Tough Veteran Trotters And Pacers Joust

Welcome to the 2019 conclusion of Twinspires exclusive Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC), the 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.

The BCC shares our coverage of the finals with our Twinspires feature blog at Woodbine/Mohawk (WoMo) on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26. The older Open finals on Oct. 26 are covered in this last BCC for 2019.

THE MARE PACE

It is some kind of crazy to write a lot about this event, unless I romanticize a bit.

Beep, beep!

Even though Caviart Ally played Wile E. Coyote last week, finally defeating Shartin N, the result was never meant to last. After countless failed attempts, Coyote captured his elusive victim, Road Runner, only to realize a semantic problem—his life was devoted to chasing Road Runner, so in order to revive meaning in his life he had to continue the chase. So, he let Road Runner go.

By beating the great mare at last, Caviart Ally may understand the ancient koan, that is, certain riddles have no solution; they only prove the inadequacy of logical reasoning.

In that spirit, it would be wise, if you play the Mare Pace, to key Shartin N in exotics, leaving Caviart Ally out of the lineup to assure a price that makes the race worth playing at all.

THE OPEN PACE

The absence of Lather Up is so evident in this field that you read the entry names twice thinking you missed it. Personally, I think he may have paced away with the championship. We will never know.

What we are well aware of, though, is McWicked has been racing at his best since Lather Up took off, bringing him to the division’s pinnacle event comfortably favored. Still, that status is inherited. He can be beaten here, of course, and there should be some value for those who abandon him.

The Preferred prep last week was an awful good race for Jimmy Freight. But for a few steps he may have beaten Dorsoduro Hanover once the two of them did in the favored Geez Joe. “Jimmy” fired little by little leaving from post 9 and was lively to finish second at 7-2. Considering this is one of those aged paces that dares accurate predictions but rarely achieves them, Jimmy looks like he may be a good enough price to come off of that race and be best here.

THE MARE TROT

Manchego is the “now horse,” thriving to the top of the division after a string of dreary performances. With Atlanta beating on the boys, Manchego inherits the top contender spot. Plunge Blue Chip has found a new audience that expresses itself with wagers after her mediocre stage.

Both may race super, as may supplement Custom Cantab, elim-winner Darling Meares and even the deflated Hannelore Hanover could shove a big mile into this unusually crowded division.

Even so, we will back Weslynn Dancer. At 34-1, she picked up major real estate for starting as far back as she started. She brushed brightly, passing Ice Attraction to get the show spot and should be smoking if Manchego’s lead is challenged (likely by at least two others). This could be the biggest upset, if not the only one, of the night.

THE OPEN TROT

What Bold Eagle does to win is whatever it takes to win and from the look of his European victories it is not difficult to assume the French-bred trotter has brought all of those talents to Canada to this event.

I do not know and do not know anyone who can accurately measure the affects of a trans-Atlantic plane trip on a racehorse, so I will call that factor moot in the case of Bold Eagle—and I feel safe doing it.

This is one stupendous trotter. My eyes remain open watching each of his races, since nothing gets in his way. In fact, in his races it seems trotters break stride as if they suffer from an equine lack of self-esteem that forbids them from staying on gait.

Bold Eagle—a winner of more than $5 million—won his 20th Group 1 race in 2019 and even as he continues to rampage stakes, his legacy emerges. In Sweden last August, Aetos Kronos, his three-year-old colt from the first crop he sired, became Europe’s fastest sophomore of the season.

If Bold Eagle wins, he should have his own cartoon show, introducing youngsters to the tenuous trotting game internationally.

His top competition includes Mission Accepted. The super-bred trotter is peaking now, so there is a chance a trip could go his way; Guardian Angel AS, who has not been at his best, so how he could beat the best is beyond me; Six Pack will have to hand Bold Eagle a strong challenge somewhere in the mile but how he turns that challenge into a win is another story all together; Atlanta, the mare that has beaten the boys before, is a high-risk wiping them out this time. The rest are history if somehow they conquer the aforementioned.

Check out the “The Fives,” lists of the top five horses in each BC division as of this date by going to the Hambletonian Society’s web site.