One of the keys to successful handicapping is being able to spot a pattern before everyone else does. A perfect example of that was in last night's Hambletonian Maturity where if you happened to play Your So Vain, you were rewarded nicely with a $16.60 mutuel. Let's call it the Sebastian K methodology after the famous Swedish stallion.
The trainer/driver was once again Ake Svanstedt. Your So Vain was making his first start of the season off of a single qualifier (albeit a faster qualifier than Sebastian K had in his qualifier). On top of that, you had a driver who, racing last year in Sweden, is more than familiar with races longer than a mile. All this paid off nicely last night as Your So Vain won by two plus lengths in 2:05.3 for the 1 1/8 mile tilt (1:51.3 mile rate), defeating last year's Queen of Trotting, Bee A Magician. Last year's Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life was impeded by a breaker at the half and was unable to get back into the race but make no mistake, last night was Your So Vain's night.
For all the talk about the second tier, two of the trailers managed to get into the top five finishers of the race, but make no mistake Your So Vain was primed for victory and it showed with his bold three-wide move approaching the half, never to see a challenger past that point.
As for the Svanstedt's pattern, rest assured handicappers will be watching for it in the future and the chance to collect handsomely may be over.
Meanwhile, yesterday morning there was a trio of horses in the sole RUS qualifier at the Meadowlands getting ready for the Hambletonian Monté late closing series and it was a pretty good race in itself with Take My Picture coming out on top for Therese Lingdren in .2:01.2 after slugging it out with Bambino Hall down the stretch.
Some may think RUS racing is for has beens in the trotting sport. Well, they would be wrong as in France there have been numerous horses which raced to sulky as well as monté-style at the same time. It seems switching between the two styles keeps the horses fresh.
Today is the final stanza in this year's Historic Track meet. A slate of ten contests are on tap featuring the annual Hall of Fame Trot with this year's inductee David Miller making his debut in the race and Historic Track's RUS event with a field of eight to face the starting gate. The balance of the card will be featuring NYSS events for 3yo trotters. Yesterday, there was an eye opening performance by Spreester who stopped the timers at a blistering 1:54.1 on the half mile oval listed as 'good'.