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Meadowlands Pace Joust On Tap With Heavy Star Program; Yonkers Youngsters In ‘Sheppard’ Final Leads Frosh-Stakes Splits


The Meadowlands Pace is cause for some arguments as the glamour-boy pacers line up for the classic on a program filled with three-year-olds and up going for top dollar. Meanwhile, the new divisions of sexes and gaits gather around the circuits, with the L.B. Sheppard Final at Yonkers headlining the lucrative menu.

This season, many of our exclusively chosen frosh picks are found in the TwinSpires horses-to-watch (H2W) list at the bottom of every preview blog. They join horses that may increase your tickets’ pricers for any type of bet. Do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections.


Thursday, July 11, two-year-old pacers are the highlights at Hoosier and Yonkers in sires stakes events. The Indiana-breds ($36,000 a split) are colts. That’s our first stop.

Nine green guys hit the track in the first round, two of which debut. A pair has already won maiden events but this is leg one for the division in Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS), so talent is generally unmeasured from one or two or even no starts. All things being even, the Dale Hiteman-trained General Doug A will go unnoticed by strict handicappers. This Tellitlikeitis colt will be the lesser of that sire’s pair to get attention, while having every bit the chance as his blood-brother, Itiswhatitis.

Ten are on gait for the second split. Some unproven sires are represented but, again, it is the Tellitlikeitis product holding the best chances. Power Of Tell has finished second racing twice, which bettors won’t find as exciting as obvious first-time winners; there are three. Still, Tim Lane’s colt is able enough to beat them and the other six.

Rockin Image boys, three that have broken maiden status but step up all the same, dominate the third INSS colt field. This is no time to give up on Tellitlikeitis products; it is time to go for the sweep, using Clever Character (one win for one start), the sire’s only representative here.

The fourth INSS may be of interest in the volatile freshman theater, because Fishyriggins could go off higher than most handicappers would predict. We like that because our expectations are high for the sire of this Zachary Miller-trained colt. Fishyriggins has two wins for three starts but his win time could, hopefully, turn off those who put more faith in the Ron Burke barn, which sends Nassau Desire after his second-straight win. Our Riggins contender is not up against progeny from the hottest sires here, so speed in the youngster is yet to reach a peak. If we are right about Riggins’ ghet, this could be the start of some value-packed frosh wins.


Four leg-3 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for filly youngsters on the pace, are worth $37,000-plus on the July 11 Yonkers program.

Six gals will hopefully step lively through four turns in the first NYSS, leg 3, split. Top sires are represented, making this a tight affair. At this point nationally, So Surreal is a powerful sire and in this sextet he offers The Fun Marshall. Good news? Yes, bettors beware that even in a small field, the public may let this one get away at the behest of a Burke entry and a Chris Oakes filly still unproven.

The next NYSS edition is bound to pick up mega-support from Merga Hanover, Burke’s filly. This one is worth a look at the outside post, where Racine Bell could find she has no fear for post 7. Yet, the public will penalize her for the starting point, giving us a strong bet for price and purpose from the So Surreal filly.

Third on the bill is a field of seven gals where She’s Got Game will be overbet because she’s got brand—Burke. Our brand here is Ray Schnittker’s So Surreal filly, Finally Free. We’re watching Ray productively handle his So Surreal products, as he is mad about the bloodline.

Finally, seven on the gate make up the NYSS nightcap. There is a single filly by Heston Blue Chip that is worth a shot in an even field for youngsters. Dragon Blue Tina has post 1 and it could be a steal for Andrew Harris’ gal as well as for backers. For post 1, a Yonkers highlighted spot, especially since the track closed the inside lane, she should get less support than her main rival, American Dreamgirl, in post 2. The best-case scenario is a catbird-seat trip with a price.


The focus of the Saturday, July 13 program at the Meadowlands is its namesake event, The Meadowlands Pace. Joe DeFrank’s creation is still a major feature on the stakes calendar, though it has not returned to its million-dollar status (not measuring inflationary dollars). This year’s classic goes for $682,650.

Two exceptional colts are in the marquee—Captain Crunch and Bettors Wish. Twinspires readers know that the latter has been our best of the division since his spectacular win in the Art Rooney at Yonkers. Captain Crunch has been fast but still not dominant. Even though he beat Bettors Wish in the N.A. Cup, his struggle to make the final is a stain that is not entirely gone. By compassion, Bettors Wish has been spotless, smooth; free of racing quirks. And he could get better—he could get way bettor in this race.

Bettors Wish is the public’s second best here, so if he is our best here, he will offer fair odds. Exotics with him on top and Captain Crunch second are not inviting. So, checking prices when the betting ensues, we will take U.S. Captain second.


The $179,550 Golden Girls mare pace (July 13 at the Meadowlands) is packed with 11, led by the best of them all, Shartin N. If you do not choose to pass this race, make a small offering to the win pool for Seaswift Joy N. Tony Alagna’s import mare will find traversing through traffic in this 1 1/8-miles race as difficult as the others, but she has shown some smart moves winning her 10 of 17 starts, making some of those moves at Yonkers, where all moves need be sharp.


Trotters from Hambletonian’s recent history are now four-years-old, making them elders, aged and eligible to the $450,000 Hambletonian Maturity at the Meadowlands on July 13.

Eleven will stomp 1 1/8-miles for the honor of winning or the also-trotted status of following the winner. And look who headlines—last year’s Hambletonian winner and this year’s marvel mare, Atlanta. Only a heated duel will keep her from showing three prices on the toteboard and it could surface, making the extra distance the true foe.

There is only one upset scenario that would be possible and profitable, barring unpredicted circumstances, and that involves Six Pack. There are means to wear down Atlanta from a few in the field. That would make for a trip tiring enough to allow Ave Svanstedt’s top earner a strong stretch trip passing the weary (can Atlanta get tired? You bet).


For $423,000, a dozen Free-For-All pacers will hold this battle royal at 1 1/8-miles at the Meadowlands on July 13. Perhaps they look scorch the track as they did last week when Lather Up got loose late after flaming fractions set before him and won in 1:46.

Or, McWicked returns to his wicked ways, takes over at the half and rolls home laughing.

Or, beaten favorite and flame-setting pace burner Always A Prince, gets revenge for giving Lather Up a chance to tie the fastest mile of all time.

Or … you can create the scenario and go with what is truly unpredictable, no less immeasurable in a field of stalwart side-steppers.

We will go against popular opinion yet again, backing McWicked, who will put in a big race soon this season and since he is on the poor side of bettors’ choices, will pay far more than he ever should.


A dozen glamour-girl pacers play in the $207,700 Mistletoe Shalee at 1 1/8-miles on the Meadowlands July 13 powerhouse program. The top five in the division are present, along with some lesser bet gals but, all in all, this is a tight field and could be a great betting race, because the division title is not a gift to Warrawee Ubeaut.

We have been following Philly Hanover with a few dollars, as she picked up a few dollars in expensive affairs, off the board but once in seven starts. Also in the mix, we do not mind Zero Tolerance to partner in exotics as it is possible “Ubeaut” finishes off the board.

What’s a Ubeaut, anyway?


Three elims last week resulted in the eight-horse field for the $120,250 L.B. Sheppard Final for frosh-colt pacers at Yonkers on July 13. The standout in that trio of races, Hunter Hill, was favored but lost to 12-1 Columbo. That elim, however, was all but defined by the winner. Two colts in the six-horse field broke at the half and Hunter Hill found himself 12 lengths behind at the half, leading others also impaired by the jumps.

Freedom Warrior, the elim’s second choice, was out of harm’s way, with Columbo safely behind him. Freedom Warrior’s lead collapsed completely by late stretch and Columbo made the best of a perfect trip, took over and won. Hunter Hill, who closed 11 lengths from the half, finished with Freedom Warrior, 1 ¼ lengths behind Columbo.

A break also ruined favorite Lake Charles chances in the first elim when he broke on the lead. Coming from behind was American Rebel to beat Han Solo, who raced evenly but dull finishing second.

The other elim favorite, Cigars And Port, raced terribly, never involved, while the co-second choice won, gifted the position from an easy trip in the catbird seat.

Those results point to Hunter Hill’s great chances of winning the final. What is great is that he may offer a good price considering fan interest in the elim winners which we measure as mistakes. In the Hunter Hill elim, we backed Roll With Jr, who finished just behind Hunter Hill in that scramble. “Roll” is not in the final but will be a huge bet back next time he appears, especially if Hunter Hill commands this field, as he should, from gate to wire.

H2W Legend

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.


7/12/19, Shrinkwrap R2; +Dragmetoglory R4; Gold Star Spider R8

7/13/19, Santana Beach R1; +Falcons Luke R4; Grantor Hanover R6

7/13/19, See You At Five R7; Crystal Dragon R10

7/12/19, +Beach Ogre R10

7/11/19, Brooklets Desire R14
7/12/19, +Frontier Telaphras R6; Lady Capulet R9; +Glorious Virgin R11

7/12/19, +Andrea Suzanne R2; +La Grange A R7
7/13/19, +Mangogh R13

7/13/19, +Royaltyhasarrived R1; +Russell The Terror R9
7/15/19, +Spring Roll R3; +Dayson R9

7/12/19, The Girls Of Image R5; Dontbruisecarrie R6

7/11/19, Connie Keeper R3; +Relentless Dreamer R4; Somesurfsomewhere R4

7/12/19, Expect The Sweep R2; Attache R4; Tkts R7; Upfront Stone R9; Pretty Sammie R10; +Queen Me Again R12; +Shot Of Sweet Love R12
7/13/19, +Hot Shot McJeffers R2; Rompaway Galaxy R14

7/11/19, Speed Ball Swagger R6
7/14/19, Billy Badger N R5

7/11/19, Write Me A Song R5; +Memorydream ae R11
7/12/19, +Good Heavens R5; +Fargo Hanover R9; +Lexi Tee R10

Running Aces
7/13/19, Shesureissomething R4; Rock On Ruby R5; Queenace Blue Chip R8

7/12/19, Hypocracy R4

7/14/19, +Fox Valley Salsa R6; +A World Apart R7

7/11/19, +Mach The Rock R3

7/11/19, +Money Earned R2; +Gimmesomeroom R3

7/11/19, Roll With Amy R5
7/13/19, +Tight Lines R6
7/15/19, +American Vision R4

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