Getting lost in all the hoopla regarding the North America Cup (click on the link for my comments on the entire card) is the Dan Patch Invitational for FFA pacers at Hoosier Park. This year Hoosier Park has a strong contingent of FFA pacers shipping in to take part in the event. As you would suspect, with all the stakes at Mohawk, all the horses shipping in from the East, with the exception of Shark Gesture will be having driver changes this week which may alter the complexion of the race. Shark Gesture is certainly at the top of his game winning his last three starts including his track record 1:48.3 at Tioga Downs in The Bettor’s Delight. Despite his commanding performances of late, this does not mean the race will be a cake walk for the seven year old stallion by Cam’s Card Shark. I expect Won The West to be driven more aggressively this week.
Here are my thoughts on the race. Since there are plenty of driver changes, I will include the driver’s name with each horse.
Hoosier Park, Saturday, June 26
Race 13 – Pace - $200,000; Dan Patch Invitational
1- Southwind Lynx (J. Dillander, 12-1) – Prepped with a 1:51.1 qualifier. Needs best effort to get in the money.
2 - Atochia (J. Sutton, 10-1) – Classy horse a step below these. Racing for a check.
3 – Won The West (R. Macomber Jr, 4-1) – Will need to be more aggressive to get the win. Clearly second best.
4 – Lisagain (P. Wrenn, 7-2) – Toss last. Doesn’t get the respect he deserves. Could be a value play.
5 – Shark Gesture (G. Brennan, 5-2) – Never better but figures to be overbet.
6 – Dinneratartsplace (S. Widger, 15-1) – Has thrived in the mid-west. Best hope of the local horses.
7 – Robin I Scott (Tr. Tetrick, 8-1) – Will be tested for class here but seems to be in deep.
8 – Hypnotic Blue Chip (M. Lachance, 6-1) – Post should take care of any chance to finish in the top three.
9 – Keep It Real (E. Hensley, 3-1) – Pena or not, this should be too tough a spot to get involved from.
For those following Tioga Downs, here are my selections for Saturday evening. Please note the first and second races are for amateur drivers.
1st - S A Poster Boy, Banker Ablaze, Deep Seas (6-1-3)
2nd - Nathanials Artist, Ethical Hanover, Shania Twain (4-5-1)
3rd - Bound By Honor, What About Brian, Yankee Slugfest (2-7-1)
4th - Counter Top, Brave Hearted, Cody's Honor, Village Bistro (3-9-2-6)
5th - Super Lotto, Zapphappy Kash, Morguns Sweetheart (3-2-7)
6th - Earlivic, Kash N Credit, Ebba's Yankee (4-2-3)
7th - Galahad Hall, Rally By The River, Oceana Hanover, Yankee Gospel (9-1-2-5)
8th - Baseball Express, The Shepherd, Andover America (7-2-3)
9th - Allamerican Solo, Nothingcanshakeme, A Canuck Eh (1-7-2)
10th - Barender Blues, Jaguar, Worthy Melody, Miss Rambo (1-8-7-5)