Granted, the Takter trio of Father Patrick, Nunzio, and Trixton looks very tough with Father Patrick being the pre-race favorite but there have been upsets in the past, perhaps the most famous was in an elimination when Delvin G Hanover lit up the tote board at $126 for the win in the 1984 classic. Let's not forget Shiaway St Pat, the Michigan bred gelding who had his moment in the rain-soaked 1981 Hambletonian; the debut of the classic at the Meadowlands. The point is if you go to the gate you have a shot; staying in the stall doesn't.
Ironically, the biggest threat to the Takter trio may be the fact they will scare away competition, but not enough. If 11 to 14 horses drop in the box, the second tier comes into play and with no choosing of post positions, the possibility of drawing into the second tier could be a nightmare to whomever gets the backseat. .
Meanwhile, in the John Cashman Jr., Intimidate, the Maple Leaf Trot winner is racing in the first elimination while Sebastian K will be racing in the second elimination. If both advance to the final, we may be seeing a rematch of the Maple Leaf Trot combatants on the first Saturday in August.
This Friday, Cat Manzi is being honored at the Meadowlands. Granted, it has been a while since Manzi was a factor at the East Rutherford oval, but in the Meadowlands prime, Manzi was one of the prominent drivers there and afterwards he was the successor to Herve Filion at Freehold. Here's hoping he gets a proper send-off.
A theme of late is the question of stables starting multiple horses in a single race so you can imagine a chuckle I got when I see the thoroughbreds are having a problem in Mauritius. It would appear they are having lots of problems regarding integrity there. What had me chuckling was an edict from the Prime Minister, including this gem:
Any stable will now no more be allowed to have more than two horses lined up together for one race.
One could imagine why this decision was made.