10/26/2017 1:58PM

Hoosier: Saturday 10/28 Analysis

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Best Bet: CHIP WALTHER (14th)

Spot Play: ART SCENE (6th)

Race 1

(8) BRIDGE TO JESSES has put together a pair of strong wins and owns an amazing 26 for 46 career win record over the Hoosier soil. At what should be a double-digit price, I’ll take a shot and hope the trip is reasonable. (5) CHURITA beat Hannelore Hanover, the favorite in the Breeders Crown Open Trot, by open lengths last week. That makes her the heavy chalk in here and I’m not sure she is that much of a standout in a good field. (4) TRUE BLUE STRIDE posted a career best 1:51 3/5 win at Hoosier two starts back and followed that up with a break. Trainer Ron Burke gave him three weeks off to recuperate and perhaps he returns to form. (3) CRESCENT FASHION gets class relief. Is that enough to change his recent fortune? (6) I KNOW MY CHIP & (7) DIA MONDE are also worth a look in this race.

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Race 2

(10) ELUSIVE IMAGE has won three straight and seems to lay over this field on paper. The second –tier would normally be a concern, but he has handled racing from off the pace in the past. (8) SKYWAY TOXIC has a four-race winning streak of his own and big-time early speed to gain position. I just don’t understand how he is 15-1 morning line. (4) TOP NOTCH has put up some nice miles at Running Aces and owns a spectacular 12-7-4-1 career record; intriguing. (2) SUNSET BRAYDON is more of an underneath horse for me having 0 wins but nine seconds or thirds in 20 starts in 2017.

Race 3

(1) BILL’S MAN finished up the final half in his elimination with a 54 3/5 kicker, but it was not enough to make the Final. He’ll have to settle for this consolation prize versus a field he should handle. (5) TWO AM has high speed and ability, which is a great one-two combination. I give this guy a serious shot if the top choice doesn’t bring his best game. (3) FLY ON has put in some nice miles but I see him as a step or two behind the top pair. (6) MOONSHINER HANOVER can get into the exotics with a clean trip.

Race 4

(2) CASTLE FLIGHT is every bit as fast as any horse in this race and we are getting a switch to Hall of Famer David Miller in this bike this week. If we get anywhere near the 12-1 morning line I’ll be surprised. (5) ON THE RANTAN N hasn’t lost in quite some time, but this isn’t exactly an easy group he takes on tonight. He can win, but I wouldn’t go keying him. (1) GRANITE finally came up with a solid effort while down in class last out. A small step forward could result in a win. (11) WINWOOD MAC is off a career best 1:49 4/5 score. (3) AIMO HANOVER couldn’t touch #5 last time but does own a 1:49 winning mile.

Race 5

(7) JK PARLAY was on quite a roll before stopping badly last Friday at Hoosier. That failure is explained by the addition of Lasix this week. I’m expecting a big effort. (5) PACIFIC IMAGE closed in 54 2/5 but couldn’t quite rally from last after drawing post 9 most recently. Driver Ricky Macomber might just switch tactics and find early speed here. (3) DOWN ON MAINSTREET was a killer in the NW2 class. Now he is a trip contender. (11) BARLEY UP ships in from Dayton off some good miles.

Race 6

If we excuse the break last week and take into consideration that winning on the lead was very difficult on October at the Red Mile, (6) ART SCENE looks pretty competitive on paper. This is a perfect spot for him to gun to the top and not look back. (5) EDDARD HANOVER & (10) FILIBUSTER HANOVER both had no shot while stacked up on the rim in their Breeders Crown eliminations. Either one seems capable of stepping up with a much improved effort. (7) FEAR THE DRAGON was disappointing and apparently came out of his last race sick. If right he can win here, but he rarely leaves the gate and might be in a bad position.

Race 7

There is no denying that when at the top of her game on a bigger track, (4) HANNELORE HANOVER is the best older trotter currently racing in North America right now; she is certainly the fastest. Unless she has a bad day or one of her competitors comes up with a career best mile, she’ll be taking pictures after the race with the trophy. (5) MARION MARAUDER was one of only a few horses on last week’s elimination card to close ground on the rim. His connections have aspirations of a European campaign and I view this as a statement race of his peak ability. (2) CRAZY WOW is coming into the Crown in fine form and few horses in this field have maintained his level of consistency throughout the year. He’s a factor but I just don’t love him in the win spot. (1) RESOLVE has been awful in three straight starts at first glance, but was he really that bad last time? He trotted a final quarter in 27 3/5 and gained ground. I’m still inclined to toss him on at least one pick four ticket in case he shows up.

Race 8

(4) FOURTH DIMENSION is the best 2-year-old colt trotter for my money. Unfortunately the time to get in on him was probably last week at 9-5. I’m projecting shorter odds and a win. (3) FIFTYDALLARBILL proved he belongs with a sharp stretch rally to just miss in last week’s elimination. Indiana-breds have come a long way over the last few years and if the top one falters or the pace is really hot, this guy could pick up the pieces. (1) CRYSTAL FASHION couldn’t handle Fourth Dimension in the International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile two starts back but certainly got the job done last Saturday. He’s a win contender given the right trip. (5) MET’S HALL rarely puts in a dull mile and has the early speed to make some noise. (2) YOU KNOW YOU DO hasn’t progressed like some of the others over the summer and early fall, but maybe trainer Jimmy Takter has some tricks up his sleeve.

Race 9

(3) LOST IN TIME has proven to be the top 2-year-old pacing colt to this point in the season. I’m not quite as sold on him as Fourth Dimension on the trotting side, but I don’t love any of the others enough to pick against him. (7) SHNITZLEDOSOMETHIN is another Indiana regular which proved his worth against Grand Circuit types last week in his elimination. He seems just about as fast as any in this group and his early speed to make his own trip is an added plus. (5) STAY HUNGRY has displayed flashes of huge ability and is now two-for-two over this track; using. (10) THIS IS THE PLAN could be a sneaky longshot play worth considering. He’s had a bit of secondittis throughout the year, but has proven capable of staying with these. Maybe the switch to Gingras in the bike wakes him up. (1) KARPATHIAN KID is hard to knock with nine finishes of first or second from 11 starts; another potential contender.

Race 10

None of the 3-year-olds in this division have grabbed the bull by the horns and taken charge in 2017. With that in mind, I’m going to stick with (7) GUARDIAN ANGEL AS in the hopes that he finally adds a signature win to his résumé. Anette Lorentzon trainee raced well in the Hambletonian, just missed in the Bluegrass and trotted home willingly in last week’s elimination. He enjoys racing on the bigger tracks and the price will be right tonight. (4) INTERNATIONAL MONI has looked like the most talented trotter from this group but just hasn’t shown up on the biggest days. If they all bring their best effort, I think he wins. (3) WHAT THE HILL probably comes into this race as the divisional leader and did nothing to take away from that in his elimination victory. I’m of the opinion that he is going to be the favorite here and it worries me because I see a bunch of early speed on the outside which could cause him trouble. He can definitely win but I have mixed feelings. (10) DOVER DAN has stepped up a couple of times with big miles and you should get fair value from the second tier; worth using.

Race 11

(2) BOOGIE SHUFFLE has proven he can chase any horse in this class regardless of how fast they go and the inside post should set him up to be sitting no worse than a two- or three-hole. While he lacks a big win this year, this guy does own the fastest mile in this field at 1:48 2/5. (4) DOWNBYTHESEASIDE was able to get a nice easy win under his belt after a lackluster effort at the Red Mile. There is no doubt he is the one to beat and trainer Brian Brown said he thinks this guy is coming around again. (5) BECKHAM’S Z TAM certainly possesses a big burst of speed and it really comes down to whether the trip will be favorable. From second-over he could do serious damage. (1) ROCK N TONY has won two straight and there is no reason to believe he won’t continue that form into the Final.

Race 12

Trying to decipher these older pacing races has been quite a task this year. In my mind and on paper, (1) SINTRA is the fastest horse in the race and has a vicious turn of speed when on his game. He is not going to rough it first-over and blow these away, but with any decent trip he becomes the ones to beat; at a potential double-digit price. (2) MCWICKED has become a ‘save ground and charge home’ horse this year and Sears is the perfect pilot for those tactics. If he is in striking position, watch out! (9) ALL BETS OFF has no choice but to leave fast off the gate in this spot. Can he make the top? Will he be hounded on the lead? We know he’ll race gamely. (5) MACH IT SO took advantage of a short field and wired them in the elimination. Along with (3) DEALT A WINNER, (4) SPLIT THE HOUSE, (6) KEYSTONE VELOCITY & (10) MISSILE J, I wouldn’t be shocked if they won.

Race 13

(3) SWAN CHASE comes into this with a six-race win streak and really should be able to run that to seven. (5) BLUEBIRD JESSE comes off a complete throw-out line from the second-tier. His last start was a sharp second behind the top choice. I’ll take 30-1 right now! (2) BUCKEYE BOSS chased Rubio nicely in his last start and should be close to the action with a chance in here. (4) SIMPLY VOLO doesn’t win often enough for my tastes, but should be in the exotics somewhere.

Race 14

(4) CHIP WALTHER hasn’t seen a field this soft in ages. There is no way he should lose tonight. (5) MAJOR MOE is capable of going a big mile and I wouldn’t be shocked if he pulled off the upset. (1) MC MACH ships down from Canada and didn’t exactly catch an easy field; does add David Miller. (9) INDEPENDENT ONE is capable on his best day, but from post 9 I’ll be looking at him for a minor exotic slot.

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