Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hopefuls contest in late-season preps

With two weeks until the Hambletonian and one week until the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations, the “Trail” has entered crunch time. Hopefuls will compete on Saturday, July 19 in the Reynolds Memorial at the Meadowlands and the Canadian Breeders Championships at Mohawk.

Since the Reynolds for the fillies only attracted four, it will be run as an exhibition race. The male equivalent saw 22 drop into the box, dividing into two divisions on the pari-mutual card.

Nuncio, entering off a runner-up finish to Father Patrick in the Stanley Dancer last week, highlights the opening split. While he is the fiercest competitor in this split, Southwind Poseidon has been improving with every outing. Coming in off of back-to-back victories, he may not be able to defeat Nuncio, but he’ll certainly be in the mix. Uva Hanover, one of the nine hopefuls in this event, could also get involved.

The other episode is a Hambo-hopeful free for all, with all 11 staked to the trotting classic. Other than the match-up of Trixton and Truxton, don’t discount Datsyuk from the second-tier. Trailing Mister B’s Way, who frequently shows speed, Datsyuk should get an easy trip and provide value.

Both genders of sophomore trotters will compete in finals for the Canadian Breeders Championship. The colt final features eligibles Entranced and Harper Blue Chip, with Harper Blue Chip looking near unbeatable off of a victory in the elimination.

Margie is the lone hopeful in the filly final. While she barely made the final, Flexible Woman could be a live long shot. She was victorious on this track against Grassroots competition a few weeks back and came into the eliminations off of an impressive fourth-place closing effort at Grand River. Being locked at the pylons in the elim and caught behind a fading leader, watch out for this filly as she seeks redemption at a price.

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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