I am putting my winning streak this year on the line with my selections. Here they are:
Hanover 6th Trot - $3,000; RUS (Exacta Wagering Available)
#2 Cool Creek Valley (Valstad, 5-2)
#4 New Favorite (Engerran, 7-2)
#3 Thor Seelster (Elliot, 7-5)
Thor Seelster by class is the obvious choice but he broke in his last RUS event. At 7-5 and likely going lower, it is worth looking elsewhere.
At this point, there is one obvious flaw in RUS racing in Ontario, the lack of classified racing. By all races being open to anyone, you have horses clearly better than the rest of the field in them, leading to favorites. Once enough horses are available, it would be in everyone's best interests to have races classified to make them more competitive and evenly matched.
I was kind of disappointed at Historic Track yesterday when the New York County Fair races were contest. For those unfamiliar with the NYCF races, they are the bottom of barrel with respect to the sires stakes; more for the horses who would likely be eaten up on the parimutuel circuit. The problem? The number of two, three, or four horse races there were was sad. Yes, the money on the parimutuel circuit is a lot better and there is always a risk a miracle could happen, but why not race at Goshen in what would amount to $3,000+ race and learn events instead or finishing 25 lengths behind in a race at Saratoga or Monticello?
I understand the two year old races coming up short this early in the season for if you are racing in this class, odds are you'd be better off waiting a bit or turning them out for the year, but there is no such excuse for three year olds. I just don't understand why trainers don't race at Historic Track and t by their presence help the non-profit organization which maintains the national landmark out instead of racing in events where they should be betting how far behind they will finish instead of Win, Place, or Show.
For the record, Jordan Stratton put on a driving clinic going six for seven on the eight race card.
If the NYSGC approves of the request, the stretch at Yonkers Raceway will be going back in time by being moved 100 feet to the east, returning the track to a traditional half mile format. Currently, the starting line is right on the first turn which makes for an awkward start (especially for the outside horses) and distorts the camera view of the finish. By going back to a traditional start/finish line, not only will the start be fairer to all horses, the video from Yonkers will allow those on and off track to be able to see who won the race before the numbers are posted. The SOA of NY approves of the move and has endorsed it. It is thought with the finish line moved up the stretch, horsemen will be forced to make more moves in races, making the product more interesting to watch.
Yonkers will be investing in new cameras and will use technology including mirror image for photo finishes commonly used in thoroughbred racing. So while going back to the old finish line, the equipment which will be used will be bringing the raceway into the future technology-wise.
No doubt I and many others will welcome the change. We can only hope there will be movement in the races to make them more exciting. While gamblers want large pools and competitive racing, nothing draws new gamblers like exciting races.