We seem to be in the early stages of a changing of the guard on the pacing side. Yagonnakissmeornot, the six-year-old soon to be a millionaire by The Panderosa won the Chip Noble at Miami Valley on Sunday in wire to wire fashion, after finishing second in the Blue Chip Matchmaker final. Carolsideal won four legs of the Matchmaker and finished third in the final, while the Bettor’s Delight mare, Venus Delight, won the Matchmaker. All this while last year’s co-winners of the Dan Patch, Anndrovette and Rocklamation, have floundered. And last year’s sophomore champ, Color’s A Virgin, was seventh in the Chip Noble.
Anndrovette’s only win in her last thirteen starts is a F&M preferred at Yonkers. Rocklamation won the Artiscape at Vernon Downs in early November, but that was her only win in her last ten starts.
And on the male side, Foiled Again, who recently had some minor corrective surgery that is expected to turn him in the right direction, has lost his last eleven starts. Take It Back Terry and P H Supercam, both successful participants in the Levy, are one-two on the aged male pacer list. Sweet Lou is retired from racing; Bettor’s Edge, Clear Vision and Dancin Yankee haven’t been very good; and Thinking Out Loud just qualified. Unlike the situation with the distaff pacers, there is quite a void on the male side. JK End, He’s Watching , McWicked and Miki better step up and fill it. However, all four are missing from Sunday’s elimination lineup for the Confederation Cup. Jug winner Limelight Beach and Messenger winner All Bets Off are entered.
Maven has lost all but one of her starts in Europe; she’s been victimized by bad luck in the draw, but too many losses, nonetheless. Shake It Cerry, who was expected to challenge in a tough aged division, has performed poorly in both 2015 starts. Sunday, in the Miami Valley Distaff, she was ground down on the backside by Daylon Miracle, who beat her last week in the Meadows Maturity, and she wound up finishing sixth, behind the likes of Whata Donato and Dancehall Mistress. Last year’s division champ, Classic Martine, won at a generous 15-1 from the outside post. Outdoing the division prima donnas seems to be her stock and trade.
Bee A Magician, who drew the unlucky 13 post when she took on the boys in the Hambletonian Maturity last year, finishing second, drew the 10 post in Saturday’s TVG open/Cutler Prep. She beat a soft field of open boys in her season opener from the outside at Yonkers the other night. She’ll have a decision to make next week: Bee can continue to dance with the boys in the $175,000 Cutler on Saturday, or race in the $40,000 first leg of the Ms Versatility at Mohawk, two days later. Both races involve points that are banked toward eligibility for a lucrative final, with the TVG final being quite a bit more lucrative. “Stablemate,” the buxom Maven, is in Europe, making little money and earning no points.
Market Share, who finished third on the division money list, with low profile wins in the Maxie Lee and the Dayton Trotting Derby, is entered in Saturday’s Cutler Prep, but division winner, nine-year-old Sebastian K, and Maple Leaf and TVG winner, six-year-old Intimidate, are passing on the Cutler. Father Patrick was very strong in qualifying on Friday. He isn’t staked to the Cutler either; he’ll no doubt start in the first leg of the Graduate at Tioga on Memorial Day.
Arch Madness, Archangel and Trixton have retired. Nuncio is thriving in Europe, and Creatine is also racing there. And Sevruga has lost his Mojo. If the four-year-olds don’t step up, we’re counting on DW’s NY Yank, Melady’s Monet and Wind Of The North.