06/13/2012 10:21AM

Mohawk: Knows Nothing may have edge in competitive Goodtimes final

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Knows Nothing wins his Goodtimes elimination with Jody Jamieson in the bike.

While the Goodtimes final for 3-year-old trotters may not be the marquee event on Mohawk Racetrack’s stakes-filled Saturday card, it could be one of the more competitive. On paper there is no Sweet Lou or Check Me Out heading to the gate at odds-on, but perhaps one of the hopefuls will emerge from the pack as that special horse.

The $351,000 Goodtimes sets up as a wide open three-tiered race. The story begins with two likely favorites, moves on to another pair of clear contenders, and finally six other possible players with at least a glimmer of handicapping hope.

The upper echelon consists of Knows Nothing and Market Share. Each has solid credentials but perhaps Knows Nothing has a bit more luster.

Knows Nothing has the best claim to stardom of the 10 horses signed on for Saturday’s final. He has never been headed at the wire in five career starts and appears to be maturing into the horse trainer Jeff Gillis always knew he would be.

“Jeff and I really liked him at the Harrisburg yearling sale and we were waiting for him to come up for bidding,” said regular driver Jody Jamieson. “All of a sudden the horse disappeared from his stall and was pulled from the sale. Jeff really wanted him and went behind the scenes trying to get a deal done. I’ve never seen him so dialed in; he needed that horse and had to have him,” recalled Jamieson, who said that a call came in the following day informing Jeff that they had a possible deal done for the colt.

Unfortunately the son of Kadabra did not pan out as a 2-year-old. “I think he had a chip in his hock and by the time they took it out it was too late to get ready for his 2-year-old season,” said Jamieson, who added that Gillis has been in love with the horse since day one.

After sitting behind Knows Nothing for five starts and wins, Gillis is not the only one keyed up about the horse’s prospects.

“I’m really excited about this horse,” said Jamieson, who went on to talk about Knows Nothing’s elimination win. “That was not his best start. His best is still ahead of him. If I can get him on a helmet (behind cover) in the final, preferably Market Share’s, it will take an unbelievable horse to beat him.”

Jamieson may very well have the opportunity to follow Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick. The Revenue S colt has scored only one of his three 2012 victories on the lead and seems to prefer an off the pace racing style.

“I think he is better off a helmet,” said Tetrick. “When I raced him on the front in the Sire Stakes he got caught and when Jeff (Gregory) drove him he lost on the front.”

Market Share sports a strong 8-for-11 career record. He won his elimination easily and did nothing to discourage Tetrick’s confidence for a victory on Saturday.

“You always think [you will win] when you win as easily as he did,” said Tetrick.

If Knows Nothing and Market Share are the top dogs in the field, Il Mago and Guccio appear to be the logical secondary players.

Il Mago has won two of three starts this year including the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Final at Western Fair. His lone loss was in last week’s Goodtimes elimination, where he charged home for third despite showing a somewhat rocky gait.

“I was pretty lucky that he shook loose,” said driver Trevor Ritchie about the elimination effort. “He’s a real big trier and he gives it all he’s got. He can be a little funny-gaited and he does put in little steps. It is something you deal with the best you can.”

Ritchie admits that he will need a bit of luck to win the final, but he remains confident that Il Mago is fast enough given the right trip.

“For sure he has a (1):53 mile in him. He went (1):54 in his elimination,” said Ritchie. “If he steps up again, I wouldn’t put a (1):52 mile out of the question.”

Starting from post two Ritchie will have some options behind Il Mago. Jimmy Takter, trainer and driver of Guccio, will have a tougher assignment from post eight.

Guccio grinded out a nice second-place finish in his elimination and continued to show elite trotting talent. Unfortunately his early speed has been non-existent in limited action and Takter does not appear ready to push the envelope with his  colt.

“He’s not a big leaver and I’m not going to do anything to hurt him,” said Takter, who admitted that he will need some help in the form of a quick pace to win.

After the top quartet the handicapping waters get a bit muddy. Beer Summit would appear to be next in the pecking order. The Cantab Hall colt has never been worse than second in 2012 and has the quick early foot to make his presence felt from the word go.

Trainer Frank Antonacci, who qualified a pair for the final while in the sulky himself, will hand the lines over to catch-drivers on Saturday. Lindy’s Jersey Boy and Scary Good certainly have the opportunity to step up with top drivers Brian Sears and Scott Zeron taking over the controls.

Rounding out the field are Prayer Session, who lost by only 1 ½ lengths to Knows Nothing in their elimination; Mikey Hanover, who closed well from a tough spot last week; and Gym Tan Laundry, whose claim to fame is as the second leading money earner in the field.

The Goodtimes final is slated as race five on the 13-race card at Mohawk. Approximate post time is 8:41 p.m..