Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PA and NY events on Sunday; Colts make their bids in the ‘Beal’ deal

Buffalo Raceway will contest two divisions of the $122,600 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for colt trotters on the afternoon of Sunday, June 29. A quintet of Hambo hopefuls will continue their journey towards the first Saturday in August on the half-mile oval in Hamburg.

Mister Anson and Expressive Action are the lone eligibles in the premier episode, contesting against six other Empire-bred trotters. While Expressive Action will be one of the favorites, be on the lookout for Daley Lovin. He was aggressive in the last splits of NYSS at Saratoga, taking command on lap two and dueling towards three-quarters. He might be fitting for the half-mile game to be played this afternoon.

The other split features three hopefuls with Karets, Rocky De Vie and Flyhawk El Durado. Flyhawk El Durado, drawing post eight, has the speed to get into contention, even though his speed could not withstand the pressure of Gural Hanover, who starts from post six. With a tactical steer, Flyhawk El Durado could put up a fight with the likely favorite, even though he is the logical second choice. 

PA All-Stars events adorn the June 29 program at Pocono. Shake It Cerry comes back in the third of three episodes for filly trotters and we like her again. She is just too good to ignore at any time, though her price offerings are minuscule, at best.

The event's first split seems to belong to Broadway Socks. She is sharp right now and has it over this field. Again, price will be an issue if you make it one.

Finally Lifetime Pursuit dominates the second split, so key her and land an exotic or two, as upsets in this trio appear slim to none. 

The Earl Beal, Jr. Final has turned into a very big deal for soph-colt trotters, especially those en route to the August classic. The “Beal” is worth a half-million dollars and that has earned it a major spot on the Hambletonian Trail. Since its inception, however, for various reasons none of its winners have gone on to victory in the Hambo.

Dejarmbo won the first; he was not eligible for the Hambo. Googoo Gaagaa won the second; he had a pacing sire so he was not eligible for the Hambo; and Corky got into the Hambo final but finished third to Royalty For Life.

This year’s Beal presents nine giants of the division to date, including the season’s first meeting between the Jimmy Takter duo Father Patrick and Nuncio (his other colt giant, Trixton, is not here). At two, Nuncio was trained by Jim Oscarsson and was second best to “Patrick” in the Breeders Crown elim (which we supported on these blogs) and final.

Also present in the Beal due to strong elim action are a few colts that may become challenges to Takter’s duo, though the domination of Patrick seems undaunted. Here are some comments on the rest of the field:

Amped Up Hanover
The Ron Burke trainee is the least of Takter’s worries. Even with the inside post and the passing lane this guy needs the front to collapse for a path to the finish line, much like Domethatagain received last week at Pocono to beat Captaintreacherous.

Harper Blue Chip
This guy is improving and seems fearless, two elements that may mean he has not peaked. Those are dangerous qualities to have this time of the season as the dominant duo is at a peak (have we really seen the best of Patrick?).

Don Dorado
We have felt from the beginning of the season that if any colt was to build up enough steam to beat Patrick it would be this guy. He is getting better by the mile and when we see the best he has to offer at three it may be a major threat to Patrick (we already feel he will be better than Nuncio).

Along with “Armed,” this guy has a lot to prove but trainer Noel Daley may be moving him along more slowly than what has shown in only four races that make him the member of the field with the least earnings at three.

Well Built
Some of his gait issues clouded the start of his season and now we are edgy about how well built his stride may be, so to speak. On a good day he is fast and strong but by comparison to Patrick and some others here Well Built presents second thoughts.

Charlie Norris has never had a colt of this caliber and in another blend of crop this trotter may have been the top dog. But he has not shown the guts to topple the Takter team and he may have gotten as good as he will get.

Tom Fanning’s colt is getting some tough trips and bad posts, hampering most of his attempts to be a giant killer. He may have it in him because his Dexter Cup wins were impressive but he won’t get a chance to prove it nose to nose with bad posts and top-rated traffic.

On paper, Father Patrick is still the best but the Pocono oval can whip up a storm with a large hot field that presents adversity beyond repair in a single mile. A case in point is how Royalty For Life swept the Hambletonian heats but was humbled using his heat on the outside at Pocono in the Colonial.

The few scenarios that beat Father Patrick place any focus of upset upon Harper Blue Chip, Don Dorado and Sumatra, and that three will offer some hefty payoffs, probably in that order.

Keep watching the Hambletonian Trail 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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