While the focus is on the Hambletonian and the Adios this weekend, there is other racing action to consider this weekend. At the Meadowlands, Thursday night has the eliminations for the Merrie Annabelle, while Friday evening features the eliminations for the Peter Haughton Memorial. Friday night at the Meadowlands is the first leg of the Miss Versatility.
The Miss Versatility is a race for trotting mares, 3 years old and up. What is unique about the Miss Versatility is the preliminary legs of the series are raced at three different tracks. The first leg is being conducted at the Meadowlands which is a mile track. After this leg, the series moves to Tioga Downs (5/8 mile), and Vernon Downs (7/8 mile). The highest point earners in this series will race at the Delaware County Fair, a half mile oval. The Miss Versatility is the perfect example of how tracks can work together to get the better horses to visit different tracks to drum up interest. Credit must also be given to the owners of some of the horses competing as they are giving up opportunities to race for more money on a weekly basis to compete in this series.
Saturday night in addition to the Hambletonian, there are eliminations for the Hambletonian Oaks, Mistletoe Shalee, and the Lady Liberty. My selections will be posted in a subsequent posting.
Sunday, brings us Tioga Downs annual driving championship which brings the top money earning drivers to Tioga Downs to compete in a series of races to compete for $40,000 in prize money, including $25,000 for the winning driver. The drivers competing in the driving championship will be Tim Tetrick, George Brennan, Brian Sears, Jason Bartlett, Ron Pierce, Dave Palone, and Yannick Gingras. Joining these seven drivers will be John Campbell, who gets a sponsor’s exemption and Bruce Ranger, who is the leading driver at Tioga Downs this season. Will these drivers take this competition seriously? Taking home the $25,000 top prize is equal to the money a driver would earn winning the Meadowlands Pace. With driving assignments being drawn randomly, the races in the series should provide good wagering opportunities.
Here are my selections for the Merrie Annabelle, Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations and the Miss Versatility in addition to selections for Friday evening’s card at Tioga Down.
Thursday, Meadowlands - 2nd Trot - $20,000; Merrie Annabelle Elimination #1 – 2yo fillies
4 – Thatsnotmyname (J. Campbell, 5-2)
2 – Angelette Hanover (R. Pierce, 6-1)
7 – Medusa Blue Chip (J. Morrill Jr., 9-2)
Thursday, Meadowlands – 5th Trot - $20,000; Merrie Annabelle Elimination #2 – 2yo fillies
7 – Refuse To Lose (B. Sears, 8-1)
4 – Global Desire (R. Pierce, 5-2)
1 – Grace Marie (G. Brennan, 12-1)
Friday, Meadowlands – 3rd Trot - $25,000; Miss Versatility Preliminary Leg – Open Mares
1 – Buck I St Pat (T. Tetrick, 6-5)
2 – Windsong Soprano (R. Pierce, 5-1)
8 – Autumn Escapade (D. miller, 4-1)
Coupled: Buck I St Pat and Southwind Wasabi; No Show Wagering
Friday, Meadowlands – 4th Trot - $20,000; Peter Haughton Memorial – 1st Elimination – 2yo colts and geldings
7 – The Lindy Reserve (T. Tetrick, 10-1)
5 – Leader Of The Gang (R. Pierce, 2-1)
3 – Magnum Kosmos (G. Brennan, 4-1)
2 – Groom Hanover (M. Lachance, 10-1)
Friday, Meadowlands – 6th Trot - $20,000; Peter Haughton Memorial – 2nd Elimination – 2yo colts and geldings
3 – Evil Urges (D. Miller, 3-1)
6 – Charlie De Vie (M. Lachance, 9-2)
5 – Broad Bahn (R. Pierce, 5-1)
For those looking to take advantage of the takeout rates at Tioga Downs, here are my selections for Friday night’s card.
1st – Mackgun Mamie, Classic Vikin, Especially Brassy (7-9-5)
2nd – Glenna S Angel, Bond Blue chip, DVC Freewaytofame (1-5-4)
3rd – Bettor B Genuine, Sabrina B, Kahlo C C (1-2-5)
4th – Wolf's Jann, Franky Provolone, Worth Keeping, Pretty Girl (2-4-8-5)
5th – Forever Libby, Cape Cove Daisy, Spectacular Cam (2-7-5)
6th – Harper Lee, Head Over Heels, My True Delight (2-7-4)
7th – Don't Touch This, Silverdollar Shark, Tangerine, Little Pop Queen (8-5-9-2)
8th – Lucy Lucy, All Spirit, Elusive Prey (4-6-2)
9th – My Taylor's Maid, Doc's Whisky, LA Dreamin Delight (5-7-2)
10th – Day And Niht, Splenda, Fox Valley Marissa, Huge Success N (8-2-9-5)