Hurrikane Kingcole has been established as the 3/1 favorite in the Dan Patch. Rockincam, last year’s out of the clouds winner, is the second choice from the four in Saturday’s race. Peter Wrenn won that one from the nine post at 10/1. Golden Receiver cut the mile without pressure or interference as the 2/5 favorite for Dave Palone last year, but inextricably got swallowed up by the field at the end. Rockincam disappointed in the Levy. We sometimes forget that it was only last year that Golden Receiver became a FFA mainstay. In the 2011 edition of the Dan Patch, which was won by the ill-fated Giddy Up Lucky, Golden Receiver finished third at 25/1.
This year’s field is stronger than the one that contested the race last year. Fred And Ginger picked up Kingcole in :48.1 in a leg of the TVG two weeks ago. Both are entered, only F&G gets Ricky Macomber Jr in place of Ron Pierce, and Brett Miller replaces Dan Dube behind Kingcole.
The other two four-year-old starters, Duer and ARNRD, made their first starts since December in the Meadowlands Maturity and both got shuffled back. Both keep their drivers, MacDonald and Campbell, respectively.
Up The Credit, who gave signs that his troubles are behind him with a :48.3 win over a preferred field at Woodbine last week, is 10/1 from the nine for Trace Tetrick.
The folks at Hoosier Park are getting a lot more for their $200,000 than the folks at Western Fair are getting for the $150,000 purse being offered for the Molson Pace. There weren’t enough nominated—as usual—so they transformed it into an invitational. Perennial winner, Foiled Again, will be joined by Aracache, State Treasurer, Versado, Keystone Velocity, Something For Doc and a player to be named later. Something for Doc has had two rough outings since being purchased from the Burke group by Mark Ford’s people. He drew the outside in the Levy final and never got into the race, and the following week he drew the outside in an open at Yonkers, where Sears spent the first half getting him to the top. Despite a brave effort, he got overtaken late. Foiled has won the last two editions of the Molson, but he’s three and four this year and may be at Doc’s mercy if the son of Western Hanover draws inside on this little track.
Smilin Eli, the very impressive Muscles Yankee gelding who won the first leg of the NYSS colt & gelding trot as the 8/5 second choice last week, is in against last year’s champ Corky again on Friday. Eli gets Tetrick again this week while Corky steps up from Takter to David Miller. Eli’s dam, Gerri’s Joy, won the Merrie Annabelle at two and the Moni Maker at three. This leg consists entirely of Muscles colts while the filly leg is all Muscles with the exception of a single Chocolatier filly.
Fashion Blizzard, the Credit Winner gelding who mixed it up with Tirade Hanover and Royalty For Life in the NYSS last year, makes his second start in a C-1/B-2 handicap for David Miller. Muscle Mountain picked him up late in a split of the Simpson a couple of weeks ago. Fashion Blizzard won a division of the ISS last year, a race his dam also won. He was also very successful in the NYSS, winning the $225,000 Night of Champions trot in W-W fashion for Jim Morrill as the 3/5 favorite over Tirade Hanover. He is ranked tenth in this year’s Hoof Beats/Trackmaster Experimental Rankings—whatever that’s worth. A $111,000 division of the NYSS was scheduled to be raced at Vernon Downs tomorrow but the EHV-1 situation at that track has left colts like Fashion Blizzard scrambling for races.
Seven of the ten mares in the F&M B-2/B-1/A-2 handicap pace at the Meadowlands tomorrow night are four-year-olds.
Quick Deal, Ron Burke’s Revenue gelding who won the Horse & Groom, makes his second start after a two month layoff in a B-1/A-1/FFA handicap trot at the Meadowlands. The better than ever Andover Hall mare, Beatgoeson Hanover, came from out of the clouds to beat him in that one after he’d been used making the top from the nine and had to deal with pressure in the middle. Beatgoeson subsequently came from way off to win the first leg of the Miss Versatility at Woodbine. She’s developed into one of the best closers in the business.
This race exemplifies the interspace style of racing being offered up at the Meadowlands right now. Hot Shot Blue Chip makes his seasonal debut from the outside; Tall Cotton drops down from the Cutler; Harbor Point drops down from the Maturity; and you also have the likes of Lexis Amigo and From Above.
Jim Oscarsson’s Peter Haughton winner, Aperfectyankee, makes his debut in a division of the Super Bowl at The Meadows tomorrow. He takes on Jimmy Takter’s little Cantab Hall colt, Dontyouforgetit. The latter spent the opening quarter trying to make the top as the 3/5 favorite in the Dexter and failed to convert. Celebrity Maserati, the Andover Hall colt who carried Dontyouforgetit to the quarter and beat him in the Dexter, starts from the eight in the third division of the Super Bowl. He raced in the lower level Stallion Series last year but was very impressive at Freehold. Smoother Ride, the Yankee Glide colt who won six of seven starts last season, goes in the fourth division.
Frau Blucher, a Broadway Hall filly who was very impressive winning a $60,000 division of the PASS at The Meadows last week from the outside, takes on the SS fillies again tomorrow at Harrah’s. She won a split of the Bluegrass as well as the PA Championship last season. She was for sale for $850,000 last year during the season.
Frau Blucher’s third dam, Border Angel, is interesting in that she’s a product of Texas and the Romeo Hanover mare Lively Anne. Texas was a son of the great mare, Elma, from the first crop of Super Bowl. He won the Kentucky Futurity and finished second in the Hambletonion. He sired the outstanding mare, Grades Singing and the Swedish star, Copiad, a winner of 50 of 82 starts. He was relocated to Sweden at age 13.
Romeo Hanover, although a failure as a stallion, was one of the greatest pacers of all-time. It’s noteworthy that he had a habit of producing some decent trotters. Speedy Romeo earned 35K for Bill Haughton on the pace at two, but hated the hopples and was a natural trotter, so Haughton let him. The following year, after breaking in his first three starts, he stayed flat in the fourth and won a 43K NYSS trot. He wound up pacing in 55.4 and trotting in 59.2, and earning almost 500K, which was damn good for a dual-gaited colt in the mid-seventies.
Abelard Hanover, the five-year-old Rocknroll gelding who has really stepped it up, winning four of his last five, takes on the indefatigable Dial Or Nodial in a WO25 pace at Harrah’s. The struggling Atochia, who is winless in seven starts with a mere $25,000 on his card, is 10/1 in the ML against NW25L5.
Last year’s BC winner, Intimidate, makes another curious start in a $6,000 division of the Quebec sire stakes at Hippodrome 3-R on Sunday. He’s barred from the betting again; crazy. If he trotted like he did in the BC, he’d probably win the very winnable Maxie Lee on Sunday.
There’s a four-year-old open at M1 Saturday night featuring a five horse field, two of whom are trained by Linda Toscano. Heston Blue Chip, who finished off 2012 with wins in the BC, Progress and Matron, makes his seasonal debut. Bettor’s Edge, the Bettor’s Delight gelding who ranked ninth in divisional earnings last year, is the other Toscano horse. Cane winner Dynamic Youth—another Bettor’s Delight gelding--who finished out in the Maturity and fourth in the first leg of the TVG series, also starts. Whirl Monroe, a Real Desire out of a half-sister to Stand Alone, who beat a B-2 field in :49.4 last week, and Ron Burke’s R Caan, who beat NW16L5 at Pocono last time out, fill out the field. This is a strange one.
Although the Rooney hasn’t drawn the top colts—no Captain, Rockin Amadeus, Odds On Equuleus or Wake Up Peter—the Art major colt, Doctor Butch, who won three times at Yonkers last year including the $225,000 Night of Champions, has been supplemented to the race. Last year there was no need for an elimination round as the race only drew six starters. Pet Rock came up the inside to upset 3/5 favorite Bolt The Duer. Two years ago there was also a six horse field, with half of them from the Takter stable. Peelers beat the boys in that one.
The Betsy Ross, which goes Sunday at Harrah’s, drew a stellar field of mares with Anndrovette, Feeling You, DTB, Romantic Moment and Economy Terror among them.