Well, as much as I was tempted to skip handicapping the Breeders Crown this year, considering handicapping WEG tracks and the Meadowlands is like pulling teeth for me, it is the Breeders Crown, so how could I not handicap the races?
The race I am looking forward to is the race for Open Trotters with the appearance of Commander Crowe and Rapide Lebel. I am a sucker for European horses racing in North America as it adds excitement to the evening. If there is one thing I would love the Hambletonian Society do is change the conditions to get more foreign horses racing in the Breeders Crown. After all, if these races are being billed as the championship series, should we want the best standardbreds in the world racing in these races?
Due to the number of races involved, I will list the horses in the order I think the horses will come in. Remember, these races have been handicapped early and there may be late changes not factored into my selections. For Breeders Crown night, the races begin earlier at 6:30pm. There will also be two $100,000 guaranteed Pick 4s with Woodbine accepting $.20 minimum wagers on the Pick 4 (your local track may or may not accept that minimum).
Without further ado, here are my selections for the 2011 Breeders Crown Series. If there is an AE listed, I will give my thoughts about them if I think they are worth considering as I will list possible long shots worth considering. Unlike regular events, in the event there is an early scratch, all horses move in and the also eligible draws the outside post.
1st Trot - $301,700 - Breeders Crown - Open Mares Post Time 6:30pm
8 - Jersey AS (Brennan, 5-1)
6 - Action Broadway (M Macdonald, 7-2)
1 - Kandor Hanover (R Waples, 15-1)
7 - Friendly Amigo (A Macdonald, 15-1)
Jersey AS was stacked up three wide at Indy; figures better trip. Action Broadway had bad trip in last start but shows good lines on the bigger ovals; can't dismiss. Kandor Hanover appears to have used last start as a prep; expect better. Friendly Amigo jumped at the wire but won at Lexington; can add value to exotics.
2nd Trot - $602,340 - Breeders Crown - 2yo Fillies
5 - Win Missy B (Sears, 6-5)
4 - Check Me Out (Tetrick, 4-5)
9 - For A Dancer (Gregory, 12-1)
10 - Aunt Mel (D Miller, 10-1)
Win Missy B won stakes at Lexington and took the bye. Check Me Out riding a three race win streak and figures to be the logical favorite but suspect odds will be too low. For A Dancer is 8 for 9 primarily on the NYSS; NY sired horses have improved. Aunt Mel has been racing well despite the bad posts. May liven up the exotics. Personal Style (AE1) made an unfortunate miscue in elim. Was a winner at Lexington and can get in the exotics if she draws in
3rd Pace - $602,340 - Breeders Crown - 2yo Fillies
7 - Big McDeal (Jamieson, 7-2)
5 - Economy Terror (Sears, 6-5)
6 - Shelliscape (Waples, 8-1)
1 - Marty Party (Palone, 12-1)
Big McDeal won last start at Lexington and seems to be improving. Economy Terror took some time off but qualified well at Pocono Downs. Shelliscape is another one who has qualified well; winner of 5 of 11. Marty Party is 5 for 10 and draws rail; will try to catch a trip into exotics. Handsoffmycookie is a winner of 8 for 9, primarily on the NYSS circuit. Remember See You At Peelers ruled the NYSS last year; at 15-1 may be an incredible long shot.
4th Pace - $652, 535 - Breeders Crown - 2yo Colts and Geldings (Start of $100,000 Pick 4)
5 - Hurrikane Kingcole (Ouellette, 20-1)
3 - Sweet Lou (Palone, 5-2)
7 - Sing For Me George (S Zeron, 6-1)
8 - Speed Again (Jamieson, 4-1)
Hurrikane Kingcole - Last week, in first race back was parked half of the mile and interfered forced three wide yet closed big to grab third in his elim. This week should be tighter and a less eventful trip; if anywhere nears these odds is worth a look. Sweet Lou is the obvious one to beat. Expect to be less than 2-1. Sing For Me George finished second being parked out in last; won two prior races. Speed Again interfered with in last race. Champlain winner qualified well and is 5 for 9; may improve rating.
5th Trot - $602,340; Breeders Crown - 2yo Colts and Geldings
7 - Prestidigitator (S Filion, 10-1)
4 - Possess The Will (Tetrick, 2-1)
5 - Magic Tonight (Pierce, 6-1)
2 - Little Brown Fox (Campbell, 10-1)
Prestidigitator hung the entire mile and finished third just 1 1/2 lengths of the race winner. If he minds his manners he can win; of course that is the reason his odds are high. Possess The Will winner of three straight; is the one to beat. Magic Tonight finished behind Possess The Will; figures in the money. Little Brown Fox has been hard luck but may get into the exotics and add value.
6th Pace - $301,170; Breeders Crown - Open Mares
3 - Chancey Lady (Palone, 10-1)
5 - Anndrovette (Tetrick, 7-5)
6 - On The Glass (Morrill, 12-1)
1 - Maureen Rocks (S Zeron, 5-1)
Chancey Lady's last race is a toss. Was looking good before and worth a shot at these odds. Anndrovette is the logical hose to beat but lacks value. On The Glass has been consistent and should add value to the exotics. Dreamfair Eternal can never be dismissed; must consider if she gets in off the also eligible list.
7th Trot - $602,340; Breeders Crown - Open Trot
5 - Rapide Lebel (Raffin, 5-2)
2 - San Pail (Waples, 2-1)
3 - Commander Crowe (Martens, 9-2)
4 - Arch Madness (Sears, 7-1)
Rapide Lebel is 10 for 13 racing in multi-heat races. This time only needs to race once so expect to see more. Only concern is six weeks off. San Pail is the top trotter in North America. Will have to be at his best to come out on top. Commander Crowe another well respected European invader; on six race winning streak and layoff. Arch Madness is the best of the rest. However, the question is will the European invaders be worth a play at these odds? Certainly not worth lower odds. Honestly, this may be a race to enjoy and watch.
8th Pace - $501,950; Breeders Crown - 3yo Fillies
2 - Drop The Ball (Gingras, 5-2)
3 - Rocklamation (Sears, 3-1)
6 - Monkey On My Wheel (Jamieson, 7-1)
10 - Idyllic (Miller, 12-1)
Drop The Ball was impressive in her elimination; the one to beat. Rocklamation also won her elimination but first pick won more impressive races. Monkey On My Wheel has been racing well on the Ontario circuit. Idyllic; finally giving up on her so watch what happens.
9th Trot - $612,379; Breeders Crown - 3yo Colts and Geldings (Start of $100,000 Pick 4)
8 - Daylon Magician (Moiseyev, 9-2)
4 - Chapter Seven (Tetrick, 8-5)
5 - Manofmanymissions (D Miller, 9-5)
7 - Broad Bahn (Brennan, 7-1)
Daylon Magician got nipped after a tough trip in last. Chapter Seven was able to take advantage of a good trip to beat my top pick; wouldn't surprise if the order switched. Manofmanymissions is the best of this division unfortunately, he seems to break at the worst opportune time; at 9-5 I'll hope for a miscue. Broad Bahn jumped off in last. Figures to complete the exotics.
10th Trot - $501,950; Breeders Crown - 3yo Fillies
4 - Cedar Dove (Pierce, 2-1)
1 - Lady Andover (Campbell, 8-1)
7 - Jezzy (Tetrick, 5-1)
8 - Crys Dream (Ouellette, 20-1)
With the exception of two starts ago, Cedar Dove has hit her best strides; worth low odds. Lady Andover is taking on her strongest field yet; may be up to the challenge. Jezzy has finally shown the ability to race against open company. May improve position. Crys Dream; who would ever have thought you would see a 20-1 morning line on her? May be good enough to grab a position.
11th Pace - $501,950; Breeders Crown - 3yo Colts and Geldings
4 - Betterthancheddar (Brennan, 5-1)
3 - Hugardragon (Gingras, 9-2)
5 - Alsace Hanover (S Zeron, 7-2)
9 - Big Bad John (D Miller, 6-1)
Betterthancheddar appears to have joined the top of this division and is appealing at these odds. Hugadragon chased top choice home in elimination, looking for a repeat. Alsace Hanover finished second in his division after a tough mile and has improved. Big Bad John roughed up in last start but not helped with post draw. Prodigal Seelster and Powerful Mist are also eligibles which must be considered if they draw in.
12th Pace - $501,950; Breeders Crown - Open Pace
2 - Foiled Again (Gingras, 5-2)
9 - Atochia (Sears, 8-1)
1 - We Will See (Pierce, 2-1)
7 - Dial Or Nodial (D Miller, 5-1)
Foiled Again may finally get the respect he deserves with a win here. Expect higher odds as not yet respected on the mile track. Atochia gets a bad draw but may add value to exacta. We Will See draws the rail and figures to go off the favorite. Dial Or Nodial been racing well in PA and figures to compete here.
If you want other selections for the Breeders Crown races, here is Derick Giwner's selections from the Daily Racing Form.