With HANA's first harness racing pool party coming up next Friday night with a guaranteed $10,000 Win 4 pool, it seems appropriate to preview the two eliminations for the Molson Pace being held tomorrow night. While I will be only covering the Molson eliminations, they have a pretty good card on Friday evening with eliminations for the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Division (in Ontario they have two levels the Gold for the higher caliber horses and the Grass Roots division for the second tier horse) for 3yo filly pacers and trotters and the second leg of the City of London Trotting Series for Fillies and Mares as well as Colts and Gelding.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Western Fair (track symbol 'Lon'), it is a half mile track located in London, Ontario. Horses score seven across meaning the eight horse scores from the second tier. The overnight racing stock is certainly below the level of WEG tracks but the Molson Pace features top notch horses as does the OSS races occuring this week and next week. Western Fair has two Win 4s and each Molson elimination is the third leg of each Win 4 sequence. Programs for Friday night's card may be found here.
Here is my analysis of the two eliminations of the Molson Pace.
Western Fair Raceway - Friday, May 20, 2011; First Post 7:05PM
6th Pace - $20,000; Molson Pace Elimination #1 - FFA
(Exactor, Superfecta, Triactor, Win 4 Leg C)
1 - Perrito Caliente (R Zeron, 10-1) - Stepped up to win at HoP but this is a tougher cast. Pass.
2 - Four Starz Trace (L Ouellette, 8-1) - Needs to be up close to be a factor. Might advance to next week.
3 - Atochia (Y Gingras, 6-5) - Horrible trip in Graduate Final and draws well. One to beat but will be odds-on.
4 - Stonebridge Tonic (S Filion, 15-1) - Been off since February. Will be lucky to advance.
5 - Art Professor (J Jamieson, 7-5) - Nice win at Woodbine. May be better value than top choice.
6 - Legal Litigator (M Macdonald, 9-2) - Finished third to Vintage Master at Pocono. Don't rule out.
7 - Rock Me Please (M Saftic, 7-1) - Would be looking at him except for the post. Wouldn't shock me if he qualifies for final.
8 - Part Shark (S Coulter, 12-1) - Starts behind horses who don't figure to leave. Races well on 'B' circuit but appears overmatched against these.
11th Pace - $20,000; Molson Pace Elimination #2 - FFA
(Exactor, Superfecta, Triactor, Win 4 Leg C, 1st Leg Late Double)
1 - Anderlecht (S Coulter, 9-2) - Not the same horse he has been but occasionally surprises. Rail is not in his favor.
2 - Foiled Again (Y Gingras, 3-5) - Has ascended to the true FFA ranks with Graduate win. The one to beat.
3 - Annieswesterncard (L Ouellette, 10-1) - Off to slow start this year. Don't see.
4 - Jackets Required (M Saftic, 12-1) - Couldn't win a conditioend race at Northville. Appears off form.
5 - Valentino (J Jamieson, 5-1) -Wired high level conditioned field at Chester. Figures to advance.
6 - Lucky Man (M Macdonald, 7-2) - Figures to improve off second start. Can score win if Foiled Again is roughed up.
7 - Ideal Race (R Zeron, 10-1) - Post hurts. But if you are looking for an upset possibility, he's the one.
8 - Aracache Hanover (S Filion, 6-1) - Picks up Filion but will riding the rail hoping for a fast pace to close on.
While I have no problem going against Atochia in the first elimination as I think his morning line is too low, I am taking a much bigger chance going against Foiled Again in the second elimination whose 3-5 line is a reasonable proposition. If I can get 8-1 or better, I'll take my chance with Ideal race. Anything lower, I may stick with Foiled Again.
I understand why they split the eliminations up so they would be part of each Win 4, but these races would have been good as a Daily Double wager. While the Double is traditionally two consecutive races, is there any hard an fast rule that says you can't split the Double up so both of these eliminations could be part of it?
Empire Breeders Classic Eliminations
This Saturday, Vernon Downs hosts the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) Eliminations for Trotters and on Sunday, Tioga Downs hosts the EBC Eliminations for Pacers. Yes. these races are restricted to NY Sired horses, but some of these hosres figure to be seen on the Grand Circuit this year so we'll take a look at these races.
Right now, the Vernon Downs race selections have been updated and Tioga Downs selections will be added once they become available. Check back by Sunday morning for Tioga's selections (in a different post).
EBC Eliminations - Vernon Downs, Saturday, May 21 (Horses Listed in Post Position Order)
2nd Trot - $12,500; EBC Elimination 3yo Fillies - 1st Division
2 - Miss Sue V (Gregory, 3-1) - Grand Circuit fily well prepped. Eligible to score upset over top choice.
1 - Carme Blue Chip (Marshall, 2-1) - Qualifiers indicate horse is not ready.
3 - Imageofasweetday (Stark, 10-1) - Doesn't seem to be up to it.
1A - Jezzy (Schnittker, 2-1) - Won Simpson from post seven last week. Horse to beat.
4 - Massive Drama (Miller, 9-2) - Figures to improve off of last start. Lands share.
5 - Pretty As My Mom (Norris, 10-1) - Still a maiden. Will still be a maiden.
6 - Temper of Will (Smedshammer, 6-1) - Draws poorly for first start. Tab for later.
7 - Brooklyn (Antonacci, 8-1) - Well prepped but draws poorly. Will be heard from; not today.
3rd Trot - $12,500; EBC Eliminations 3yo Colts and Geldings - 1st Division
1 - Johnny B Kemp (Johansson, 6-1) - Has been disappointing but meeting cheaper company.
2 - Surface Tension (Daley, 9-2) - Horse loves this track and should improve off of last.
3 - I'm The Answer (Smedshammer, 8-1) - Should improve off of initial start. Not out of it.
4 - Tiger's Too Good (Gregory, 7-2) - Toss last. Will contend for the win spot.
5 - Keenan (Miller, 5-2) - Seems not to have returned to last year's form. Pass.
6 - Alaric (Stark, 10-1) - Will need to make dramatic improvement.
7 - House On File (Schnittker, 8-1) - When you have to worry about staying flat or not it's a pass.
8 - Smuggler Hall (Fladen, 10-1) - Post hurts Rideau shipper. Lands share at best.
5th Trot - $12,500; EBC Eliminations 3yo Fillies - 2nd Division
1 - Refuse To Lose (Milby, 9-5) - So far has not shown her 2yo form. Pass.
3 - Four Dasmals (Gregory, 3-1) - Recovered from early break to win in nw1cd. Will need to make no mistakes to advance.
1A - Some Girls (Brunet, 9-5) - Looks to be unbeatable. One to beat.
4 - No More Credit (Stark, 8-1) - Seems to be overmatched.
5 - Leah's Ex (Mac Donald, 6-1) - Shows improvement over last year and figures to improve. Could be solid second.
6 - Em El Cash (Smedshammer, 10-1) - Making first start of year.
2 - Medusa Blue Chip (Johansson, 5-1) - Shows breaking trait. Pass.
2A - Epona Blue Chip (Schnittker, 5-1) - Draws the worst. May squeeze into top three.
6th Trot - $12,500; EBC Eliminations 3yo Colts and Geldings - 2nd Division
1 - Quantum Confident (Marshall, 9-2) - Need to wonder if he stay flat. Pass.
2 - Dejarmbro (Smedshammer, 5-2) - Breeders Crown Elim Winner comes off smart qualifier. Possibility.
3 - Pay The Winner (Schillaci, 8-1) - Finished second in Simpson. Expect improvement off first start.
4 - Whatever It Takes (Miller, 7-2) - Winner of nw2 at Meadowlands. Lands share.
5 - All in Tad (Schnittker, 6-1) - Appears to be second tier horse. Pass.
6 - Burning Money (Whittemore, 8-1) - Longhsot finished 3rd in Simpson. Not out of it.
7 - Petruchio (Johansson, 12-1) - Still not back to last years form. Pass.
8 - Double Up Hanover (Gregory, 10-1) - Can't see at all.
9th Trot $12,500; EBC Eliminations 3yo Colts and Geldings - 3rd Division
2 - Evil Urges (Whittemore, 8-1) - Decent efforts at Balmoral; your move.
3 - Lanark Hall (Hensley, 12-1) - Qualifiers have been lackluster. Pass.
4 - Quantom Incredible (Fladen, 10-1) - Overmatched. Pass.
5 - New Identity (Marshall, 6-1) -Prepped for this. Win at first asking?
6 - Hallin Cash (Gregory, 8-1) - On way to victory last week before late jump. Possibility.
7 - Spectator K (Norris, 5-2) - Winner of two straight. The one to beat.
1 - Wheels (Miller, 7-2) - Land share if flat.
8 - Sexy Dirty Money (Smedshammer, 9-2) - Decent debut and should improve except for post.
1A - Whitwater Rapids (Schnittker, 7-2) - Horrible trip in Dexter Cup. Must get involved early.