Three year old trotter and last season Champion Wheeling n Dealin has been pretty hard to figure out. Last year he was 9 for 9 but I was never really sold on him, because he didn't really show the speed you'd see from many other 9 for 9 trotters. He got cheap half's his whole life (he has never had to go faster than 57.3) and was never tested. He didn't win by a football field either.
This year he came back with three qualifiers, the last of which contained a last quarter of 29.1. He didn't look even remotely ready and when he made his first start bettors were salivating to bet against him. His second start was not much better - in fact it can be argued it was worse - when he lost by ten.
Last weekend, however, he flashed a 27.2 last quarter. When horse's flash a nice last quarter they are feeling good. He seems to be finally feeling good.
I guess that would signal a bet in his elimination, would it? Well, not really. This is not Muscle Hill where he went in 153 as a two year old and you can see him peaking towards a sub-153 this weekend. Wheeling n Dealin has never been a 153 trotter. So he has to not move towards his previous top, he has to set a new one. It's virgin territory.
I suspect Wheelin will be nowhere near my fair odds line come Saturday, so I guess it's an easy choice for me. As Harvey Pack famously said 'don't bet a low priced horse that has to do something for the very first time'. Wheelin will have to go faster than he ever has - and he just might do that - but it won't be with my money.
This years Hambletonian is probably the most interesting Hambletonian to bet in many years. No, the quality is not up to some years, but there are several coming into the race off question mark's, and the field is really deep. Wheeling n Dealin is one piece of a very, very interesting puzzle.
In HRU today (pdf), Perry Lefko chatted with Dustin Jones, trainer of Wheeling n Dealin. As well, a bettor looked at some news and views of the Hambo.
If I have time later I will go through the Hambo card on the blog.
Have a nice day everyone.
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