Harness Preview for 9/12/2014

September 12th, 2014

While the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes finals took center stage last weekend at a pair of tracks in the Keystone State, the best card of the upcoming weekend will take place Saturday night when Yonkers Raceway hosts eight, $225,000 New York Sire Stakes finals for the two- and three-year-olds of both gaits and genders.

Not all of the eight NYSS finals on the Yonkers card this weekend feature a standout, but many of the top trotters and pacers have competed in lucrative open stakes. Several of them will be difficult to upset, but there are a few that appear vulnerable due to a combination of outside post position draws or subpar recent efforts.

In the first of the eight NYSS finals, slated as the second race on the card, a field of eight freshman colt trotters will vie for local supremacy. The entry of Betcha and Summer Scent will garner plenty of attention, but railbound Concentration (Brian Sears) looms the colt to beat. Concentration has won four of eight starts, including his last two in sharp fashion and he may be able to gain the upper hand early and overtake the entry.

One race later in the NYSS final for three-year-old filly pacers, Spreester arrives with the best recent form and draws inside, but Major Dancer has faced some of the best sophomore pacing fillies in the land in several open stakes for trainer Casie Coleman and should be able to overcome an outside draw.

Then one race later in the NYSS final for two-year-old filly pacers, the Burke entry of Band Of Angels, Sassa Hanover and Bettor N Better has combined to win 16 of 21 starts and figures to be the odds-on choice. But Mosquito Hanover and Devil Child, recent one-two finishers in a NYSS event at Tioga Downs, merit plenty of respect. Band of Angels is the best of the Burke group, but she was dismal in the She's A Great Lady final and is worth playing against in this spot.

The next three NYSS finals appear largely unplayable. Market Rally looms a solid, short-priced favorite in the fifth, while both the sixth and seventh races look very wide open. Nevertheless, the last two NYSS  finals offer more than a hint of wagering opportunities.

In the eighth, the final for two-year-old colt pacers, railbound Southwind Masimo (Pat Lachance) appears to be the solid favorite having won four of five outings for his trainer-driver. But he was scratched out of a NYSS prelim two starts back and then suffered his first career setback in his most recent outing. His main rivals, however, drew well outside.

In fact, Cartoon Daddy, Oneisalonelynumber and Bet You might be the three most talented colts in the field, but they had the misfortune of drawing the three outside posts. Cartoon Daddy won a Lawrence Sheppard elim but broke in the final, but has feasted on NYSS foes. Oneislonelynumber has displayed plenty of ability, as has Bet You, and both should be generous prices due to their outside posts.

Then in the ninth, the NYSS final for three-year-old colt trotters appears to be a match race. Gural Hanover has won eight of 10 starts and earned over $275,000 and draws inside for Burke, while Flyhawk El Durado has won six of 13 outings and banked over $290,000 and he was recently third behind Father Patrick and Nuncio in the Zweig Memorial at Tioga Downs. Either of these talented sophomore trotting colts could prevail in this event.