Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fillies firing at Yonkers

A septet of “Oaks” eligibles are set to go to gate Monday night, July 8, at Yonkers Raceway, where three divisions of the $358,857 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) headlining the 13-race card. 
Lady Riviera is the lone Oaks-hopeful in the first division. With the morning-line favorite drawing the outside in this division, it opens the race up for value. From the rail comes Canadian invader Alphadoodle from the Rick Zeron barn. She made two starts against this group in previous NYSS events, one being an impressive closing effort on “sloppy” going at Buffalo and the other a disappointing sixth at Tioga. She trotted a little too fast in her last start and from what her lines show, should handle the half-mile well. The draw was friendly to her as well, giving her a better shot to get the trip she needs. 
Empire Breeders’ Classic champion Lola De Vie headlines the second division and will start from the pylons. With her come eligibles Hall La La, Bouncing Bax, Palm Beach Chic and four others. One of the other four is a major contender in the value market and, as a matter of fact, will start from post 4. 
Isabella Gal seems to be rounding into form as shown in her previous starts. Off of an eighth-place effort in the Empire Breeders’ Classic, she took about three weeks off and went to Tioga to race in the NYSS. From post 7 she took the front and set moderate fractions on the lead, only to come up short into the stretch. She will likely get away in a pocket spot and stalk Lola De Vie on the lead. With a pocket ride, she will have plenty left into the stretch. 
The final division features eligible Proclaiming April, listed as the morning line favorite. Two eligibles, Crazy Grigio and Demented are also entered. Although they have high sights for the first weekend in August, their chances in this event are “iffy.” On the other hand, Long Island Tea has been showing nothing but talent recently. 
She broke in the slop at Buffalo in a NYSS event as a favorite off a pocket ride but it evidently proved to be a problem, as she galloped again from post 9 when she competed in NYSS at Tioga. The early miscue didn’t stop her, she regained 10 lengths passing three-quarters when she came to the outside and was interfered. She came into the stretch blasting after the leader, to come a 1 ½ lengths from the victory getting fourth. Due to two breaks, she had to qualify. Trainer Paul Kelley added trotting hopples and qualified her at Plainridge, where she trotted the course with ease in 1:57.3. She is sharp and peeking so we are going to catch her while she’s hot. 

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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