Readers of this blog know I don't care for eliminations so I won't be going into any the eliminations with any big detail, but here is a 'quick' review of the eliminations being contested at Pocono Downs on Saturday night:
1st Race - James B Lynch Memorial (1st Division)
Jerseylicious is likely to be the favorite having raced a credible 3rd in the Fan Hanover and being the 'tightest' of the main contenders. While Jerseylicious must not be ignored, I like Miss Cailia J Fra despite last racing on June 1; she won the NJSS defeating Jerseylicious so I look for her to come out on top. Of course, Shebestingin can't be ignored winning five out of six starts this year.
2nd Race - Earl Beal Jr. Memorial (1st Division)
Looks to be a ho-hum race Dontyouforgtit and Celebrity Maserati seem to be the two contenders in the race with Celebrity Maserati being my top pick having won the Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway. If I had to pick a third horse, I would go with Creatine. Creatine blew up in his first start at Pocono downs but with it only being his third start of the year, he should be at full strength.
3rd Race - Max C Hempt Memorial (1st Division)
A wide open race so I am going to take a strong look at Good Day Mate. True, he came from the second tier Stallion Series. I am discounting his efforts at YR, figuring he didn't like the track. Lonewolf Currier and Johnny Rock are likely favorites but the odds on these two will be prohibitive.
5th Race - James B Lynch Memorial (2nd Division)
This should be one heck of a race to love as 3-4 I Love the Nightlife and Charisma Hanover who is riding a five race winning streak. If you can get close to 8-1 on Charimsa Hanvover, he is worth a wager. Of course, Somewhereovertherainbow is not to be discounted.
6th Race - Earl Beal Jr. Memorial (2nd Division)
People will love Corky who won the Historic last week at Tioga but remember it was only a five horse field he defeated. Royalty For Life finished second in the Breeders Crown last year and jumped in his fist p-m start of the year; coming of a solid 1:53.1 qualifier at the Meadowlands, he may be worth a second look. Smoother Ride does most of his racing in the morning but despite that, he still looms large
7th Race - Max C Hempt Memorial (2nd Division)
Wale Up Peter raced huge in two starts at Mohawk and figures to have an easy race here. He may be a horse worth support regardless of his odds. Martini Hanover had no chance at Mohawk in his last start; he should land in the exotics.
8th Race - Ben Franklin FFA (1st Division)
The big boys take to the stage and Betterthancheddar is the class of the race, I am a little concerned with his giving up the lead in the Roll with Joe bit the fractions were torrid. I am going to go with Clear Vision who at 8-1 may be an attractive wager; having horrible posts in the Open Hnadicaps at Yonkers Either way, these two should be in your exotic tickets
9th Race - Earl Beal Jr. Memorial (3rd Division)
Jurgen Hanover is undefeated this year with seven victories; his most recent in the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs. The only other horse with a decent chance is Eli Hanover, another undefeated horse at 3 for 3, sweeping the NJSS at the Meadowlands. I suspect we will see if Eli Hanover is the real deal, having to finish first or second to remain relevant in the early discussions of the end of year awards. The advantage here goes to Jurgen Hanover.
10th Race - Max c Hempt Memorial (3rd Division)
Capatintreacherous is in this race Is there anything else to say? If there is a horse who can spoil Captaintreacherous's parade Saturday night it is Vegas Vacation. With Rocking Amadeaus in the race looks to be an easy (and low paying trifecta of 4-1-8.
11th Race - Ben Franklin FFA (2nd Division)
I would stay away from Sweet Lou if you are a win player. The horse has the ability but he has become the type of horse whose best efforts tend to come in the finals. I wouldn't be shocked if he won, but just wouldn't expect it Heston Blue Chip has been reported to be ready but his racing schedule this year is limited; having two starts to his credit for this year. Razzle Dazzle has been freshened up but I want to see a race. Fred and Ginger failed in the Gold Cup last week, yet he is a winner of two of the TVG Series tilts. He would be my win pick.
12th Race - Ben Franklin FFA (3rd Division)
The best elimination of the night is saved for last. Pet Rock, Foiled Again, Hurricane Kingcole, and Bolt The Duer all do battle in this division and the understudies in the race are more than capable of springing an upset. Pet Rock came form the second tier to win the Roll With Joe. Foiled Again finished second in the Roll With Joe after being roughed up during this race. After sickness, Hurriane Kingcole stayed local to compete in a preferred pace at the Downs After winning the Dan Patch, Bold The Duer stayed local to race in a higher level handicap at the Meadows. This can be a win for the old timer so I cast my lot with Foiled Again.
One thing for sure, regardless of who wins tonight, if you are a harness racing fan within a reasonable distance, you may want to head over to Pocono Downs next weekend for the finals.