Skip to main content

Monday Morning Harness Notes

The Meadowlands Pace elims wrapped up on Saturday and we might be looking at the best betting final in years. As we have been discussing almost all year, this crop looks sub-par, but pretty even. It seems the soundest talented horse might end up the end of year champ in this class; and right now it's up for grabs.

In elim one, Montrell Teague led the field through sleepy fractions, just like he should have and won under-wraps with Hoosier champ Custard the Dragon. The North America Cup winner, Up the Credit, failed to fire at all, and looked a little bit unsound to my eyes, although being so far back he had little shot to hit the board. Bestofthebest Hanover, a son of supermare Bunny Lake, looked to have some pace in the lane, and he might be a sneaky one to throw on the tickets in the Final. Foreclosure closed from aways back in quickening speed  - he might be the best 3YO out there right now.

In elim two, the "we'll race Big Jim off a helmet" experiment was over, although I imagine it had more to do with Phil being forced to take the lead. When right Big Jim is a top horse, and being on the front end should not, and did not make a difference. He won fairly easily in 50. I can't blame a soul for wanting to bet Powerful Mist in the final. He closed nicely from off the pace and finished strong. Betterthancheddar, this year's super-hyped three year old, was rather blase first over and no threat.

The post draw might tell the tale and is needed to be seen before stepping out on a limb. I will likely be betting Foreclosure, however.

We must have had an equipment change, shoeing change, some vet work, or maybe driver Marcus Johanssen just gets along with her better, but See You at Peelers drove pretty straight and was impressive once again at Vernon. She set a track record in a training mile. She's looking more and more like the female version of Somebeachsomewhere. In fact, we are seeing a few criticisms that she is "not tested". Well, you can't test what you can't catch. She can move to the lead in 26 flat and no filly in NA has a hope in hell of stretching her out. It's what class and talent is all about - the superstars make it look easy.

Trainers and owners (and drivers for that matter) are finicky. After a no shot trip at Tioga, that any driver would have delivered the way the race went, Randy Waples was booted off top older mare Dreamfair Eternal. With Jody Jamieson at the Meadlowlands she needed a driver at Georgian this weekend and who did they call? Randy. Track record. At the top levels, the driver means so little in harness racing. Randy, Jody, Brian, Paul, Tim, whomever? She'll win for them all.

Have a good Monday everyone.

Comments

Blaine said…
I'm a Betterthancheddar fan after his first over thrid place finish in the elim. He'll get some cover on Saturday and roll in the lane.

Popular posts from this blog

Sword Dancer Shenanigans Proves the Public's Point

Ask any random person who has not watched a horse race, or maybe have seen one or three : "Is horse racing fixed?"

They'll probably say, sure it is; common knowledge.

At that point, racing folks get excited to defend their sport. 99% of the races are clean, there is too much money involved to fix races, etc etc. 

Then we have yesterday's Sword Dancer, where not one of us can blame anyone for thinking like they do about the sport.

It's probably bad enough that a "rabbit" was entered for an old-time form of race fixing, but that the horse was ridden like a quarterhorse made the optics look terrible. That another horse - Roman Approval - had to be physically restrained due to the cowboy style race riding of the horse sent to destroy him, is probably just as bad optically.

But that was just the beginning. The real story had just begun.

At the head of the lane, this rank, spent, heart-ripped out rabbit, needed to do even more work for the 1-9 shot. He had t…

If #harnessracing is Afraid of the Answer......

There's a saying, apparently, from the legal community - never ask a question if you don't know the answer.

Today at the USTA meeting Jason Settlemoir put forth a motion that the USTA ask its membership the feelings on a question regarding slots and marketing. In a nutshell, it asked if a percentage of slot money should go into a slush fund to be spent on marketing and ancillary items to promote and grow the sport.

When the 54 director votes were tallied, the score was 47 to 7..... against.

Yes, the leadership of an organization voted down, in a landslide, asking the grassroots membership a question. 

Sure this seems super-silly, but why they did it, I think, is an easy one. They knew that if they asked the question the answer would be a resounding "yes". Then all hell would break loose. They'd have to try and get that done.

If harness racing is afraid of the answers to questions, they don't ask them. That seems to be the mantra of the sport. And it's p…

PTP's Bathing Index ® Derby Handicapping Angles - This is Much Better than Dosage

Good day racing fans!

It's one week until the Derby, where drunk people, rich people, sororities at almost every University, and others get together to watch, wager, take molly, drink juleps, wear hats, have parking issues, and partake in the annual Kentucky horse racing tradition.

I have scanned the big websites, read almost all social media and was very surprised that there are not a lot of people giving their thoughts on this year's Run for the Roses. It's like no one has an opinion! So in my never ending search for traffic, I decided to pop up a handicapping post. I think this post will help both new fans and old salty handicappers land on a winner.

As most know, physicality is important for handicapping (Leadbetter, et al). A lesser known angle is watching how a horse reacts while getting soapy water thrown on him. As long time handicapper Jessica notes, it can be a key to unlocking Derby betting fortune.


Preach.

Let's begin with our control group, Kentucky Derby …