Tuesday Harness Preview

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

July 29th, 2014

by Ted Black

While novice and serious harness racing fans alike are already getting geared up for this Saturday's $1.2 million Hambletonian and its stellar supporting card that includes the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, there are still a few standardbred plays during the week that could help fatten the bankroll heading into the weekend.

Tuesday evening's card at Yonkers coincidentally highlights the two-year-old filly trotters, several of which could eventually be pointed for next year's Hambo Oaks and other major stakes. While those events are still a long way off for the freshmen filly trotters competing in this year's New York Sire Stakes on Tuesday, they are obviously the ultimate goal.

In the second race, the first of five, $40,000 NYSS divisions for the two-year-old filly trotters this evening at Yonkers, look for Frou Frou (Brett Miller) to benefit from the rail and rebound from an early break in her most recent outing at Tioga Downs. The Conway Hall filly trained by Tony Alagna of Captaintreacherous fame, won at first asking as the 3-10 choice at Vernon Downs before jumping early at 3-5 at Tioga. She qualified well with the trainer in the bike and should be in prime position throughout this evening.

But don't completely overlooked My Twisted Sister (Jim Morrill, Jr.) who will leave from post seven. This daughter of Lucky Chucky trained by Paul Kelley won her second start against NYSS company at Tioga, then broke stride early as the 4-5 favorite against similar foes at Buffalo Raceway while leaving from the rail. My Twisted Sister is likely to get overlooked based on her last outing and her unfortuante post draw, which means she will be worth a play and using in the exactas.

One race later in the second NYSS split for this group, look for Concentration (Chris Lems) to rebound from an early miscue in her previous start and prevail at a modest price. This daughter of Conway Hall trained by George Ducharme of Royalty For Life fame, followed up two sharp qualifiers at Vernon Downs with a handy score against NYSS there in her debut. Saddled with post eight at Buffalo, Concentration made an early break and settled for sixth.

But Concentration could get overlooked here thanks for four rivals who will take some backing. My Lucky Word (Corey Callahan) has the rail after starting from posts six and eight in her first two outings; Shaqline (Jimmy Takter) makes her career debut for Takter off a qualifier in which she trotted home in 28 seconds flat to finish second; Cherry Crown Jewel (Dan Daley) won her most recent start at Buffalo, while Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory) has won all four of her career outings but steps up from the Excelsior series into the NYSS action this evening.

Two races later in the third NYSS split, Kaliska (Ray Schnittker) will garner much of the support starting from the rail and boasting one win and two second-place finishes from four starts, but the value play is Spell That (Sam Schillaci). A good second in her career debut at Vernon Downs, Spell That broke stride in her most recent outing at Buffalo. Tonight the daughter of Conway Hall will be a generous price from post six and looks poised for the upset.

Two races later in the fourth NYSS division for freshman filly trotters carded as race seven, the two best juveniles drew the two inside posts and either one of them could prevail.

Betcha (Daley) draws the rail following a pair of wins against similar foes at Buffalo and Tioga, while Barn Doll (Gregory) will leave from post two alongside her sporting three straight wins, the last two in NYSS splits at Buffalo and Tioga. Betcha won her last start as the 6-5 favorite at Buffalo in 2:01.2, while Barn Doll overcame post seven to score there in 2:01.2 as well. Barn Doll won the slightly faster split at Tioga (1:59.1) than Betcha (1:59.4).

Then one race later in the eighth, the fifth NYSS division for this group, only three of the eight starters has at least one win, but the play appears to be one of the maidens. Stirling Debutant (Jason Bartlett) has yet to win in three tries for trainer Rick Zeron, but she trotted superbly in defeat last week at Buffalo while second to Betcha. She was first over into a solid 1:00 flat back half and held her own, an effort that would earn her a trip to the winner's circle against this group.