Monday, July 30, 2012

Near the end of the ‘Trail’


The destination is the Meadowlands, Aug. 3, and the colts and fillies that are left standing since the journey began in May are the only hoofs beating on the Hambletonian Trail. 

The fields are set for the Hambletonian Final and the Hambletonian Oaks Final, two events in a stakes-laden program at the Meadowlands that will be reported exclusively live through the facilities of TwinSpires and the cooperation of the Hambletonian Society. 

The eliminations, held July 28, presented berths in the coveted event and those results were not all so predictable, though the highest price winner was a hard 3-1.  

Uncle Peter won a spirited first $70,000 elimination; Knows Nothing took the second elim and Market Share won the third on a racetrack listed as “good” after rainy day on the east coast.  

Our choices, Prestidigitator (14-1), My Mvp (20-1) and Gym Tan Laundry (18-1) finished third in their respective elims, as above.

Some of the expected competitors disappointed bettors. Riccolo, recently purchased for an undisclosed amount from Illinois connections as an undefeated colt, won his first Meadowlands escapade for trainer Trond Smedshammer. But in the elim, at 7-2, he led and faded badly to finish sixth.
Possess The Will, trainer Jim Campbell’s frosh champion who was the early choice to be the Hambo winner, was 5-1 and had little excuse for a seventh-place finish against Uncle Peter, who defeated him in last year’s Breeders Crown Final.
Banker Volo gathered support late, getting a buzz loud enough to make him 3-1 against Uncle Peter and Possess The Will. He could not sustain one wide move and faded to fifth.
Stormin Normand finished fourth in the Knows Nothing victory mile, where he was the soft second choice at 3-1 to Knows Nothing, who wound up the favorite at 2-1. Stormin Normand gets into the final as the fourth-place finisher of the three elims with the most earnings.
Little Brown Fox was making a bold move when he broke and galloped out of the history books.
The “Oaks” elims went mostly at planned. The first was easily won by Check Me Out ($2.10) and the second went to Maven ($3.00).
We will analyze the races thoroughly when the post positions are official.

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