Last night at Mohawk the eliminations for the North America Cup were contested. The weather early in the evening was fine, although a little chilly, however when race 7 rolled around, Bethpage Black showed up, and it got pretty soupy. Overall it was a very good evening of racing.
In elim one I felt that Well Said could not "flip the switch" and be better this week, which was dead wrong. I think the connections, although publicly not saying anything, were quite concerned with his two flat efforts, the evidence being they changed both hind shoes to aluminum. Whatever happened, he was a different horse. East coast horse Keep it Real raced very well to be second.
Elimination two, on paper was Dial or No Dial's race to lose, and he did not disappoint. OK Borimer, with Luc O's buddy and blog contributor Greg standing in front of me with a fist pump, came second in a good effort to make the final at 30-1 odds.
Elim three was where I was going to take a poke at Arctic Warrior. He got stuck back in traffic and closed to be third. I hope he makes the final. Rooney winner If I can Dream won gate to wire, and Annieswesterncard was a good second.
In the last elim there was no fooling around for Mr. Wiggles. Gate to wire. Assuring himself a spot in the final was Art Colony.
Notes and News and opines from around the track
Federal Flex, the horse usually mentioned as the "born in the wrong year" three year old trotter looked more than fine winning his elim for the Goodtimes. It amazes me when we get to watch good trotters. In the elims for the Goodtimes I think I saw only a handful of knee boots. Most of them were equipment free and trotting smooth as glass.
Yellow Diamond was flat as a pancake in her elimination for the Fan Hanover. Do we chalk that up to happenstance and chuck out the subpar effort?
I was looking to bet against Well Said, as mentioned. I chose Lisagain as my 'value' horse. Lisagain was 6-5, Well Said was 5-2. In a lesson that we should all remember, not liking or liking a horse depends solely on the odds. Although I hated Well Said, if I knew he was going to be 5-2 I would have bet him.
I spent the Mr. Wiggles race in the paddock. As written on the blog, I wanted to back him pretty good this week. At about three minutes to post I saw he was 14-1. I had to run into the grandstand to bet, so I just said "fagetaboutit", and stayed in the paddock for the race. Never a doubt...... he won and paid $33.
After the Mr. Wiggles win (by the way, the kids at the winners circle after the race when I returned were all chanting "Mr. Wiggles". Kids like that name I guess) I saw the groom of the horse run up to trainer Brenda Teague, who was dutifully cleaning up and loading stuff into the truck, and say "cmon we just won!". Brenda said, something along the likes of 'I have things to load, so go ahead'. I have heard from three or four people telling me that Brenda is one of the nicest, and least pretentious successful trainers in racing. This told me they were right.
In what I like to call "The Art Colony Mystery", I am wondering who keeps betting this horse. He was 7-5 off a bad effort where he lost at 2-5. He should be about 20-1 next week, but for some reason I think he will be 7-2 or something.
I had a nice chat with Jamie Martin of Woodbine last night and he was quite excited about the Queens Plate, the pick 6 guarantee and the WEG/TVG deal. Let's hope that some of these things take hold. And let's hope we see some similar action on the harness racing side as well!