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.