Wednesday, July 24, 2013

‘Oaks’ elims, Yonkers Trot and colts’ prep mark big soph weekend

On the Meadowlands big July 27 program, there are two Hambletonian Oaks elims, since the event is not to be presented in heats. These miles will decide the field for the August classic for soph-trot fillies.

Elim one finds Bee A Magician, the undisputed champ of the division, coming from post 1 and looking for her eighth-straight win at three. What else can be said about the dominating daughter of Kadabra? Her Meadowlands debut this year against her major foes was an easy stroll home in record time. Barring any missteps—which have never been a problem with her in 17 starts at two and three—she will show the best she has to offer, which has been unequaled by any in the soph crop she has faced.

The second “Oaks” elim is a true wagering affair. You can make a decent case for most of these, so your judgment of value deserves our respect. But if we have to argue for any filly in this seven-girl gala, it’s Southwind Cocoa. She finally came through after we supported her up to the Tompkins win at 14-1 last week. She is peaking now, rounding into shape after some mishaps and trip problems. Her Hudson Filly Trot effort was very good and she took no prisoners, so to speak, commanding her Tioga victory. She may not offer 14-1 here but on the two-turn mile, where trainer Linda Toscano’s stock excels, the daughter of Chocolatier should float.

Elimination winners Dontyouforgetit and Creampuff Macdaddy drew post positions 4 and 6, respectively, for Yonkers Raceway’s 59th Yonkers Trot on July 27. Eight soph- colts earned berths after last week’s two elims. 
Dontyouforgetit (pictured) beat longshot Fico by nose (1:57.2) in the second elim to complete the exacta we supported in last week’s preview. The Jimmy Takter colt has been on fire since a disappointing start and truly holds some cards for Hambletonian victory. Takter, who drove his homebred last week, puts Brian Sears up for the final. 
Creampuff Macdaddy can’t go to the Hambo and ultimately is not as tough as Takter’s colt, even though he won the first elim in 1:56.3. Indeed, Fico, wanting a shot in the Hambo heats, has improved and looms a tougher foe. Dewycolorintheline could complete the trifecta, though an upset seems far fetched. 

Back to the Meadowlands, where a few Hambo-eligible colts get a preview race with a $25,000 purse—an Open for the division.

The return of Smilin Eli could decide whether or not the early season division leader is ready for next week’s heats. He needs this race but he does not need to win this race; a good showing will get him into the big event.

All eyes are on Wheeling N Dealin, who drew post 9 and must prove that he is better than his opening two soph efforts, which were extremely disappointing conditioned events. He may be all out and put on a good enough show to stop his connections from concern or he may not be up to the great expectations he presented after never losing a race at two.

Once again, Team Takter may have the edge here for a price with Bluto. His sires-stakes loss at Philadelphia was not an embarrassment after a resounding PA All Stars win as our choice the week before. He will like the two turns far better than the three he has been negotiating and is one of the best Donato Hanovers available at three.

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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