview for 7/31/2014

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

July 31st, 2014

by Ted Black

While many harness racing handicappers have already studied the post position draw for this Saturday's $1 million Hambletonian and accompanying $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks at the Meadowlands, some of them will seem hard pressed to overlook the Thursday evening card at Yonkers Raceway.

Much like the cards throughout the week at Yonkers, the Thursday evening program highlights freshmen competing in the New York Sire Stakes. This evening the focus turns to the NYSS for two-year-old colt pacers, with five $40,000 divisions highlighting the card.

In the sixth race on the card, the first of the five NYSS divisions for juvenile pacing colts, a trio of freshmen who will start alongside one another will garner much of the public's support.

Oneisalonelynumber (Jim Morrill, Jr.) won his first two starts for trainer Casie Coleman before making an early break and settling for fourth as the 3-5 favorite in his most recent outing against similar at Monticello Raceway. Oneisalonelynumber defeated overnight rivals at the Meadowlands in 1:52.4 in his career debut, then came right back to win a NYSS split at Saratoga as the 1-4 choice before his early miscue at Monticello.

Starting alongside him in post four is Southwind Masimo (Pat Lachance) who won his career debut at Monticello by 11 lengths in 1:55.4 in 12-1 upset fashion. The Bettor's Delight colt had shown glimpses of promise in a pair of qualifiers at the Meadowlands, then exceeded expectations with a big backside move en route to a fast, lopsided debut tally.

Then next to him in post five is American Crossroad (Scott Zeron), an American Ideal colt trained by Tony Alagna who won his most recent start at Pocono Downs in 1:56.2 after finishing second in his debut at the Meadowlands. Play The Field (Yannick Gingras) will leave from post six for trainer Ron Burke, while My Spirit Soars (Jason Bartlett), a NYSS winner at Monticello, will start from post seven.

One race later in the seventh, the second NYSS split for this group, Aimo Hanover (Jeff Gregory) began his career with a pair of NYSS scores at Buffalo and Saratoga before a nondescript seventh-place effort at Monticello. He arrives as the only winner in the group, but he was also burdened with post seven.

The two most likely upsetters here are Old Man Cleary (Gingras) and Bet You (Jimmy Takter0. Old Man Cleary was parked the mile at Monticello, but draws favorably and should make the front here. Bet You has yet to draw well, but raced bravely first over into a 57.1 back half when second against similar at Monticello and should improve off that effort.

One race later in the third NYSS division, railbound Freedomformysoul (Jim Morrill, Jr.) and Cartoon Daddy (Gingras) should complete a single-digit exacta. Freedomformysoul was a good second behind Oneisalonelynumber in his career debut at the Meadowlands, then came right back to win NYSS splits and Saratoga and Monticello in 1:53.3 and 1:55.2, respectively. Cartoon Daddy won a NYSS in his debut then won his Sheppard elim before making a costly early break as the 2-5 favorite in the $125,000 final.

One race later in the ninth, Americanprimetime (Tyler Buter) will garner considerable support from post two following his 78-1 shocker in a NYSS split at Monticello last out. But Ultimate G (Jordan Stratton), who has been second in each of his first two starts while well-backed at the windows, looks poised to earn his diploma for trainer Aaron Lambert despite drawing post seven here.

Speaking of the Sheppard, winner In The Arsenal (Eric Goodell) will be the solid favorite in the 10th, the fifth and final division of NYSS action for juvenile pacers. In The Arsenal finished sixth in his career debut at the Meadowlands behind Oneisalonelynumber and Freedomformysoul, then won his Sheppard elim handily and prevailed in the $125,000 final for trainer Kelvin Harrison.

Three of the seven rivals inside of him own at least one win against NYSS company. Mikado Blue Chip (Mark Macdonald) prevailed by five lengths at Buffalo in 1:57 and has the rail tonight; K-Rock (Gingras) posted a 25-1 upset at Saratoga between losses as an odds-on choice, while Twin B Stingray (Bartlett) won last week at Monticello in wire-to-wire fashion from the rail but gets the seven hole this evening.