Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pennsylvania Sires Stakes attract top filly trotters

Wednesday, June 19, Pocono Downs will feature three divisions, 24 filly trotters in all, of the $233,370 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS). Of the two dozen competing, 13 are contenders for the big dance for filly trotters in August.   

A trio of “Oaks”-hopeful fillies will compete in the first of three eight-horse fields for the PASS, consisting of True Valentine (H-Cantab Hall), Drink The Wine (H-Andover Hall) and Upfrontluckycarol (H-Andover Hall).   

True Valentine will likely provide value for us in the first division. Attracting the patron’s dollars more should be Lady Broadway, Ruffleshaveridges and Drink The Wine. True Valentine made two starts this year, one where she broke and the other was a disappointing fourth-place finish. Because of her resume, she should offer good odds, around 8- or 9-1.   

With those two starts under her belt, someone going to the windows to bet this horse would look like a lunatic but then you look at her qualifier at the Meadowlands. It was the first time she wore hopples and on the slop during the morning at the Big M, she qualified in 1:55.2. Over the fast track at Pocono and from the rail, this filly poses a threat and will be a major contender into the final turn.  

The second division contains five horses eligible for the Oaks, Frau Blucher (H-Broadway Hall), Sheena’s Shadow (H-Yankee Glide), Defiant Donato (H-Donato Hanover), Coffeecake Hanover (H-Cantab Hall) and Thistle Dhu (H-Donato Hanover).  

Frau Blucher is the hottest of the octet, going to gate in Pocono’s 10th event. She won every start this year, defeating a majority of this field in previous PASS races. She is coming off of a 1:55.4 qualifier over sloppy going at Pocono. A filly capable of major improvement in this race comes from the Ron Burke barn, Coffeecake Hanover.  

With four starts under her belt, three of them resulting in second-place finishes, Coffeecake Hanover has been a major player in exotics. It appeared, though, that she needed some issue fixed and this week she adds Lasix. It’s a positive sign and likely that we’ll see a big difference in this filly tonight.  

The final division has five hopefuls, Sina (H-Cantab Hall), Good Intentions (H-Cantab Hall), Royal Assets (H-Donato Hanover), Classic Martine (H-Classic Photo) and Fashion Athena (H-Broadway Hall).  

Royal Assets entered her sophomore season not as sharp as she was at two, being a rival to To Dream On (H-Credit Winner). She may get some money in this field but in the end Fashion Athena should be the post time favorite. It’s good to see that Royal Assets has begun to show improvement since making her three-year-old debut. She’s reverted to racing from behind instead of on the lead and is likely to get a good trip tonight.  

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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