As promised, here are my early selections for the Yonkers Raceway card for Saturday night, which features the opening round of the Levy Memorial FFA Pacing Series. While there are six divisions this week, it is safe to assume next week we will have fewer divisions as it will become obvious to trainers that some of these horses will not be able to compete against the better horses in the series.
This week's races are somewhat challenging. Some of the better horses in these races are making their first start of the year so it remains to see if they are race ready. In addition, some of last year's better three year olds are making their first starts against older horses. It has always been my strategy in the early part of the year to see how a four year old does racing against older horses before playing them. You can always get burned using this strategy but being many of these new four year olds have morning lines of less than 2-1, I will let them beat me. That being said, there may be some value plays this week.
Here are the selections, plus comments. As a reminder, these picks are before seeing the odds. Selections may change depending on the actual odds.
1st Race - $12,500; Sagamore Hill Pacing Series (3 & 4 Year Old Colts, Horses & Geldings)
2 - Giddy Up Delight 7-5 Won last from eight hole; hard to beat from the inside.
1 - Saulsbrooks Fame 3-1 Nice effort in last.
4 - Bring The Heat 10-1 Share with trip.
2nd Race - $12,500; Sagamore Hill Pacing Series
3 - Double Jack 3-1 Looks to repeast in second leg of Sagamore Hill.
1 - Mr Rockford 4-1 With inside post and better trip may challenge top selection.
7 - Joey The Czar 5-1 Winner of Hopeful final hampered with outside draw.
3rd Race - $12,500; Sagamore Hill Pacing Series
4 - Save Me A Place 6-1 Finished second to Double Jack (2nd race); may be worth a play.
8 - He's Redhot 9-5 Could be a monster. Low odds and bad post.
2 - Dr C's Z Tam 4-1 Finished third in last two starts; once more?
5 - Eragon 10-1Can complete superfecta.
4th Race - $50,000; George Morton Levy Memorial FFA Pace
5 - Atochia 5-1 Tough trip in return; can score the minor upset.
7 - Blueridge Western 9-5 One to beat but post may be undoing..
1 - Table And Chair 12-1 Draws rail; should ride the rail and complete the trifecta.
5th Race - $12,500; Sagamore Hill Pacing Series (No Show Wagering)
4 - Woodstock Hanover 6-5 One to beat. Low odds.
2 - Bet the Town 5-1 Schnittker trainee may challenge top pick.
6 - Owen's Marker 4-1 Potential to win it all.
7 - Mr Massimo 30-1 May spice up superfecta.
6th Race - $50,000; George Morton Levy Memorial FFA Pace
2 - King Cat Anvil N 8-1 Expecting better; looking for an upset.
6 - Chasin Racin 8-5 Blistering Qua; first attempt against older horses
4 - Lislea Miles 8-1 Sharp in last; make land share.
7th Race - $20,000; Pace - Non-winners of $18,000 in last 6 Starts
8 - Image of Dawn 8-1 May eek out win.
1 - Special Joe 3-1 Can control from rail.
2 - Ghee's House 4-1 Completes trifecta from the inside.
6 - Eagle Real One 5-1 Has been improving.
8th Race - $50,000; George Morton Levy Memorial FFA Pace
7 - Jeremy's Successor 5-1 Sharp in return; overcomes post.
3 - Poker Hat 4-1 Racing better than showing
4 - Smellthechlorine 8-1 Draws well; not out of it.
9th Race - $50,000; George Morton Levy Memorial FFA Pace
4 - Mccedes 5-1 Needed last; expect better in possible upset.
5 - Wholly Louy 8-5 Second best in last at 15-1; moves inside and eligible to improve.
3 - Mr Wiggles 9-5 Launches 4yo career off two sharp qualifiers.
10th Race - $50,000; George Morton Levy Memorial FFA Pace
5 - Foiled Again 3-1 May go at first asking
3 - Winbak Fox 5-1 Super consistent gelding won last at the Spa
2 - Western Ace 5-1 Upset chance.
11th Race - $50,000; George Morton Levy Memorial FFA Pace
6 - Handsome Harry 3-1 Looks best in field with question marks.
2 - Tidewater Tomahawk 6-1 Maybe able to grab second.
5 - Southwind Lynx 8-5 Raced well in DE specials.
12th Race - $23,000; Non-winners of $25,000 in last 6 starts
1 - Royal Man 5-1 May control from the rail.
3 - Lindy's Bandit 7-5 Won last but will be overbet
6 - Diamond Stick Pin 12-1 Lands show position.
8 - I'm A Gordy Too 15 -1 Completes superfecta.