Big Harness Weekend With Confederation Cup, Glamour-Boy Appearances, Titan Trotters
Again this week we take our features through Sunday, as Flamboro’s Confederation Cup Final becomes the focus of the week. Four-year-old pacers from last week’s elims gather for bragging rights with the sport’s two top trainers, Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter, versus Canada’s Dan Menary with his hot property. More action on Sunday is compiled with promising soph pacers at Pocono in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS).
Friday The Meadowlands steams up with New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS), one set of on our Hambletonian Trail blog (check out TwinSpires’ exclusive harness analysis in its own presentation on the blog pages) and another set for pacers in the contents below. The Meadows’ for PASS colt trotters also contributes to the “Trail” content this week.
The Meadowlands continues as the theater for Saturday’s four-year-old trotting Graduate leg, whileYonkers offers two elims for soph fillies going for the Lismore event and a single elim for the Art Rooney Final’s field.
The week always begins Thursday due to horses avialable on the weekly H2W (the horses-to-watch) list. Do your own handicapping and then compare and consider our selections when deciding on the kinds of wagers you make.
Leg one of the NJSS for soph pacers offers two splits ($20,000 each, one for colts and the other for fillies) on the May 19 program. A slim field of six boys go in round one and all of them are sons of sire If I Can Dream: so much for a sire angle. The most successful, Every Way Out, should get significant play. He won nine races out of a dozen at two, climbing the class ladder constantly. Key him if you like but don’t pass up first-time starter Indian River Ace. His single qualifier at Rosecroft was good enough to make this his career starter and with no knocks against him he could surely bring a price to win and help any exacta with Every Way Out.
The second NJSS contest offers a field of 10 femmes. Only one of them is not a product of If I Can Dream. That filly, as it turns out, is a contender. Colorful Jasmine has won only once but it was a strong conditioner this season at Philly. Her two qualifiers leading up to the start of her three-year-old season, also at Philly, are sterling.
A $75,000 leg of the Graduate Series for four-year-old trotters features 10 contestants, most popular sophs last season. All eyes are on the solo mare of the group, Broadway Donna. Trainer Jim Campbell’s mare dominated her division at three and the Donato Hanover product debuted with style in her new division, finishing second.
But she has a few males here that will attempt to keep her from winning her first race of the season. Ron Burke’s Dayson fought well at three against the glamour boy trotters on the Hambletonian Trail, even though he was never targeting the main event. He gets post 1 and should attract some dollars. So will Ake Svanstedt’s Double L Lindy, who won as the favorite at Yonkers in a top conditioner.
A good price for Cufflink Hanover’s four-year-old debut may be guaranteed by the aforementioned foes, especially with all of them to his left. Post 10 will help bring up the price and the classy Andover Hall gelding could take it first out at four; he has only to get better with age.
SOPHOMORES IN MOTION
At Yonkers on May 20, soph pacers align in a few elim races, the colts for the Art Rooney Pace and the girls for the Lismore. Nine colts dropped into the box for the “Rooney” final on May 27, forcing a single elim, a $40,000 mile that pares down the eight finalists.
The Rooney’s star entrant is Downbytheseaside, a world record-holder as the fastest frosh (1:50 in Ohio on “Jug” week) over a half-mile. His life-best 1:49 Red Mile effort matched the world record for two-year-olds at the two-turn mile. He began his soph season with a 1:52.1 win in the slop at a PASS event at the Meadows and he will be hammered at the windows.
Henry The Dragon is already three wins for four starts and will check in as one of the top three public choices. Burke brings Miso Fast for some of his fans (the colt is two on the board for three starts at three) and Stealth Bomber has the most experience so far this season.
A price could be solid for Ray Schnittker’s Summer Side, making his second start as a soph. In the Schnittker barn all sophs bow to Huntsville but that bias could cloud how good Summer Side could be at three. This is the way to go for a price.
For the ladies, the Lismore offers a pair of $20,000 elims Saturday, with the first four finishers in each returning for the final ($140,770). In round one we are going with our top contender in one of last week’s PASS events, V String, who was second and paid double digits. With the public choice most likely to be Agent Q from post 8, V String’s 5 post looks perfect for an upheaval. Also a prospective price is Caviart Ally who broke last week in a PASS mile at 5-1.
The other Lismore elim has seven relatively unknowns from last season. Burke offers Gotthisone Hanover and Casie Coleman’s Ideal Plan should receive decent backing. New to the division is World Apart. We are following Noel Daley’s barn with genuine focus this season. He has a number of potential earners that could also earn for the smart bettor. So, here, Caviart Cherie is our shot at a price.
On Sunday, May 21, three PASS miles, each worth $49,494, settle into the Pocono program, testing glamour-boy pacers. Seven flee the gate in round one, two of them with a good deal of experience already at three. Burke and Takter, of course, send two of the more inexperienced. Burke’s Filibuster Hanover has already won one. Wildman, who gets the rail, has won four of eight, off the board only once. In his first start we backed Photobombr to follow Fear The Dragon in an exacta and the result was a $76.20 cold exacta. “Photobombr” chased who could be the division’s greatest threat this season and deserves the nod here.
Speak of the division’s threats, Fear The Dragon versus Huntsville in round two. The betting public already feels Huntsville will dominate every race where he is entered, so the win pools will be flowing over here. In the interest of profit and experiences that prove no horse is better than every horse even when it dominates a division, Fear The Dragon is the choice.
The nightcap lack star power and is uneven in performances this season by those involved. Takter’s Ocean Colony will get play on a single race/single win history this year but Point Somewherelse deserves the attention for value. Getting better is the initiative and until he shows us his efforts at three are poor, he will be worth the support.
After last week’s elim win, a track handicapper is finally assessing Western Fame as a favorite as he appears in the Sunday, May 21 Confederation Cup Final. The $176.000 affair for four-year-old pacers is the last race on the Flamboro program. Western Fame is listed as 5-2, the second choice over Sintra (7-5), the local pop-pacing star.
Check Six is third at 3-1 but the other Burke entry, Roll With Joe, is listed at 8-1 and gets post 2. Roll With Joe is the better of the two Burke boys and certainly is in a good spot for an upset.
Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.
5/20/17, Show Stopping R2; +Button Fly R9; Pennys Spirit R10
5/18/17, Dusty Lane Jacob R6
5/20/17, Chinook Wins R3; Thebestofme R8
5/18/17, +Rosietellthetruth R3
5/18/17, +Rockinaroundheaven R7
5/19/17, +I Could Care Less R3; +Why Ask Why R9
5/18/17, Lets Drink On It R3
5/20/17, Holy Halibut R7
5/20/17, JJ Flynn R7
5/20/17, +Dapper Dude R8
5/19/17, +Jump Jive And Jam R5
5/18/17, +So Cam Lucky R3
5/20/17, +Sand Sonya R7
5/19/17, Dastardly Dick R2
5/20/17, Kiss Me In French R1; Prime Time Poppa R7
5/17/17, You Canbecomeanangel R1
5/18/17, BJ Randy R1
5/19/17, Pembroke Newt R6
5/20/17, +Fool Of Ideas R12
5/21/17, +Have A Parodi R2
5/20/17, Rockin Jimmy R2; The Lehigh Legend R4; Ragnar Rocks R6
5/20/17, Legacy N Diamonds R1; Cruzing Hall R6
5/20/17, Sure You Are R1; Pan Taylor R4; Grand Galop Semalu R5; Bubeleh Stone R7
5/21/17, +Lady Spartacus R1
5/18/17, +Picasso Forever R12
5/20/17, +Only In My Dreams R2
5/19/17, Jaipur R12
5/20/17, Anja R9; I Saw Red R11
5/19/17, +Dakota Jack R1; +Perfect Road R10; +BJs Guy R11
5/20/17, +Madman Hall R2; Missile J R10; Three Of Clubs R11