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Newbie & Non-Newbie Things You Need to Know about the Hambletonian

The Hambletonian card takes place tomorrow starting at 12 noon. It's a 16 race affair, highlighted with the Hambletonian - and before that the Oaks - but there's much more on the card than just those two big tilts.

Here's a primer, especially for those who know little about harness racing.
  • The card has 16 races and about $10M will be bet. This is the highest bet card in harness racing, and perennially the best racing card in the world each year.
  • There's a free Trackmaster program for the card. Lots of past performances for harness racing big days are free. 
  • The last race has an 8% Super High Five with $231,000 already in the pool that will have to be paid out. Expect the pools to be over $1 million. Must bet, if you like betting. If you don't, skip it and watch a band. I think there's a band.
  • There's a pick 5 to start the card and everyone and their brother, sister, mother and mother's gardener will be keying Broadway Donna in leg two. She should win easily. For larger bankrolled players, or for those of you looking to take an extra fun money ticket or two, leaving her off will almost guarantee a huge payoff. 
  • The fifth race is the Cashman to be raced at 9 furlongs. You'll notice some horses coming from overseas in the trots. We generally know as much about them as when they come over from Ascot to race in the Million. 
  • The sixth race has 2013 Horse of the Year Bee a Magician. She's won 39 of 56 starts in her career. Yes, Standardbreds race a lot and we get to watch good horses often. She will be a huge favorite again, but I will be using the rail horse heavy. 
  • The 8th and 9th races are the eliminations for the Hambo. These horses will race once, then the top five will move on and race again with the winner taking all the chocolates. Yes, I didn't type that wrong. Harness horses are jogged daily and trained often. They love their work and they are a sturdy breed. In fact, it is not uncommon for a harness horse to train in 2:10 for a warm up mile an hour before a regular race, where he or she might go 1:54. That's like a horse for the Whitney this weekend going 9 furlongs in 1:56 at 3PM tomorrow as a warm up. The Toddster would want 31 days to do that.
  • Mission Brief is a filly, trying to win the Hambo. She could've went into the Oaks, but she went into the big one to race the colts. She's Winning Colors. 
  • The race is being televised by the CBS Sports Network.
  • Wiggle it Jiggle it takes on 8 others in the Cane Pace. The Cane Pace is the first leg of the pacing Triple Crown. Don't worry if you didn't know that, not many people do. I think Dealt a Winner is an excellent longshot bet.
  • The Hambo is the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown.
  • I bet Centurion ATM last time - of course I did. If he is sound, and gets any type of trip, I think he will win the Hambo
  • My longshot choice in the Hambo is Workout Wonder.
  • As another longshot, I will be betting Obrigado
  • Donald Trump will not be there. I just typed this so search algo's can find my blog if someone is searching for Donald Trump. Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump
  •  Other notes: There's a $30k pick 5 carryover at the Big M in race one tonight. Positive expected pool expected. 
  • There's a nice $12k carryover at Maywood for their super high five tonight. It will be another positive expected pool.
Have a super nice day everyone and enjoy the races.

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