Trotters’ Trials Trot Deeply For Pumped Purses In Sires Stakes, Empire Breeders Classics
Hambletonian Trail action resumes on the sires stakes’ circuits this final weekend of May with three divisions of the $171,290 Pennsyvlania Sires Stakes (PASS) for soph-colt trotters at at Pocono Saturday, May 26, while both sexes set foot on Vernon Monday, May 28 for the consolations and finals of the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC).
Division one of the PASS gathers three Hambo hopefuls with probable-favorite Captain Morgan, Dawson Springs and the value contender: Evaluate. Off a decent off-the-pace debut in the PASS last week, Evaluate’s rail draw should place him towards the front, where, assuming he improves, he could topple the likely tempo-setter Captain Morgan through the passing lane.
Last year’s Peter Haughton champion You Know You Do debuts in the second PASS split, competing alongside fellow hopefuls Moosonee, Missile Hill, Gemologist and Tokarev. If sent the favorite, You Know You Do should inflate the value on Gemologist, who could easily take this field around the track. He nearly wired his PASS competition in the slop last week and, in his third start off the bench, should be sharp enough to take victory on the lead.
Fashionwoodchopper, Hill Street and Thrust Control are the lone eligibles in the final PASS split, with Hill Street being the best shot to beat probable favorite and non-eligible Whats The Word. Caught at the wire by Whats The Word last out, Hill Street has improved in his two starts so far this season and will likely secure a position towards the front where he can best apply a striking move.
Starting the EBC contests is the $24,852 consolation for the colts featuring Hambo eligibles Don and Tito, with favoritism likely going to Don off a rough trip in the elimination. In this slim field, Tito probably inherits value seeing as he is the only other Hambo eligible in the race and, with an improved draw, could work out a better trip compared to his rail-locked mile in the elimination.
The $26,512 consolation for the fillies collects “Oaks” contenders Fury Road, Mooshka Stride and Baby Wants. Despite being ineligible, Lucky Rainbow, if not sent the favorite, could go as a decent price considering her sharp-closing effort in the elimination along with her improved draw. With most the field relatively flat in the elimination, Lucky Rainbow’s performance stands out, which could pin most the betting dollars towards her but would be a worthwhile gamble if not.
Elimination-winner and Hambo-eligible Six Pack leads eight rivals into the $223,673 EBC final for the colts, which also includes eligibles Classichap and Purpose Blue Chip. While out of contention in the elimination, Classichap again seems poised to pull off some sort of upset, especially if the pace blisters as it potentially could with Voss Volo drawing towards the outside and Six Pack’s insistence to race on the lead. Classichap will be ignored for finishing 6 lengths off the winner in the elimination, but entering the final appears to be in sharp enough form to compete with the best.
Ake Svanstedt also heads the $238,613 EBC filly final with Oaks-eligible Plunge Blue Chip, who fronts a grouping of Oaks contenders including Repentence, Atlanta, Supergirl Riley, Ciao Dolce and Tribute To Seven. While early in the season, Plunge Blue Chip has asserted her dominance in the division, but Atlanta serves as the obvious counter contender to the favorite and, if above 2-1, could provide decent value.
Outside the main two factors, Supergirl Riley, in the event of total pace collapse, has the ability to sweep into contention for an upset given her performance in the elimination. While it’s more likely either Plunge Blue Chip or Atlanta will take the prize, that’s also why Supergirl Riley will offer higher odds which could be claimed given the correct and somewhat-probable setup of a speed duel.
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