With the Meadowlands not carding an Invitational this week, if Auckland Reactor's connections were looking for a much easier race this week, they probably are somewhat disappointed in that Blatantly Good, Atochia, and Corky Baran decided to travel south as well for the $32,000 Open at Chester Downs this Sunday. The complete field for this week's race is:
10th Race - Chester Downs - $32,000 Open Est. Post 4:25pm
1-Western Shore-Brian Sears/Ron Pierce
2-Blatantly Good-Richard Silverman
3-Mystery Chase-George Napolitano Jr
5-Winbak Speed-Ron Pierce
6-Auckland Reactor N-Yannick Gingras
7-Corky Baran-David Miller
8-Chasin Racin-Montrell Teague
My early selections for this week's race at Chester Downs? Mystery Chase is my selection to win the race, with Corky Baran second and Auckland Reactor coming in third.
Originally, trainer Kelvin Harrison originally was going to take this week off before racing in next week's Bettor's Delight at Tioga Downs but he decided to race The Reactor as it was obvious he needed another race or two to get into top form. From my perspective, it would not surprise me if Auckland Reactor did not win this week; it is more important that he shows significant improvement from his first start. That being said, it does concern me that the designated driver, Brian Sears is not listed to drive Auckland Reactor this week; Yannick Gingras is listed to drive him (note he is also listed as the driver of Atochia). This week Brian Sears gets first call on Western Shore, a horse that finished sixth in his last start in the Open at Chester two weeks ago; hardly a horse you would expect Sears to jump to if given the chance to drive Auckland Reactor all season. Hence one has to wonder if despite all the reports that everyone was satisfied with the Reactor's initial performance, is it Sears no longer thinking Auckland Reactor will live up to the advance notice or did he lose the mount?
We should get some answers this weekend. One thing for sure. Anything worse than a third place finish and Auckland Reactor's team will have to do some serious soul searching.