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Monday, July 1, 2013

Joe F's Thoughts

VFTRG contributor Joe F. offers his thoughts on some of this past weekend's racing action and what the implications are.

The second and third place finishers in the Hempt, Vegas Vacation and Sunfire Blue Chip, are not staked to the Meadowlands Pace, which holds an elimination round next week. Others from the final not nominated are Word Power, Evenin Of Pleasure and Emeritus Maximus. Dedi’s Dragon and Some Kinda Beach, the second and third place finishers in the Hempt consolation, are also ineligible.

I believe a $100,000 supplemental fee will get Mr Ed in. David Brooks supplemented PB Bullville in 2000 and he broke in his elimination. (Was it 150K back then?) Five years ago Bullville Powerful was supplemented to the Pace and made the final with a second place finish in his elimination, but he finished last in the final. For comparison sake, it costs $62,500 to buy into the BC at the 3YO level; that’s what Intimidate’s connections coughed up last year. Unless folks start reaching into their pockets for that spare hundred grand, the Pace will feature a less appealing cast of characters than the Hempt did.

The Pace and BC (3YO) supplemental fees both translate to about 12.5% of the purse. The Ky Futurity buy in is about 11.2% of the purse. Mel Mara was supplemented to the Tattersalls Pace for 60K in 2012. Jackavin bought into the 67 Messenger and got clobbered by Romulus. Cam Fella and RNR Heaven both bought into the Messenger and won. Heaven’s connections paid 60K for a shot at the $437,100 purse—that’s 13.7%.

There’s a long history of horses buying into the various BC races. One of the first times the BC buy in fee was paid was in the 1986 Mare Trot at Scioto Downs. The great mares Grade Singing and Davidia Hanover were staked to the race, and finished one-two. The Australian mare, Scotch Notch, had missed most of the season but her connections put up $26,000 to get her into the race. As expected, she was short and finished third for Mike Gagliardi. Baroque was also supplemented, and she finished fourth. Scotch Notch lost $3,000 on the deal, while Baroque lost twice that.

In 1989 the connections of Crystal Tree put up almost $33,000 to get her into the Mare Pace at Northfield. Armbro Feather won the race for Jack Kopas, with Storm Tossed second for JC and Anniecrombie third for Mike Lachance. Crystal Tree was scratched lame. $33,000 circled the drain.

Fourteen pacers were entered in the 1991 Open Pace at The Meadows. There were two supplemental entries; they were the out of the mainstream pair, Jake And Elwood and Dorunrun Bluegrass. Jake And Elwood was favored from the two for JC, while Dorunrun was second choice for Pierce from the five. Those two cooked each other in the early going, leaving Mike Lachance on top with third choice, Camluck, who held off a late charge by Cross Country to win in 52.1. It was 48 degrees that night. Jake lost 20 of his $49,000, while Dorunrun lost 25.

In the 1994 334K Open Pace at Freehold, Peter Heffering put up $44,000 to supplement the great Riyadh. He and his entry mate Silent Spring were the 1-5 favorites. Riyadh had the five for Brett Robinson, while Village Jiffy, who had upset Presidential Ball and Life Sign in the three-year-old BC the previous year, was just inside him with Paul MacDonell. Village Jiffy pressured Riyadh in relentless fashion, beating him by a couple. Heffering didn’t lose his gamble as the second place finish put him up almost 40K.

Kadabra’s connections won 235K on their 50K bet on him in the 2002 3-year-old colt trot at Woodbine.

Red Bow Tie wound up plus 120K when his connections bought into the Open Pace at the Meadowlands in 1998. And they wound up plus 140K the following year when the Raging Glory gelding won again.

Northern Luck finished first in his elimination and third in the final when his connections put up 45K to get him into the 3-year-old colt pace at Mohawk in 1997. They were up 43K after the race.



Uncle Peter’s WR win in the preferred at Pocono Saturday bodes well for an appearance in this week’s TVG FFA leg at M1. It was a weak field, but he followed Arch around and won easily in the fastest time ever on a 5/8 track…..Herbie has the rail against a preferred field at Mohawk Monday. I guess we can assume he will skip the TVG…..Market Share, Wishing Stone, Sevruga and Guccio all took this week off…..Market Share is the only sophomore champ from last year getting it done, and he’s just started twice. Intimidate is in the Witness Protection program; Check me Out has yet to race for dollars; Michaels Power put on another forgettable performance in a preferred pace at Mohawk Saturday; and Heston Blue Chip is now zip for four. Last year’s O’Brien winner, Cheddar, is also zip for four—he finished eighth in the Franklin. As for last year’s freshman stars,  Somwherovrarainbow, who snookered US voters into elevating her over Nitelife last year, was a seventh place no factor in the Lynch. She appears to be a different filly. The same goes for To Dream On: what’s up with her? The latter’s counterpart, Bee A Magician, is better than ever, while Wheeling N Dealin has a qualifying jones.



Impressive performers in the NYSS over the weekend:

Sunday at Buffalo in a 38K 2YO trot, The Lindy Treat, a full brother to 2002 2YO F trotter of the Year, Pizza Dolce, won easily from the seven in 2:01.2 for Ray Schnittker. He was a 65K Harrisburg buy. Another division was won in 2:01.3 by the Rc Royalty gelding, My Man Charlie. He’s out of the Muscles Yankee mare, Sand Moxie. George Ducharme, the trainer of the speedy 3YO Rc Royalty jumpin jack, Royalty For Life, also has this one.

Friday night at Saratoga Jim Morrill won three of the four 46K NYSS for 2YO pacing colts. His win in the seventh with the American Ideal colt, He’s Watching, was other worldly. The 2/5 shot broke at the start and appeared to be out of it. Meanwhile, American Force, a gelded half brother to Piece Of The Rock took the field to the quarter in :26.4. The other three splits hit the quarter in :28.2, :29.1 and :29. Morrill’s colt was last, eleven out at the half, then he circled the field on the last turn and won in :55. It was bizarre.

Forty Five Red, an If I Can Dream half brother to Thirty Two Red won the third division handily in :56.4. Another If I Can Dream won a split of the Excelsior Series in :57.2. Western Hanover left potential stallions Well Said, If I Can Dream, BBJ and WWS in his last couple of crops, while Artsplace has all his marbles on Sportswriter.


19 of the 48 colts in Sunday night’s six divisions of the PA All Stars for 2YO pacers were by SBSW. That amounts to 40%. His progeny won two of them; sons of Art Official, Western Terror, Allamerican Native and Four Starzzz Shark took the other four…..Frau Blucher toyed with the competition in a 3YO trotting filly split of the All Stars. Frau and Lady Broadway are shining the light on Broadway Hall. Aside from that pair, Chris Oakes also has Classic Martine, the winner of another All Stars split last night. The Classic Photo filly, who starred in the Weiss, is now six of nine with more than a hundred thousand earned in 2013.

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