Friday, September 25, 2015

HANA Handicappers Go Under Saddle

Saturday night is the inaugural running of the $10,000 Harlequin Invitational at Mohawk Racetrack, it being contested as the second race on the evening card; part of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots program which also features the Milton Stakes, part of the Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge.

Anyway, a number of the handicappers participating in the Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge have decided to make their selections for the first parimutuel racing under saddle event at Mohawk Racetrack even though it is not part of the contest.  In addition to win, place, and show wagering, exacta, trifecta, and superfecta wagering is also being offered.  The race also completes the early daily double as well as kicks-off the early Pick 3.

So here are their selections, in no particular order:

Garnet Barnsdale - (7) WINE PHOTO gets the call in this Racing Under Saddle event based on his close second in a similar race on August 29th and his rider’s excellent record in these races this year. (4) A PENNY EARNED is one of the classier entrants and his rider has won 60% of her limited RUS starts this year. (3) HIDDEN IDENTITY was a good 2nd in a RUS race earlier this month and is another contender to consider.

Dennis O'Hara - (4) A PENNY EARNED

Josi Verlingieri - (4) A PENNY EARNED

Ray Garnett -  Exacta Box (3) HIDDEN IDENTITY - (5) SANTO DOMINGO - (7) WINE PHOTO.  Trifecta Box includes the same three horses plus adding (4) A PENNY EARNED.

Sally Hinckley - (4) A PENNY EARNED might be nice odds.  Also like a trifecta key with (1) COOL  CREEK VALLEY and (2) TWIN B EXCALIBUR under my top choice.

Earl Paulson - (4) A PENNY EARNED.  EXACTA BOX - Top choice with (5) SANTO DOMINGO.  TRIFECTA BOX - Add (6) FUNNY PHOTO.

Rusty Nash - If you can get 8-1 or more on (4) A PENNY EARNED, that is my play.  Otherwise I would go with an exacta box of (3) HIDDEN IDENTITY, (5) SANTO DOMINGO, and (7) WINE PHOTO. 

Bryan Owen - I like 7-3-10-2...7 Wine Photo, looks to have the best of the drivers and will win it with a good trip.  3 Hidden Identity will be a betting favorite, but I'm hoping the 7 will trip out.  The 10 is a sneaky play as I only really dislike the post, but I expect a lot of breakers to make the trip much easier.  Don't dismiss.  Finish out the super with 2 Twin B Excalibur, will be a big price, but don't expect him to break in a race that may see very few stay on stride

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

RUS Racing at Mohawk this Saturday in the $10,000 Harlequin Invitational

This Saturday, September 26, Mohawk Raceway will be hosting the first Harlequin Invitational for RUS Trotters.  The $10,000 Haarlequin will also represent another first; the first parimutuel RUS event at any WEG track.  RUSOntario explains why the race is being called the Harlequin Invitational. 

While not a multi-national event as the Yonkers International, the Harlequin has an
international flavor.  Due to the holding pattern of racing under saddle in the United States,
a couple of American trotters have been invited to compete and will be heading north of the 
border to do battle against Ontario's best.  

Racing at Hiawatha Horse Park on September 12, the Americans failed to hit the board,
perhaps due to being assigned posts 5-7 in the handicapped event.  With the Harlequin
Invitational being an open draw, the American participants are hoping for a better outcome
this time around.

Also giving the contest an international flavor are two European riders who are scheduled 
to compete in the event as Sweden's Stephanie Werder and France's Philippe Masschaele
are expected to ride in the invitational. 

With most tracks and ADWs taking Mohawk's signal, for many American punters this
will be the first time the opportunity exists to wager on a racing under saddle contest.
Not only will a strong handle show Woodbine Entertainment executives and others in
Canada there is an appetite for parimutuel RUS racing on a regular basis, it may also help
convince American racing officials to take a serious look at changing state laws/regulations
to allow parimutuel racing in states with traditional standardbred racing.

The field for the $10,000 event is being drawn this morning and the field will be announced
later in the day.