Super Splits Feature Top Performers May 24, 2010

Posted by Frank Cotolo on Friday, July 02, 2010 9:56 PM
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In the early spotlight as May is winding up are a few colts and fillies that shone in various events in their divisions. In the mix at three different tracks, there were Hambletonian-eligibles coming around.

In the $52,000 Mr. Muscleman Final at the Meadowlands on May 21, we were right about an improving performance coming from Take My Picture. The promising early Hambo prospect was second to Tough Challenger, just as he was in the elim. But he was 11-1 this time and made “Tough” work hard for the glory spot.

Both public choices in that race broke stride. Hambo-hopeful R Sam broke at the start and came back well on gait to finish fifth. Oh No It’s Stevio (not on the “trail”) jumped at three-quarters on the lead. The other eligible, Champion Hill, took fourth.

The Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for the colt division showcased some Hambo-headed talent at The Meadows on May 18 with four divisions worth $64,000-and-some each.

Ray Schnittker’s Cassis looked great taking the first split as the prohibitive choice. Cassis is four for four as a sophomore. Baximum was third. Southwind Voltage and Photo King finished off the board and Chimon was off well and sitting third in the stretch when he busted badly and was eliminated at 54-1.

The three Hambo-eligibles in the second split did not do well. Hard Livin, the favorite, was hung beyond recovery, while second-choice Pilgrims Chuckie galloped at the start and never got back into action. Ace Hanover went evenly, never making a productive move.

Premier Hanover went a huge mile to beat favorite On The Tab in the third split. The other impressive Hambo-candidate here was Can’t Lose, who made up great ground from the half to three-quarters and was third when he busted. Aside from the break he raced much better than his 13-1 status. In the last split of the program Beer League was 9-5 but began the mile without trotting. He gave up 9 lengths by the first quarter and then steamrolled first over to be within a length of the leader at three-quarters. It was a huge move that overshadowed the wire-to-wire winner; he finished third.

Elims for next week’s $250,000 Empire Breeders events for colts and fillies took place on May 22 at Vernon. There were two for the boys and two for the gals.

Boys with Hambo ambitions took both chapters, however one of them is a gelding and that one was disqualified. A rail violation in the stretch by gelding Whata Winner, Jim Doherty’s hot sophomore that set a record in last week’s Simpson Stakes, made the judges place “Winner” second. Benefiting from the replacement was Shaq Is Back, placed first.

Schnittker’s “Shaq” was all out and could not beat Winner, who had a tough trip leaving from the 8 hole and soared up the open stretch to easily glide home. The pylon abuse was no factor in the win; Winner was not being urged by Doherty.

Big Stick Lindy won the other colt chapter, Schnittker having less trouble here getting his colt to the finish line first.

The filly Boinga remains in the spotlight, easily taking the $54,000 final of the Windylane Hanover. She is the sixth top soph-filly trotter earner as of this writing. Jimmy Takter’s duo, Jettalady and Special Appeal finished in second and third, respectively, with the latter going off the public choice. But Jettalady had a great trip at 15-1, going second over and having plenty left to finish 2 lengths back.

In the first of two Empire Breeders elims for fillies there was another win for Impressive Kemp, which won a Simpson Stakes at Vernon last week. On the “Oaks” trail, too, was the show finisher, My Winning Way K. The most impressive of the pair of gals was Italian-owned Southwind Samurai, winning over a field jammed with Oaks-aimed fillies. The two choices here, Schnittker’s Munis Blue Chip and Trond Smedshammer’s Sweetspellosuccess, were ragged. “Munis” tried to cut the mile on top but was galloping come the stretch, while “Sweet” did not seem at all interested in participating, though going evenly.

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