Harrah's Philadelphia hosts a trio of Invitationals today which have national implications, though early in the season as some of these horses will have their first exposure against top-level competition.
In the $150,000 Jerry Taylor Invitational C(race 10) for pacers, Modern Legend gets saddled with the outside post, keeping an otherwise favorite at 6-1 in the morning line. After missing by a nose in a TVG Series event at the Meadowlands last week he can't be discounted. The favorite, Levy winner Domethatagain (2-1) must be respected despite his loss in a Pocono Open from post position eight. Mach It So (5-2) finished second in an Open at Harrah's after racing at Yonkers; a possible threat on his second start over the oval. Great Vintage (10-1) won his initial start of the season at the Meadowlands in 1:49.1. Lastly, there is the Rodney Dangerfield of the field, Clear Vision (5-1) who has yet to visit the winner's circle this year, but the winner of $549,554 last year can't be ignored.
Possible value play: 8
Longshot hunting: 7
In the $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational (race 11) for pacing mares, Radar Contact has been the queen of the Meadowlands, finishing no worst than second in her last seven starts at the Meadowlands, properly priced at 9-2. Anndrovette (7-1) had no chance in her last start at Pocono, draws better and finds a spot where she may be able to find the winner's circle. Sayitall BB draws the rail after a horrible trip in her last star which may have been her best performance of the year; still at 3-1 she doesn't call out to me. Table Talk at 20-1 showed little in her last start at Vernon, but the week before finished a neck behind 9-5 Yagonnakissmeornot who is the logical choice here.
Possible value play: 3
Longshot hunting: 5
The most anticipated of the trio of races, the $150,000 Maxie Lee Memorial for trotters brings us the highly promoted match up between Bee A Magician and Father Patrick but the race is more than a two horse race. Bee A Magician (2-1) has spanked the boys in her last two starts; may do it one more time although she faces Father Patrick (7-2) who kicks off his season today after putting in some fine qualifying efforts. Market Share's (8-1) return in 2015 so far has been a nightmare; expect turnaround but it may not be this week. Melady's Monet (12-1), a winner of a half dozen looks like she may hit the superfecta ticket. Must respect Classic Martine (5-2) a winner of two out of three; but at these odds, I will pass on her.
Possible value play: 5
Longshot hunting: 6