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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Miscellaneous Thoughts for the end of August

Thanks to VFTRG contributor Joe F. for coming up with a great article while I will be away for the day taking care of family issues.  You may not agree with everything Joe writes but it is pretty much insightful.

Remember all the grief Peter Foley took last year when he made it known that Bolt The Duer would not return for the second heat of the Jug, regardless of how he fared in the first. Many said the colt shouldn’t be allowed to start at all. Others swore up and down that they’d never vote for Duer for anything, no matter how worthy he was. Unlike Jug winner, Michaels Power and ARNRD, Duer was staked to the Tattersalls Pace and the Bluegrass, and Foley wanted to have something left for later. Now, Michaels Power isn’t up to tangling with the big boys and HBC is a curiosity. Duer, on the other hand, is hands down the best aged pacer in training, and on the verge of being historically great.


Apparently Needy was scratched out of his CPD elimination because he was late for Lasix. That puts Jamieson in something of a bind; the horse had three weeks off prior to Saturday’s scratch and it will be tough to find a race this Saturday when the final is held. WEG is famous for allowing the homeys to feast on inferior stock in situations like this—see San Pail—but it would be more likely that a race is carded for the CPD rejects and scratches: Needy, TOL, Michaels Power, Kingcole and Fred And Ginger. 

The next FFA race will be the Quillen at Harrington, the eliminations for which are two weeks from today, on Monday September 9. All of the participants in this past Saturday’s CPD eliminations are staked to the Quillen, with the exception of Aracache and Fred And Ginger. Typically that race is a Burke barn feast. Burke’s charges have won four of the six Quillens and vacuumed up much of the place and show money paid out to boot. Last year the Cleveland Classic drew higher end stock than expected and this year it may be the Quillen that has the planets lined up in its favor. 

Last year there were only five starters in the Quillen. Cheddar wired the field, equaling Stand Forever’s :49.2 WR for a four-year-old pacing horse on a half. This year should bring more than five entries and Flipper J, WWS and Feel Like A Fool won’t be three of them.

If there’s no Quillen elimination, as was the case last year, Needy would be off six weeks going into the final. I don’t think they want that to happen. 


Wasn’t it announced after the Yonkers Trot debacle that 825K lemon, Detour Hanover, was being turned over to someone who knows something about training trotters? He’s in to qualify at Harrah’s on Tuesday and Cancelliere’s name is still on the trainer’s line…..Their filly, Power Pack Hanover, takes on Ideal Ginny at Pocono on Tuesday. She’s fast enough but has only banked 37K this year….Bettor Sweet has only raced once in 2013. He won the BC off of relatively light campaigns the last two years, but not this light.

The Muscles Yankee colt, Corky, is a money machine. He’s got twelve board finishes to his credit in thirteen 2013 starts, good for 660K. Among them, a win in the 500K Beal, a third in the million dollar Hambletonion, a second in the 360K Zweig and a third in the 500K Colonial. And last year he was first or second in all seven starts. His dam, Clarice Marie, is a full sister to the dam of Tall Cotton and half to the dams of 2000 Colt Trotter of the Year, Banker Hall, Broadway Hall and Looking Hanover. He’ll get his chance to shine in Saturday’s Simcoe, if he’s entered. He’s the only colt from the Zweig staked to the Simcoe. RFL, Spider Blue Chip, Eli, Aperfectyankee, Pine Credit, Shared Past, Puxsutawney, All Laid Out….none of them were nominated to the Simcoe. Some that are eligible are consolation winner, Lindys Tru Grit, Crazed N Lindy, High Bridge, Dontyouforgetit and Team Six.

Corky’s paternal brother, Smilin Eli, who was raced very conservatively by Tetrick in the Zweig, Is also a check cashing machine. Eli didn’t race at two, but he has eight board finishes in ten 2013 starts, good for more than 500K. Eli was second in the Hambletonion and the Colonial.


Sevruga, the division leader in wins, earnings and speed, takes on Market Share, the division leader in reputation, Thursday in a winners over handicap at Harrah’s. Sevruga was assigned the seven post and a favorites ML 7/5 designation while Market Share was placed on the outside and assigned second choice status.  The aged trotting division is certainly much improved over the last few years but it lacks the panache of the pacing group. While Uncle Peter did set an age based WR at Pocono, the Takter trio—Guccio and LBF—have not lived up to expectations. Market Share has made five starts and Herbie six; Goo is on an endless road to recovery from minor surgery and San Pail is apparently on the verge of a return to action after sixteen months off. Arch Madness, who is also nine-years-old, is showing his age. Smedshammer had him beating up on four hapless foes at Vernon at 1/9 over the weekend.

Intimidate has emerged from the wilds of Quebec in style. He blew by Mister Herbie in a preferred trot at Mohawk Monday night and looks to be the top dog in the division. The problem is that he’s missed most of the FFA races and isn’t staked to much going forward, except the Credit Winner and the BC. If ten of those nominated to the former choose to enter, Intimidate won’t get in because his bankroll is so small.


Sweet Lou, a well beaten second to Duer in Saturday’s CPD elimination, won the BC and ISS at two, the Tattersalls Pace at three and the Meadowlands Maturity this year. His record as an open stakes winner, while more impressive than that of Needy, who only has one, is not exemplary, but like many of his Burke barn compatriots, money follows him wherever he goes. He’s currently about 12K from being a millionaire twice over, and will probably cross that threshold on Saturday. Also, he still leads the TVG standings.


The winter and spring champ, Golden Receiver, was staked to the CPD but wasn’t entered. Last year he ran out of gas in mid-August. He still stands in the number two spot in the TVG standings, though.  
With both The Captain and Vegas entered in the Cane on Labor Day, September 2, the pickings should be a little sweeter at the Simcoe which is five days later. Sunfire Blue Chip and Fool Me Once are both staked to the Simcoe and not entered in the Cane. Someone could bring a Cane starter back for the Simcoe but it’s unlikely Alagna or Coleman would do that. 


With the Meadowlands carding the Valley Victory, Goldsmith Maid, Governor’s Cup, Three Diamonds, Moni Maker and Nadia, as well as the TVG finals, at the end of November the often ridiculous Matron, Progress, Galt, Cinderella, Windy City, American-National and the like will no longer serve as a springboard to division honors at the hands of the short-sighted and generally clueless.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The pre-race listing for Detour's qualifier had Cancelliere listed as trainer but the chart for today's race has Steve Elliott.

Detour broke and was distanced.