Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mohawk, Meadows present eligibles’ showcases

On June 7 and June 8, Mohawk presents soph trotting herds aiming for August. As well, on June 7 colts battle at the Meadows.

Friday, June 7 offers a trio of soph-colt stakes in the Currier & Ives (C&I) series. These are events each worth $44,000 plus.

The first C&I will find the public focusing on Bluto, one of only three eligibles in the field, especially since Dave Palone take the reins. However, we like the soph debut chances of Banco Solo, also an eligible. His qualifier at the Meadowlands was impressive and he has a ton of two-year-old class. Getting a price near his 8-1 morning line may turn out to be quite the bargain if he fires in his debut.

The next C&I features six eligibles in a field of eight. Major Athens deserves a close look in his third outing as a sophomore. The only thing that stopped him from a sires-stakes victory last week was a break. He shouldn’t be penalized for that race. Still, he will come back at odds much higher than his favorite status in that affair. With the probable choices of the public in the 7 and 8 holes, staying flat is all Major Athens has to do if he is feeling anything like he did two back.

A quartet of eligibles show up for the last C&I split. Again, the Palone-driven trotter should get the best of the win pool, leaving It’s Complicated to go off at odds far higher than his chances. He was third at 20-1 last time, in the race where Major Athens broke. This is his third shot as a soph and with a sharp steer he could get a good spot and take advantage of a possible shuffle-duel between Tigress’s Legacy and High Bridge.

Two elims for the Elegant Image event next week are worth $35,000 each at Mohawk on June 7. There is more competition in this for Bee A Magician than presented itself over the last few weeks in province-bred stakes. To Dream On tries again after a disappointing debut in New York. She should not be dismissed due to that misstep. Mistery Woman is also talented and should be in the mix. We think it is time to try to beat “Magician” by backing one of those two, based on the closing odds. Probably, Mistery Woman will wind up the overlay contender but watch for odds you would never have expected for To Dream On.

The second “Image” mile should continue the winning streak for Shared Past. She seems tons better than this field and has no trouble beating any in her division so far by leaving from outside posts.

This year’s Goodtimes elims at Mohawk are not laden with eligibles. There are only six colts in the two divisions that have eyes on August and that is uncommon over the past few years for this stake.

In split one we like Per Henriksen’s BWT Taj. Per trains one of his only shots at the Hambo this year and this field is a good place to start a successful road to the elims. Per is driving and that is a good sign because no one knows a Henriksen horse like Per. If he has his “s^^^ together,” as Per is apt to express it, this could be a good night for “Taj.”

In the second Goodtimes elim, another trained-and-driven eligible colt looks to improve on a two-year-old season. Ray Schnittker would hope that Caveat Emptor could be near as good as his Hambo winner and the sire of this colt, Deweycheatumnhowe. He had some jumping problems at two but “Emptor” still showed fight and the turnaround of a season may have given him what he needs to be a contender. We know the price will be right.

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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