For those who say elims should be run at 6PM, there was ample evidence of it in the first two tilts. The 3YO fillies was an old-fashioned boat race and sprint, with the quicker American Jewel getting the best of the pacesetter. With fractions of 28 and 57 I can not believe someone did not move early. If you are first up and close to the pace at least you have a shot. No one really did and we were left with a match race.
Ditto for the 3YO colt trotters in the third. Yannick Gingras made the lead, two left turns and rolled home like he was racing nw1s at Harrington.
Then the fun started. In race 4, Market Share was the huge chalk, but there was a nice colt who has been gingerly handled who came to play. In arguably the nicest late move of the night, Intimidate mowed the field down late, and looked great doing it. Can he upset in the Final? It would not surprise me one bit.
For the first 3YO colt pacing affair, we saw a really odd result, and that probably falls into the lap of driver Jody Jamieson. Warrawee Needy, probably the fastest horse right now in the division, was sent off as the 2-1 chalk. He left, but would not retake Panther Hanover in the second quarter, which was only 28.3. Panther Hanover, as you all know was 12-1 and he was off sick the last while, with only a schooler under his belt - the quintessential question mark horse. Jody was buried, and his charge came sixth, missing the final.
Jody summed up his drive on twitter after the races:
Not sure if it'll help but I'm at the keg getting a coors to soothe the pain from some bad drives 2nite. Get them all out my system #needyEscape the News was also buried with pace and made the Final, but we really can't take too much away from that odd race, I think.
— Jody Jamieson(@Jodyjamracing) October 21, 2012
Romantic Moment was the heavy chalk in her 3YOFP elim, and she didn't disappoint, in another boat race. As you know, I have been a huge fan of this filly, but I do not think she was that great last night. She was amazingly soft at the end and Gingras actually had to give her a nudge to win the race. It was very close.
There are those who say Gingras "shut her down" and that is probably true. However, this does not hold as much water as most think, in my opinion. Horses are not machines. They tend to know where the wire is, and when the race is over, because there are other horses pounding their hooves, and drivers whistling and whipping in their vicinity. That's why horses come home in 26.4 under a hold while being "shut down". This filly might be quirky and might be just fine, but if we're looking at a horse at 2-1 next week in the Final who was so soft at the end, our ROI is not going to be very good going long over a big sample.
Her main foe, Shelliscape, really looked ouchy. She's got a ton of heart. I wonder if Bob can get her feeling better for next week.
In the last 3YO Pacing Colt tilt I think we learned a few things; most of which we already knew if you follow this sport:
- Michaels Power is a good OSS horse, and a good half mile track horse, but he has big trouble with the best on the big track
- Sweet Lou is not really very good right now. He gapped cover again and does not look comfortable. He might be the gamest horse in the sport, though.
- Mel Mara might be the fastest horse in the final. Why he got off sixth is anyone's guess. He was awesome.
- Having surgeries, no matter how minor like A Rock n Roll Dance received, is never good for a pari-mutuel punt.
The handle was a respectable $2M last evening.
Twitter notices hock kicks and can give out their awards. Last night Tim Tetrick won.
Speaking of twitter, there are some bettors on there, and it's worth watching. You can always tell the bettors from the fans because they're slugging away their hard-earned cash and always looking for an angle, especially to fade chalk. Sometimes it is very helpful.
I'm going to analyze next weeks races adding a little bit of a back end bias. We might be able to find some bombs in exotics to add, or some to leave out.
Enjoy your Sunday everyone.