This weekend, there are two big races for older pacers. Friday night brings us the Molson Pace at Western Fair Raceway, part of HANA's 'Pool Party' (selections for the entire Western Fair card may be found here) and Saturday night brings us the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational which features a $20,000 guaranteed Superfecta payout. Also, the SBOANJ hosts at the Meadowlands the $150,000 Miss New Jersey and $400,000 New Jersey Classic for New Jersey sired horses. Not to be excluded, there will be selections for the $109,750 Rowe Memorial Cup at Georgain Downs and the $150,000 Betsy Ross at Chester Downs (Sunday). The Empire Breeders Championships will be covered in another post.
Here is my analysis of these races. Also, at the end is a brief anaylsis of the two Cal-Expo Pick 4s, including the $20,000 guaranteed Pick 4.:
Hoosier Park, 12th Pace - $200,000; Dan Patch Invitational
1 - Won The West (Macomber, 6-1) - Off to a slow start, but at these odds you can't ignore.
2 - Hypnotic Blue Chip (Tr Tetrick, 5-1) - Seems to be up against stronger here. Pass.
3 - Vintage Master (Dube, 3-1) - Beat St Elmo Hero at Pocono in last. Will be a strong contender here.
4 - Golden Receiver (Wrenn, 8-1) - Solidly defeated by #3 in last start. Pass.
5 - Allthatglitrsisgold (Da Magee, 5-2) - Local representative who is 7 for 8. Won at Meadowlands early this year.
6 - Here We Go Again (Sutton, 10-1) - Appears over matched.
7 - Giddy Up Lucky (Goodell, 2-1) - Solid efforts in Levy, Graduate Elim; winner in Open Hcp at YR. Don't dismiss.
8 - Foreign Officer (Widger, 15-1) - Like until last week. Must improve dramatically to compete here.
I know it will be easy to dismiss Allthatglitrsisgold being he has raced predominantly at Hoosier Park. For those who want to dismiss him, just remember Won The West used to race for a time exclusively in the Mid-West before he moved up into the FFA ranks. Speaking of Won The West, if he can get an easy trip without getting parked, I think there is enough back class for him to win. At 6-1 how can you let him go? Vintage Master raced real good last week with a sub-1:0 mile beating St Elmo Hero, however, I think St Elmo Hero, while a very nice horse, is not a FFA-caliber horse. Giddy Up Lucky appears to have been pointed for this race. Qualified for the Graduate Final yet decided to race at Yonkers in a Open Handicap. That being said, I can't pick him to win at 2-1.
Meadowlands, 3rd Pace - $150,000; Thomas D'Altrui SBOA Miss New Jersey - 3yo NJ Sired Fillies
1 - I Kill Time (Pierce, 8-1) - Draws rail and will be tougher from here.
2 - Pretty Katherine (D Miller, 5-2) - Finished second in first start and moved inside. Will be tough.
3 - Krispy Apple (T Tetrick, 8-5) - Prep winner is likely favorite. Your choice if you want odds on.
4 - Rocklamation (A Miller, 4-1) - Just missed last week and can't be disregarded.
5 - Weekend Update (J Campbell, 12-1) - Appears to have improved greatly from last year. First time at Big M. Longshot play.
6 - So Perfect (Sears, 15-1) - Far back in first start. Will need big improvement to contend.
7 - Honky Tonk Woman (Gingras, 10-1) - Fair efforts on Grand Circuit. Lost in NW3 at Chester.
8 - Myluvmylife (Lachance, 15-1) - Not off recent starts.
Selections: 2-4-3 Longshot: 5
You will note I have a long shot play for the Miss New Jersey. I like Pretty Katherine to win but if the odds are too low and Weekend Update is 10-1 or higher, I may take a stab with Weekend Update. On the program, her effort in the American-National at Balmoral shows her running out of steam, but it appears she has come back better this year, so I will be willing to take a chance on her first try on the East Coast; if the price is right.
Meadowlands, 6th Pace - $400,000; Anthony Abbatiello SBOA New Jersey Classic - 3yo Open
1 - Shadyshark Hanover (T Tetrick, 3-1) - Draws rail. If anyone going to upset the big guy; it's him.
2 - Roll'Em Up (A Miller, 8-1) - Finished 3rd next week, may land share this week too.
3 - Lizard King (D Miller, 12-1) - Still looking for win #2. Pass.
4 - RU Ready To Rock (Gingras, 20-1) - Never involved last week and won't be this week.
5 - High Noon (Pierce, 15-1) - Saw them all last week and likely will this week.
6 - Doin Time Together (Allard, 15-1) - Needs to step it up big time to land share.
7 - Lookinforadventure (B Miller, 12-1) - Draws poorly after last week's effort. Can't help.
8 - Big Jim (Hudon, 8-5) - No doubt the one to beat, but give big post advantage to #1.
9 - Grams Legacy (Sears, 5-1) - Was impressive in second place finish. Definite Trifecta possibility.
10 - Jo Pa's Pe III (Campbell, 20-1) - Overmatched and draws poorly. Never a good combination.
That's right, I am going against Big Jim. Big Jim is likely odds-on making him not a value play. Shadyshark Hanover bypassed the prelim to race at Chester last week scoring a 1:51.3 victory. In last year's Governor Cup, Shadyshark Hanover finished 2nd to Big Jim. If I can get 3-1 or better, I'll take a stab with Shadyshark Hanover. At 5-2, I will just play an 8-1 Exacta straight and a 8-1-9 Trifecta.
Georgian Downs, 7th Trot - $109,750; Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Cup Gold Division
1 - All Cantab (Ritchie, 9-2) - Slow start this year, perhaps the third time is the charm.
2 - Armbro Chronicle (Byron, 7-2) - Toss last. Been consistent in Woodbine Preferreds.
3 - Triumphant Caviar (Ouellette, 5-1) - Appears to be overmatched.
4 - Rose Run Hooligan (S Zeron, 6-1) - Seems to be tailing off.
5 - Windsong Soprano (Waples, 10-1) - Wiped out in return, was racing with the big guns last year. Chance.
6 - Windsong Geant (R Zeron, 8-1) - Best efforts against Ontario Sires Stakes. Not here.
7 - Slave Dream (Brown, 3-1) - At the top of his game. The one to beat.
8 - Enough Talk (M MacDonald, 4-1) - Has not been able to complete his drive in the stretch.
9 - He's A Demon (Jamieson, 2-1) - Finished second to Canadian monster Sand Pail. Post hurts.
AE - Yursa Hanover (Baillargeon, NL) - Expect improvement off first start back if draws in.
If it is Saturday night, it is Pick 4 night at Cal Expo. Here are my selections for the Pick 4s there:
Early Pick 4 (Race 4-7; 15% take out) - 6/3,4/2,5,6/3 - $6
Late Pick 4 (Races 11-14; $15,000gtd) - 2,5,6/5,6/1,5/4 - $12
On Sunday, Harrah's Chester Downs plays host to teh Betty Ross LC for Pacing Mares.
Chester Downs, 9th Pace - $150,000; The Betsy Ross LC #5 - Mares FFA
1 - Anndrovette (Tetrick, 9-2) - Looks to control pace from the rail One to beat.
2 - Ginger And Fred (Pierce, 5-1) - Bes6-8t efforts on the hald mile oval.
3 - Chancey Lady (Callahan, 10-1) - Not off recent.
4 - Rock N Soul (Gingras, 8-1) - Last two were bad but showed ability earlier. Not out of it.
5 - Higher And Higher (Bier, 5-2) - Elimination winner figures to land share.
6 - Shacked Up (Goodell, 12-1) - Moves in from a bad post. Improvement expected.
7 - Laughandbehappy (Miller, 7-2) - Has not shown staying power.
8 - Omen Hanover (Pantaleano, 15-1) - Consistently lands share.
Holiday Programming Note: With the Memorial Day Holiday, Tioga Downs will be racing at night on Sunday with their weekly matinee card being held on Monday.