The Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) eliminations roll into Vernon and Tioga Downs this weekend. The EBC kicks-off the New York Sires Stakes season. While we don’t normally cover the sire stakes programs unless something unique is occurring, the EBC has been used as a stepping stone to some of the more prestigious sophomore events on the national level. For example at Vernon Downs, Impressive Kemp looks to repeat after a victory in the Simpson Memorial last week and there is a regular battle on tap for the sixth race at Vernon with Celebrity Bluechip and Shaq is Back looking to take each other on with a greatly improved Stimulus joining the fray.
Here are my selections for the Saturday’s Empire Breeders Classic races. Sunday’s EBCs will be discussed in another posting.
Vernon Downs, Saturday, May 22
3rd Trot - $12,500; 1st Elimination - Empire Breeders Classic – 3yo colts
1 – Blacktuxwhitesocks (9-2) – 2yo NYSS champion returns of two good work outs. Second best.
2 – Big Stick Lindy (2-1) – No chance in Dexter final. Horse to beat.
3 – Strong Hope (6-1) - Surprised many with second place finish in last. May be best of the rest.
4 – Carbon Footprint (3-1) – Must see over gait issues before he can be considered seriously.
5 – Came to Play (10-1) - Has not been competitive thus far. No reason to expect this to be different.
6 – Waldorf Hall (8-1) - Better than he looks when flat. That is the problem. Wait for better post.
7 – He’smyman (10-1) – Best efforts have been against cheaper. Would need to improve dramatically to contend.
4th Trot - $12,500; 1st Elimination – Empire Breeders Classic – 3yo fillies
1 – Vicky Winner (12-1) – Is a maiden and will still be a maiden. Pass.
2 – To Lindy’s Credit (8-1) – Late bloomer is undefeated thus far. Tested for class here.
3 – Miss Conway (10-1) – Still looking to reclaim last year’s form.
4 – Opaline (15-1) – Nothing to recommend here.
5 – Impressive Kemp (5-2) – Winner of Simpson division is logical choice but the odds will be greatly over bet.
6 – Show Your Lindys (8-1) – Decent record last year; ignore return. Upset chance.
7 – My Winning Way K (7-2) – No chance in last with wicked fractions. Prior were credible in Pcd late closer. Not out of it.
8 – Reena (6-1) – Smedshammer filly qualified against top open company. Only one to beat.
9 – Chieftess (9-2) – Lightly raced and bad post. Tab for later.
6th Trot - $12,500; 2nd Elimination – Empire Breeders Classic – 3yo colts
1 – Boztheman (8-1) – Tough spot to make seasonal debut.
2 – He’s So Savvy (12-1) – Seemingly overmatched.
3 – Wicked Style (10-1) – Don’t see but has top reinsman at Vernon driving.
4 – Celebrity Bluechip (6-1) – Credible third in Dexter Final. Will be in the money.
5 – Stimulus (5-2) – Has come back as a monster. Will be tested for class.
6 – Shaq is Back (9-2) – Just missed in Dexter final. Seems to be the horse to beat.
7 – Captain Sully (8-1) – Must stay flat to land minor spoils
8 – Whatta Winner (7-2) – Simpson winner at Vernon looking to once again beat the post. Can’t ignore.
8th Trot - $12,500; 2nd Elimination – Empire Breeders Classic – 3yo fillies
1 – Viva Las Lindy (8-1) – Likely needs another start to be considered seriously.
1A –Nothing But Moni (8-1) – Entrymate will be heard from later this year.
2 – Sheezacredit (12-1) – Well prepped locally. Can’t be dismissed.
3 – Nicole (10-1) – Erratic trotter meeting better.
4 – Southwind Samurai (7-2) – Making seasonal debut. Draws the best of the contenders.
5 – Madam Hooch (9-2) – Finished third in initial start. Should improve and compete.
6 – Amazing Adventure (15-1) – In deep here. Pass.
7 – Munis Blue Chip (5-2) – Just beat by Impressive Kemp in Simpson. Horse to beat but draws post eight.
8 – Sweetspellosuccess (6-1 )- Lady Suffolk division winner draws the worse off it. Post may be too much to handle.
For those who have been playing Tioga Downs, this week marks the debut of Friday night racing. For your convenience, here are my abbreviated selections for the Friday and Saturday night cards at Tioga.
Tioga Downs, Friday, May 21
1st - Winner For Life, Classic Viking, Somersault (3-9-4)
2nd - Counter Top, Day And Night, Raina Kash (1-6-2)
3rd - Aruba Vacation, Star's Image, Big Z Raider (2-4-7)
4th - Big Leag'in, Lovely Magic, Menowyoulater,Rock N Amber (7-2-6-1)
5th - Bossy N Rich, Bella Diva, Mrs Ice Man Ike (3-6-5)
6th - Ubetterthink Think, All Spirit, Bet The Ranch (5-6-4)
7th - Allamerican Celeb, Diva Delight, Infinite Desire, Princess Michi (4-1-9-7)
8th - Talkaboutjoy, Bartender Blues, Eel (9-4-8)
9th - JK Bortn to Run, Standing Room, Keep On Dreamin (2-6-5)
10th - Malachy, Wattie N, Lookinforagrin, Elegy Hanover (5-7-4-3)
Tioga Downs, Saturday, May 22
1st - Real Houdini, Prince Polygon, Chica Boom Boom (3-9-8)
2nd - Buy Art, Pembroke Easy Call, Stormunn (2-4-6)
3rd - Double D Fine, Party Lad, Amazing Hanover (4-1-5)
4th - Ten Yard Penalty, Keystone Thomas, Court Cost, Heart of Shovey (3-9-6-7)
5th - Lindy's Bandita, Caviart Kiss, Decided Advantage (3-5-7)
6th -Scocorpion Moon, Baseball Express, Jon Win (4-2-3)
7th - Cody's Honor, Upfront Cosmo, Sisyphus, Shinedupnreadytogo (1-8-2-7)
8th - Oh Pretty Leigh, Hank's Queen, Rintintin (3-2-7)
9th - Ebba's Yankee, Dreamannotherdream, Bacon Hill Betty (1-4-9)
10th - Fox Valley Majesty, Affaro Hanover, Diva Diva (5-3-2)
11th - Edgewood, Winters Call Girl, Yankee Gospel, Lost Weight (2-1-7-3)