The first major stakes race on the Hambletonian Trail, the $266,000 Goodtimes Trot at Woodbine/Mohawk Park (WoMo), gathers six hopefuls to compete on the North America Cup undercard Saturday, June 16, on a weekend which features more Hambo contenders spread across the continent.
Elimination winners Alarm Detector and Wolfgang front the field for the Goodtimes final, which also features Hambo-eligibles Hill Street, Lawmaker, Hat Trick Habit and Missile Hill. While Alarm Detector and Wolfgang both debuted sharply to earn favoritism in this event, they remain vulnerable under the chaos factor that arrives with “big name” events such as the Goodtimes.
Charging home to finish fifth in the elimination, Missile Hill could get a setup to upset the applecart and any other nearby fruit wagons. He always performs well on two-turn ovals but usually relegates himself far off the pace. His best chance will come if trotters skirmish for the top and burn themselves out, allowing Missile Hill to fling over the ashes to the cashes.
Hambo contenders also compete on Friday, June 15 at Tioga Downs in three divisions of the $120,400 New York Sires Stakes. Division one features the sophomore debut of Fourth Dimension, one of the favorites for the first Saturday in August. For a price however, Winning Shadow should be a value contender entering off a win over this oval. His one obstacle will have to top Fourth Dimension, who has to potential to not return at three a winner despite his probable favoritism.
Division two gathers hopefuls Cruising In Style, Tito and Purpose Blue Chip with Cruising In Style likely going to gate at odds which underestimate his ability. Qualifying for the Goodtimes final but drawing poorly, Cruising In Style was instead pointed to this event where he draws well and likely fits better.
Eligibles Don, Southwind Chrome and Fashion Forever congregate in the third and final division with our focus directed towards Southwind Chrome, who finished second in the Empire Breeders Classic in the second start of his career. The lightly raced trotter has improved in his three starts of the year and likely bests this bunch at a somewhat decent price.
On Sunday, June 17, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono hosts three $30,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars, which collects a total 13 Hambletonian eligibles competing across the events.
Group one includes hopefuls Patent Leather, Story Time Hanover, Samo Different Day and Meadowbranch Ricky. Breaking in his Goodtimes elimination after parking from an outside post, Story Time Hanover offers the best long price in this race presuming he manages to stay flat this time around while most money will go towards Whats The Word, who has dominated the sires stakes circuit so far this season.
Eligibles Fashionwoodchopper, Quality Kemp, Rich And Miserable, For A Dreamer and likely favorite You Know You Do compete in the second division, however the value of the race likely comes from an ineligible. Assuming he can work out a trip near the front, Raileegotaholdonme could sit off a contested pace and capitalize late or, at the least, complete the trifecta at a high price.
The final division features hopefuls Brothers N Arms, Bautista, Garnet and Crystal Fashion. With a provisional driver and little experience at the stakes level, Brother N Arms presents another potential big-price blowout. In a division where most horse’s gaits are questionable, he can win by virtue of staying flat or end up being the best horse in the race.
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