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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Yonkers International Preview

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.

Selections: 1-5-9
Longshot play - 9


Marv said...

A majority of the drivers in this race primarily drive on the other side of the pond. I would be very surprised if they sit in like American drivers do until there is 3/8th of a mile left in the race. No one will want to get locked in on the small track with a big field and being wide will help in the turns. We should see two tiers early and three or four later in the race. That will make this race a crap shoot of racing luck.

Anonymous said...

Sebastian K "slayed" Sebastian K in the Preview (he made a break), Truth be told, he was already tailing before that, and was no good after!

Pacingguy said...

Marv, Not as much a crapshoot, more like a European race.

Anonymous said...

For all the "movement" that supposedly takes place in these European races, a closer look shows that in MOST of them somebody works his way to the lead and the rest of the horses just stack up double tiered the rest of the way - way fewer "closers" and "big moves" than you would think. I'd go so far as to say that in Yonkers' OWN mile and quarter races, there is far more movement and "action" than in most of the European events. If you doubt this, watch a few videos of the International's top contenders - yes, there are horses "all over the place", but few are moving, and most end up going nowhere. By the way, if Creatine gets away trotting, you won't be seeing too much movement tomorrow, either!

Marv said...

The difference between this race and a European race is the length of the stretch and wideness of the turns. In Europe, the stretches are long and the turns are wider. They can wait more. You'll run out of track at YR. That's why I think it is more of a crapshoot.

Anonymous said...

And not surprisingly (as expected), the lead was established early, a snail's pace developed (a pace in line with the BOTTOM class at Yonkers), and not a single horse gaining any ground (despite all the "wonderful" two-tiered action. The reality is that the European "driving style" actually prevents action and movement because they're all in each other's way!

Anonymous said...

The Biggest disappointment about the race is the scheduling of it. Saturday afternoon against Keeneland, Belmont, and many other popular daytime signals....absolute shame to see a great card of harness racing with a million dollar race go virtually unbet...even the biggest value play in racing in recent history the picks that yonkers and nysbo SEEDED with $25,000 and guaranteed $75,000 ... the public wagered only $32,000 into this amazing net plus pool. What an epic fail. Also lacked proper publicity..but the main thing was the scheduling. .sheesh..unless they handled millions in the overseas pools ( which seems to be a big secret what they've been handeling through the French tote pools) then I think it was a waste of a big race and a big purse. Night time post with big publicity and t very coverage is what this race deserved.

Count said...

European racing is so much more exciting that harness racing here that it's ridiculous. the two-tier argument presented on this blog stating that it prevents movement is absurd at best.