Saturday night Arthur J. Cutler Memorial Trot is perhaps the most anticipated race of the year thus far as Sebastian K and Market Share will do battle for the first time this year. With the two of them drawing posts 1 and 2 respectively, will this race live up to it's promise? Will a world record fall? Will we see a sub 1:50 or even the 1:49.3 mark set on the 1 1/2 mile Colonial Downs oval surpassed?
While one of these speed marks has a decent chance of falling, the big question is who will be the one standing in the winner's circle when the dust settles. On paper, one of the two favorites will likely take the championship, but if you are looking for a value, you may be willing to take a shot with someone else. I will let you look at my analysis and see wish camp I fall into this week.
7th Meadowlands Trot - $175,000; Arthur J. Cutler Memorial Final FFA
1. Sebastian K - A. Svanstedt - 9/5 - Eyes opened this side of the Atlantic last week. Won without seeing the whip. While easy win last week, this field is different. Figures to land share, worth a play at 9-5? Not so sure.
2. Market Share - T. Tetrick - 8/5 - Here is one of those tougher this week. A real possibility but not likely a play at 8-5.
3. Sevruga - R. Pierce - 8-1 - So far this year has not shown he belongs in this class. A-2 at best. Pass.
4. Archangel - Y. Gingras - 15-1 - Yet to show he has came back strong. Only if playing a deep ticket.
5. Intimidate - V. Ginsburg - 10-1 - Was unable to keep up with Sebastian K when he pulled. Why different this week? Pass.
6. Undercover Strike - C. Callahan - 30-1 - Raced well but aims harder.
7. Arch Madness - G. Brennan - 8-1 - Finished second to Market Share last week, Maybe worth a look at these odds.
8. Possessed Fashion - J. Campbell - 50-1 - Held on to qualify in first start at M1. Looks like he belongs on a smakkk
9. Modern Family - D. Miller 6-1 - Stepped up and raced well but offered no response when Sebastain K passed by.
10. DW's NY Yank - M. Lachance - 30-1 - Never should have left the half mile circuit. Pass.
The other featured Grand Circuit event, The Laverene Hill Memorial is being contested at Scioto Downs, There I like #2 Igotafeelinfran (3-1), #7 Native Dream (6-1), and #4 So Long My Love (8-1).
On Friday night, Jeff Gural is seeking to defeat himself, well sort off. In the 1st race, a Gural partially owned horse does battle in the first race against a horse named Gural Hanover.
The thoroughbred world may be wakening to the fact the modern thoroughbred is unable to survive the current schedule of three races in five weeks. The MJC wants to propose a new schedule which has the Kentucky Derby remain the first weekend or May, the Preakness on the first weekend of July, and the Belmont Stakes on the first weekend of August. Forget a moment how that would put the Belmont up against the Hambletonian, potentially causing the standardbred race to move; the fact is they realize it will be a long time before another triple crown winner arrives on the scene, if ever.
Harness racing's Triple Crowns have other problems, but one problem is the series are too long. I would suggest a once a month schedule would be successful in harness racing. No, you don't want to make the Triple Crowns too easy to win, but you don't want it to be so hard that you can't promote a triple crown winner. The thoroughbreds realize tradition only goes so far, we need to realize it as well..