Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hopefuls fill fields in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes

H = Hambletonian eligible.  

Fillies and colts vying to make it to the summer classics fill most of the fields in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) on Wednesday, May 30 and Thursday, May 31.  

On Wednesday colts battle in the $274,510 PASS at the Meadows. The fillies get their time to shine on Thursday in the $309,312 state-bred affairs at Harrah’s Philadelphia.  

The first division of the colt trots consists of a field of six. They are Solvato (H-Donato Hanover), Beer Summit (H-Cantab Hall), Go Tapaigh (H-Andover Hall), My Mvp (H-Cantab Hall), Not Afraid (H-SJ’s Caviar) and Dandover (H-Andover Hall).  

Solvato is the likely favorite. He has already won a PASS and has done so going a first-over mile. One who may get bet some but is a competitive contender is Not Afraid. The Dexter Cup champion seemed to stroll in his first sires stake versus Solvato but will likely not let him get by as easily as he did at Harrah’s Philadelphia.  

In the second division Magic Tonight (H-Andover Hall) will take a lot of money from bettors. Also eligible are Money On My Mind (H-Cantab Hall), Nothing But Class (H-Andover Hall) and Frost Bites K (H-Broadway Hall).  

However, On The Podium might get the best of this bunch, especially if he doesn’t go first over. He went that route last time in this company and it ruined his chances to win. He draws the rail here and should be up close and strike at a price at the end.  

The final division features the return of Breeders Crown champion Uncle Peter (H-Cantab Hall), who was supposed to make his debut last week but scratched. He is the likely favorite, of course. Other eligibles in this division are Top Billing (H-Andover Hall) and Stormin Normand (H-Broadway Hall).  

Outsider Mr Ridgetaker could provide a big upset. He is coming off a romp in non-winners of five at the Meadows in his recent race. He is also the winner of the William Wellwood consolation. If he can get a trip and if Uncle Peter isn’t trotting on all cylinders this first time out at three, he’ll be charging late.  

Stormin Normand also looks good enough to be in the picture. He has won six of seven starts and knows the Meadows’ surface very well;  he is the winner of the PASS championship at two; defeating the likes of Pekoe Fashion (the Matron winner). He may be the other horse that can beat Uncle Peter here as he figures to improve and be a divisional threat later in his soph career.  

Thursday features the $309,312 PASS for the fillies at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Four splits feature big money for state-breds regardless of their plans for August. 

After Cocktail Attire lost as our choice two races back, she stepped down into a conditioned event at won at 8-1. She is clearly sires-stakes material and shows up here against Southwind Moni (H-Andover Hall), Bluff (H-Donato Hanover), Superstar Hanover (H-Cantab Hall) and the filly that beat her in her last PASS episode, Maven (Glidemaster). That was a strong victory for Maven and it is complemented by receiving an 8-5 morning line.  

But she has to contend with Superstar Hanover on the outside, as well as the unpredictable behavior of Southwind Moni as she debuts at three. This commingling of speed and uncertainty may give Cocktail Attire a good shot at some glory. 

In the second split it appears that She Wears It Well (H-Andover Hall) may not get the respect she deserves. From the morning line of 10-1 to having two excuses for not performing better in her debuts for the season we may be handed a big overlay, especially for a contender in a six-horse field. 

On The Bright Side (H-Cantab Hall) should weigh in a giant betting choice, leaving some room for an upset. Also involved here are Playwear Hanover (H-Andover Hall), Oasis Dream (H-Cantab Hall), Holier Than Thou and Miss Chip K. 

The third mile is the second attempt for Check Me Out (H-Donato Hall), who was upset in her first race at three. This is another humungous betting favorite and a huge prospect for the “Oaks” as well as a rumored foe against the boys in the main August affair. But she had better start defeating her own division fields soon to keep the colts in her sights. 

Sand Violent Blu (H-Tom Ridge) is itching to beat Check Me Out and stand as a major 2012 contender, so expect her to be trying in this event. What that could mean is trouble for both and a chance to wager on another upset.  

Take decent aim on Uncommon Night (H-Donato Hanover), who returns for a soph campaign and has chased Check Me Out with some degree of success at two. She has the class to debut big and she has the right to mature after ending the season with two tough race losses that are not embarrassing.

Also on the docket are Temple Blue Chip (H-Cantab Hall), Blue Yonder (H-Tagliabue), Komma Ka Z and Funny Fashion.

The nightcap may offer a mild upset with Real Babe (H-Donato Hanover). Her second outing this season provided a strong finish, while her first race is a 10-hole toss out. This is the team Schnittker filly in the group below the likes of Check Me Out and that may be unfair right now, since she can get better and who knows, maybe be better than the barn star at three.

Get to TwinSpires for wagering all of the great races leading to the Hambletonian and “Oaks” and read all the result stories at Hambletonian Society’s exclusive “trail” section.

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