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Vernon: Friday 10/17 Analysis
Best Bet: ILOVEMYMOMMY (7th)
(6)MUSCLE DIAMOND rallied well off cover in two Red Mile efforts, taking his Tompkins division at Tioga four back in similar fashion. Consistent stalker-closer should benefit from what seems to be a contested pace. (1)SS POSEIDON comes in off a pair of Freehold stakes wins, also winning his Reynolds division at Tioga in September. He's not missed the board in seven races since the Haughton Memorial, and figures to be prominent from the outset. (5)DIVISIONIST recovered well after an early miscue at Lexington last out, but faded in the stretch after a three-wide push. Give him credit for that recovery, as a clearer start can yield a good enough placing to round out exotics.
(1)RALPH R shows consistent closing ability, rallying from off the pace to hit the board in his last four races. He's not missed a single check in his career, most notably finishing third in the PA Sire Stakes final at Pocono in September. Strong late trot gives plenty to like. (2)WICKER HANOVER held even at the Red Mile last out, but fell victim to traffic trouble in that sixth-place finish. That said, he won two Kindergarten legs at Lexington in September, rallying to the fore in the final yards on both occasions. Capable presser-stalker. (4)BOOTS N CHAINS has been no worse than fourth since flattening in his career debut, finishing a game second in two Kindergarten legs at the Red Mile. Strong battling efforts and improved closing kick put him on the ticket, too.
(7)SCARY MAGIC struggled against tougher in Ontario and at Pocono, staying even to finish a non-threatening sixth out of post 8 three back in the easiest group he's seen as of late. Class relief and a longer approach to the first turn should both aid. (4)PROUD FLAG rallied off a tracking trip to beat similar rivals two back, but was worn down late after a middle move in his most recent outing. That said, he's brought good form into Vernon, hitting the board in 7 of 8 races on the year. (8)JL CRUZE also shows good form on the year, missing the board on only two occasions-both due to breaks on half-mile tracks. He's shown improved closing kick in recent lines, and is capable of closing well from off the pace tonight even if the tempo is controlled.
(3)CHOKE HOLD returns to a winning level, sweeping clear off a standside bid two back. This consistent presser-stalker wasn't lacking for late trot last week, but couldn't get involved from an outside draw. Better fit here. (7)HOLD ON TIGHTLY held even last week off excess cover, showing better finishes when closer to the pace. Still, he's not devoid of closing ability, showing mild bids off cover at Tioga. (9)TOTALLY ADDICTIVE stayed on well for third last week against similar foes, racing off cover in the final yards. He's got good enough recent form, hitting the superfecta in his last six outings. Good minor consideration, and some potential for value.
(4)MYSTICAL CON scored from far back for a 1:56 1/5 win two back, just prevailing in an optional $8k event. He's fared well at this level, with his only missed check since September coming in an upper-level event. Consistent enough stalker-closer should benefit from possible pace pressure among #5, #7, #8, and #9. (9)LUCID THOUGHTS drops in class tonight, showing stronger early involvement when facing groups of this caliber. He last won six back at Saratoga in a N4.5kL5 event, edging clear after an extended push. (8)OAKLEA TYSON finished second at this level in his last two efforts, narrowly beaten two back after an extended duel. He's fared much better at this level, and figures to be prominently placed off the wings.
(7)PAD PRINCESS held her own against stakes company all year, finishing a game second in her Kindergarten division at Lexington last month. She's been equally competitive from near the lead or in a stalking role. Form and versatility are to her advantage. (2)BRIGHT BABY BLUES took her Historic division at Philly last week in pillar-to-post fashion, showing some late kick off past stalking efforts. She's not lacking for late trot, and her inside draw should enable a close enough tracking trip. (3)COCOACABANA finished third in her last three Lexington outings, showing better staying ability in recent, more involved efforts. Can add value to exotics.
(1)ILOVEMYMOMMY returns off a 2-1/2 month layoff, coming back against an easier group than past Open events. The top overnight trotting mare on the grounds can ease back into form given the class drop tonight. Capable despite the time off. (4)EVIL URGES also gets some class relief, with even finishes in his last two races failing to put him on the board. Better involvement early could be the key, and the somewhat easier group should make for an easier time to settle close to the pace. (7)PEGASUS POINT has been no worse than fourth in his last seven efforts, staying on well from tracking trips and showing strong closing kick off cover, too. Capable enough at this level, but needs a cozy and clear trip for best results.
(2) MA CHERE HALL scored her only win of the year in a top-level distaff trot at the Meadows, pulling clear for a 1:53 1/5 triumph. Aside from that win, she's largely been overmatched in stakes events, but her first-over try at Delaware should earn much respect. Consider on the class drop. (4)PICTURE THIS never factored in the Allerage Trot at Lexington, but proved a strong winner against upper-level Tioga company two back. He's back at a competitive level as he makes he second start off a brief layoff. (6)A PENNY EARNED has proven a consistent contender in the Open ranks locally, finishing no worse than fourth in his last seven races. While he flattened off a first-over try last week, he re-rallied fairly well after traffic issues the week prior. Definite minor consideration, and the value should be better tonight noting the newcomers.
(2)FASHIONABLEAPPLE seeks back-to-back wins at this level, sustaining a late push to just prevail last week after holding her own against first-level foes. Improved staying power should definitely aid. (5)CLASSIC BELISIMA faded off an extended bid last week, but scored in three of her four prior efforts. She's at her best when close to the pace, and she should have an easier time clearing or settling from a midpack draw. (6)KEYSTONE SADIE rallied from last to round out the superfecta at Lexington last out, making steady progress through the final half mile. She's faced stouter groups recently, but will have to close into a controlled pace tonight.
(6)AARENA HANOVER scored her lone win on the year in a Stallion Series event, hitting the board on four other occasions in nine career starts. Most recently, she stayed on to take third in a Red Mile stakes race, showing fairly consistent late kick all season. (3)SWEET THING is 3 for 11 on the year, but hasn't shown as strong late trot in recent lines as others have. That said, she's no doubt capable of holding her own off a strong dispatch. (2)MONI FROM HEAVEN has plenty of potential, staying on well to hit the board in a pair of Lexington outings. Most recently, she broke in the stretch at Philly, but many others have too coming off the far turn. Worthy of a second chance to hit the ticket.
(2)DALEY LOVIN looks for his fourth straight win, controlling the terms and kicking clear in his last four local efforts. He's gone off at less than 2-5 on all four occasions, and figures to once again be heavily favored. Seek value in exotics, as he's been ultra-consistent. (7)WINBAK MEADOW won at this level last week, kicking clear from the pocket. He's steadily improved at this level since August. Form upswing leaves plenty to like as part of the exacta. (1)SILVERHILL VOLO makes his local debut, winning twice against N3L rivals at Lexington during their summer meet. Capable enough of holding for a small share off a close stalking trip.
(6)GOLD CORA hit the board in 7 of 12 starts on the season, winning her Reynolds split at Tioga in September before a narrow Kindergarten win at Lexington. Since then, she's shown a pair of sub-1:54 efforts, and gets a pass off a far-turn break at Philly. Lots to like. (4)SARCY was a chasing second in the Historic at Philly last week, holding strongly from the pocket. A Kindergarten prelim winner too, she's at her best when on or near the lead. (1)LADY CLARABELLA rallied strongly from well off the pace to take second in a pair of Lexington events before shipping north. She won her Kindergarten event at Tioga at 22-1, and could provide value here as well.
(1)CHASIN CLOUDS AWAY drops in class after finishing a fading fifth against third-level foes last week, gathered in at mid-stretch after controlling the terms. Class relief should aid, as he's stayed on better in prior outings. (4)UPFRONT CAROL chased well from the pocket last week to finish second, missing Ski to the Max by a length. Aside from a break at Saratoga two back, she's been no worse than fourth since returning to the races in September. (2)HIGHWAY steps up a level after winning last week, kicking cover to just prevail at 15-1. That improved kick may be just enough to put him on the ticket tonight.