Meadowlands Racetrack hosts the marquee preps on the Hambletonian Trail, the $262,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial and the $257,000 Del Miller Memorial, on the undercard of the Meadowlands Pace Saturday, July 14. Full fields of Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks hopefuls respectively compete in two divisions of each event.
Wolfgang fronts the opening division of the “Dancer” after winning the $202,160 Goodtimes Trot at Mohawk. The probable favorite enters off a 1:53 qualifier at the Meadowlands while other horses likely to take play include Classichap, off a speedy lifetime-best effort, Hat Trick Habit, winning at the Meadowlands after making a break in the Goodtimes, and Zephyr Kronos, a strong competitor in the conditioned ranks at the Meadowlands.
Though he may take play for his inside draw and backclass, Evaluate should provide wagering value in the race. Parking the mile in the “Beal Final,” the Marcus Melander trainee makes his first start in two weeks and, with that rest, shows ability which should transpose well to the mile track.
Division two of the Dancer appears a more open affair with frosh-champ Fourth Dimension attempting to rebound off a break in a Beal elimination and You Know You Do, winner of the 2017 Peter Haughton Memorial, seemingly on the rebound trail off a quick mile against older, also at the New Jersey track.
For a price, Fashionwoodchopper may go at higher than deserving odds given the competition he’s in against. He stormed through the stretch despite interference to finish fifth in the Beal Final and has appeared to improve in both of his last two outings at Pocono. While he doesn’t show the speed coming from the likely favorites he has the form to race well.
Frosh filly front-liners Seviyorum and Phaetosive contest in the first division of the Del Miller Memorial against five other “Oaks” contenders. Piranha Fury is the obvious price contender against the two standouts, having finished second to Phaetosive recently and behind Seviyorum two starts ago. She may be a notch below the chalk but that’s why she’ll be a higher price to at least complete an exotic ticket
Manchego returns to the distaff division in the second “Miller” split after parking the mile first over in the Beal Final and losing stride at the top of the stretch. In theory she should dominate the six other Oaks-eligible performers off that mile but Plunge Blue Chip still has the ability to compete and potentially beat her. Ake Svanstedt’s speedy pupil enters off two runner-up finishes to Atlanta in New York-bred competition and with a post advantage here might be worth a try if sent as the high-priced second choice.
* * *
Follow Hambletonian Trail action from in this blog on Twitter @Hambletonian_ , #Hambo18 and @FrankCotolo in cooperation with the Hambletonian Society.