With all the focus on the action at Delaware, many fans are ignoring the action at other tracks. For example, tonight there are the American Nationals for 2yo trotters at Balmoral Park. While there is little East Coast representation in these races, these races are still worth looking at for some of these late bloomers may be worth watching next year..
So who is going to come out victorious in the Am-Nats? Let's take a look.
4th Trot - $70,000; The American National 2yo Filly Stake
1 - Bull Spreader (Marcus Miller, 9-5) - Ships west looking for an easier spot. Should improve.
2 - Mary's Master (Leonard, 10-1) - Filly may be a good horse down the road, but certainly isn't there now.
3 - Fox Valley Vachel (Warren, 15-1) - Trainer still trying to figure this filly out. Pass.
4 - Saintly (Hochstetler, 6-1) - Filly shows ability in the morning. Gait is an issue.
5 - Pure Romance (Norris, 6-1) - Muscles Yankee filly has shown some success in second tier stakes. Don't ignore.
1A - Trot Fudge Sundae (Magee, 9-5) - Clearly the one to beat. Hard to go pass this one.
6 - Fox Valley Roxy (Oosting, 9-2) - Late starting filly seems to be a good one. Likely second best.
7 - Little Ms Chrissy (Taylor, 3-1) - Sharp qualifier but presents gait issues. Who shows up?
Selections: 1A - 6 - 5 - 7
6th Trot - $76,500; The American National 2yo Colt and Gelding
1 - The Art of Lindy (Oosting, 6-1) - Last couple dull but draws the rail which should help.
2 - Longwell (Carpenter, 8-1) - Will look to get a trip.
3 - Dreams Of Thunder (Magee, 6-1) - Has been tough. Looks to resume winning ways here.
4 - Powerful Poe (Warren, 4-1) - Been sharp at the fairs. Figures to be competitive.
5 - Show Ticket (Norris, 12-1) - Threat when flat but unfortunately that doesn't happen too often.
1A - Crazed N Lindy (Antonacci, 6-1) - Competitive in East Coast states.
6 - Semper Fit (Hochstetler, 3-1) - Winner of elimination. Logical favorite.
7 - Held In Balance (Sutton, 15-1) - Will need a lot of help.
8 - Super Classic 9Hiteman, 5-1) - Been good in NJSS. Seems to have tailed off.
9 - Odds On Windy City (Miller, 10-1) - Looked poorly in first stakes race. Pass.
Selections: 4 - 6 - 3 - 2
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't look at the Jugette this afternoon at Delaware. American Jewel leads the field in the first division while the second division looks to be more open. Unlike the Little Brown Jug where the winner must win two heats, the Jugette trophy goes to the horse who wins the second heat regardless of their first heat finish.
While American Jewel (7) is the logical selection in the first division (race 12), there are some intriguing competitors in the race. Persistent (2) sports a 1:54 drill at Grand River Raceway in the morning seems to be coming into her own. Real Touch (6) hasn't done much in stakes company but has been a winner of three straight against older horses in the FM Open at Scioto Downs. Bettor B Lucky (3) who while unable to get to the winner's circle of late has been a consistent second in the NYSS. I would look at a 7-6-2 finish in the race.
The second heat Economy Terror (7) looks to be the best in the wide-open second division of the Jugette, winning a PASS event at Pocono Downs in 1:49 in her last start. Angel Scent (1) is a Canadian representative who failed in the Simcoe but has been close in recent starts. Shelliscape (6), a winner of one start, shows some life in recent but will still be tough to challenge. Rockaround Sue (2) looks like she will try to go down main street but likely will run out of gas by the end of the mile. Mt picks for the second division are: 1-7-6.
The Iron Horse - Bourbon St Hanover made his fourth start in eight days, finishing 3rd in a half mile dash at Delaware. The 4yo gelding started the stretch with a win on 9/12 at Wooster with a 2nd place finish in a FFA pace, then raced 9/16 at Delaware finishing 4th in a WO $5000 L5, racing yesterday at Delaware finishing 3rd in a NW $1,500 L5 pace before today's sprint. For the record, he has tomorrow off.
Looking to winter in sunny, warm California? The CHHA and Cal Expo are offering an incentive to first time horses heading west for the Cal Expo harness meet opening up on November 2. Details may be found here.
Across the pond, there is a push to develop an all-weather track in West Wales. This year Tregaron’s harness racing festival was cancelled due to weather as they depend on the use of a grass track and it had a devastating impact on tourism as the meet gets a large contingent of horses from Ireland as well as tourists. As a result, the local hospitality industry suffered a loss roughly $800,000 in business. Those are two things you don't typically hear together in North America, tourism and harness racing.