Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More sires stakes colts and fillies rumble in early campaigns

(H= Hambletonian eligible)  

At the Meadowlands this Friday, May 18, soph-colt-and-filly trotters bred in New Jersey start down the Hambletonian Trail at the very place they hope it will end. The ever-changing Meadowlands holds New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) miles that feature a slew of trotters with August intentions.  

The first NJSS of the evening features seven colts. One of them is the highly regarded Gym Tan Laundry, coming sharp off of his season’s debut in a John Simpson Memorial Stake. He took third and looks to be the top dog in this field with a morning line of 3-2.

Vic Smith is the other recognizable name. At two he piled up the cash until he slowed as the season ended.

But promise appears evident in Trond Smedshammer’s Trojan Horse (H-Muscles Yankee). This gelding took an easy 1:57.3 tour of the Meadowlands two weeks back and may have matured considerably since breaking his maiden (his only win) at two. Certainly the public will be backing the previously mentioned pair with clenched fists, so a price should be guaranteed for this upset.

In the second NJSS, eight more sophs battle, with only three aiming at August. One of them, Ghiradelli Lindy (H-Chocolatier) is our choice over the obvious favorite, Guccio (H-Yankee Glide), one of the Jimmy Takter brigade.

Ghiradelli Lindy was all out to leave in his last race but the 4-length brush just after the first panel found him on the outside, second. He gained some ground but tired by the stretch, finishing sixth. The race before that he broke, so we excuse him. Before that he debuted at three on these grounds and stayed alive from post 8 with a three-wide brush, holding second. Here, aside from racing exclusively with his division, he could show the kind of speed that will take the field wire to wire.

Race 3 on the card is one of the two NJSS division for fillies. Hambo-winning-trainer Ron Gurfein campaigns Blue Muscles (H-Muscles Yankee) with his long-time regular driver Mike Lachance. This gal debuted this year with a win at Pompano and came to Pocono with a strong brush that almost won it for her. She looks great at three and looks much the best in this uneven bunch.

All of the colts in the third NJSS division hope to be Hambo bound. Among the eight is another Takter returnee, Little Brown Fox (H-Muscles Yankee). As well, Market Share (H-Revenue S), who ran to lose the Dexter Cup Final, is here to try a fast-leaving speed shot from post 8. And Big Chocolate (H-Chocolatier) comes in from Illinois to challenge all of the speed with his experience winning on the two-turn mile.

Mr Candyman (H-Chocolatier) will be ignored and that could mean a great wager for us. D.R. Ackerman’s gelding has only three starts, never having raced at two, and he busted early last time after a terrific mile on May 4. If he is going to improve off of that he may be very much like his sire, showing a versatile style that the 7 post won’t hamper.

The NJSS nightcap is the other split for the fillies. It is a very contentious field, with eight of nine shooting for the big dance. Again, we are going to take a good look at a Smedshammer entry, Chilitodayhotamale (H-Muscles Yankee). This will be her first 2012 affair. She was lightly raced at two and only finished off the board thrice. She gets a big edge on the inside and for sure she will be a good price there, too. She has classy numbers and is the second highest earner in this group.

At Philadelphia (formerly Chester), a trio of $98,000-plus Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for the trotting colts is presented on May 18.  

In the first division we have to look beyond Not Afraid (H-SJ’s Caviar), who we had for the Dexter Cup, since he will be hammered at the windows, so to speak. Our prospect for improvement here is Mr Chicago (H-Cantab Hall). His Meadowlands win was impressive and only his second at three.  

Split two, again with only six entries, presents only one possibility for a price in Hoorayforvacation and split three (another sextet) should belong to Frost Bites K (Broadway Hall), probably as the second choice to On The Podium.

At Tioga Downs on May 18, three New York Sires Stakes splits feature colt trotters looking for some respect on the “Trail.” The splits are worth $44,266 each.

In the first, Delano (H-Credit Winner) returns for the Ray Schnittker group with Ray at the reins. The top money earner in this field by miles will get plenty of action and may try to take it all the way on top. Only A Penny Earned (H-Conway Hall) could be better if he is well prepared for the new season.

In split two we find Southwind Austin (Conway Hall) back from a qualifier after breaking badly in the Dexter Cup Final. A smooth ride puts him far above these and we may get a decent price considering Archangel (H-Credit Winner) will be sucking in some bucks.

Finally, Royal Shyster (H-Rc Royalty) looks to make his second race of 2012 his first win at three. He needed the last race and comes to Tioga raring to go.

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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