We roll through August with many features for many divisions. This weekend there are two- and three-year-old state-bred stakes up and down the East Coast and in the Midwest the older pacers and some champion soph-colt pacers race after more six-digit purses.
TwinSpires’ harness blogs continue to scan North American harness racing activity for your consideration in the exclusive horses-to-watch (H2W) list at the bottom of every preview blog. Do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections.
In the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) soph-filly trot on Aug. 8 at Vernon comes a Hambletonian Oaks bet-back filly. Sweet Chapter is the only glamour-girl trotter in this $118,800 field of eight coming from the “Oaks” final, becoming an instant bet-back. Hopefully, she will not get the respect deserved coming from a field of the best in the division and the crowd will lean on Winndevie, Quincy Blue Chip and Sensibility, giving us a strong price on Sweet Chapter.
At The Red Mile on Aug. 8, six Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) frosh-trot fields line up for $30,000 a race. Top sires are representing green colts and fillies conditioned by top trainers.
The first KYSS, a seven-colt field includes five Father Patrick colts. The lone winner of a race among them is Bold Moves from Christopher Beaver. He is a certain favorite. Two Father Patrick sons are maidens. The two other colts are from Donato Hanover and Muscle Hill, Hambletonian champs. The Muscle Hill colt is, strangely enough among a quintet of Father Patrick colts, named Sermon. He is racing for the third time and in a good spot to live up to his sire’s dominance among these.
Fillies are next with a more diverse sire representation among nine. Returning from Grand Circuit action in Pennsylvania comes Miss Kendra D. The Cantab Hall filly from Chris Beaver is the bet, hands down.
Next on the KYSS agenda, colts ride again in the third KYSS on the program. Legion Of Honor’s qualifier is faster than any winning time, even another colt qualifying on a mile track. He is the sole Muscle Hill product, a plus and another reason to back him.
The penultimate frosh KYSS split, for fillies, sends nine to post. The obvious entry to gain public favor is the Father Patrick gal, Do You Wanna Dance. We draw your attention to the only Kadabra filly—Shape Shifter. The sire’s frosh fillies have always been good earners (Kadabra’s first Hambletonian colt winner is Forbidden Trade). She is on the verge of breaking her maiden in this.
Seven more KYSS colts are next in the most varied of sires’ reps. Two have recorded wins and one of them, Uncle Ed, already has three. We like the single-winning Ready For Cash, from up-and-coming sire, Ready Cash.
Nine fillies complete the sextet of Bluegrass products. Off of a good race in Ohio, Evita is our choice. She is the only product of Triumphant Caviar, a high-percentage sire of young trotters.
Freshman pacers and trotters separate in Grand Circuit action at Tioga on Aug. 9 into Tompkins-Geers stakes for colts and fillies.
Colt pacers are first for $29,350. There are only five involved and they are towered over by Columbo. Two wins, two starts and only Major Betts to worry about. That one is fast, winning at first crack. It will test Columbo and it could be the fault of both. We like one of three Somebeachsomewhere colts, Bombshell Hanover from Julie Miller, to beat them.
Next, a Tompkins stakes for colt trotters brings nine to the gate after $54,000. All but one is a maiden. We have a youngster by Ready Cash, a promising sire, named Light Blue Movers, in the hands of Ake Svanstedt as our choice. Ake feels as we do about the sire, no doubt.
Another five pacing colts go for $29,350 in a Geers stakes where Manticore is the standout. Never off the board, Manticore has earned more than the other four put together, doing it against bigger fields and, so far, more talented colts. Still, we lean toward the second start for JK Lucky Charm, a Sweet Lou product with a lot of promise from the resurrected Brett Pelling barn.
A $41,000 Tompkins for the filly trotters has a field of eight aboard. The Muscle Hill daughter, Aldabra Hanover, is from the Julie Miller crew and earning her keep. Still, Per Engblom’s Jula Champagne has made the most of the field without winning. She is a Trixton filly and will get some play. Do not overlook Thankful For You, though. She is the only filly here by the precocious Manofmanymissions. He produces speed that sometimes gets in its own way but other times controls any foes racing with them.
Filly pacers follow with a $64,900 Geers led by the three-time winner Ladyboss. Coming from a maiden-breaking race, AP Emily’s Dance has won her only start. There is a single Captaintreacherous filly in for her debut. Trainer Linda Toscano sends Shining Beauty into her first fray and she is worth the backing here in case she is anywhere near as good as her breeding.
Lastly, a seven-filly Tompkins trot worth $41,300 offers challenges to three-for-three Heart N Soul Deo (Muscle Hill). Trixton sired three of five but only one comes from Explosive Matter—Luv U Bye Click. Improvement is not out of the question, nor is a good price.
CUP & SAUCER SETTINGS
Post positions are official for two $12,500 trials of The Guardian Gold Cup & Saucer (C&S). Trials go on Aug. 10 and Aug. 12 at the event’s home track, Charlottetown Driving Park. The C&S attracted 14 pacers; each trial features seven.
Headlining the field is 2018 C&S champ, Somewhere Fancy from trainer Rene Allard. He will be tough to beat in the Aug. 10 trial but he has competition. Midway Island, a 40-1 winner at Pocono, may have faced tougher than these, if not Allard’s pacer. There is also Make Some Luck, a 9-1 winner at Woodbine-Mohawk. A winner with lesser credentials is Bettors Fire N, who ships in from Bangor. The first two, Midway Island and Make Some Luck could beat the champ; judge the betting action.
In the Aug. 12 trial, two pacers stand out for us. The crowd could easily back Rock Diamonds N as their top choice, as he comes from Plainridge. He won there for trainer Heidi Gibbs in a startling 1:50. Second in that mile was Sir Pugsly, who is also here but probably won’t carry lots of the public’s money to post.
The true outsider is Lisburn. He finished second at 14-1 at Philly, beating the favorite. The Philly crew looked way tougher than this group, but here he may go off as high as that, and if he races better or gets a gift trip, it should provide a fast upset mile.
The $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial on Aug. 10 at Northfield is a delightful spot for Bettor’s Wish. Not because Captain Crunch is absent, but because none of the competition can beat him on paper, no less on the Flying Turns. There will be support for some, though, including Southwind Ozzi, who won the Adios as if his shoes were coated with butter. Do not expect such a feat from his feet in the “Milstein.” This is Bettor’s Wish’s race. His loss to “Crunch” at the Meadowlands was a catbird-seat gift, just by a hair, no less. The best pacer is still Bettor’s Wish.
DAN PATCH MATCH
Hoosier’s historic $330,000 Dan Patch Stakes is a Free-For-All gathering nine national pacers for a mile on Aug. 9. The two top stars here, in order of this season’s achievements are Lather Up and McWicked.
Lather Up has been actually flawless the last month, at least, dominating this division with aplomb. He ripped through a fiery field in a come-from-behind win that matched the win time of Always B Miki. Last week he turned heads in the Sam McKee Memorial when he broke the record for a 1 1/8th-mile win on his own, from the top all the way around the Meadowlands.
He will offer nothing to win but is a good key for exotics. Since McWicked is better than all the rest in this field, he’s one of the exotic choices. Then we take a shot on pumping up the prices with Jimmy Freight and Endeavor.
Jimmy Freight is speedy but can also come from off the pace, something we expect him to do to get into the exotics late. Endeavor comes out of the “McKee” mile, which should produce a number of winners from that field. Work out the details, exotic players, this could wind up a good exacta, trifecta and superfecta.
A pair of NYSS for the glamour-boy trotters features $90,500 for each field’s best. We address the second split first, since we have an automatic play from one of last week’s three key races in the division—the Hambletonian elims and final.
Mr Vicktor did not make the final but raced with the best in his elim. No other colt in this field or in the second NYSS split qualifies as an instant bet-back, so no more writing about it—Mr Vicktor is the bet.
In the first split, we will support a bet-back from Jason’s Camden’s NYSS performance a week back, where he finished second for Julie Miller and faces a whole lot of nothing for bigger bucks here.
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.
8/10/19, Beachy Dream R5; Jude Hall R6; Thisjetsabookin R12
8/9/19, +Late Night Joke R4; +Between Me And You R8
8/11/19, Rollin Coal R6; Et Tu Brute R8
8/819, +Verge Of Insanity R1
8/9/19, +Medieval Dragon R14
8/10/19, Diamond Head R2; Deal The Cards R3; This Is My Song R7
8/8/19, +Acton Onelasttime R4; Brookstone R7; Northern Jack R8; Ohoka Texas N R8
8/9/19, +Upfront Stone R4
8/10/19, Dash Point Hanover R5; Anoche R14
8/8/19, Mary’s A Keeper R2; Duel Citizenship R6; B’s Yankee R10
8/8/19, +Big Top Lindy R1
8/11/19, +Dubious Claim R5; Lyons Steel R7
8/9/19, Itsallaboutmach R1; Dancin Yin R5; I’m A Clown R7; Zeynep R10
8/10/19, +Wagon Master R8; +Concur R9; Tight Lines R 7; Ideal Feeling R13
8/11/19, +Satin Dancer R12; +Go Byem R14
8/8/19, +Marco De Vie R16; Wilburs Z Tam ae R16
8/10/19, Reckless Sergeant R1; Roll With Jr R6
8/9/19, +Pancetta R9
8/9/19, +Oh Mare Ahs Bella R9
8/10/19, St Lads Moonwalk R10
8/9/19, Rockin Camrie R5; Our Walden Bury N R6
8/11/19, Southwind Rex R6
8/9/19, Frontloader R1
8/10/19, Gone Again R4; Lyons Snyder R11
8/9/19, +Filly Forty R1; +Galarina R1; Metro Glide R4; Post Time Terror R10; Starcasm R11
8/11/19, Artistic Cruiser R2
8/8/19, +Getting Serious R4
8/10/19, Nitro Glistening R9
8/10/19, +Six Pack R10; +Tymal Pacemaker R11
8/12/19, Drazzmatazz R2