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Two Year Olds and Different Strokes

The two year olds are starting to roll at the Meadowlands and elsewhere. Two that have caught ones eye would have to be Rock n Roll Heaven and Il Villaggio.

The former (a nice catch drive for Dube, and a lesson to cappers that the horse a driver chooses is sometimes not the best) made a really nice late move to win. Bruce Saunders seems to be a guy who can have a good one and keep him going for the long term. This is witnessed in his chart lines. While some trainers want their horses to roll big time early, Bruce is working this horse into it, with his sights on the later stakes. Right now he looks good and the test will be the Metro.

Il Villaggio looks like some stock. For the first few races, Break the Bank K looked to have a stranglehold on the jersey breds, but as we spoke about below, when you turn up the purse size, competition is there and you have to bring your game up a notch. Ill Villaggio has.

The Meadowlands does things that make sense, and even with the massive handle drops it is not because of a lack of trying. Thursday they ran all their $200k stakes finals. Most other places run them on a Saturday (see Mohawk's card Saturday with CBC races). The salient point in that I think, is that the Meadowlands knows that a $200k stake with freshman trotters are bad betting races - a 15 claimer with ten solid horses is much better - so they do not run them on their highest handle night. It is all about their brand, and that brand has taken a hit lately, but they do hold true to betting axioms and that brand whenever they can.

I see Standardbred Canada has linked to the Art Official's owner comments that he was better than Somebeachsomewhere. Since it is a Canadian site that should get some play. Interestingly Mr. Big has been installed the favorite in this Saturday's Ben Franklin final. That was a bit surprising, but if we are speaking of respect, Mr. Big certainly is a horse who deserves some. That race is a tough one to handicap and I could see several winners. However, I think Art Official, with any kind of trip can get the job done there. I like Bettor Sweet for second.

On the good side of things, a test has been developed for Cobra venom.

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