For photos from the Meadowlands contact Lisaphoto@playmeadowlands.com

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Arrival of Cassis, Operation Hambletonian 2010 Begins

Those at Historic Track Friday may have seen the arrival of a legitimate Hambletonian contender by the name of Cassis.  Cassis not only destroyed the 3yo trotting colt record of 1:59.2 set by Tabor Lobell in 1985 with his 1:55.4 victory today (over a track listed as good) in winning the $25,443 Landmark Stakes for three year old trotting colts, he also crushed the all age trotting record of 1:58 set by Yonkers Trot winner Goalfish back in 2005.

Granted, Cassis destroyed a weak field, but regardless, it was an impressive display.  Not only did he go faster than trainer/driver Ray Schnittker thought he would, but he did it so easily, coasting home in :29.1 to win by a widening twenty-three lengths.  There was no prompting, of Cassis as the race turned into a glorified workout for the three year old son of Cantab Hall.

So how can someone be excited about a horse that came home in :29.1 and beat a weak field?  Cassis now sports a 8-7-1-0 record this year with a lifetime mark of 1:53.4 set at Chester Downs.  Last year, as a two year old he won one of two starts.  After getting started this year in a late closing series at Pocono Downs, he has gone on to win three of four starts in the PASS.  This lightly raced horse is continuing to develop and it appears he still has more in the tank.

This is not to say he is on the level of Lucky Chucky or Holiday Road, but if those two falter, Cassis may be the one to fill the void.

Speaking of Holiday Road, he looked very impressive in winning the Dickerson at the Meadowlands in 1:52.4 holding off the improving Muscle Massive.  When it looked like Muscle Massive might collar Holiday Road, Holiday Road kicked it into another gear.  Considering it was his first start of the year, it seems like Operation Hambletonian, the 2010 edition, is well under way.  Finishing a credible third was Temple Of Doom, with Lucky Chucky finishing fourth.

Some people would be very disappointed in Lucky Chucky's performance Friday but it is premature to write him off.  Yes, like Holiday Road, it was his first start but Lucky Chucky scratched sick last week in what was supposed to have been his seasonal debut.  Unlike Holiday Road who got three qualifiers in, Lucky Chucky had two qualifiers and last week's race was to be used as a warm-up.  Obviously, Lucky Chucky was short.  I expect improvement in his next start.. 

Herve Fillion is due to drive in the Hall of Fame Trot at Historic Track on Sunday.  In order to drive, he had to have been issued a license by the NYSRWB.  I suspect it is a license issued specifically for the Goshen meet.  Rest assured he will be given a warm welcome by those in attendance. 
For those wagering on Tioga Downs this weekend, here are my selections for Saturday and Sunday nights:

Saturday, July 3rd
1st - Talulla Davine, Worth Keeping, Quinta (2-3-9)
2nd - Keep On Believin, Gold Star Glitter, Don't Fool Around (6-1-7)
3rd - Pretty Girl, Sir Siro, Mar-Bear (6-7-5)
4th - Polishedperfection, Fly For Real, Jennifers Major, Libby's Girl (2-1-5-8)
5th - Sadies Place, Billie Bluechip, Penny Pincher (2-6-5)
6th - Happy Jackson Plus, Tuscan Lindy, Natural T (7-2-8)
7th - Co Ed Desire, Cape Cove Daisy, Infinite Desire, Doinit Dragonstyle (4-5-6-3)
8th - Bolero Talula, Cindy Race, Carolina Storm (2-3-8)
9th - Andover Victory, Just Listed, CR's Gift (8-1-6)
10th - Canaco Piment, Day And Night, Thea's Cam, Odds On Diamant (8-2-3-7)

Sunday, July 4
1st - Jaguar, Talkabout Joy, K M Sweet Dreams (6-3-7)
2nd - About Me, Malachy, A Canuck Eh (8-6-2)
3rd - Bond Blue Chip, Honey Ofacharacter, Vivollo (4-8-1)
4th - Ten Yard Penalty, Nobell Prize, Craigie Brae June, Credit Blues (6-3-1-4)
5th - M A Roy, Mister T-Rex, Goldstar Vincenzo (9-7-6)
6th - Earlivic, Baseball Express, All About Justice (8-6-4)
7th - Rocknroll Herman, Brave Hearted, Sisyphus, Powerful Al (9-2-6-1)
8th - Southern Beauty, Doc's All Class, AMazing Hanover (9-8-4)
9th -Rally By The River, Blazing Winner, Yankee Gospel, Proud Moment (7-1-2-4)