Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Trotting to glory: Hambletonian eliminations

After a year of prepping from the Breeders Crown, to the Dexter Cup and then to the Dancer Memorial, 25 of the world’s best sophomore trotters dropped into the box for the 87th Hambletonian. Three eliminations will be held and two for the Hambletonian Oaks.  

Here are all three Hambletonian eliminations fields:

1st elimination - Race 5
HN - Horse - Driver - Trainer

1 - Banker Volo - David Miller - Erv Miller
2 - Possess The Will - Tim Tetrick - Jim Campbell
3 - Money On My Mind - Andy Miller - Julie Miller
4 - Uncle Peter - Ron Pierce - Jimmy Takter
5 - Magic Tonight - Ron Pierce - Noel Daley
6 - Lindys Jersey Boy - Brian Sears - Frank Antonacci
7 - From Above - Corey Callahan - Greg Peck
8 - Prestidigitator - Sylvain Filion - R. Dustin Jones

2nd elimination - Race 6
HN - Horse - Driver - Trainer

1 - Lightning Storm - John Campbell - Jonas Czernyson
2 - Stormin Normand - Dave Palone - Jim Campbell
3 - Guccio - Jimmy Takter - Jimmy Takter
4 - Beer Summit - George Brennan - Noel Daley
5 - My Mvp - Mike Lachance - Tony Alagna
6 - Knows Nothing - Jody Jamieson - Jeffrey Gillis
7 - Riccolo - Trond Smedshammer - Trond Smedshammer
8 - One In A Million - Brian Sears - Chuck Sylvester

3rd elimination - Race 8
HN - Horse - Driver - Trainer

1 - Big Chocolate - Homer Hochstetler - Homer Hochstetler
2 - Top Billing - Andy Miller - Julie Miller
3 - Delano - Ray Schnittker - Ray Schnittker
4 - Gym Tan Laundry - George Brennan - Noel Daley
5 - Solvato - Trond Smedshammer - Trond Smedshammer
6 - Market Share - Tim Tetrick - Linda Toscano
7 - Archangel - Jim Morrill, Jr. - Peter Arrigenna
8 - Appomattox - Tim Tetrick - Frank Antonacci
9 - Little Brown Fox - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter

Uncle Peter (H-Cantab Hall) headlines the first elimination after a 1:53.1 training mile in the Stanley Dancer. This race is wide open but Prestidigitator (H-Kadabra) pops out as a likely price for a great horse. We dismiss his performance in the Canadian Breeders Final as he made a costly break as the 7-5 second choice. Before that, he prevailed as the favorite in four out of five starts. He should be competitive and may race even better than he did in Canada.

Also in with a shot is Possess The Will (H-Donato Hanover). After his third-place effort in the Stanley Dancer he has been getting better at three with few races getting him here; he has the right to improve. Although he has not won a race in 2012 he is still a talented trotter and should be primed to win.

Stormin Normand (H-Broadway Hall) is the best in the second elimination. But the only way he can win is if he trots soft fractions or a hard closer from far out, Guccio (H-Yankee Glide), could shoot down the center of the track to take it all. Of course, we favor that situation while predicting odds.

The best value in this race will likely be Beer Summit (H-Cantab Hall). The Goodtimes champion can always get in a good spot and pick up cover. As long as he doesn’t go first over, he could prevail.

A horse that has been under the radar is My Mvp (H-Cantab Hall). The only time he raced against the big guys was in the “Beal,” where he was an impressive fourth to Googoo Gaagaa, Stormin Normand and Little Brown Fox (H-Muscles Yankee). Other than that, he has been dominating the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes circuit. We would be very surprised if he doesn’t finish in the top three.

The third elimination is a three-horse race, between Little Brown Fox, Market Share (H-Revenue S) and Archangel (H-Credit Winner).

Capturing the number one spot on our top 20 list, Little Brown Fox is the best in the division. Chances are that he will be bet well but not the choice as Archangel also drew in to this elimination.

We will aim at an exacta with Little Brown Fox on top. Gym Tan Laundry has not done so well this year but should be primed to get a shot in the final. He made a strong first-over move after Riccolo last week in a three-year-old Open, faltering to fourth. This horse is a fighter and he’ll have to take the lead or sit second early to finish in the top three. Market Share should finish in the trifecta.

Here are the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations:

 1st Elimination - Race 3
HN - Horse - Trainer - Driver

1. Sassy Syrinx – D.M. Smith-George Brennan
2. Holier Than Thou - Jonas Czernyson- Yannick Gingras
3. Check Me Out – Ray Schnittker – Tim Tetrick
4. Superstar Hanover- Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter
5. Uncommon Night – Dewayne Minor-George Brennan
6. Valdonna - Jimmy Takter-Ron Pierce
7. For A Dancer – Joe Holloway-Jeff Gregory

2nd Elimination - Race 4
HN - Horse - Trainer - Driver

1. Personal Style – Richard Norman-David Miller
2. D’orsay – Jonas Czernyson-Marcus Johansson
3. Maven – Jonas Czernyson- Yannick Gingras
4. Win Missy B – Charlie Norris-Brian Sears
5. Cant Have My Moni – Frank Antonacci, Jr – Tim Tetrick
6. Dream On Hanover – Staffan Lind- George Brennan
7. Real Babe - Ray Schnittker - Ray Schnittker

Check Me Out (H-Donato Hanover) is the best in the division. If she lost for any reason, chances are For A Dancer (H-Conway Hall) would take it. If you want an exacta, Check Me Out over For A Dancer is perfect and could be a short-priced overlay. 

Maven (H-Glidemaster) headlines the second elimination. She almost beat Check Me Out in the Elegant Image. A good value in this race might be Personal Style (H-Yankee Glide). She was third to Check Me Out in the Del Miller and has won the New Jersey Sires Stakes from post 10 at the Big M. She will either win or make the final.

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