Yonkers Trot, Messenger Top Stakes; Grand Circuit Stake At Mohawk With Canadian Pacing Derby; PASS Soph Champs Battle

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August 31st, 2017

Labor Day weekend, 2017 offers many features across the continent. We have chosen the best for betting opportunities as our feature events this holiday weekend here on the main blog and on the TwinSpires-exclusive blog—the Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC). Get your betting accounts in order and compare your choices with our suggested contenders.

The BCC handles soph colt pacers in a Simcoe at Mohawk and the Messenger at Yonkers, as well as the soph-filly pacers in Yonkers’ Lady Maude.

Our lucrative H2W (the horses-to-watch) list is locked and loaded for the weekend to help you spice up the prices on all betting pools. Do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections when playing your bets. Of course, remember to be fully armed with a plentiful TwinSpires betting account.


New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) frosh colt pacers come to Batavia on Sept. 1 with a pair of miles, each worth $52,000 plus. The sole Rock N Roll Heaven son, Aces In Heaven, should be a fair price in a field of merely six colts, as well as he is the only son of the sire up against lesser ilk.

Five in the second field should be a maiden-breaking experience for Silver Arrow, a Roll With Joe son that goes in this NYSS after trying a bigger field at Yonkers. He is not the only son of that prolific sire in this field but the other two should be bet more heavily, so he’s the deal.


The Grand Circuit—the Rolling Grand, if you will—drives into town and offers big prices for two- and three-year-olds this weekend, beginning Friday, Sept. 1 with two Champlains (frosh) and one Simcoe (sophs).

The first Champlain (both splits are for colt trotters and both are worth $93,888) has seven on the gate. On home ground is Winning American, from the great Canadian-bred Kadabra, going against three Muscle Hill boys, which could give him some more cash value.

The second Champlain also features seven, with two Kadabra kids. However, the lone product from Lucky Chucky comes from the Antonacci barn and looks strong here, even against another from the same barn (different sire). This is Kinda Lucky Lindy, who should be very good in this mix, upset included.

Friday’s sole Simcoe is for filly trotters and worth $166,872, led by the great Ariana G. What can you do? She is the division’s best and it’s impossible to knock her out. Along with Dream Together it could be a bargain exacta and if anyone would use Dream Together as an upset we wouldn’t judge that as a bad bet.


Saturday, Sept. 2, the big-boy pacers meet again in the $615,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk. Ten veteran trotters meet, most of them acquainted with the others, with a few considerations. Keystone Velocity won his elim strongly enough and has done well enough so far this season to pick up lots of support. Then, you have the northern bias, including Mcwicked and Sintra among the most popular. The other elim went to Rockin Ron, who took to Canada with a flashy mile and will get played a lot, perhaps the most of the Burke trio, including Check Six.

It’s a you-pick-it race but if my hands were tied to suggest a pricey contender three days before the race goes off, I would choose behind the speed for a late close and that would be a vote for Dealt A Winner, the beaten-favorite in his elim. He is awake after his huge upset two weeks back and we should hope no one is going to let Rockin Ron steal this on top; there will be challengers that make Dealt A Winner plausible and with a price this week.


The Grand Circuit Champlains (frosh) and one Simcoe (sophs) continue Saturday, Sept. 2. Each Champlain for green-colt pacers is worth $97,880. Round one has 11 on the gate and the solitary son of Well Said, the 2, Torrin Hanover, should be attractive as a win bet and certainly as a member of the exotic parade. The other could also go to the sole Well Said product in the field, Albergo Hanover, and at a price, since a few others here will be chosen by public handicappers and fans of brand-name drivers and trainers.

The filly pace, worth $169,381, and we expect super speed and stamina from the Mach Three gal Color Envy. Scott McEneny’s filly can only improve and will do so at a price. The crowd will love the two gals from the Coleman barn and maybe McEneny’s other entry, Big Thong, enough to let Color Envy go off with gusto.


Saturday, Sept. 2 the glamour-boy trotters battle a mile for the Yonkers Trot crown and the fillies fight on their own in the Hudson Filly Trot.

The boys’ final, worth $500,000, features nine, eight on the gate and one in the second tier. Yes Mickey is the “now” horse but he has to negotiate post 6, against Devious Man on the wood and Guardian Angel AS from post 4. Those two are definite dangers that are bound to be the top three pubic choices. “Angel” has been in a groove since the Hambletonian and could be, with “Mickey” one of the two most wagered upon. Devious Man tends to go off better than his chances and could here, too. Leaving from post 1 he could try to wire the field or simply get a good spot early and fire big late. Either way, this could be his best race of his soph season as the Millers take him thought his lucrative late stakes dates.

The filly trot is worth $119.010 going right to a final with eight aboard. Trond Smedshammer’s duo, Lexie Marie and Celebrity Ruth, each have the most wins in the field this season, while Ake Svanstedt’s Evelyn has awoken after a miserable road to the “Oaks.” He also offers Ice Attraction but from post 8 there are the usual post-8 Yonkers problems. Chapter Too, well bred and paying bills, will be under-rated here but from post 2 and with nine in-the-monies in 13 starts, Mark Harder’s filly could upset for a price.


Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) finals for sophomore pacers, worth over $250,000 each, along with $50,000 consolations, are the focus on the Sunday, Sept. 3 program at Philly.

Soph-colt trotters go first and it is a tight fit for a favorite. No colt has won more than three races and their earnings are all within measure. You’ll get a good price on the only single-race winner this year, Muscles Jared, however because the crowd will not give him credit for five places which, but for negotiable circumstances, could have been wins, which would have made him a public choice here—but we could take advantage of the “if” factor.

PASS filly pacers go next, led by Agent Q, the obvious public choice. Caviart Ally looked sharp winning a PASS leg and although that field was softer (she was a crowd choice) she is in our sights here to get away with an upset at upset prices.

The PASS filly-trot final has many arguments for the eight involved. We want to strike again with longshot Cool Cates (who we nabbed at a big price on the Hambo Trail a few months back). She is five for nine first or second and Noel Daley’s fillies, as we suggested during the early season) have been earning their ways through the stakes season.

The glamour-boy pacers bred in Pennsylvania finish the stakes off with eight going for some of the top trainers around. There are only three words for this race—Fear The Dragon. Even from post 7 and Huntsville on his left, the division’s hands-down champion cannot be denied. Key him and take a shot on Huntsville being beat for second (try Ocean Colony, who took a week off and preps for the Little Brown Jug) for some kind of price.

In the consolations (no comments for the sake of space), our suggested contenders are:
3cP ~ Machiavelli
3fP ~ Big City Betty
3cT ~ Shake It Off Lindy
3fT ~ Princess Aurora

H2W Legend

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.


9/1/17, +Chelseas Chance R9
9/2/17, +AFF Bigdaddy R6; +Mr Liven N R7
8/31/17, Don’t Forget R4
9/2/17, +Earn And Burn R8

9/1/17, +Modern Reflection R8
9/2/17, +Big John Houn R6

8/31/17, +Thesharksbackintouwn R7

9/1/17, Higgs Boson R12

9/1/17, Fox Valley Arctic R4

9/3/17, +Rose Run Tyrone R8
9/4/17, Lucky Leonard R2; Air Quote Hanover R3; Yankee Will Dance R4; Mets Hall R5; Venier Hanover R10

Red Mile
8/31/17, +Summer Deo R8

Running Aces
9/2/17, Franks Best R3; Native’s Revenge R8

9/2/17, Sesame R2; Count On Cody R3; Letsallrock R4; Shadows On Time R5; +My Buddy Ninkster R10

9/1/17, +Jaipur R9

8/31/17, +Cherry Bliss R4