Harness Racing: Alan Mitchell picks Yonkers, Pocono Opening, Big M
Six divisions of the powerful George M Levy Pacing Series, for top pacers, kicks off in the fourth race at Yonkers. This Series generally attracts the top hoses racing in North America, Among the entrants is Beckhams Z Tam, a 1:50 1/5 winner at the Meadowlands last start, from the 9 post. Has the services of driver Tim Tetrick again.
Yonkers Race 4
Windsong Leo (1) Makes his seasonal debut and draws the rail. Had two qualifiers and won them both. Last season he won 20 of 37 starts and is now freshened. The horse to beat, Mach It So (3), has also been freshened. He fits these like a glove, if ready. Western Fame (4) is from the powerful Allard stable. Any horse this stable sends to post can win. Don Domingo (7) draws outside and hope for a minor share against these. Must consider in “Supers.”
The Bet: $10 to win 1-Windsong Leo
Yonkers Race 5
Anythingforlove A (3) – Should be on the lead when the gate opens. The better horses draw outside and this 7-year-old can lead these a long way. Bettor Memories (8) draws the 8 post and that can’t help. He is probably the best horse in the race, but, as we all know, the 8 post at Yonkers is a tough spot. Rockin Ron (7) has been off since December. Won both of his qualifiers and is from the powerful Ron Burke stable. That alone makes him a threat. Has won some BIG races in the past and can’t be overlooked. Christen Me N (4) had a win 2 starts ago against a bit less. Has over $2M earned in his career. Is always tough.
The Bet: $5 win 3-Anythingforlove A
Yonkers Race 6
The star of the show, Beckhams Z Tam (3) draws well with Tim Tetrick up. Last start was a blazing 1:50 1/5 win at the Meadowlands. Could be a ‘single’ in the Pick 4’s. Ideal Jimmy (1) draws the rail and fits well from this post. Will get an Ideal trip behind Beckhams Z Tam. Sams A Champ A (5) had a perfect trip win, sitting in the pocket, from the rail against the “Opens” last week. Bit Of A Legend N (8) has major post woes but can sneak into the Superfecta at a price.
The Bet: $5 Exacta Box 3-1 Beckhams Z Tam and Ideal Jimmy
Yonkers Race 7
Duplicated N (1) draws the rail after a perfect trip win at Dover. Can repeat from this spot. J J Flyin (6) Comes north from Dover Downs with a 5 race win streak. Normally, Dover horses don’t race well at Yonkers but this one is on a steak. Rodeo Rock (4) had a 1:49 4/5 win at the Meadowlands in his return, last start. Must be considered in Trifecta and Superfecta. I’m Some Graduate (2) is from the Burke stable and must be considered in the gimmick bets.
TheBet: $10 Exacta Box 1-6 Duplicated N and JJ Flyin
Yonkers Race 8
Always At My Place (2) definitely needed his last start and should be better tonight. Made a nice bid in his seasonable debut but flattened out late in the mile. Finds a field he can beat from this spot. The Wall (1) - returns to Yonkers and draws the rail. Also from the Burke Stable. Could they finish 1 – 2? Imarocknrollegend N (4) could certainly be a factor from this spot. Had a nice win here 3 ago and could be used in tri’s and super’s. Nocturnal Blue Chip (6) gets Tetrick for the first time and that’s a big plus.
The Bet: $15 win 2-Always At My Place
Yonkers Race 9
More The Better N (3) finished second in both seasonal starts this year. Now is his time to win. Croghan trainee draws a favorable post and can beat these. Goduko Hanover (2) will be well placed early. His win, 3 starts ago, makes him competitive with these. Mar Nien A (1) won Pompano qualifier in 1:51 – in the slop. Has the rail tonight and figures for a good trip. Mach Doro A (7) Impressive win in stateside debut. The only knock here is the poor post. Still, he might get into trifecta or superfecta.
The Bet: $10 Exacta Box 3-2, More The Better N and Goduko Hanover.
Pocono Downs Race 2
T’s Electric (5) gets the firm call here for a number of reasons. First, he’s dead game at this level. Secondly, his most recent claim was by the mighty Rene Allard stable, which usually improves horses greatly. I think he can win but a really short price looms. Master of Puppets (3) had an earlier win at this level and now draws an inside post. Can improve vs this bunch. Spanish Art (2) has mostly been racing against softer company but he did have a second place finish at this level in January. Admiral (8) Took a drop down in class last start and won from the 4 post. Tough spot tonight but could land in the gimmick bets.
The Bet: $10 to win 5-Ts Electric
Pocono Downs Race 5
RU Ready To Rock (7) -- prior to last start, this veteran won three in a row at Saratoga – at this level. He has 44 career wins and has always been a gamester. Toss out last race. Can beat these on best. Bonfire Bliss (1) Moves into the Allard barn and draws the rail. Looks good here and figures to improve. Mom’s Crossroads (9) – Solid vs softer in last few. Must close from way back. CC’S Desire (6) -- Claimed and won his last race against an easier group. Can land a minor check vs these.
The Bet: $10 win 7-RU Ready To Rock
Pocono Downs Race 12
Rockeyed Optimist (5) has seen better days, but still, he should have enough left in the tank to beat these. Raced at a very high level for most of his career, including some wins vs top company. Will regain his form vs these. City Hall (3) has faced faster in his last 2 at the Big M. If there is something seriously wrong with Rockeyed this one can win. O’ Sundland (1) Obviously, the rail helps this 9-year-old. He could easily hit the board. Bruce’s Magic (8) – Has been knocking at the door in his last four. The poor post is a factor. Can’t lead to an easy trip.
The Bet: $22 exacta box 5-3 Rockeyed Optimist and City Hall
Meadowlands Race 5
Sports Legend (3) – Returned from a 5 month hiatus and posted an impressive 1:51 3/5 tally. In that win, he fired away from the 9 post, sat a perfect pocket trip and won while drawing off. Steps up in class today, draws the rail and has Yannick driving again. All of this could add up to a repeat winner. Art Dancer (4) also fired away and sat a ‘trip’ last start. The difference between Sports Legend and this one shows this one finished second, lacking the late pop. You Got Trumped (6) arrives at the Big M after wintering at Pompano. He was sharp vs softer at Pompano and steps up here. Fordham Sixty Two (2a) Moved to the lead after the quarter and beat a much softer group as the 3 – 5 favorite in last. From the powerful Burke Stable he could land a minor share vs these.
The Bet: $5 win 3-Sports Legend
Meadowlands Race 7
Life Happened (2) draws an inside post after a few weeks of outside posts. Finds a great trip which will be close to the lead. Driver Callahan is very aggressive and can win with this one. Stonedust (1) wired an easier group from the 8 post with Tetrick. Draws the rail and picks up Gingras today. Dangerous from this spot. Tact Tate N (6) returned last week after a sick scratch and figures to improve a bit tonight. Backstreet Lawyer (4) takes a slight drop in class after some dull races.
The Bet: $25 win 2-Life Happened
Meadowlands Race 8
Caviart Luca (1) It seems like these feature races are always won by a Burke trainee that is driven by Gingras. This one needed last and has the rail. Must improve, which he can do vs these. Castle Flight (2) Cooled off in last after a sharp streak that lasted for 4 races. and missed racing last week. That is a drawback. New Talent (3) benefitted from a drop in class last start and posted a strong 1:49 2/5 win. Still tough if he can repeat that effort. Alotbettor N (6) Nice wins in last pair. Is very sharp now and can be a longshot factor.
The Bet: $5 exacta box 1 and 2 Caviart Luca and Castle Flight