After 20 years, the Yonkers International returns thanks to the success of its simulcasting into Europe. To accommodate the European market, Yonkers will be racing in the day time with the first race kicking off the day's card at 2:00pm. To maximize wagering opportunities, the International trot (race four) is the second of a quartet of trotting races being sent to Europe racing at the added distance of 1 1/4 miles with anywhere from ten to twelve starters behind the gate. Estimated post time for the International is 3:10 PM.
Many people complained about Yonkers racing against the Red Mile card on Saturday but when you consider the majority of the field last raced in the UET Masters Final on September 13, it is understandable. This race contested at Mons, Belgium is the key race for many of these horses and admittedly a good part of my handicapping comes from this race (the race is available on YouTube).
There are a lot of question marks in this race. How many of these horses have contested on the smaller oval or a track with the first turn coming up so quick? Layoffs don't seem to bother this caliber of trotter but one has to take into consideration the impact quarantine may have on these horses (as for paddock time, the European horses used the Yonkers infield to roll around in). There are several legitimate contenders in here including the morning line favorite Bee A Magician but considering her likely favoritism I tend to doubt the odds will allow me to put her on top of my ticket. Another big question is how will Timoko race off a layoff due to a hoof injury?
The following is my analysis and selections, along with a long shot play. With these International events and a lot of white space on the program, you need value for your wager.
Sat 10-10-15 - YR 4th Trot 1 1/4 miles - $1,000,000 Yonkers International Trot (Approx Post 3:10)
1 Creatine (Johnny Takter, 4-1) - Started from the second tier in the UET Masters Trot Final (Gr. I) and encountered traffic problems on the outside in the later stages of the 1 3/8 (approx) contest to just miss the winner. With the rail he may be a main contender for top honors.
2 Papaggayo E (Ulf Ohlsson, 5-1) - Finished fifth in the Masters final but has competed well against these at times. In a lessor stake finished ahead of Rod Stewart and Creatine. Not out of it.
3 Rod Stewart (Enrico Bellei, 12-1) - Italian entrant has basically raced against lessor company. This would be a big step up. Pass.
4 Timoko (Bjorn Goop, 6-1) - Scratched out of the Masters and made last start in end of June. Former Elitlopp champion tailed off before getting time off for a hoof injury. No doubt the class of the race having raced in the top events on the continent. Discounting the layoff to some degree, after all why ship him over if no chance? Could take it all but with the question marks, I would want odds to compensate for the uncertainty. Anything less than the morning line is a toss for me.
5 Bee A Magician (Brian Sears, 3-1) - Mare on the roll winning last two against the boys. Has won here before but also lost the 1 1/8 mile Fresh Yankee at Meadowlands. Not sure how she will go against Europe's best. Wouldn't be a shocker but enough questions that she can't be played as the likely favorite.
6 On Track Piraten (Erik Adielsson, 10-1) - Solid effort in last racing on the outside uncovered for part of tilt. Can land share with best effort and racing luck.
7 Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder, 8-1) - Gained national notice as the slayer of Sebastian K in last year's Preview at the same distance. This field appears to be deeper. Will lightning strike twice? Tend to doubt it but could figure in exotics.
8 Mosaique Face (Adrian Kolgjini, 6-1) - Winner of the Masters in last start from post position two. Horse managed to control the rail and go wire to wire. Doubt he will get the front easily. May be stuck on the outside in this field.
9 BBS Sugarlight (Johan Untersteiner, 6-1) - Can a horse get any worse of a trip as this one did in last start, after trying for the lead against the race winner? If Creatine leaves this one may get a good trip. Another one who can steal it all with a trip.
10 Oasis Bi (Orjan Kihlstrom, 8-1) - Finished third against Mosaique Face in last but draws the worst of it here. Been a while since last entered the winner's circle. Can't doubt this one's class but has much to overcome from post ten.
Longshot play - 9