Trotting Action Abound May 12, 2010

Posted by Frank Cotolo on Friday, July 02, 2010 10:00 PM
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With the return of last year’s frosh-colt star, Holiday Road, still undecided, the 2010 soph-colt-trotting division began this year without a major star. "Holiday," whose connections were behind Hambletonian-winner Muscle Hill, won the biggest frosh trot of last year, the Peter Haughton Memorial. That catapulted him to the status of future-book favorite for this year’s classic trot.

But things changed when Holiday faced health issues and took the rest of 2009 off to recuperate. Trainer Greg Peck has confidence the colt is doing better but no one is ready to give him his due until he returns and shows decent sophomore form.

So, the division has started along the 2010 Hambletonian Trail unlike the last few years when Muscle Hill, Deweycheatumnhowe and Donato Hanover made the change from two to three without a wrinkle. This is not a bad thing for those of us who watch and wager closely on the events leading to the Hambletonian, where many of the big race’s contenders do far better in preps than in the August classic.

At YouBet dot com, with the cooperation of the Hambletonian Society, we have begun continuing reports to document all of the pertinent racing action along the Hambletonian Trail, making the journey to the big race an adventure in handicapping and wagering (this includes the fillies as they race their way to the Hambletonian Oaks). The many races in the Grand Circuit schedule, and various state-bred races, result in a stream of betting opportunities that make up the "Trail" and keep the betting public interested.

Already, we have stories developing, as Ray Schnittker entered the season with a number of prospects with Hambletonian notions. One of them, Flex The Muscle, won the Dexter Cup, taking the early role as division-leader. Schnittker’s other colts adorned the Dexter elims and final, including Shaq Is Back, Margarita Man and Big Stick Lindy.

With Il Villaggio taken from his 2010 season due to an injury, the division looks to the others from last year’s frosh crop to make an impression on 2010. Pilgrims Taj, Lucky Chucky are poised to race. And some others we are watching closely to improve from their frosh campaigns are yet to make noise. Temple Of Doom is one of them. Quantum Lightning is another.

On the filly side, Poof She’s Gone is in the spotlight, having won more money at two than any of the colts. As well, penultimate money-winner Costa Rica may have better chops this season, posing a major threat to the division. Fashion Feline and Barham Hanover also rank in the top of the returnee list. We are keeping a close watch on Tequila Slammer, who could be the division’s sleeper

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