Eliminations, Canadian style; the ‘Empires’ strike back

Posted by Frank Cotolo on Friday, June 22, 2012 6:22 PM
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 H = Hambletonian eligible.

To coincide with the 29th edition of the North America Cup and the Fan Hanover, Mohawk gives trotters a chance to prep for the Hambletonian and the “Oaks” in the Elegant Image and Goodtimes. There are two eliminations for the Elegant Image, going for $35,000 each. The Goodtimes also has two elims that go for $30,000 each.


Friday, June 8 showcases two Elegant Image eliminations. The first features Casual Breeze winners All Ready Hanover (H-Chocolatier) and Smarty Pants. Also in are Idonette (H-Donato Hanover), Maven (H-Glidemaster), Valdonna (H-Andover Hall), Miss Paris (H-Kadabra), Win Missy B (H-Conway Hall) and Superstar Hanover (H-Cantab Hall).

After going off stride last week, Idonette looks to return sharper than ever. Trainer Henrik Lundell said, “She was throwing her head and almost reared up, probably didnt like the tie down. No tie down [this] week.” She should be better gaited to provide a win.  

The second attracted five eligibles; Check Me Out (H-Donato Hanover), Sand Violent Blue (H-Tom Ridge), Im On Cloud Nine (H-Angus Hall), Personal Style (H-Yankee Glide) and On The Bright Side (H-Cantab Hall).

There is no doubt that Check Me Out is the one to beat. Im On Cloud Nine has a home-track advantage. The Kevin O’Reilly trainee has won the Ontario SBOA, Celias Counsel and Ontario Sires Stakes Prep in Canada. She can go a tough first over and may have to, as Check Me Out will definitely be on the lead.

Also with a shot is Personal Style. She closed well from post 10 to win the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) by 2 lengths. She gained a total of 13 lengths in that mile. If she sits close to the pace she may be able to challenge Check Me Out and also be a possibility of an upset.

Saturday night, June 9 features the two Goodtimes splits.

In the first elim, Beer Summit (H-Cantab Hall) is the likely favorite, perhaps causing the public to dismiss Market Share (H-Revenue S) leaving from an outside post. He came from the 8 hole in the NJSS and finished a valiant second to Big Chocolate in the first leg. He should be able to provide a similar effort against a weaker field.

Also eligible in this elim are Southwind Warsaw (H-Chocolatier), Lindys Jersey Boy (H-Cantab Hall) and Il Mago (H-Kadabra).

In the second elimination, Guccio (H-Yankee Glide) will take a lot of money. Also eligible are Scary Good (H-Cantab Hall), Gym Tan Laundry (H-Yankee Glide), Knows Anything (H-Kadabra) and Littlejack Hanover (H-Donato Hanover).

Mr Ridgetaker may be able to rebound after a break in the Currier & Ives. Before that start, he was a good third to Uncle Peter (H-Cantab Hall) in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes. Here, he should be sharp and ready to tango with these trotters.

On Friday, June 8, colts and fillies line up at Vernon Downs for the lucrative finals of the Empire Breeders Championships (EBC). The elims were worth pittance compared to the final fields, with the colts battling for $233,250 and the filly episode worth $239,500.

Archangel (H-Credit Winner) has been charged lately and last week took a speed badge in one of the EBC’s cheap elims; that was his third-straight win among the classier of the New York breds in this division.

But right there with him was our choice, Coraggioso (H-Conway Hall) who suffered a tougher trip and still took second from the speedball. Coraggioso broke after chasing the leader first over and getting the lead for some steps before jumping again. That was his first loss this season.

We like Coraggioso even more this week because, for one, he comes from post 9, which will hoist his odds some and because last week’s missteps should not distract us from his prowess this season thus far.

Delano (H-Credit Winner) also had a bad time of it last week but he could be tangled in a speed storm with Archangel and Flyhawk Jester (H-RC Royalty), more support for our outsider.

Hambletonian photo 
The femmes have a three-pronged entry with Cowgirl Hall (H-Cash Hall), Lima Playmate (H-Credit Winner) and Borrow And Spend.

This is another dash-for-the-front scenario, probably led by Anandamine (H-Credit Winner). But, the only filly in the entry not trained by Ray Schnittker, that is, Gates Brunet’s Cowgirl Hall (who we liked last week but finished second to For A Dancer [H-Conway Hall]) is in a perfect striking position. We opt for the mild upset with Cowgirl Hall.

Get to TwinSpires for wagering all of the great races leading to the Hambletonian and “Oaks” and read all the result stories at Hambletonian Society’s exclusive “trail” section.

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