Harness Racing: Alan Mitchell picks a 10-race card for Saturday
Yonkers raceway – Saturday - March 23, 2019
Yonkers Race 7
Open Handicap trot leads off the action tonight. DWs NY Yank (5) - Burke trainee is always dangerous at this level. A big mile here would not surprise me. Weslynn Dancer (4) made a good try in last, chasing an open length winner. He won the start prior. He is very sharp now and can beat these on best. Lord Cromwell (1) - Held gamely in last and won by a neck. That was a strong effort. Back on the rail tonight. Is still tough from here. Blenheim (2) - Just has to sit, sit, sit. If he sits, he can be a factor late in the mile.
Selections: 5, 4, 1, 2
Yonkers Race 8
Ideal Jimmy (3) - Went wire to wire from the rail last week when Beckhams Z Tam lost as the overwhelming favorite. Beckham raced poorly but this one won. If he can grab another easy lead, he can repeat. Always At My Place (6) - if you can disregard his last race, the prior starts were solid. From the powerful Burke stable driven by the Minister of Speed, George Brennan. Mach It So (4) - Game veteran raced evenly in his return, last week. I can see a big improvement on the horizon. Maybe tonight. Bettor Memories (5) Not much in 4 starts this year. However, he’s better than that. Could land in the trifecta or Suoerfecta.
Selections – 3, 6, 4, 5
Yonkers Race 9
Sams A Champ A (4) - I am willing to disregard his last start. He is better than that. Has the challenge today of facing Beckhans Z Tam (3) - I have been mulling over his last race all week. I thought he was the star of the show. Is it that he did not like the half mile oval? I MUST expect a better mile tonight, if he can ‘get’ the track. He will be an overwhelming favorite again. The Wall (1) - Came from off the pace to capture his division of the Levy. Back on the rail again, Expect him to be closing again. Bettors Fire N (6) sat a perfect pocket trip, got out late and finished 3rd by a neck in a strong mile vs The Wall. Not in a good spot tonight but could land a share of the purse.
Selections – 4, 3, 1, 6
Yonkers Race 10
Mar Nien A (3) - Was highly touted. Last start he got pressured on the lead and folded late in the mile. His best races are when he moves after the quarter. Can win with strong drive tonight. Somewhere In L A (4) - His lone win of 2019 was vs an easier group of non-winners. Was a remote 2nd in last. Expecting a strong effort in this field. Macs Jackpot (6) - if he can pick up live cover, which is possible, he will be closing at the end of the mile. Use this one in gimmick bets. I’m Some Graduate (5) got hung out to dry in last. His lone seasonal win vs less. Still, he’s from the Burke stable and that is always a plus.
Selections: 3, 4, 6, 5
Pocono Downs – Saturday – March 23, 2019
Pocono Race 7
Classy Hill (2) - Sharp when he was in the Burke stable. But last week he was claimed by the Allard Stable. #2 stable in USA claiming a horse from the #1 Burke stable. Steps up a notch in class tonight. Should be interesting. Polak A (7) - Lacked late pace in 2 post return. Still, we can say he needed last. Look for improvement tonight. Wagon Master (3) just missed in last start from 7 post. That was a strong closing effort. Tough if he can repeat that race tonight. Sanattle Slew (1) had a slow win at Buffalo raceway two starts ago. Can find good trip here but seems a bit cheaper than these.
Selections: 2, 7, 3, 1
Pocono Race 10
Black Chevron N (3) - Overmatched in last pair from the 7 post but really fits these well. Was sharp earlier at Yonkers but might enjoy the bigger oval. Certainly won’t be the favorite vs these. Good bet at the price. Soho Wallstreet A (6) - Sharp bid in last as chalk while finishing second. He shows solid form and will likely be the chalk. Eddard Hanover (1) - Necked from rail in Yonkers as the favorite in his seasonable debut. Can improve off that race. Had a win here last year. Use in trifecta and superfecta. Epaulette A (7) had a razor sharp win from the 2 post in last. Trainer Hunter Oakes’s stable is very sharp now and he looks like a talented trainer.
Selections: 3, 6, 1, 7
Pocono Race 12
Maxdaddy Blue Chip (6) - This game veteran was the Horse of the Year at Pocono Downs a couple of years ago. He is now backed down in class. Has enough in the tank to beat this bunch. Machiavelli (3) - Went to the lead, sat patiently and then motored past the field last start. Steps up slightly today but still poses a threat. What’s Goin On (7) - Finished with belated pace in last to finish second. Figures to be closing late vs these. Bondi Hanover (4) - Both starts this year were from the 7 posts at Pocono and Buffalo. So far he has failed to take a forward step. Could change that tonight and get into the gimmick bets.
Selections: 6, 3, 7, 4
Meadowlands – Saturday March 23, 2019
Meadowlands Race 4
Acton Hanover (8) - Has not raced since September. He won his qualifier, which is good, but this is a horse with great experience in his two-year-old races. That experience goes a long way. This one is from the Burke stable. Expecting strong mile. Ode To Gray (1) made a big bid in his 7 post return and just missed in his return. Fits under the ‘needed last’ heading. Tough from here. American World (4) - Roared to the lead last start and stayed game finishing a close fourth. Gaining experience each start. Papa Blue Chip (10) - If he gets away last, forget it. But if he can work out a trip, he might improve and land a minor share.
Selections: 8, 1, 4, 10
Meadowlands Race 7
Life Happened (4) - Went a long first over and in last and was hung out to dry. What he really needs is a trip with ‘live’ cover. Driver Callahan has already figured it out. All It Takes (3) - Yannick is up, moves to an inside post and that should be enough for him to improve. I can see him racing well. Father Sarducci (9) - Finished second in 3 of 6 this year. He looped to the lead in last, only to finish second. That was a game effort. Has a chance to be in the Tri or Super. Americanfirewater (8) - Won his last pair vs much cheaper at Monticello. He is extremely sharp and it would not surprise me if he races well here.
Selections: 4, 3, 9, 8
Meadowlands Race 8
Dragonology (2) takes a BIG hike in class and is razor sharp as we speak. From the red hot Nick Surick stable. Seeks third straight win tonight. Win or lose, he should be forwardly placed throughout the race. Dragon Time (4) - Has been rested since December but the Burke stable has been known to ‘fire’ in season debuts. Any horse from this stable can win the race or at least race well. Ocean Colony (6) has been closing well in last few. Trouble is – poor early position. Still, he should be used in all gimmick bets. Stonedust (8) - The only real knock here is the poor post position. He did have a win from the 8 post two starts ago but that was against an easier field. He won his last start vs similar Has talent, but would need much luck to win from here.
Selections: 2, 4, 6, 8