Hambo Day is here, and here are a few race by race thoughts. A free program is here for all interested, and remember, at times we see a track bias on Hambo Day so watch for that early and adjust accordingly.
Race 1 - Miss New Jersey
Do you want to bet against Iluvthenightlife after her soft last quarter last time? I don't. She missed a week and went a 26 and change second quarter so you could figure she'd be soft. It's a short field and I won't get a price on anything so I'll sit this one out.
Race 2 - Merrie Anabelle
Shake it Cerry looks all world. Lifetime Pursuit looks happy as a clam. Heavens Door, I have a feeling, might try and take it gate to wire. Chalky race perhaps. 6-3-2-4-10
Race 3 - Ima Lula
This is where the day gets interesting for me. What to do with Maven? I will pitch her and try and make a score. She dead heated and then lost with a nice trip last time, with an anemic (for her) last quarter. If she bounces back off a week of rest and possible vet work, so be it. I'm playing One More Ginny. 3-5-7-6-1
Race 4 - Lady Liberty
The best mares in the world square off in another great race. It's impossible not to like Krispy Apple from the inside at odds, and I think I will stick with her. Drop the Ball was marvelous last time and Androvette is obvious. Longshot Feeling You will be a bomb use in the pick 4's for me. 2-6-8-5
Race 5 - Peter Haughton
There's no getting by the two chalk in my handicapping. 3-1
Race 6 - Vincennes
Take My Picture, at anywhere near ML odds, is a play for me. Cedar Dove and Coco Lindy are both sharp. Burke's horse from the 11 is worth a look behind.
Race 7 - Hambo Elim 1
The race goes through Smilin' Eli as far as this capper is concerned. He missed time, had no schooler because of sickness and raced okay in his last. I suspect he'll be back to his old self. I will be keying him on several horizontals.
Race 8 - Hambo Elim 2
It's hard to believe, but that 27.2 last quarter of Wheelin n Dealin was the fastest he has ever trotted home in his life - and he's won 9 races. At 2-1 or lower, I can't use him much. Your So Vain is probably the fastest horse in the race and should go off well below his morning line, but he has some problems by the looks of it. I expect he'll be much better with a week off and some vet work, so he is worth having a long look at in the Post Parade. Creatine is a nice horse and the trainer is pretty sharp. I see myself ending up with him. 8-1-3-7
Race 9 - Hambo Elim 3
Spider Blue Chip seems to be getting better and has some mettle. 8-1-5-4
Race 10 - John Cashman Memorial
This is quite the race. Sure Market Share is the best (much the best), but what happens if he gets roughed up? Sevruga and Mister Herbie will show speed and Uncle Peter won't be too far back. I have a feeling Jody works out a trip here with Mister Herbie; if they don't go too fast he might get the jump on the chalk. He's a good horse. 6-9-5-7
Race 11 - Hambletonian Oaks
Who do you like in the Oaks, asks @keenegal on twitter? Last year she bet our pick who paid $120 or something, so maybe she figures we've got another one. But we don't. Bee a Magician looks like the real deal. I do like Coffeecake Hanover as a bomber though.
Race 13 - New Jersey Classic
This race goes through Word Power, in my opinion. I don't think anything in here can stay with this horse. 6-2-9-11-10
Race 14 - The US Pacing Championship
What a race. I'll type that again: What a race. I know thoroughbred fans might not understand harness lines, so putting it in our best runner terms, this four year old and older race is like a Breeders Cup Classic with Alysheba, Ferdinand, Sunday Silence, Ghostzapper, Big Brown, Smarty Jones and Cigar. The richest horse in harness racing history will be 25-1, the winners of the Meadowlands Pace, North America Cup and about three dozen other grade I's are all in here. The field has won close to $20 million dollars in purses. Barnburner.
Me, I am going longshot hunting with Thinking Out Loud. I have a sneaky feeling we will see big fractions here, and if can get away in his post position number, he can be a part of this. Others who will likely be underbet are Bolt the Duer and Pet Rock.
This is, once again, one of the best races you will ever see assembled, and it's why so many want to see fewer, not more horses retire at three.
Enjoy your Hambo Day everyone. Good luck at the windows.
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