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.