Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dexter Cup, Lady Suffolk opens the path to August for eligibles

The Hambletonian Trail officially opens on Friday and Saturday afternoons, May 3 and May 4 at Freehold Raceway. In one event for colts and one for fillies, however, only four Hambo-eligibles go to post.

The $40,900 Lady Suffolk is the Friday event, with six fillies on tap, two on the “Trail.” (There is a $39,900 non-betting "Lady" on the program, also) A pair of Credit Winner daughters, Parlia Hanover and Bouncing Bax, takes on Haul ‘n Fanny, Audio, Casting Couch and Vida De Vie on their quest to August.

Parlia Hanover is a Julie Miller-trained gal with two starts and no earnings, while Bouncing Bax is Jim Raymer’s entry, with the exact credentials. Ray Schnittker’s duo, Audio and Casting Couch, are separated by Audio’s superior record in four races, having won over $4,000 with one victory and three thirds. Never off the board, while sporting the Schnittker connection, Audio should be the public choice here.

However, we like Bouncing Bax for what looks like improvement leading to this major event, as well as she is one of the two eligibles, having more to gain by winning. As well, Raymer would be working for a great start with this filly, probably the best he has taught, with all hopes clearly defined in this first Trail affair.

Though there is no wagering in the second Lady event, watching it for future reference is a must. You don't want to miss a great performance that could ignite an upcoming wager; it may even give you an edge since most bettors will not be watching.

The fillies to watch closely are two by Hambo-champ Donato Hanover: MC's Diamond and Feather Your Nest. These are the sole eligible fillies in the small field. Take notes on their trips and keep watching this blog for our views on them as other stakes ensue.

Saturday we have seven glamour-boy trotters in the $40,000 Dexter Cup with only two eligibles and one of them is a high-profile ex-frosh.

Dontyouforgetit, by Cantab Hall, was seventh on the frosh-earners list in 2012, taking in $337,837, more than any of his “Dexter” foes and the only from this field on a list of the top 50. In fact, Jimmy Takter’s colt is third on the list of colts, putting him just behind highly regarded Wheeling N Dealin and Murmur Hanover, both gunning for August.

Dontyouforgetit (pictured left) trotted the fastest mile ever by a two-year-old on a half-mile track, going 1:55.3 at the Delaware, Ohio Fairgrounds. He won by nearly 18 lengths. Most of Dontyouforgetit’s major frosh wins were on five-eighths or half-mile track. So Takter feels Freehold is a perfect place to get the colt rolling down the Trail, with Jimmy driving.

Takter told USTA reporter Ken Weingartner, “I’m not going to rush him for the big tracks. I have some other horses I think are better on the big tracks. But who knows; size sometimes doesn’t matter. He’s got long legs; he doesn’t look that small on the track, actually … He’s definitely a player.”

Certainly he will be a prohibitive favorite based on his past, his trainer and this test against the unknown eligible (by comparison), Celebrity Maserati (a son of Andover Hall), who has won his only start for trainer Susanne Strandquist, that start putting $6,000 in his bankroll, which is enough to top the field.

On Friday night, May 3, at the Meadowlands, a $20,000 event for soph-colt trotters welcomes eight eligibles in a nine-horse field that demands attention to Trail-gazers. For one, a soph from Deweycheatumnhowe, Six Gun Hall, looks to follows his sire’s accomplishments of August. Only a dozen other “Dewey” colt products are eligible and we are not aware yet how many will surface as serious sophomores.

All in all, these eligibles are unknown commodities of the division, having low profiles to no profiles at two. This season, the non-eligible, Me And Cinderella, has over $26,000 in earnings from four starts, double that of Six Gun Hall’s $12,000. Super Classic, Show Ticket and Explosive Action debut as sophs.

We have always been high on Chocolatier products and giving them good shots early has produced some great prices for us. Here then, we fancy Cocotier. Although jumping seems to be a poor legacy of his sire, if you look at this year’s lines for the gelding so far you see very impressive races when he stays flat. He qualified well on the Balmoral mile and was a top contender at Pocono from the inside. His morning line in this affair is 15-1 and that is far more than his chances if he stays on gait. Even though the sole non-eligible, Me And Cinderella, has beaten Cocotier at Pocono, we will stick with the gelding.

Expect a lot of betting attention for the Breeders Crown player, Show Ticket. But regardless of a 1:55.3 easy qualifier at the Meadows last week, this colt has to prove he is worthy this season and may need more than this race to do so.

The Hambletonian Society has owned and serviced the Hambletonian since its inception in 1926 and presents the 88th edition at the Meadowlands, where it has been staged since 1981, There are no supplemental entries permitted in the Hambletonian and Oaks, nor are participants allowed to race on Lasix or Butazolidin. Along with the four juvenile Breeders Cup races for thoroughbreds, they are the only events in North American horse racing that prohibit the use of any race-day medication.

Keep watching this blog for updates and races involving eligibles through July and for live coverage from TwinSpires on Hambletonian day. Read race results at the special section archived at the Hambletonian Society web site.

No comments:

Post a Comment