Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Simpsons bring out the sophs

The Hambletonian Trail continues on Friday, May 10 at the Meadowlands with four divisions of John Simpson Stakes, two for the fillies and two for the colts.

All but three of the boys in either of their splits are Hambo-eligibles, while the fillies have but six in both of their contests.

Jimmy Takter has an entry (both eligibles) in the first, $27,265, split. Of course the top colt Fashion Blizzard begins his march down the “Trail” for trainer Jim Campbell.

Sitting in a fine spot to come back after his first 2013 effort is Show Ticket. The eligible, trained by Rich Gillock, was just a bit short in his debut, finishing fifth but only a length behind My Man Can in his Simpson prep. Considering the high-profile Takter team, we could be assured a great price on Show Ticket.

In the colt’s $26,765 episode, we will go again with Cocotier. The eligible son of Chocolatier was our choice last week when we mentioned that breaking could be his only enemy. Sure enough he jumped at the start. What is great about the prodigy of Chocolatier is that when they are smooth-gaited they are strong and fast. So far there is no evidence that missteps are anything but an inherited annoyance with this gelding, who is driven and owned by the same connections as was the sire, we will go with the bloodline and the price it offers.

Takter’s Corky—another from his barn on the Trail—will get a lot of bettor attention and that is always good for the other contenders, like Explosive Action and Six Gun Hall, whose odds will balloon in the balance.

The $24,258 event for femmes has four eligibles and they are the true dangers here. The morning-line choice, however, is True Day Dream, whose day dreams must include winning the “Oaks,” since she is ineligible. Outside of her, in the six-filly field is Southwind Cocoa, debuting at three for last year’s champion trainer Linda Toscano. Another product of Chocolatier, this gal could be ready to win first at first crack.

Seven go to post in the $24,758 mile for fillies, with only a pair of eligibles, MC’s Diamond and Miss Steele. We loved “Diamond” last week in the non-betting Lady Suffolk but she broke and gave us no chance to see how she truly can trot at three. She will like the two turns and if she is flat she should be fast. Her Philly race was short but she had an immediate challenger. She broke her maiden at Dover in fine fettle the race before that. If she gets much better her prices will get much worse so let’s stay on her now when she can upset and bring us double digits.

 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.

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