Saturday, June 7, 2008

North America Cup Elims are in the Books


It was a busy day today. I will pop up a post on the Belmont later for those who might want to offer some opinions. But first, harness racing:

Tonight's elims for the Cup are over and done. For full results, you can use the standardbred Canada link.

In the first elimination, it was frankly a walk in the park for Badlands Nitro. I thought he looked fabulous. On 7/8's tracks the most important fraction is the middle half. He went a solid 54.3 and still had plenty in the tank. Santanna and Horatio (with a dandy steer from Randy Waples) made the final. As I noted before I am a fan of Share the Delight, owned by commentator Andrew Cohen. He unfortunately made a nasty break. They are probably so, so disappointed tonight, and that was sad to see. I was really pulling for them.

In the second division, Somebeachsomewhere won in 149 flat. I am not even going to speak of him in this post. There are simply no adjectives left. We've been touting Art Official this week, and he raced awesome (stopped clock). I'll wait for post positions, but I think I will have him ranked second this week in the final.

The third division was a fight. Three lead changes and plenty of action resulted in a longshot winner - Deuce Seelster. Everyone thought that Sand Shooter would be better this week and he was. He was foul gaited most of the way around, and lesser horses would have folded up and lost by about 20. He made the final. Dali brushed nicely to the lead in a fast 53.2, got a good third quarter rest but could not hold off Deuce Seelster.

All in all the races were entertaining. No one backed off, no one conceded a win. They are after all going for a shot at $1.5M next week. I was impressed with Badlands, SBSW, Art Official and Sand Shooter (if they could ever get him straightened around!). Those four will more than likely make up the top four in the new odds line when I get to it.

What did everyone think? Who were your three or four most impressive horses?

We'll be back this week with more Cup thoughts, and I do want to post up some Big Brown thoughts. It was perhaps the most interesting weekend for race fans I have seen in a long, long time.

Photo courtesy Northamericacup.com. Check that site out for all the pics, news and notes.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keystone Horatio was very good, but I still don't think he can pace with some of the others in there. Dali raced really big. If he gets a bad post, his strategy will be the key to the race. Art Official raced well, but at the end of the day I don't think they will touch SBSW.

Phil J. said...

I don't see how they beat Somebeach. I do wonder if that 2nd quarter brush that MacDonell keeps using successfully will catch up with him some point, ala Jamieson last year with Tell All in the Breeders Crown. You have to figure someone is finally going to say oh no you don't.

I thought Sand Shooter did well enough, he was on the brink of a break the entire way and he always seems to be empty on the far turn yet keeps grinding away.

Pull the Pocket said...

Hey Phil,

Last year in the BC those were two pretty (on paper) even horses, so Sears stuck it to him. I don't think there is anyone even with SBSW. But we'll see.

What did you think of the Belmont?

Phil J. said...

No I don't think anyone is in the same league with him either. I was just throwing it out there. If you are driving against him you have to figure yourself to have no chance if he clears so maybe take a chance and park him?

Not sure what I think of the Belmont. I'm not sure I'll ever see a TC winner. Big Brown, Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex all proved themselves to be far superior to the competition in two of three legs yet one thing or another happened and they don't complete it. I lost a little respect for Dutrow over the last 5 or 6 weeks, so my heart sure wasn't crying for him. I wasn't a huge fan of his anyway because of his prior antics with regards to rules. So I guess, him not winning the TC was ok with me. The ownership weren't easy to fall in love with either in my opinion.

For the game, I wanted to see it happen. I think him not winning is just another bruise because of the steriod issue.

Big race elims at Chester today, like anyone?

Pull the Pocket said...

Not watching today Phil.

Ill check the results and tell you who I liked. I cant lose that way :)

Phil J. said...

lol

Mister Big in a new world record ... 148.1

Artistic Fella in 148.2