Pocono lowered their takeout on multi-horse exotics from a Uruguay-like 35% (yes, you are reading that right) to 25% this season. I can honestly say I would not have posted about this event here if they would have left them up there, despite me liking the people who run the event very much. Pointing people to 35% takeout tracks for me, is like giving an alcoholic a case of Old Grand Dad bourbon for Christmas. Instead I am happy to say that this years multi-horse bets are lower take than last time's at Woodbine, so you are getting better value. Ex takes are 20%, which are not too bad for harness racing.
Word is there will be a $10k seeded pick 4 and a $20k seeded pick 6 on Final night. Very good.
The Event of the Night
Very rarely do we see the 3YO trotting final be more interesting than the sophomore pacing final, but this year that is what we've got. Lucky Chucky along with Muscle Massive are two talented colts. Chucky is, in my opinion, the better of the two, but they are a match for each other. Usually this division is a walkover for some colt as there is just very little depth in the trotting divisions, both two and three year olds, as a rule. This race will be this years most exciting on paper, I believe.
What Happened to the 3YO Pacing Crop?
We spoke about this crop from day one this year - on paper, with flashy times, it looked very deep. However, if you dug deeper, we felt there was a huge chance at the end of the year we would not be looking at superstar-ville. And we are not. Rock n' Roll Heaven is a nice horse and so is One More Laugh. The latter did not race well at all in Ohio, and he needs to bounce back (which he seems to be always capable of). The former is the most talented in the division. There are two elims this weekend, with only six horses in each.
Older Divisions Provide Excitement
In the last several years, the older divisions were raced on a different evening. This year this is not the case and fans will be able to watch horses like Shark Gesture, Enough Talk and Lucky Jim duke it out. This is a very welcome change. As with most of you, the 2YO trotting divisions especially, are not very good betting affairs and for fans, many do not know, or have a hard time capping them. Some finals are available for download now if you want to look at some pp's.
Is This Simulcast Everywhere? Will everyone be able to bet it?
I'm working on it. Pocono is not the most distributed or known track out there, so we'll see.
Post time is 5PM for the big day, which is a different post as well, so we need to be aware of that.
We'll have more lines, and news and notes for ya as the weeks progress. Let me know if you want to chat about anything, or have some opinions on the races that you'd like to share.
Last up, for news and notes on the Crown this weekend and next, Harnessracing.com has a pdf that is mailed to you Friday morning, which should have some insight. Please visit here to sign up.