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.

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