Another Jug week has come to an end and it was as usual a great week for racing. Granted, some races didn't have full fields, but the racing was first class. What I enjoy about Jug week is not only the opportunity to see some of North America's best horses competing over the Delaware oval, it is seeing horses competing on the fair cicuit getting the opportunity to race in the big time.
As for the simulcast broadcast? What's there to say? It's the best simulcast show around. There is no dead air in their broadcast and keeps the audience engaged. If we had more simulcast broadcasts like the Delaware County Fair's, harness racing would be in a far better shape. Unfortunately, I doubt there are many tracks who could afford to produce a show like theirs. Eliie Sarama, Sam McKee, Roger Huston, and Dave Bianconi are truly a dream team. These four not only bring smarts to the broadcast, they make it entertaining. It would behoove the industry to have these four people present the simulcast at events like the Breeders Crown, Lexington's Grand Circuity meet and other key events.
By now, you have read articles regarding the Jug, so I will forgo the review of the races. Rock N Roll Heaven, by his victory in the Little Brown Jug, has stamped himself the head of the three year old pacing division. I must admit, I was not on his bandwagon, as his early season exploits left me questioning his ability to consistently beat the top horses in his division. Cassis, what can you say? No, he may not be the top three year old colt trottter, but dare I say there is no three year old who can beat him on a half mile track. His performance yesterday was text book; get to the front and catch me if I can. On Wednesday, Costa Rica once again won and I think she is finally showing the ability her connections knew she had consistently.
Buck I St Pat? This mare has become an enigma to me. She will show one week a brilliant race and the following week a clunker. Not just yesterday when she finished a non-threatening third in the Ms Versatility Final, but other races this year. It is interesting to note that Buck I St Pat did not win any of the preliminary legs of the Ms Versatility; at the Meadowlands or Vernon Downs which are bigger ovals, so her defeat yesterday can not be blamed solely on the half mile track. We will see if she is able to put it together for the Breeders Crown and Lexington. Right now I am not sure.
Speaking of wrapping things up, this weekend brings us the finals of the Kindergarten Classic at Vernon Downs tonight and the New York Sires Stakes Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday evening. Since I have been following in my blog these events, it is only fitting that we cover the finals.
Vernon Downs presents another all-trotting card tonight so trotting fans will be in for a treat. In addition to the Kindergarten Classics, there are some New York Sires Stakes late closing events on the card. Today we will only analyze the Kindergarten Classics.
Vernon Downs 9th Trot - $134,000; Kindergarten Classic 2yo Filly Final
5 - Seducedbychocolate (D Miller, 7-2) - Just missed in last. Won two of three prelims. Legitimate shot.
6 - Beatgoeson Hanover (Pierce, 5-2) - Finished third in a nightmare trip last week. Despite moving in, have to wonder if last week took a toll.
1 - Centrifical Force (Jones, 10-1) - Made two moves in no chance race. May spice up the trifecta.
Vernon Downs 10th Trot - $162,500; Kindergarten Classic 2yo Colts
1A - Swan In A Million (Sears, 2-1) - Winner of three straight tops a solid entry. The one to beat.
2 - Whit (Whittemore, 3-1) - On paper the weaker of the two in the entry but he is better than he has shown.
7 - Carthage Hanover (Smedshammer, 10-1) - Draws the worst of it but has the ability to grab the show position with a trip.
Coupled: Manofmanymissions and Swan In A Million; White and Evil Urges
In the New York Sires Stakes, See You At Peelers is looking to run the table and go eleven for eleven in her freshman season in the 2yo filly pace event. I expect her to win and can't see going against her despite the fact she is odds on. Another filly looking to run the table in the 2yo filly trot is Jezzy who has been ten for ten as well. She may very well go off at 1-9 as part of a three horse entry.
Saturday, September 25
Yonkers - 3rd Pace - $200,000; NYSS 2yo Filly Final
4 - See You At Peelers (Morrill, 4-5) - Perfect ten for ten. Clearly the best of this division.
2 - My Girl's A Star (Schnittker, 3-1) - Would have looked for her to upset the top choice except for the lackluster effort at Monticello.
8 - Asteria Blue Cho (Dube, 20-1) - May be able to grab third despite the poor post.
1 - Eagle Kelly (Brennan, 8-1) - Uncharacteristic jump in last, with rail should be able to complete the exotics.
Yonkers - 4th Trot - $200,000; NYSS 2yo Filly Final
1A - Jezzy (Schnittker, 3-5) - Another one looking to run the table. Look at her next year in the Hambo Oaks.
3 - Conwayslassie (Manzi, 4-1) - Will be following the top choice around the track to complete a chalky exacta.
4 - Sweet Possession (Gregory, 12-1) - Solid second place finish in last against second choice. Just a question of staying flat.
Coupled: Some Girls, Jezzy, and Carme Blue Chip
Yonkers - 5th Trot - $200,0000; NYSS 3yo Filly Final
2 - Frost Flirt (Gregory, 8-5) - Logical choice to win, but odds may be too low to play.
8 - Munis Blue Chip (Schnittker,6-1) - Key to the race. Involved in speed duel or follow the leader? That is the question.
3 - Tuesdays With Mom (Brennan, 3-1) - Winner of four straight can take the top spot if top two picks go into a speed duel.
6 - Sweetspellosuccess (Smedshammer, 12-1) - Consistent sort may grab minor spoils with a trip.
Yonkers - 6th Pace - $200,000; NYSS 2yo Colt and Gelding Final
3 -Roadside Delight (Manzi, 3-1) - Gets the post position needed to score the minor upset.
1 - Flipper J (Bartlett, 9-5) - Beat the top choice last week, but loses the post advantage.
2A -Sir Ziggy's Z Tam (LaChance, 8-5) - Any type of trip gets him in the money.
Coupled: Flipper J and Thomas J; Sir Jonathan Z Tam and Sir Ziggy's Z Tam
Yonkers - 7th Pace - $200,000; NYSS 3yo Filly Final
1 - Enduring Delight (Manzi, 10-1) - Second choice picks up Manzi. May be the evening's upset.
4 - Galimony (Morrill, 8-5) - Obvious choice will look to go wire to wire. The one to beat.
7 - Anndrovette (Bartlett, 9-5) - Never better but the post may be her undoing.
8 - Hula's Z Tam (Lachance, 3-1) - May be able to track the seven to get into the exotics.
Yonkers - 8th Trot - $200,000; NYSS 2yo Colt and Gelding Final
2 - Surface Tension (Daley, 3-1) - Tremendous effort in last and draws the rail.
3 - Whitewater Rapids (Schnittker, 12-1) - Followed the top choice in last and couldn't pass. May get second and add value to exacta.
1 - Dejarmbro (Gregort, 8-5) - Tremendous effort in last as well and winner of two straight. Draws outside my top choice.
Coupled: Dejarmbro and I'm The Answer
Yonkers - 9th Trot - $200,000; NYSS; 3yo Colt and Gelding Final
2 - Whata Winner (Doherty, 9-5) - Inside post should make the difference here.
4 - Blacktuxwhitesocks (Gregory, 8-5) - Must get control of the race early. Will be a duel down the stretch.
1 - Shaq is Back (Schnittker, 12-1) - Don't ignore. May be able to pick up the pieces if a duel develops early.
Yonkers - 10th Pace -$200,000 NYSS 3yo Colt and Gelding Final
4 - Joey The Czar (Bartlett, 5-1) - Toss last. Legitimate shot to win with a smarter drive..
5 - Jimmie Hanover (Brennan, 6-1) - Expect a late brush to get into the exotics.
3 - He's Gorgeous (Morrill, 6-5) - Draws better. Legitimate favorite is beatable.
2 - Erichs Best (Paquet, 12-1) - Finished second to third pick. May spice the super.