Today is the big day. First the day starts off with the Adios at the Meadows. Then, all those dreams for Hambo (or Oaks) glory live for another week or die today in the eliminations for the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks. There are many subplots tonight such as Crys Dream won in the courts, but will the six weeks off derail her effort for Oaks glory? Will Jezzy, the Queen of New York conquer her foes at the Meadowlands? Is Blue Porsche his old self or is he still having problems? Can John Campbell make a triumphant return to the races and get Live Jazz into next week's final? Was Pastor Stephen's last race a fluke or is he tailing off? Tonight will answer many of these questions and possibly create some new questions for debate.
But first, here is my review of the Adios being contested at the Meadows:
10th Pace - $500,000; Delvin Miller Adios - 3yo open
1 - Custard The Dragon (Teague, 2-1) - Fastest elim winner draws the rail. Will likely be odds on fave.
2 - Real Special (Gingras, 8-1) - Unable to maintain the lead in elim.
3 - Alsace Hanover (Pierce, 3-1) - Big mile in last. A repeat wins.
4 - Powerful Mist (Palone, 4-1) - Must slow up the pace to be a factor. Can he?
5 - Rollwithitharry (Tetrick, 6-1) - May be able to follow to grab a big piece.
6 - Wind Me Up (D Miller, 12-1) - Seems to be overmatched.
7 - Eighteen (Callahan, 20-1) - Don't see him getting involved from out here.
8 - Hugadragon (A Miller, 20-1) - Tough spot.
9 - Odysseus Bluechip (B Miller, 12-1) - May spice up the exotics with his consistency.
Here is my review of the four elimination races:
3rd Trot - $35,000; Hambletonian Oaks #86 - 3yo fillies (1st elimination)
2 - Martiniontherocks (Ritchie, 10-1) - Has the driver you want but can she win off of one start this year?
1 - Hey Mister (Sears, 4-5) - Undefeated this year including win in Del Miller. Logical choice.
1A - Crys Dream (Ouellette, 4-5) - Is four for four this year but was off six weeks. Can't pick.
3 - Sashay (Lachance, 8-1) - Belongs here but needs to step up game. Don't ignore.
4 - Lost Symbol (Smedshammer, 10-1) - Unable to hold off favorite but gets better post. Worth a look.
5 - Intense America (Dube, 8-1) - Seems to be overmatched.
6 - Wincinnatti (Gingras, 5-1) - Came back in NJSS. Seems to run hot or cold. Which is it this week?
7 - Celebrity Katie (D Miller, 15-1) - PASS winner needs to step it up.
8 - Pantholops (A Miller, 20-1) - Winless this year. Not the way you want to come into this race.
9 - Thatsnotmyname (Pierce, 15-1) - Another winless filly.
No Show Wagering
4th Trot - #35,000; Hambletonian Oaks #86 - 3yo fillies (2nd elimination)
2 - Seducedbychocolate (D Miller, 12-1) - Seems to have lost her A game.
3 - Southwind Amiga (Sears, 8-1) - Seems to be developing. Seems qualifying and learning the goal.
4 - Cedar Dove (Pierce, 6-1) - Seems to have improved. Definitely worth a look.
5 - Bold And Fresh (Lachance, 5-1) - Riding three race win streak. A hot horse.
1 - Iron Lady (Ouellette, 5-2) - Shows she can trot by herself. Let's see her against others.
1A - Jezzy (Tetrick, 5-2) - Queen of New York takes on Open Company. The one to beat.
6 - Migisi (Manzi, 15-1) - Can't keep up with the first stringers.
7 - Creme De Cocoa (Ackerman, 9-2) - Never wins when I pick her, so this may be her chance.
8 - Lady Rainbow (R Zeron, 3-1) - Just lost to Jezzy in her last start but gets rewarded with post nine.
5th Trot - $70,000; Hambletonian #86 - 3yo open (1st elimination)
2 - Whit (Tetrick, 8-1) - Has not raced well against open company. Pass despite rail.
3 - Big Sky Storm (Pierce, 10-1) - Hard to like a horse that is winless for the year.
4 - Orlando (Manzi, 8-1) - Has improved since scratching. May be peaking?
5 - Luckycharm Hanover (D Miller, 5-1) - Picked up game last week as a favorite. Still seems in deep.
6 - Celebrity Bombay (Sears, 10-1) - Good race back off of disaster at YR. Still not the necessary caliber.
1 - Chapter Seven (Lachance, 6-5) - Dancer Memorial winner is 8 for 9. One to beat.
7 - Fawkes (Gingras, 15-1) - Broke last week with fast pace. Must worry about pace.
8 - Broad Bahn (Brennan, 4-1) - My pick for this race. Been under the radar; ready to pop?
1A - Blue Porsche (Ritchie, 6-5) - Top horse has had problems and draws the worst. Still adds value to entry.
6th Trot - $70,000; Hambletonian #86 - 3yo open (2nd elimination)
1 - Whiskey Tax (Gingras, 10-1) - Interesting prospect. Worth a look at long odds.
2 - Magnum Kosmos (Brennan, 15-1) - Winner of three straight. Never better.
3 - Pastor Stephen (Pierce, 5-1) - Takter claims he's better. We will see tonight. Your guess.
4 - Big Rigs (Tetrick, 7-2) - Needs slow pace as horse tends to quit at the end.
5 - Bambino Hall (Palone, 10-1) - Can Palone get a better trip?
6 - Opening Night (Sears, 8-1) - This can be the upset play. Has hit his stride.
7 - Manofmanmissions (A Miller, 5-2) - Upset winner last week. At these odds, I won't see if it was a fluke.
8 - Charlie De Vie (D Miller, 4-1) - Post is tough to overcome.
9 - Live Jazz (Campbell, 15-1) - Aim will be to advance.