All the talk about the Hambletonian Oaks has been about Check Me Out who races in the first elimination. Obviously, she is the one to beat but there are some other horses being ignored in the Oaks; there are some really good ones in these races.
Even in Check Me Out's division, there is a horse who has an outside chance of pulling off the upset. For A Dancer is undefeated this year and has an 8-3-0 record for last year in 13 starts. The only knock is at least this year she's been racing against state breds in New York. The question is how will she do in open company? Betting against Check Me Out appears to be a foolish thing to do, but if the odds are as low as I expect, and you are looking to put a small wager down on someone else just in case the favorite decides to throw in a clunker, she is the horse I would want to take a chance on.
But the second division is no chopped liver either with Win Missy B and Maven competing. Win Missy B finished second to Check Me Out in the Del Miller Memorial and prior to that won in the Reynolds the week before and the Curier and Ives at the Meadows the week before. With Check Me Out Drawing into the first division, she figures to be prominent in this race. But don't ignore Maven. Maven is 4 for 6 this year and is three for four in her most recent starts, the one loss coming against Check Me Out in the Elegantimage final at Mohawk.
3rd Trot - $35,000; Hambletonian Oaks Elimination - 1st Division
1 Sassy Syrinx (Morrill, 12-1) - Will be happy to advance.
2 Holier Than Thou (Gingras, 12-1) - Little success here before. Pass.
3 Check Me Out (Tetrick, 4-5) - The obvious choice; low odds.
4 Superstar Hanover (Takter, 5-1) - Winner in last. Possibility for place honors.
5 Uncommon Night (Brennan, 15-1) - Marginal efforts in open company. Not likely.
6 Valdonna (Pierce, 8-1) - Appears straightened out, but not my pick.
7 For A Dancer (Gregory, 7-2) - Record similar to top choice. Will see what she is made of.
4th Trot - $35,000; Hambletonian Oaks Elimination - 2nd Division
1 Personal Style (D Miller, 9-2) - Lands minor spoils.
2 D'orsay (Johansson, 15-1) - Unreliable sort. Pass.
3 Maven (Gingras,7-5) - Was sharp in PASS. Looking for third in row. Threat.
4 Win Missy B (Sears, 5-2) - Finished 2nd to Check Me Out. The one to beat?
5 Can't Have My Moni (Tetrick, 8-1) - Has been improving, but still a tall order.
6 Dream On Hanover (Brennan, 12-1) - Too green for me. Pass.
7 Real Babe (Schnittker, 10-1) - Winless this year. Don't see.
In the Hambletonian eliminations, there are some competitive horses. In the first elimination (race five), Uncle Peter figures to be the favorite, but there are those who can give him a run for his money.
The second elimination (race six) has Stormin Normand and Beer Summit competing for top honors, but Riccolo, a horse racing primarily at Balmorl Park is worth a look as being undefeated this ear including his win in an open maks him an interesting proposition.
Finally in the third division (race 8), we'll see if Archangel is able to take on open company going against Market Share and Appomattox. This promises to be a barn burner.
5th Trot - $70,000; Hambletonian Elimination - 1st Division
1 Banker Volo (D Miller, 3-1) - First loss came against race favorite. Can build upon it.
2 Possess The Will (Tetrick, 9-2) - Making only 3rd seasonal start. Tight enough?
3 Money On My Mind (A Miller, 6-1) - Don't see him against these.
4 Uncle Peter (Pierce, 2-1) - The one to beat, but with likely odds will try to beat.
5 Magic Tonight (Brennan, 8-1) - Has done little against open company. Not tonight.
6 Lindys Jersey Boy (Sears, 12-1) - Lands share with trip.
7 From Above (Callahan, 15-1) - Last race has done nothing to make me like this one anymore.
8 Prestidigitator (Filion, 8-1) - Jumped in CBC. Will pass here.
6th Trot - $70,000; Hambletonian Elimination - 2nd Division
1 Lightning Storm (Campbell, 12-1) - Showed improvement in last, but needs to improve further to be a factor.
2 Stormin Normand (Palone, 3-1) - The horse to beat in here.
3 Guccio (Takter, 6-1) - Finished second in Dancer, but I must see more.
4 Beer Summit (Brennan, 4-1) - Goodtimes winner looks to rebound from loss in last. Don't ignore.
5 My MVP (Lachance, 8-1) - Winner in last can pick up minor share of the race.
6 Knows Nothing (Jamieson, 5-1) - Looks to be a major threat.
7 Riccolo (Smedshammer, 7-2) - 9 for 9 this year but has been racing primarily on Chi-town circuit. Minor share?
8 One In A Million (Sears, 10-1) - Jumped off in last but qualified nicely. Your call.
8th Trot - $70,000; Hambletonian Elimination - 3rd Division
1 Big Chocolate (Hochstetler, 15-1) - Seems to be out of his league. Pass.
2 Top Billing (A Miller, 5-1) - A win off freshening, but still must show more.
3 Delano (Schnittker, 10-1) - Coming in off three win streak on NYSS. Share with a trip.
4 Gym Tan Laundry (Brennan, 8-1) - Would be a major upset for him to factor.
5 Solvato (Smedshammer, 10-1) - Lands share with a trip.
6 Market Share (Tetrick, 9-2) - Shows ability; don't ignore for top spot.
7 Archangel (Morrill, 7-2) - 7 for 8 this year. Will see if NYSS route is the winning one.
8 Appomattox (Sears, 12-1) - Will be looking for a trip. Will he get the one he needs?
9 Little Brown Fox (Gingras, 5-2) - 23-1 shocker last time. This field is tougher.