Woodbine at Mohawk (WoMo) is the scene this Saturday, June 16. The $1-million North America Cup will introduce to the sports world the 2018 leading sophomore colt pacer and the Fan Hanover will do the same for filly pacers. Along with those two features are the Armbro Flight, Roses Are Red finals and the Mohawk Gold Cup.
The Hambletonian Trail blog is also abuzz with competitors on “Cup” night, as the glamour-boy trotters line up for the 2018 Goodtimes Trot.
Potential powerhouse contenders are again revealed in the TwinSpires exclusive horses-to-watch (H2W) list. Explore these possibilities for use in any wagers of your choice. Do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections.
NORTH AMERICA CUP
So far, though it is a very early judgment, the sophomore colt pacing crop is filled with promise for any number of horses. Most of the pundits’ predictions for this season will line up in the $1-million North America Cup (June 16) but none of the forecasters are pointing to any measure of dominance. Ten worthy competitors have earned their ways into the final’s field.
On the brink of brilliance, many feel, is Lather Up. From the Wiggle It Jiggleit crew comes this speedball that was impressive winning his elim as a big public choice. Lather Up made two moves and even though Lost In Time and an outsider hooked wheels in the stretch, Lather Up was clearly going to win anyway.
Stay Hungry won over Done Well in elim two by sweeping outside down the stretch. Closing with him was a surprise—Hayden Hanover, who went a cover trip behind Done Well and has pace left to finish third and make the final at 10-1.
Wes Delight got a great trip to win his elim but was in dire danger late from a super mile by 28-1 Nutcracker Sweet. That one was first over early, took cover past the half and swung around his cover to pick up the pace. “Sweet” settled for second because Wes Delight had a pure-pocket trip and began to pace late, passing his co-favorite, American History and holding off the Sweet’s late charge.
Since Lather Up will be as dangerous as never was expected, he will also be a huge favorite and deserves to be with a comparison of the other two elim winners. But it is very difficult to dismiss Nutcracker Sweet’s accomplished mile, especially since there could be some dueling by the elim winners as they try to shut down Lather Up. Such shuffling could help Sweet gain a few steps unless, of course, he is even better than last week displayed. He may still present high odds for an outside-contending upset and that is why we have to support him in the final.
Lather Up may be in the mix for exotics, of course, more so than the other elim winners but for exotics that will promise bigger rewards, a good addition would be Hitman Hill. In the Lather Up elim, “Hitman” came within 3 ¾ lengths to get third and make the final, after starting the race 11 lengths out of it. It’s a price-worthy investment.
There is a $75,000 consolation for Cup eligible pacers that did not make the big-race’s grade. Two of our elim choices from last week show up in this addendum to the big dance. We shall go with them in post-position order. Babes Dig Me was 91-1 in his elim and finished sixth. He will do better here. If the 10 post doesn’t do him in, Whos Better is our other improving colt from the elims. Summer Travel may turn out the public choice and if so should be in exotic mixes with our contenders.
FAN THE FILLIES
The filly force that was Youaremycandygirl disappointed all with a trip that should not have been as strenuous as she faded late and only made the final due to the speed rule that makes her an also-eligible. Our choice in that elim, Kendell Seelster, was brilliant.
Kendell Seelster was hot to start, wide then placed in a pocket and despite being blocked down the stretch she maneuvered to the top and was caught by outsider Kissin In The Sand (5-1) and Shower Play (23-1). Kendell Seelster (16-1) held for fourth and got into the final. She is our choice among the final field, even if a filly scratches and allows “candygirl” a spot.
The $370,000 Roses Are Red Final’s pair of elims last week included our contender, Blazin Britches, who won at 6-1 in a carefully crafted speed-controlled mile. However, make note that big favorite Sharin N broke after the first turn and had to work hard to finish fourth to make the final. It’s tough to toss her out here, since we don’t know if she would have beaten our choice had the race configured differently.
Tequila Monday was, though, awesome winning the second elim, and here she will take some money from beaten-favorite Shartin N. That could give Shartin N as better than expected price in the final, which would make her hard to dismiss. So, we will go with Shartin N, since her loss was still the best mile of the bunch. Our exotics using Shartin N as the key will include Blazin Britches, Tequila Monday and Nike Franco N, who was full of pace down the stretch but blocked and took third when shaken free at 28-1.
MARES IN FLIGHT
The $250,000 Armbro Flight Final brings together three mares from one of the two elims that we presented and that finished to make up a triactor. However, that was not the elim featuring Hannelore Hanover. She can only beat herself, so what to do with this race is pass or plunge. The latter means trying to beat the champion mare trotter, unless you are into boxing triactors and using her to be in a quartet finish.
In our triactor elim, Ice Attraction (24-1) was third after shaking free on the inside and may play a better role in the final. In the first elim, Southwind Tesla (23-1) was second to “Hannelore” and much the best of the rest. If you key Hannelore, the aforementioned two would pump up exotics, especially if you leave out Emoticon Hanover. The problem with using “Emoticon” as an upset winner is the win and exotic prices, which will be far less than is worth the effort.
The $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup is the co-star of the major stakes filling out the Cup program on June 16. Some familiar names of aged pacers are here, as well as Somebeachsomewhere-winner Jimmy Freight. Out of the Cup, Jimmy Freight is the hot soph in this group. He is up against Canadian fan favorites, including Sintra and McWicked. He also must deal with Burke’s Check Six and Takter’s Great Vintage.
The elders don’t scare us, we want to ride on Jimmy Freight’s recent form, feeling we will get a hot horse with better than fair odds.
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.
6/15/18, +Bullseye R6; Hot Cakes R7; +Five Cent Deposit R8
6/15/18, Pleasing Form R5
6/18/18, Big Place R10
6/16/18, Yankee Joanie R2; Lets Be Honest R10
6/14/18, +Gene Eugene R3
6/16/18, Heart Of The Ocean R5; Mshindi R8
6/15/18, Hypnotic Tale R6
6/16/18, +Beyond Delight R7; Awesomeness R8
6/15/18, +Bellows Binge R3
6/14/18, Spectre R1
6/16/18, +Simple Kinda Man R4; Winsun Glory R8
6/16/18, +Dazzlin Dragon R3; +Right On Time R7
6/15/18, Katkin And Coke R5
6/16/18, +Celestial Dreams R5; +Airguitar Rockstar R10
6/17/18, +Mullet Blue Chip R7; Ponderosie R10; +Wont Be Nothing R12
6/14/18, Andover The Cash R3
6/15/18, +Beach Blast R8
6/17/18, World Class Duke R11
6/14/18, +Real World Goal R1; One Swan For All R8; Massive Lightning R8
6/16/18, Beach Ogre R11
6/17/18, +Belas Bad Boy R3
6/18/18, I Am The Danger R5
6/16/18, Becky Badger Boy R1; Tinhorn Creek R2; Pridecrest R7
6/17/18, +Tap My Feet R6
6/14/18, Southwind Blizzard R4; Deaks Sweetie Pie R12
6/16/18, +Real Yankee R10
6/17/18, Im A King R2; CCC R5
6/14/18, +Showboat R3; Crazy K R10; +Da Vinci Artist R13
6/17/18, Raylan Givens R4
6/15/18, +Skyway Hurricane R7
6/17/18, Travis R3; Shell I Be Bad R6; +Tundra R9
6/14/18, Chapter Too R7
6/15/18, +Motu Moonbeam N R6
6/17/18, +Platoon Seelster R3