Welcome to the 2019 Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC), the exclusive blog that coordinates with our weekly preview harness blog at TwinSpires.com and the Hambletonian Society to find great wagering opportunities for “Crown”-eligible horses and their foes.
All 12 divisions will rotate and share space in the BCC as they race to the finals, this year at Woodbine/Mohawk on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26.
Friday, Aug. 23 at the Meadows, the soph-colt pacing division is featured in two Pennsylania Sires Stakes (PASS) races, each worth a whopping $85,029.
Of the seven in the first PASS split, three look toward the “Crown” and two are the best here. The first of those is Love Me Some Lou, who is just getting started in the second half of this season. The other is Workin Ona Mystery, who is earning well, though not in the top five of the division for us.
The crowd will bet Prince Of Tides heavily. The ineligible colt has won here before and gets the track’s hero-driver Dave Palone. That is a money-magnet combo for favoritism.
The most disappointing of the three Crown probables is De Los Cielos Deo. He qualified huge but he is not performing well with few excuses.
We are on Love Me Some Lou for price and purpose.
PASS two offers Adios-winner Southwind Ozzi another shot at a big purse. He has no shot at the Crown (unless supplemented). Neither does Brazzy Hanover, a six-digit winner leaving from the rail.
Captain Victorious is gearing up for the Little Brown Jug and looking like a major contender there as well as being more formidable in the Crown elims than he has been against the leaders.
The soph-pacing-classic Messenger Stakes welcomes a supplement entry, the three-year-old-pacing-colt division’s Bettor’s Wish.
Arguably the leader of the division at this point (the argument arises due to Captain Crunch, his most fervent foe), Bettor’s Wish comes to the stakes having won the Art Rooney at Yonkers, Carl Millstein Memorial at Northfield, while defeating Captain Crunch in the Meadowlands Pace (won by Best In Show) and being narrowly defeated by Captain Crunch in the Cane Pace. Bettor’s Wish has earned more than Captain Crunch so far.
The arch enemies are both eligible to the Breeders Crown, as are other top glamour-boy pacers Best In Show, Shake That House and Workin Ona Mystery.
We endorse Bettor’s Wish (as we have in each of his stakes) to win his Messenger final, Saturday, Aug. 31 at Yonkers, even before that field is set. We have to look ahead, since Bettor’s Wish’s elim appearance on Aug. 24 is a non-betting affair.
Each elim is worth $40,000 but the first has become a spectator’s event.
In the betting-available elim, a short price is expected for one of the two most likely to win—US Captain and Air Force Hanover. There could be an upset here featuring Tony Alagna’s Waterway.
It should not be debatable Waterway is of this ilk. He is a Captaintreacherous colt with three wins in eight starts at three with only one of them off of the board. He will offer a good price. In general, for a six-horse field, there could be reasonable bets outside of the probable choices mentioned. Poor Reigning Deo has not won a race yet and Buddy Hill has only one in nine victories. But the top four from the inside post out, including Aflame Hanover (the only non-eligible), win certain arguments for upset scenarios.
Follow major 2019 BC hopefuls on their journey to the Breeders Crown at Woodbine/Mohawk at this Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the TwinSpires harness blog weekly, along with further information on the Hambletonian Society web site and @Hambletonian_ and @BreedersCrown .