As a thoroughbred watcher a major complaint I hear from the fan's perspective is the spacing of major stakes, and the lack of top competition meeting each other on a regular basis. If that's the major reason one is a racefan, I say "come to the dark side of harness racing!". Our horses meet regularly and you are usually entertained. Case in Point: A Lazy June Saturday evening.....
See You At Peelers, taking on the boys in the Rooney Pace at Yonkers, made a mockery of the event. She went to the front and then just cruised. She won easily, but she did not look as sound, in my opinion, last evening. She remains undefeated. Video evidence of this marvelous filly here.
I think we may see her try a few more of these tests in the coming months.
The Burlington Stakes triumvirate certainly was entertaining. In division one, Big Jim was defeated at 1-9, and the winner was a tough one to pick. Up the Credit exploded home in 52.4 showing brilliance that he has never come close to showing before. This horse has to be one of the favorites now for the big one in two weeks. In the second division, Bestofbest Hanover won in 51.2 with a nice covered trip. It's nice to see Bunny Lake have a nice horse like this. She was awesome as you all remember. The last division provided bettors with super-value as Better Than Cheddar was severely overbet and faltered quite late. Roll with Joe (another colt with a tremendous pedigree) got the job done off the pocket trip. Shadyshark Hanover was third, and although he showed a nice back half, he did not impress me.
One thing we learn each year come Burlington time - the speed these colts go is huge, and we begin to think a lot about a crop. However, with today's vet-trainers training (or more accurately, overtraining) many of these horses, there is a strong chance that this is the best they will ever be. The good ones go speed in May, the great ones carry it through the year. You need a pretty sharp trainer to steer the ship.
There is some carryover action today worth mentioning. For thoroughbred fans there is a $62,000 Pick 6 carryover at Belmont. For harness fans, Balmoral has some huge value on the card this evening - a pick 4 and a Super-high Five carryover. While watching the Des Smith card this evening at Rideau, the Balmoral card will provide a nice betting distraction!