Sunday, August 7, 2011

Broad Bahn engines to huge win in Hambletonian

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J./Cotolo – Broad Bahn with George Brennan in the bike took control of the field from the beginning of the mile and survived a late-stretch challenge from the favorite, Manofmanymissions, to win the 86th Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on Aug. 6.

The son of Broadway Hall, who suffered injury at two and came back at three to be a major contender in his division of soph-colt trotters, commanded the fractions on an overcast day in New Jersey where the Meadowlands hosted a jam-packed stakes schedule featuring the Hambo and Hambletonian Oaks. 

“I was able to rate him into the turn,” said Brennan. “I asked him for a little trot in the stretch and when he was challenged I asked him for more and he gave it to me.”

The favorite, Manofmanymissions, was chasing “Bahn” down the stretch, having come to the outside, where he made a misstep trying to keep up with the leader.

A 39-1 shot, Whiskey Tax, took second and Opening Night, the brothers Campbell combo, trainer Jim and driver John, took third.

Trainer Noel Daley said winning the Hambletonian was a "dream come true. This is the one event you want to win." Daley was second in the final a few years ago with Explosive Matter.

But the veteran conditioner had concerns about the day of racing and his speedball Broad Bahn up until the ninth-race feature.

"I was a little worried," Daley said, "because the early races did not favor speed."

His concern was serious. Just before the main event, driver George Brennan drove Bold And Safe, at more than 20-1, to a victory over the race's giant choice, Crys Dream, in the "Oaks," trotting on the far outside from behind to win.

Other stakes featured longshots came from behind.

"At the half, when George got away with soft fractions," he said, "I knew he had licked them all."

The colt is staked to everything and will go on as long as he is healthy to all the top races left in the season.

"I'm not delusional," Daley said, "I know he is not a standout but he puts himself in the picture all the time. I would love to race him for the next two years with older trotters."

Broad Bahn is owned by Fam Alber Horse Racing LLC of New Jersey. He was bred by Fair Winds Farms in New Jersey.
The public’s second choice, Chapter Seven, finished fourth, having to close from far behind.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quick picks in the classics

It has come down to the following colts, based on the comments and how we feel the odds will set, for the Hambletonian Final:

1 BROAD BAHN- Will go for the lead with the rail. Bet at 8-5 and up.

3 FAWKES- Will not have to work as hard as in the elim. Bet at 12-1 and up.

7 OPENING NIGHT- Interfered in his elim and still closed. He may be the surprise for the brothers Campbell. Bet at 6-1 and up.

The Hambletonian Oaks choices:

4 LADY RAINBOW- Great in her elimination. A very underrated filly. Needs a trip but she may upset. Bet at 6-1 and up.

8 WINNCINNATTI- Closed hard in her elimination but not early enough. If she moves at right time,  she may be involved late. Bet at 20-1 and up.

10 JEZZY- Made a huge recovery in her elimination. If she can trot from the 7 at Yonkers and win, then the 10 is no prob. Bet at 1-1 and up.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fields of dreams

Hambo and Oaks fields drawn



1-Broad Bahn-George Brennan-Noel Daley-4-1
2-Manofmanymissions-Andy Miller-Erv Miller-9-5
3-Fawkes-Yannick Gingras-Jonas Czernyson-15-1
4-Chapter Seven-Mike Lachance-Linda Toscano-7-2
5-Whit-Tim Tetrick-Homer Hochstetler-8-1
6-Whiskey Tax-Randy Waples-Thomas Durand-15-1
7-Opening Night-John Campbell-Jim Campbell-10-1
8-Magnum Kosmos-Brian Sears-Tony Dinges-15-1
9-Luckycharm Hanover-David Miller-T. Haughton-15-1
10-Pastor Stephen-Ron Pierce-Jimmy Takter-10-1



1-Iron Lady-Michel Lachance-Fredrik Persson-5-1
2-Crys Dream-Luc Ouellette-Henrik Hollsten-7-5
3-Seducedbychocolate-David Miller-J. Czernyson-20-1
4-Lady Rainbow-Rick Zeron-Rick Zeron-10-1
5-Bold And Fresh-Ron Pierce-Doug Miller-12-1
6-Sashay-Ron Pierce-Bob Stewart-15-1
7-Hey Mister-Brian Sears-Ross Croghan-4-1
8-Wincinnatti-Yannick Gingras-Brett Bittle-15-1
9-Martiniontherocks-Trevor Ritchie-Dustin Jones-15-1
10-Jezzy-Tim Tetrick-Ray Schnittker-6-1

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Fawkes folk tale

by Jay Bergman for 2011 Hambletonian

Author J.K. Rowling presented her first Harry Potter manuscript to 12 publishing houses and was rejected by all 12. Experts looked at the pages and didn't see potential, let alone greatness.

Perhaps the same could be said for Fawkes, a surprise qualifier for Saturday's $1.5 million Hambletonian [Blogger's note: We picked Fawkes to be in the picture, Ray Cotolo promoted him as the winner of the elim). The colt, named for Professor Dumbledore's mythical bird, hasn't shown much on the program page over the last two years but perhaps now will get noticed on the sport's biggest stage.

As a 70-1 shot in one of two $70,000 Hambletonian eliminations last Saturday night at the Meadowlands, it was hard to take Fawkes seriously. Prior to entry in the big dance the son of S J's Caviar had enjoyed just one victory in seven starts this season. Oh yes, it was a big win coming in the $125,000 Currier & Ives final at The Meadows. But, at the same time Fawkes was essentially reborn out of the ashes scoring at 48-1 in the June 6 contest.

Former owner, and world-class horse agent, Ole Bach seized the opportunity to sell Fawkes after the Currier & Ives. Though he wouldn't release the sale price it was clear that Swemab Inc., a combination of trainer Jonas Czernyson and Swedish owner Mats Bergman, were looking for a Hambletonian-type horse. The dam of Fawkes is a half-sister to Pearsall Hanover, a colt who finished fourth in a Hambletonian elimination in 1999. Pearsall went on to become one of Sweden's elite stallions in the last decade. He's credited with siring the Elitlopp champion of 2006 Conny Nobell and 2010 Nat Ray winner Slave Dream.

Pedigree will only get you so far, but in early July the colt gave indication that he could write his own story on the racetrack. A solid third place finish in an overnight at the Meadowlands assured his place in last week's trial.

Yannick Gingras was asked to drive the colt in his final Meadowlands prep on July 22 where the colt was doing fine until the late stages when slipped offstride but held for fifth. "I got after him a bit too much," said Gingras of the race. "It really wasn't his fault."

Gingras had seen the colt display enough quickness and staying power to feel comfortable leaving the gate from post seven in his Hambletonian elim. Fortunately for the horse and his backers, Gingras didn't look at the tote board to see what the public thought of his chances.

Fawkes raced admirably chasing eventual winner Broad Bahn around the track and keeping pace in the stretch in the 1:53 mile. It was the first time the colt had traveled that speed in his life and the results were encouraging.

"He's just getting into himself and dropping time each time we race," said trainer Czernyson. "He was a slow starter last year and didn't really figure out what racing was about. As a freshman Fawkes raced primarily on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit earning $30,327 with two wins in nine starts.

Agent Bach, who manages one of the Hambo favorites in elimination winner Broad Bahn, is excited about his former horse. "You know being in the Hambletonian is a very big thing in Sweden. This is a great race to be in and obviously would be even better to win."
It's been a big year for Harry Potter, with the final movie setting box office records upon its release last month. It's pretty safe to say that should Fawkes find the wings to upset this Hambletonian field on Saturday it would be a story of mythical proportions.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eliminations set for Hambletonian and Oaks

On Tuesday, July 26, two eliminations were drawn for the $140,000 Hambletonian two for the $70,000 Hambletonian Oaks at the Meadowlands Racetrack for the July 30 program.  

Out of our 29 predictions for the Hambletonian eliminations, we missed one horse, Bambino Hall (Tom Ridge). The horses from our list that did not make it were Evil Urges (Cash Hall), Leader Of The Gang (Muscles Yankee), Winuendo (Windsong’s Legacy), Whitewater Rapids (Credit Winner), Mr Web Page (Muscles Yankee), Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee), Del Cielo (Broadway Hall), Broadway Legs (Broadway Hall), Vc Chocoholic (Chocolatier), Buffalino Hanover (Cantab Hall) and Swan In A Million (Andover Hall).

Here are the fields for the Hambletonian eliminations (Drivers are subject to change).  

Elimination One Race Five


1 Whit-Classic Photo-Tim Tetrick-Homer Hochstetler

2 Big Sky Storm-Classic Photo-Ron Pierce-Chris Marino

3 Orlando-Andover Hall-Catello Manzi-Don Swick

4 Luckycharm Hanover-Andover Hall-David Miller-Thomas Haughton

5 Celebrity Bombay-Yankee Glide-Brian Sears-Staffan Lind

6 Chapter Seven-Windsong’s Legacy-Mike Lachance-Linda Toscano

7 Fawkes-SJ’s Caviar-Yannick Gingras-Jonas Czernyson

8 Broad Bahn-Broadway Hall-George Brennan-Noel Daley

9 Blue Porsche-Glidemaster-Trevor Ritchie-Blair Burgess

(Note Chapter Seven and Blue Porsche are a Jerry Silva owned entry)

Elimination Two Race Six


1 Whiskey Tax-Revenue S-Tim Tetrick-Thomas Durand

2 Magnum Kosmos-SJ’s Caviar-David Palone-Tony Dinges

3 Pastor Stephen-Cantab Hall-Ron Pierce-Jimmy Takter

4 Big Rigs-Andover Hall-Tim Tetrick-Kelly O’Donnell

5 Bambino Hall-Tom Ridge-David Palone-Kelly O’Donnell

6 Opening Night-Broadway Hall-Brian Sears-Jim Campbell

7 Manofmanymissions-Yankee Glide-Andy Miller-Ervin Miller

8 Charlie De Vie-Yankee Glide-Tim Tetrick-Chris Ryder

9 Live Jazz-Andover Hall-Tim Tetrick-Charles Sylvester

In the first elimination, Blue Porsche, along with stable mate Chapter Seven, will be the heavily bet favorites. The one that will be ignored is Fawkes. He broke in a three-year-old Open and can trot well from the outside. He will be in it if he stays flat.  

In the second elimination, Manofmanymissions will be the favorite for his victory in the Stanley Dancer. If he stays flat, he will be the one to beat, along with Charlie De Vie. He went on a speed break in the “Dancer” and was disqualified for failing to lose ground while on a break. The only way this horse will break is if he goes too fast when it is unnecessary (a common problem with speed in trotters these days). Also watch Opening Night. He trots his heart out in every start. Who knows what will happen if he gets a perfect trip?  

Here are the eliminations for the Hambletonian Oaks (Drivers are subject to change).

Elimination One Race Three


1 Martiniontherocks-Conway Hall-Ron Pierce-R. Dustin Jones

2 Hey Mister-Muscles Yankee-Brian Sears-Ross Croghan

3 Crys Dream-Taurus Dream-Luc Ouellette-Henrik Hollsten

4 Sashay-Yankee Glide-Yannick Gingras-Bob Stewart

5 Lost Symbol-Yankee Glide-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer

6 Intense America-Taurus Dream-Tim Tetrick-Normand Bardier Jr.

7 Winncinatti-Windsong’s Legacy-Yannick Gingras-Brett Bittle

8 Celebrity Katie-SJ’s Caviar-Brett Miller-Staffan Lind

9 Pantholops-Andover Hall-Andy Miller-Jonas Czernyson

10 Thatsnotmyname-Windsong’s Legacy-Ron Pierce-Jimmy Takter

(Note Hey Mister and Crys Dream are a Jerry Silva owned entry)

Elimination Two Race 4


1 Seducedbychocolate-Chocolatier-David Miller-Jonas Czernyson

2 Southwind Amiga-Chocoatier-Brian Sears-Trond Smedshammer

3 Cedar Dove-Andover Hall-Ron Pierce-Noel Daley

4 Bold And Fresh-SJ’s Caviar-Ron Pierce-Doug Miller

5 Iron Lady-Taurus Dream-Luc Ouellette-Fredrick Persson

6 Jezzy-Credit Winner-Tim Tetrick-Raymond Schnittker

7 Migisi-Andover Hall-Catello Manzi-Don Swick

8 Crème De Cocoa-Chocolatier-D.R. Ackerman-D.R. Ackerman

9 Lady Rainbow-Muscles Yankee-Richard Zeron-Richard Zeron

(Note Jezzy and Iron Lady are a Jerry Silva owned entry)

In the first elimination, Hey Mister, along with stable mate Crys Dream, will be the heavy favorite. After her victory in the New Jersey Sires Stakes, Winncinatti will be the one to watch. She closed hard to beat Crème De Cocoa. She did not do as well in the Del Miller, losing to likely favorite Hey Mister. Also watch Lost Symbol. She was second against the boys in the Magician stakes. Before that, was caught by a wide Hey Mister and a 104-1 Crème De Cocoa.

In the second elimination, Jezzy will be the likely favorite and horse to beat. But the horse to watch is Crème De Cocoa. After her second-place effort at 104-1, she has done really well. Ackerman is back on “Cocoa” and may do better. Also watch Lady Rainbow. This is the second start she is not against Crys Dream. The first time, she almost beat Jezzy, proving she could be better.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Last time around for some eligibles

Three-year-old trotters, some making their final starts for the July 30 Hambletonian and “Oaks” eliminations battle in New Jersey Sires Stakes and a three-year-old open on July 22 at the Meadowlands.  

Orlando (Andover Hall), trained by Don Swick, is one of seven Hambo-eligible colts entered in a $25,000 Open. Swick feels it is a wide-open year, as many felt was 2010, and the Hambletonian is chock full of contenders.  

"I thought we had written off the Hambletonian for Orlando,” he told Amy Silver of the Meadowlands PR department, “but he shows that he's getting his legs back under him. If he can knock off a strong 1:53 mile on Friday night, whether he wins or not, then we'll go ahead and spend the money. If he's consistent and stays at it, it might be enough to get big money."  

Though still a maiden, Orlando was a colt we followed with loyalty through the season. He had narrow losses in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and in his only attempt at the Meadowlands this year, he broke stride while on the lead.  

Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee) returns in the colt NJSS division, facing Leader Of The Gang (Muscles Yankee), winner of the Yonkers Trot. Celebrity Bombay (Yankee Glide) and Whit (Classic Photo) complete the field’s eligibles.  

The other colt split offers eligibles Consus Blue Chip (Muscles Yankee), Whiskey Tax (Revenue S), VC Chocolate (Chocolatier), Winuendo (Windsong’s Legacy) and Big Sky Storm (Classic Photo). Though “Whiskey” will probably be the choice, “VC” can beat him when he doesn’t beat himself with a bad gait.  

Firstclassprincess (Classic Photo) gets the rail in the initial NJSS split for gals. She battles, in post position order, the following eligibles: Seducedbychocolate (Chocolatier), Crème De Cocoa (Chocolatier), Wincinnati (Windsong’s Legacy) and Caberet Princess (Yankee Glide).  

“Crème” was 99-1 finishing second to Hey Mister (Muscles Yankee) last week in a giant race from post 10. She looks best here as long as she stays as flat as she did in that big trip.  

The second femme mile presents Sheer Glide (Yankee Glide), Southwind Amega (Chocolatier), Thatsnotmyname (Windsong’s Legacy), Sashay (Yankee Glide), Tawesome More (Muscles Yankee), Angelette Hanover (Yankee Glide), Redwhitebluestone (Yankee Glide), Sizzling Volo (Yankee Glide) and Don’t Cry Lindy (Chocolatier).  

Sashay has gathered a trio of wins in only four starts and “Tawesome” and “Amega” are the only other two fillies with wins in this bunch this season. “Angelette” is the class of this bunch, having raced with the best fields, coming in second and third only one time each in five starts to bank over $63,000. She could be a big winner here. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trotters at twilight time

Friday and Saturday night, July 15 and 16, the Meadowlands hosts the most intense of the Hambletonian and "Oaks" preps.

The colts, only two of them non-eligibles, take flight in a pair of $166,000 divisions of the Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 16, while 11 fillies go the night before in the $237,000 Del Miller Memorial.

In the first "Dancer," Broad Bahn (Broadway Hall), the recent defeater of early season Hambo choice Pastor Stephen (Cantab Hall) meet again, and the latter gets stuck with the 8 hole, while "Bahn" comes from post 2. Oddly enough, the one non-eligible, Dejarmbro, which has beaten all of his division's foes at one time or another this season, is here out of post 5 to try to steal the glory from any of the others who can be in the August classic.

Charlie De Vie (Yankee Glide), who has shown his prowess on the New Jersey oval, comes from post 4. The favorite he beat, Manofmanymissions (Yankee Glide), comes from post 6. Filling out the field are (1) Live Jazz (Andover Hall), (3) Whit (Classic Photo) and (7) Luckycharm Hanover (Andover Hall). 

There are multi-scenarios considering which horse with a history of breaking could wind up running but all things being equal, it could be "Charlie" that has the upper hand at this late date. And that scenario includes beating Dejarmbro, as the colt is now meeting more of the sharper foes in his division at once. Trainer Trond Smedshammer is listed as the driver of Dejarmbro as we go to press and that is a plus in our opinion. However, this test may be too much for him and Charlie is in top shape when staying flat.

The second Dancer split features only seven eligibles, with Mr Web Page, not much a threat, from post 6. This is a great chance for (4) Big Rigs (Andover Hall) to shine, all things being equal (he has had his share of jumping problems). This softer of the two divisions should be easy for him if he is in shape, regardless of the surprising sharpness of (2) Evil Urges (Cash Hall). Beyond those two, the remaining purse checks are up for grabs. The field includes (1) Mythical Hall (Andover Hall), (3) Chapter Seven (Windsong's Legacy), (5) Big Sky Storm (Classic Photo) and Pegasus Blue Chip (Glidemaster).

Missing in action is Blue Porsche (Glidemaster), the colt who put in the most remarkable mile of the division when he won in Canada almost a month ago.

The Miller sends out 11, with (7) Action On George the only non-eligible. Poor Creme De Cocoa (Chocolatier) suffers from the post disadvantage that cost her sire the Hambletonian as she has to leave from post 10. Just in front of her is the probable best of the lot, (9) Lost Symbol (Yankee Glide). Perhaps "Symbol" can overcome the adversity of post 9, while "Cocoa" could have her issues weaving her way to the top with all this traffic.

The others are (1) Sizzling Volo (Yankee Glide), (2) Hey Mister (Muscles Yankee), (3) Tawsome More (Muscles Yankee), (4) Iron Lady (Daguet Rapide), Angelette Hanover (Yankee Glide), Wincinnati (Windsong's Legacy), (8) Lady Andover (Andover Hall) and (11) Thatsnotmyname (Windsong's Legacy).

For results, reviews and archives, check the Hambletonian Society website.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yonkers Trot, ‘Hudson’ and more star hopefuls as August classics loom boldly

July brings the heat and the “heats” that matter most on the Hambletonian Trail, with only a few weeks for soph colts and fillies to make crucial decisions about dropping into the box for eliminations of the August classics. Nothing says this more than the presentations of the Yonkers Trot and the Hudson Filly Trot.

The Yonkers theater, unfortunately, keeps a lot of trainers from entering the big “Trot,” but that could make the race all the more unique, even though there are only seven entered for Yonkers Raceway’s major event. This year it is worth $445,474 and it is on the program Saturday, July 9.

Regardless of which current Hambo hopefuls are missing, the Trot is still the first jewel of the Trotting Triple Crown. And of the seven involved this year, the one-dash-for-the-cash event, all of them are eligible to make a play for the second leg, the Hambletonian. As well, some of the characters are currently red hot going into mid-July action.

Entrants, in alphabetical order, are: Bambino Hall (Tom Ridge), Celebrity Bombay (Yankee Glide), Del Cielo (Broadway Hall), Evil Urges (Cash Hall), Leader Of The Gang (Muscles Yankee), Live Jazz (Andover Hall) and Pegasus Blue Chip (Glidemaster).

Although none of these colts are currently on many Hambo top-10-contenders lists, beware of the strength shown by some of them in recent weeks.

Most recently, Live Jazz came alive in a Historic mile at Goshen, paying $15.80 for the half-mile win. Another colt out to avenge his sire’s mishap in the Hambo, “Jazz” defeated the early sensation Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee) and top-contender Tiger’s Too Good (Conway Hall) in that event. Though VC Chocoholic (Chocolatier) broke in the event, Jazz clearly put in a race that marked major improvement.

Evil Urges came from out of nowhere to make many aware of his low-profile sire and he became a New York-bred co-star. In this field he is capable of making noise. So is Leader Of The Gang, the second-tier Jimmy Takter contender who at one time was thought to be more talented than Pastor Stephen (Cantab Hall). If he can readily handle the half mile after having some disturbing gait problems, he could be coming back to the strong form he displayed early at two.

“Bambino” has not lived up to his touts yet but would not be a shocker if he managed to take the first jewel. “Cielo,” “Bombay” and “Pegasus,” would have to win by default.

Whichever colt takes the Trot will be the only one available to keep a 2011 Crown alive. As of now, unless any one of the contenders mentioned presented major improvements in speed and tactic, it is difficult to see the next two jewels as possible accomplishments. The Trot’s companion event is the Hudson Filly. It attracted seven soph ladies. The single sprint—worth $237,714 and set for July 9—differs in that it has a major star among

The contestants, again in alphabetical order...Angelette Hanover (Yankee Glide), Cabaret Princess Yankee Glide), Creme De Cocoa (Chocolatier), Iron Lady (Daguet Rapide), Jezzy (Credit Winner), Lady Rainbow (Muscles Yankee) and That'snotmyname Windsong’s Legacy).

The superlative Jezzy has yet to show her flaws and if they exist this better be the mile that the other six hopefuls use to find it. Jezzy has been perfect and dominates this division in a manner like See You At Peelers has dominated the soph-filly pacers.

There is still a lot of talent here, including “Crème,” though she is in and out of her own way, breaking too much at three to ever trust as we have come to trust Jezzy. None of the other gals have much to offer in past performances as sophs and only a mishap in step or fate can take Jezzy away from the winner’s circle here.

Meanwhile, six of the top contenders, including Pastor Stephen, go the night before in a $25,000 Open at the Meadowlands.

“Stephen” has post 4 coming from his first second-place finish in four outings (three wins) in the $500,000 Beal Final at Pocono. He had post 8 and lost to Dejarmbro, the talented non-hopeful. 

Starting from the rail, VC Chocoholic has three wins in six tries in his 2011 campaign and suffered from a break in his Historic mile (see above).

Post 2 has Broad Bahn (Broadway Hall), yet to finish off the board in four tries this year for trainer Noel Daley. Luckycharm Hanover (Andover Hall), Mythical Hall (Andover Hall) and Whit (Classic Photo) are the three outsiders.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Eligibles spread out for holiday weekend

The July 4th holiday weekend has a bunch of mild affairs in store for Hambo or “Oaks” eligibles.  

As Canada finishes celebrating its 144th birthday, July 2 presents Ontario Sires Stakes (ONSS) at Georgian Downs that include some Oaks eligibles.  

In one of the three $40,000 eliminations for the ONSS Final, Attorney Hanover (Angus Hall) comes from the second tier, post 11. She is the only Oaks hopeful in the field.  

The second elim is free of eligibles but the third one has a trio. Oh Sweet Baby (Angus Hall), Mary’s Out Cruisin (Here Comes Herbie) and LA Freeway (Kadabra) are all province-breds competing on the circuit’s highest prized events. Keep and eye on “Freeway,” as Kadabra fillies have proven to be quite competitive on their own turf.  

That same evening at the Meadowlands, a field of colt eligibles battle in a $25,000 Open Trot. Here, Manofmanymissions (Yankee Glide), pictured on left, returns to battle with his own division after taking on older guys in New Jersey.  

Winuendo (Windsong’s Legacy) looks to earn more to get into the final month’s group of prospects, as does Rarely Ordinary (Conway Hall).  

Fawkes (SJ’s Caviar) was the recipient of a win in a chaotic race, giving him a clear-sailing trip to win at high odds at the Meadows. He will need to perform with less luck to stay in the best company of this division. Not Nice (Glidemaster) is also struggling and up against deep competition here.  

Charlie De Vie (Yankee Glide), however, has lost on his own cognition, breaking stride being his biggest enemy. On his best behavior he has a very good shot to beat “Man,” who will no doubt be a huge favorite.  

On July 4th at Chester Downs, filly trotters with eyes on August compete in three Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS), each worth more than $66,000.  

Pantholops (Andover Hall) is yet to win in four starts, placing in three. Broadway Starlet (Broadway Hall) joins the trio of eligibles in the first split. She has two wins in seven starts and is the best chance for an upset here. Cedar Dove (Andover Hall) could be a second choice in the field.  

The second PASS split features Pacific Splash (American Winner), who has trailed off since her early season success. Lady Andover (Andover Hall) has some work to do, as the other two hopefuls bring in a bundle of bankroll earnings.  

Hot Off The Press (Cantab Hall) and Celebrity Katie (SJ’s Caviar) have shown some life that has earned them some clear paths to August. More earnings in theirs accounts is the goal in this event.  

Upsetting recently in state-bred action, Bold And Fresh (SJ’s Caviar) is the only eligible in the last of the three splits. She should be the favorite here and may tower over this group.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Eligibles haunt weekend events

Saturday, June 25 at Pocono Downs, the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial Final goes for $500,000, featuring Hambo hopefuls aplenty.

Pastor Stephen (Cantab Hall) will face non-eligible Dejarmbro in a strong field. The latter is not intimidated by colts aiming at the August classic, he is willing to mow down any field available. 

Broad Bahn (Broadway Hall) is also here, along with Big Rigs (Andover Hall), Opening Night (Broadway Hall), Leader Of The Gang (Muscles Yankee), Bambino Hall (Tom Ridge) and Buffalino Hanover (Cantab Hall). Magnum Kosmos (SJ’s Caviar) is an AE if there is a scratch. 

Dejarmbro has been made the favorite at a soft 5-2. “Stephen” is 3-1 and may be a bargain if anywhere near those odds.  

As well, Big Rigs on a smooth gait is a hell of a trotter and if he wakes up and takes advantage of his speed and the over-ambitious journeys of others in the field, he could ignite a great win price.  

The Grand Circuit Historic-week events for eligibles are at Tioga Downs this year and on Saturday, June 25, the spectacular Jezzy looks to enjoy another clear path heading to the Hambletonian Oaks Final.  

Jezzy (Credit Winner) is five for five and doesn’t appear to be threatened by this crew, going for $75,500 (photo left). She is beginning to look like the trotters’ version of See You At Peelers.

Don’t Cry Lindy (Chocolatier) could be her only threat, though a mild one. Also on board are eligibles Angelette Hanover (Yankee Glide), Firstclassprincess (Classic Photo), and Massive Drama (Credit Winner).

On the colt side, the $78,200 Historic features Tiger’s Too Good (Conway Hall), hot lately. Trainer Joe Holloway’s ticket to the Hambo is in better shape than the high earner Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee). That one has been off his game since a streak that included the Dexter Cup early at the beginning of the Hambo Trail season.

Also here are Winuendo (Windsong’s Legacy), Whit (Classic Photo), Live Jazz (Andover Hall), VC Chocolate (Chocolatier), Johnny B Kemp (Credit Winner) and Glidenfordollars (Glidemaster).
“VC” is the obvious co-contender for Trond Smedshammer’s barn. He is yet to put in a giant mile but at this point in the Trail that is not a negative factor. VC has been cashing major checks.

Ray Schnittker’s Glidenfordollars is two wins for four starts and also on the cusp of a big mile. It may not, however, be this one.

Reviews, results and archives appear at Hambletonian Society.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Buffalo sires stakes have a sprinkle of hopefuls

On Wednesday, June 22, six Hambo hopefuls will square off in the New York Sires Stakes at Buffalo Raceway.

In the first division, there are two eligibles. They are Typical Newyorker (Conway Hall) and Evil Urges (Cash Hall).

“Evil” has been doing better than most expected. He was second in his last outing at Yonkers and should get a lot of action here. “Newyorker” was third and has a right to improve.

In the second division, Alaric (Credit Winner) and New Zion (Conway Hall) are both eligible. Alaric is an outsider in this, for sure, but “Zion” has been in the mix lately and deserves another shot.

There are no eligibles in the third and fourth divisions.

In the fifth division, Whitewater Rapids (Credit Winner) is the only eligible and he has been in and out of the spotlight since the Dexter Cup. If he stays on gait he is dangerous, with speed he is yet to handle. He broke again last time but smooth sailing takes this group easily.

In the last division, House On Fire (Conway Hall) is the only eligible. His gait problems make him suspicious. Unlike “Rapids,” he hasn’t shown he can recuperate enough in a mile where he breaks to be dangerous.

Results, reviews and archives are available at the Hambletonian Society website.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Weekend trots on fire at Mohawk

Friday, June 17, Mohawk’s overture for the big “Cup” program the following night features soph-colt trotters in the $50,000 Goodtimes Consolation. In the race, the likely favorite will be Daylon Magician, a non-eligible, since he was 1-9 last time out.

But the horse that may not get the play he deserves will be Just In (Andover Hall). He left from the 8 hole in his Goodtimes elim and got a spot mid pack. He came moving just too late to catch a fading Whiskey Tax (Revenue S) and didn’t make the final. Other eligibles in this mile include Pegasus Blue Chip (Glidemaster) and EL Rock (Yankee Glide)

Saturday, June 18 starts with the $519,000 Elegant Image Final for some “Oaks”-eligibles. It looks as if Crys Dream (Taurus Dream) will be the obvious fan favorite and is certainly the one to beat. If you want to key her, use watch Lady Rainbow (Muscles Yankee). She is still an improving horse and may have a shot here, so consider a win bet, too. This teeters on a pass. 

Also aiming at the Oaks in this field are Oh Sweet Baby (Angus Hall), Iron Lady (Daguet Rapide), Seducedbychocolate (Chocolatier), Cedar Dove (Andover Hall) and on the also-eligible list is eligible Crème De Cocoa (Chocolatier).

In the $347,000 Goodtimes Final, Blue Porsche (Glidemaster) and VC Chocoholic (Chocolatier) will get all the money.

But one that will be ignored is not a Hambo hopeful. We like the chances of a non-hopefull, Mr Joe Sixpack to upset. He dueled for the front at the quarter and then went first over at three-quarters to finish third.

Also in the mix with Hambo dreams is Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee).

Reviews, results and archives at the home page of Hambletonian Society.

Monday, June 13, 2011

New York-bred colts barrage Yonkers

On Tuesday, June 14, nine Hambo-hopefuls will go to the gate among seven divisions of the New York Sires Stakes for colt trotters at Yonkers Raceway. The first two divisions will be held before the betting program.  

In the first division, the only hopeful in here is Rarely Ordinary (Conway Hall). He has had only one third in one start and must improve here to beat fellow state-breds.  

The second division also has no betting and features to eligibles. They are Evil Urges (Cash Hall) and House On Fire (Conway Hall). “Evil” has won two of five for Illinois-trainer Homer Hochstetler and is the top money-winner in this field. “Fire” is a Ray Schnittker-trained hopeful that is getting better with each start, having won two of seven in the early season.  

In the third division, wagering begins and Whitewater Rapids (Credit Winner) and Market Rebound (Credit Winner) are the eligibles in here. “Rapids” finally got a good post and showed his stuff after some troubled trips that showed promise. He is ready to add another win here, as “Rebound” still searches for the winner’s circle.  

New Zion (Conway Hall) and Typical Newyorker (Conway Hall) are both eligibles in the fourth division. This is a very even field which will probably be won by a smooth gait and a good trip, two things the eligibles should depend upon.  

Johnny B Kemp (Credit Winner) is the only hopeful in the fifth division and although he is the morning-line favorite he has been disappointing in his first two starts. Trainer Jimmy Takter may have him sent to the lead to try to steal this one, otherwise it could be another dull effort.  

In the sixth division, Tiger’s Too Good (Conway Hall) is the only eligible and he seems to tower over the competition here.

There are no hopefuls in the last division.

Reviews, results and archives are available at the Hambletonian Society website.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trotters go for Goodtimes

On Saturday, June 11, 10 Hambletonian eligibles will square off in third eliminations of the Goodtimes at Mohawk.  

In the first elimination, Blue Porsche (Glidemaster) will likely be the public choice for his near perfect record. Other eligibles in here include Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee), Attorney Hanover (Angus Hall), E L Rock (Yankee Glide) and Del Cielo (Broadway Hall).  

“Porsche” will be the one to beat, which is why Ice Machine will be good in his exotics. “Ice” will likely be higher odds than usual due to Porsche and since he broke in the New Jersey Sire Stakes. It was most likely just a little flaw and he should return well.   

In the second elimination, VC Chocoholic (Chocolatier) will be the likely favorite as he raced well here in the Champlain stakes. Also in here are Spectator K (Conway Hall), Highland Thunder (Conway Hall), Whiskey Tax (Revenue S) and Just In (Andover Hall).   

Since “VC” should get a lot of play, Whiskey Tax may be ignored. He has raced very well in Canada and you can give him that one race at the Meadowlands.  

The third split offers a pair of eligibles, Pegasus Blue Chip (Glidemaster) and Fort Valley As (Tom Ridge). Neither looks as if an upset is possible considering the strong non-eligible favorite here.

Reviews, results and archives appear at the home page of the Hambletonian Society.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fillies vie in ‘Elegant’ elims; Magician splits make colts appear

On Friday, June 10, 11 Hambletonian Oaks eligibles go to the gate at Mohawk in the two Eligantimage elims, while the Meadowlands hosts three splits of the Magician series for the colts, with eligibles included.  

In the first “Elegant” elim, it is tough to predict the public choice. But it could be Lady Rainbow (Muscles Yankee). Also in it are Iron Lady (Daguet Rapide), Fitness Girl (Muscles Yankee) and Cleopatre Duharas (Cantab Hall). “Lady” did not show her potential in the Casual Breeze at Mohawk. She should be able to do better here.  

In the second elim, the likely favorite and one to beat is Crys Dream (Taurus Dream). Also in it are Andover The Top (Andover Hall), Crème De Cocoa (Chocolatier), Seducedbychocolate (Chocolatier), Cedar Dove (Andover Hall), Oh Sweet Baby (Angus Hall) and As Ya’ll Like It (Yankee Glide). Crys Dream is tough but Andover The Top may be able to do it. She draws the rail after a poor performance in the Casual Breeze. Also watch Crème De Cocoa.  

In $15,000 splits at the Meadowlands, three fields of the Magician host 11 Hambo hopefuls them.  

Man O’War (Chocolatier), Aequitas (Glidemaster) and Consus Blue Chip are in the first mile and “Man” holds the edge, having been racing with better than the non-eligibles here and racing more consistently than the hopefuls.  

The second chapter has five hopefuls: Orlando (Andover Hall), Celebrity Bombay (Yankee Glide), The Evictor (Valley Victor), Mr Web Page (Muscles Yankee) and Wicked Schooner (Broadway Hall). Orlando, despite his gait problems, has been productive and is the top money-earner among the Hambo-aimed colts here. He is a formidable favorite.  

In the closing division, Unabating (Broadway Hall), Matrix (Yankee Glide) and Muscles Malone (Muscles Yankee) take on seven others and don’t stack up very well against the best of the others so far this season. We may be seeing improvement from Unabating, who could be a longshot to win this, though he has the most money in the bank.

Check all reviews, results and archives at the Hambletonian Society page.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Currier & Ives for gals in three splits

On Wednesday, June 8, Hambletonian Oaks eligibles are mixed in a trio of Currier & Ives stakes at the Meadows. Each split is worth $40,000.  

Four hopefuls go in the first split, with Celebrity Katie (SJ’s Caviar) returning off of a surprise win in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) on June 1 and has to face Pacific Splash (American Winner), who put in a clunker in another PASS split that day.  

Also in the mix are Lady Ridge (Tom Ridge) and Too Busy To Care (Chocolatier), either yet to put in a strong race.   

In split two, Hot Off The Press (Cantab Hall) is one of a trio of eligibles, also coming off of a surprise PASS win on June 1. She may look better than this crowd, though she has yet to prove she can go with the division’s best.  

Four eligibles are in the nightcap. Bold And Fresh (SJ’s Caviar) was scratched from one of the June-1 PASS miles and shows up here hopefully packing the punch expected from her in that affair.    

Pantholops (Andover Hall) did not fire last out and must be better here to beat “Bold” and any improvements coming from the likes of Pay Me Sister (Revenue S) and Im A Centerfold (Glidemaster).

For reviews, results and archives, check Hambletonian Society site.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Colt eligibles square off at Monticello

On Tuesday, June 7, nine Hambletonian eligibles will square off in nine separate divisions of the $180,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for soph-colt trotters at Monticello Raceway.  

There are no eligibles in the first division.  

The second division is worth $20,334. The only eligible is Rarely Ordinary (Conway Hall).  

In the $19,934 third division, there are two eligibles—Market Rebound (Credit Winner) and House On Fire (Conway Hall).   

In the $19,934 fourth division, one eligible will take on the field. He is New Zion (Conway Hall).  

The $20,334 fifth division features two hopefuls—Whitewater Rapids (Credit Winner) and Johnny B Kemp (Credit Winner). Watch Whitewater Rapids in this event, we are expecting his best race to date.  

In the $19,934 sixth division, one eligible will go to post. He is Evil Urges (Cash Hall).   

In the $19,934 seventh division, Tiger’s Too Good (Conway Hall) is the only eligible and the one to watch in this race.   

There are no eligibles in the eighth division.  

In the $19,934 final division, Typical Newyorker (Conway Hall) is the only eligible going to the gate.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Currier & Ives, et al for eligibles

On Monday, June 6, nine trotters, six of whom are Hambletonian eligibles, will contest in the $125,000 Currier & Ives at The Meadows.  

There is no clear favorite in the Currier & Ives. But based on the morning line, it may be Not Nice (Glidemaster).  

Also in this field are hopefuls Fawkes (SJ’s Caviar), Glidenfordollars (Glidemaster), Mythical Hall (Andover Hall) and Buffalino Hanover (Cantab Hall).  

Buffalino Hanover may be the one the public ignores based on his post. He may bring some value from the 9 hole, plus he is not going against as tough of company as he has recently. He lost to Pastor Stephen, Opening Night and Orlando in the two Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. Knowing this horse, he may finally get a rest from higher class and may trot the best he has all year. Good in the exotics would be Glidenfordollars.  

At Yonkers that same day, “Oaks”-eligible Medust Blue Chip (Credit Winner) takes on non-eligibles in a New York Sires Stakes mile worth $46,102.

In another division, Pretty As My Mom (Conway Hall) and Ima Que T (Dream Vacation) also look to improve their bankrolls against non-hopefuls.

Results, reviews and archives are available at Hambletonian Society pages.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Crys Dream and Manofmanymissions headline Hambo eligibles

On Friday, June 3, nine Hambletonian eligibles will compete in the New Jersey Sire Stakes (NJSS) for three-year-old colt trotters. Also headlining is the $174,000 Casual Breeze stakes at Mohawk for three-year-old filly trotters with eight being “Oaks” eligibles.  

In the $22,500 NJSS division, Breeders Crown-frosh-colt-trot winner Manofmanymissions (Yankee Glide) --pictured-- returns for his three-year-old campaign. Also in it is Winuendo (Windsong’s Legacy), Leader Of The Gang (Muscles Yankee), Whit (Classic Photo) and Ice Machine (Muscles Yankee).   

The likely horses the public will go to are Manofmanymissions, Leader Of The Gang and Ice Machine. And although Whit came from Balmoral to Vernon for a “Simpson,” he finished a good second. This guy has made a huge change from two to three. Part of it has to do with the addition of hopples. After that, he won two of three races and was second in one.  

In the $22,000 NJSS division, VC Chocoholic (Chocolatier) is looking for his third-straight victory at three. Also in here is Charlie De Vie (Yankee Glide), Whiskey Tax (Revenue S) and Big Sky Storm (Classic Photo).  

“VC” will be the likely favorite and very hard to beat. In this field, it is hard to find a horse that can beat him. If you key him for exotics, Charlie De Vie will be a good horse for second.  

In the first $86,781 division of the Casual Breeze, the likely choice will be non-eligible Beatgoeson Hanover, who is six for nine. But surprisingly, the public may ignore Lady Rainbow (Muscles Yankee). She broke in the Goldsmith Maid elim at two, but before that, she won two stakes at Lexington and a Breeders Crown elim. Although she did not win the final, she is still a talented trotter. Also eligible for the Oaks in here are LA Freeway (Kadabra) and Iron Lady (Daguet Rapide).  

In the second $86,781 division, Crys Dream (Taurus Dream) will be the likely favorite for her victories in the Peaceful Way and Goldsmith Maid, along with her lifetime record of eight wins for nine starts. Other eligibles in here include Musclemad (Muscles Yankee), Andover The Top (Andover Hall), Oh Sweet Baby (Angus Hall) and As Ya’ll Like It (Yankee Glide). Crys Dream’s upset could come from Andover The To, who may light up the tote board. Andover The Top would be dangerous if she stays flat.  

All reviews of races are at Hambletonian Society's pages, archived.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heat wave for hopeful fillies

As June begins, sires stakes action for Hambo “Oaks”-eligibles gets as thick as the heat wave currently swarming the East Coast. Sires-stakes divisions at the Meadows and the Meadowlands host 32 potential princesses of the glamour-girl division. 

On Wednesday, June 1, fillies take to the five-eighths mile at the Meadows in three Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) splits.

The first $67,000-plus split features three eligibles. Bold And Fresh (SJ’s Caviar) has a win in two starts and looks a tad better than the other two, Hot Off The Press (Cantab Hall), with a single start so far, and Tango Dancer (Broadway Hall), off the board in a pair of starts.  

The second division features the productive Pacific Splash (American Winner), although the Lady Suffolk-winner gets post 9. Glide Maid (Glidemaster) has been in the money three of five starts and Migisi (Andover Hall) races only her second at three in an attempt to get on the board.   

In the nitecap, Pantholops (Andover Hall) was made the 20-1 morning line but looks the best of the eligible trio in this affair. She has been second twice in as many starts, while no credentials have been added by Devilish Emerald (Broadway Hall) or Celebrity Katie (SJ’s Caviar) in a pair of starts each.  

Thursday, June 2, the Meadowlands hosts New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for the femmes, many racing on the track where they hope to be crowned the best on the first Saturday in August.  

There is a trio of $16,000-plus NJSS splits. Five hopefuls in a field of eight go to post in the first division, featuring last year’s hot-and-heavy Chocolatier filly Crème De Cocoa. She broke in her first effort at three and has had some stepping problems but it is suspected she will put in a number of prime performances when racing at her best. She could very well take these with ease.  

Fitness Girl (Muscles Yankee), Hey Mister (Muscles Yankee) and Seducedbychocolate (Chocolatier) make their seasonal debuts, while Sizzling Volo (Yankee Glide) tries to improve upon a second in a single start.  

Pay Me Sister (Revenue S) will lead the bettors to the windows as the choice here, no doubt, having shown an early-season penchant for cashing checks. Lost Symbol (Yankee Glide), meanwhile, is two for two but gets post 9, which could add to his value (watch the board for higher-than-worthy odds). Caitir (Classic Photo) is a win for a start and could improve.  

Wincinnatti (Windsong’s Legacy) and Love And Hate (Muscles Yankee) debut at three, Sheer Glide (Yankee Glide) continues to show some spunk, as does Firstclassprincess (Classic Photo).  

Split three has a quintet of hopefuls, all challenging the non-eligible Tui, who should be the choice. Don’t Cry Lindy (Chocolatier), the top money-earner, takes the best shot of the eligibles, which include Angelette Hanover (Yankee Glide), Redwhitenbluestone (Yankee Glide), Tawesome More (Muscles Yankee) and Caberet Princess (Yankee Glide).  

Fillies Naughty Me Hanover (Yankee Glide) and Southwind Amiga (Chocolatier) go in conditioned events that night.  

Eligible colts in conditions that night include Matrix (Yankee Glide), Wicked Schooner (Broadway Hall), Buzz Bomb (Windsong’s Legacy), Man O’War (Chocolatier), The Evictor (Valley Victor) and Carthage Hanover (Andover Hall).   

Man O’War is looking hot right now and draws inside.

A maiden field is mixed with fillies and colts and despite the outside post, Buzz Bomb could put in a big effort.

Reviews and results available, along with archives of 2011 eligible races, at Hambletonian Society.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Holiday weekend woos eligibles’ events

On Memorial Day weekend, beginning Friday, May 27, the scheduled events for Hambo and “Oaks”-eligibles gets hot north and south of the continent’s border.

At Western Fair on May 27, two filly hopefuls are in a field racing for $130,000. It’s an Ontario Sires Stakes Final and it features an elim-winner, eligible Oh Sweet Baby (Angus Hall). She won last week and paid $6.80. Also in the field is LA Freeway (Kadabra), who finished third in her elim.

The next day, at Hoosier Park, a colt eligible looks to increase his bankroll in a $40,000 Indiana Sires Stakes event. Bluebird Elian (Southwind Elian) leaves from post 2, starting his “Trail” journey among the lighter levels of the division.

Holiday Monday the pair of Empire Breeders Championship finals are the features at Vernon Downs. Colts and fillies go for the biggest dollars of the division so far this season.

The hopefuls in the colts final have to beat the state champ Dejarmbro and with Spectator K (Conway Hall) out of the event (he broke in his elim and finished seventh), it’s up to a pair of up-and-coming trotters.

Evil Urges (Cash Hall) took advantage of Spectator K’s mishap and won a longshot victory. In the first elim, Tiger’s Too Good (Conway Hall), the favorite, finished fourth. Whatever It Takes (Credit Winner) was right behind Dejarmbro in that split, so he will be in the field.

Our choice is the colt we have watched since the Dexter Cup. Troubled by a misstep and a bad post and still thriving is Whitewater Rapids (Credit Winner). He is in the mix for all exotics and if the best behaved Dejarmbro doesn’t show up or makes an error, look out for this colt.

The gals will be ruled by Jezzy (Credit Winner), who seems to be able to satisfy all the early hype. The only eligible she (pictured) needs to handle here is Some Girls (Conway Hall), who finished second in her elim. The obvious exacta may be the deal but you way want to use non-eligible Four Damsals behind Jezzy in an exacta or as the third element of the triad.

Also on Monday, Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) continue their lucrative path and Trail colts are on board for splits worth a bit over $67,000 each.

Three hopefuls are in Race 5 on the Chester bill. There are Ubabating (Broadway Hall), Bambino Hall (Tom Ridge) and Broad Bahn (Broadway Hall). All eyes are on the latter, a high-profile colt who was great at two until an injury. If Broad Bahn has recovered and is feeling the strength that got him into the headlines, he may just wander home here and continue to flex muscles en route to the big day in August.

In Race 11, five eligibles face one talented non-eligible, Washingtonian. Those looking for the upset of the obvious favorite will be Del Cielo (Broadway Hall), Big Rigs (Andover Hall), Fawkes (SJ’s Caviar), Not Nice (Glidemaster) and Magnum Kosmos (SJ’s Caviar).

Big Rigs has a future if he has matured. The sons of Andover Hall, who may have won the Hambletonian but for a misstep in the elim, has great potential and the time to wager on him is now, as the public favors the obvious contenders.

A trio on the Trail hit the third PASS split: Buffalino Hanover (Cantab Hall), Opening Night (Broadway Hall) and Orlando (Andover Hall).

“Buffalino” followed Pastor Stephen home in that one’s monstrous debut at the Meadows. That race performance could have beaten this field easily. The mystery remains Orlando, another Andover Hall colt, who is sadly repeating his sire’s gait woes. But have faith because when Orlando fires smoothly, his speed will endure, and it will do so at a price. 

Watch for the results and review of races at the Hambletonian Society's Trail section. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Eligibles enemies in the ‘Empire’

On May 21 at Vernon Downs, two sires’ products dominate the eight Hambo-eligible colts and six “Oaks”-eligible fillies in elimination divisions for next week’s Empire Breeders Championship (EBC) finals.

Colts go in three splits on the program with the first mile featuring four glamour-boy trotters with August ambitions. Johnny B Kemp (Credit Winner) gets the rail to debut for trainer Jimmy Takter. Tiger’s Too Good (Conway Hall) makes his second appearance in 2011 looking for another win. Alaric (Credit Winner) was third in his start as a soph and House On Fire (Conway Hall) has a win in five starts so far this year.
Takter has an arsenal of possibilities as the “Trail” launches its candidates and “Johnny” could be more than second string to Takter’s great hope, Pastor Stephan. If this colt is as ready as “Stephan” when he debuted, he should be great in this field.

Only one eligible goes in division two: Whatever It Takes (Credit Winner). Julie Miller’s colt has only been off the board once in five starts and certainly towers over this field.

Division three offers another theater for the hot Spectator K (Conway Hall), who has won two for Charlie Norris. He will have the upper hand, probably as the dead-on favorite, against Evil Urges (Cash Hall) and Whitewater Rapids (Credit Winner).

“Rapids” may have a gait problem but his performance in the Dexter Cup Final could also be a flare for the speed this colt may be harboring. After breaking at the Freehold event, he made up at least 15 lengths around three turns without skipping again. From post 9 he is a longshot to out-perform “K” but certainly worth attention at the promised long odds and for the potential speed.

A pair of filly EBC elims offer a half-dozen eligibles for the Oaks. The first mile has a quartet of femmes, including the so-far sparkling Jezzy (Credit Winner). She is one for one, while the others are yet to hit the board. They are: Miss Sue V (Credit Winner), Pretty As My Mom (Conway Hall) and Brooklyn (Conway Hall).

Jezzy (pictured left) is from team Schnittker and deserves favoritism hands down here.

A pair of eligibles go in round two, with Some Girls (Conway Hall) topping the entire field, including eligible-mate Medusa Blue Chip (Credit Winner). “Girls” debuted with wings for Gabes Brunet and has a strong future on the Trail.

Check afor the analysis of results after the races at the Hambletonian Society site.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hopefuls led by Pastor Stephen at Meadows

On May 17 at the Meadows, three soph-colt-trot miles featuring Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) horses will include 11 Hambletonian eligibles, including the 2010 champion freshman, Pastor Stephen.

Considered the winter-book favorite for the 2011 classic, trainer Jimmy Takter, who won last year’s Hambo with Muscle Massive, is aware that satisfying the hype still means earning the position once race at a time.

Takter told Meadows PR man Evan Pattak, “You can’t really say the Hambletonian is the only race you’re thinking about.” He said, “There are a lot of big races [along the ‘Trail’] and they don’t go for small change.”

In the split “Stephen” debuts as a three-year-old, the Cantab Hall product must face eligible Buffalino Hanover (Cantab Hall), who has won two in as many starts this season.

Unabating (Broadway Hall) is the top earner in the field, with a win in three starts and Fort Valley As (Tom Ridge) and Mythical Hall (Andover Hall) are the other eligibles with any 2010 experience on track.

Also debuting in the field are Orlando (Andover Hall) debuts and is worth a look as an upset possibility. He was shaky at two but he raced with the best, including Stephen. He could return with a more mature attitude and be a worthy foe all the way to August, certainly in the lucrative PASS schedule.

Stephen (pictured below) is a big horse, so Takter won’t be racing on tracks smaller than five-eighths, according to the trainer. As well, his come-from-behind style remains the emphasis of his attack.   

When you have a young horse, you prefer teaching him something,” Takter said. “You can develop a horse more when he is racing from behind. If you send him [to the top] every week, how much do you actually accomplish? If you teach him [to be tactical], when he grows up a little bit, he can do anything.”

That may be another edge for an Orland upset. Beware, bettors, Orlando may have sincere speed yet to be shown.

Only three eligibles show up for split one. Del Cielo (Broadway Hall) and Opening Night (Broadway Hall) debut, while Just In (Andover Hall) goes in his sixth effort with one win. We like Just In, trained and driven by Jean Dubois, who may have his best shot at a Hambo contender yet.

In the third split, the second PASS race on the card, two eligibles go in the first two posts of a seven-horse field. Fawkes (SJ’s Caviar) and Not Nice (Glidemaster) both debut as sophomores. The emphasis will be on the latter, a Takter product. The horse to watch here may be the other Dubois-trained colt, Onirique, which is not an eligible.