Saturday night is a big evening for fans of the glamour divisions in harness racing with the three year old trotters taking center stage at the old Hilltop in the Hudson Filly Trot and the Yonkers Trot while the three year old pacing colts do battle in the eliminations of the Meadowlands Pace. Over at Pocono Downs, the three year old colts and geldings not eligible for the Meadowlands Pace do battle in three divisions of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial in addition to the two year old trotting fillies. FFA pacers take center stage on Sunday with the eliminations for the Ben Franklin at Chester Downs.
While you don’t see Holiday Road or Lucky Chucky competing in the Yonkers Trot, the Yonkers Trot is not a race for second stringers with several of these horses expected to make an appearance in the Hambletonian. Unfortunately, neither the Yonkers nor Hudson Filly Trots are particularly enticing wagering events due to the presence of coupled entries. With two coupled entries in the Yonkers Trot, there will not be any Triple wagering. Regardless, these races are anything but meaningless.
The Meadowlands Pace eliminations are interesting wagering events. The first division features most of the top colts draw the outside. I suspect at least one of the top three, Rock N Roll Heaven, All Speed Hanover, or World Of Rocknroll will not advance. Sportswriter returned to his form of old last week and we will see if he repeats that effort this week. I suspect after this week’s eliminations, we will see the three year old pacing division as wide open as it was all season. Unlike the Yonkers events, there are some interesting wagering propositions; Tobago Cays and Iam Bonasera could be options with attractive odds.
It's easy to dismiss the Reynolds Memorial races at Pocono Downs, as being insignificant but it would be a mistake. For sure, the cream of the crop is racing in the Meadowlands Pace eliminations Saturday evening, but don't sell the horses racing in the Reynolds short. Yes, there are second tier horses in the Reynolds, but some of these colts are late bloomers who did not merit paying nomination or substaining fees to some of the major stakes but will be seen later this year racing at Delaware, The Red Mile and other tracks for late season events.
Here are my comments and early selections for some of the big races this weekend plus my selections for Saturday night’s Tioga Downs card. In tomorrow’s entry, we will review the Ben Franklin eliminations and Sunday’s selections for Tioga Downs.
Yonkers Raceway – 7th Trot - $299,050; Hudson Filly Trot – 3yo Fillies
1 Religulous (pp 2, 9-5) – Winner of two lifetime seems to be out of it here.
1A Spicy Wings (pp 3, 9-5) – Elimination winner benefited from slow first half. Expect a faster tempo this time.
1B Munis Blue Chip (pp 5, 9-5) – Improving filly should be able to race well from mid-pack despite losing rail.
2 Costa Rica (pp 1, 8-5) – Filly has not been able to return to early two year old form. Passing.
3 Bramalea Hanover (pp 4, 3-1) – Late developing filly may be able to score minor upset as she draws inside elimination winner.
4 Show Your Lindys (pp 6, 20-1) – Likely will be used up in the early going. Would be a shocker if she won.
5 Secret Credit (pp 7, 12-1) – Saddled with post seven. Pass.
6 Unefoisdansmavie (pp 8, 15-1) – Has been improving but starts from the worst post. Will be lucky to pick up a check.
Yonkers Raceway – 9th Trot - $573,770; Yonkers Trot – 3yo Open
1 Senor Glide (pp 1, 6-5) – Seems to have rounded into form and part of tough entry.
1A On The Tab (pp 3, 6-5) – Colt has the potential to break his case of seconditis and would not be a surprise.
1B Hard Livin (pp 5, 6-5) – Elimination winner has been under the radar and may be strongest threat of entry.
2 Big Stick Lindy (pp 4, 3-1) – Does not seem to be a first tier horse. Belongs with state breds.
2A Shaq Is Back (pp 6, 3-1) – Move inside one post may be what he needs to score the upset.
3 Carnegie (pp 2, 4-1) – Don’t see as a winner. With racing luck may get into the exacta.
4 Take My Picture (pp 7, 8-1) – Post pretty much eliminates any chance.
5 Waldorf Hall (pp 8, 15-1) – Outclassed and bad draw. Pretty much says it all.
Meadowlands – 4th Pace - $50,000; Meadowlands Pace Elimination – 3yo Open
1 Delmarvalous (9-2) – Had no chance in NA Cup final. Serious contender from the rail.
2 Superbad Hanover (15-1) – Wrong place to be tested for class. Pass.
3 One More Laugh (4-1) – Last was much better than it seems. Can win with faves drawing outside.
4 Kyle Major (6-1) – Ran out of steam with fast fractions in last. May hold on for minor spoils.
5 Jo Pa’s Fod (15-1) – Another reaching for the stars. Pass.
6 Rock N Roll Heaven (5-2) – Sensing he may have peaked but should advance.
7 All Speed Hanover (3-1) – Bad trip or not, we should have seen more in a $1.4 million race. Will skip.
8 World Of Rocknroll (12-1) – Seems to have fired his best in May. Passing.
Meadowlands – 5th Pace - $50,000; Meadowlands Pace Elimination – 3yo Open
1 Razzle Dazzle (6-1) – Winner of nw-2 will be hard pressed to advance.
2 Rockin image (9-5) – Unleashed a monster 1:48.2 victory in Jersey cup off of a month layoff. My choice to win.
3 Ideal Matters (5-1) – Early season winner seems to have peaked.
4 Nova Artist (5-2) – Finished 2nd to top pick in last, will be following winner home.
5 Tobago Cays (10-1)- Is better than he shows and may be able to get into exotics.
6 I’m Gorgeous (8-1) – Fired a monster 1:50 in the A.M but raced poorly when it counted.
7 Shoobee’s Place (12-1) – Can’t see anything to recommend.
Meadowlands – 6th Pace - $50,000; Meadowlands Pace Elimination – 3yo Open
1 OK Commander (8-1) – May finally be on track but still needs to show he can beat the division’s best.
2 Foreign Officer (10-1) – Doesn’t seem to have the necessary punch to become a factor.
3 Valentino (5-1) – Will be flying but doubt he will have enough to hold on at the end.
4 We Will See (6-1) – Rode the rail last week and repelled by Sportswriter in deep stretch in last. Will try the same this week.
5 Sportswriter (9-5) – Saw Sportswriter of old last week. But will not be willing to gut this week.
6 Iam Bonasera (10-1)- Horrible trip in last but closed in a wicked :25.4. Will look for an upset this week.
7 Fred And Ginger (7-2) – Is a step below the top ones. May qualify to advance.
8 Windfall Blue Chip (12-1) – Don’t see.
Pocono Downs – 6th Pace - $25,000; Reynolds Memorial – 3yo Colts and Geldings (1st division)
1 Pang Shui (5-2) – Has been racing well and finds an easier field. Should romp.
2 Dry Gulch (9-2) – Best efforts has been against second tier horses. Share at best.
3 Beignet (7-2) – Yet to show he can handle stakes caliber horses. Pass.
4 Unicorn Hanover (12-1) - Returns with victory at the Spa. May land share.
5 JK Kinahurra (6-1) – Being tested for class. Pass here.
6 Lap Hanover (3-1) – Seems to be second best.
7 Jettin Justin (8-1) – Last effort disappointing. Don’t expect better.
Pocono Downs – 10th Pace -$25,000; Reynolds Memorial – 3yo Colts and Geldings (2nd division)
1 Aled Hanover (3-1) – Finally draws the rail which should allow a rail trip. Lands share.
2 Oakmont (7-2) – Seems to lack a closing kick. Must consider for Trifectas.
3 Jonesie Hanover (5-1) – Jumped off in stretch in last trying to make move. Will need to stay flat to be a factor.
4 Slicks Hanover (10-1) – Still looking for second lifetime win. Pass.
5 Fisher’s Character (9-2) – Stepping up a bit after two race win streak. A possibility.
6 Fulfilled (8-1) –Seems to lack the necessary closing kick.
7 Shark’s Legacy (4-1) - Class of the field can win despite poor draw.
8 Gentleman Friend (12-1) - Must mind manners and draws the worst. Pass.
Pocono Downs – 13th Pace - $25,000; Reynolds Memorial – 3yo Colts and Geldings (3rd division)
1 EZ Moving (9-2) – Draws the rail off a win. Concerned he raced in $10K claimer.
2 McGreat (5-1) – Impressive in last race. Threat.
3 Up Front Tim T (8-1) – Teague trainee has been disappointing thus far. Must see more.
4 Europan Union (3-1) – Has the credentials to take it all.
5 Picture Me (10-1) – Shown little thus far.
6 Eagle Jolt (4-1) – Showed promise earlier in year. Not out of it.
7 Golden Time (7-2) – Been racing well, but post hurts. Lands part regardless.
8 Pandapocket (12-1) - Seems to be up against it.
Tioga Downs, Saturday July 10
1st – Royalties, Oh No Three O, Belle Of the Brawl (3-2-5)
2nd – Dutch’s Gal, Winsmith Jess, Honey Ofachracter (2-3-7)
3rd – Anahar Charlie, Nicky J, Armbro Bravo (5-6-4)
4th – Credit Blues, Woody Marvel, Rally By The River, Thunder Jag (1-4-3-8)
5th – Vivollo, JK Jack Pot, There He Is (4-3-9)
6th – Jeff’s Night out, Julius Secret, Danijill (7-3-4)
7th – Camcracker Dynasty, Detail Man, Sisyphus, Dreamnbiu (1-2-3-8)
8th – Baseball Express, Earlivic, Get Chipped (1-2-4)
9th – All Joy, Patsy B Happy, Wonderful Race (2-8-3)
10th – Habanero, Slated For Success, Diva Diva (3-4-1)
11th – Buck I D, Super Lotto, Kash N Credit (1-2-6)
12th – Amazing Hanover, K M Dreamcatcher, Banker Ablaze, Mighty Muscles (5-4-7-1)