1) Big Jim 5/2 Dean James Carr Gets to pick his post-and will try and become the first 2 YO Champion in 18 YEARS to win the Pace at 3-1993-Presidential Ball. Phil Hudon is set for his Pace debut-the last time a driver debuted-it happened in 2007-twice-they finished 1-2 Tetrick and Jamieson. This is the likely post time favorite-making Western Ideal now the Pace favorite-sire three times (Rocknroll Hanover 2005-Always A Virgin-2007) making him the first horse since Cam Fella to do this THREE times in a Pace final (1988-Camtastic-1993-Presidential Ball-1994 Cams Card Shark)
2) Powerful Mist 7/2 Givens Legacy Racing Of De Inc., Gargiulo, Pagliearani Solid effort in his Pace elimination puts him right in the mix for the big dough. Andy Miller searching for the first $1 Million score-remember he was second with My Boy David prior. The busiest colt-26 starts-and the winningest-14 scores-of all the participants. The LAST Pace winner to have MORE starts going into the final? 1992-27 starts for Carlsbad Cam.
3) Betterthancheddar 9/2 Coleman Calhoun West Wins Stable Gave a good account of himself on Pace elimination night and certainly benefits from one over the track. Can he become the first Pace winner in 8 years and only the second ever to win the Pace WITHOUT competing as a 2 Year Old? (2003-All American Theory) His sire was the Pace favorite in 2001-Bettors Delight-and a two-time division winner-over Real Desire. Casie Coleman in her 4th Pace final in 7 years.
4) Roll With Joe 5/1 Hart Blue Chip Winbak Not To Worry Demeter Was 4th in his elimination, but held his own in the accelerated final quarter going first over. Brian Sears has NOT hit the board in the Pace SINCE Rocknroll Hanover's 2005 romp-and 4 of his 5 drives in that period were for the Teague barn. THIS is the colt with the best upside/breeding potential in the field-when two of your brothers are named No Pan Intended and Bettors Delight-it's easy to like the future.
5) Best Of Best Hanover 6/1 Martin L'Ecurie Triple P Finished as the fifth qualifier in his Pace elim. Mike Lachance, "If he could have gotten out earlier-I would have won it by a length or two-he can finish this colt. Big time." He'll try and give sire Western Hanover his THIRD Pace victory (1999 and 2009) and Horse Of The Year Bunny Lake her first major credit. Lachance will go postward in his 20th Meadowlands Pace-and as the third oldest driver to do so at 60. (Joe O'Brien 1978-61-3rd-Flight Director; Billy Haughton-1985-6th with Pershing Square-also 61)
6) Custard The Dragon 8/1 Teague Gewertz Feldman Fannin Teague Shocked with a resounding win in his elimination for 20 YO Montrelle Teague. He's set to become the youngest driver not only in the Meadowlands Pace, but to EVER participate in ANY Million $ event. George Teague goes in his record 6th STRAIGHT Pace final.
8) Feel Like A Fool 12/1 Teague Gewertz Teague Feldman Kovach One of only 7 in history to better 1:50 in victory as a freshman, he's flown under the radar at 3. But his sire ALREADY owns a Pace win-could anyone possibly forget Art Official-and Teague has strength in numbers with 30% of the field for the final. Remember too that twice before a sub 1:50 winning freshman has parlayed that into Pace glory-Rocknroll Hanover in 2004-2005 and One More Laugh in 2009-2010.
9) Wink N Atcha 20/1 Teague One of three sons of Dragon Again in the field, he hit the board with pace on both ends of his elimination effort. Yannick Gingras handles the colt-who is 50% lifetime visiting the winners circle (8-16). Remember that Yannick was the last driver UNDER 25-like Montrell-to even appear in a Pace final-and he did it in 2004-at age 24-with the favorite-Timesareachanging (2nd)
10) Westwardho Hanover 25/1 Pinske Simpson Pinske Stable Made his mile track and Meadowlands debut in the elims after a few big Meadows efforts. He played with the big boys at 2-but remember-only ONE horse has EVER paid OVER 10-1 to win the Meadowlands Pace in 34 editions-Holborn Hanover-2004 (by the same Breeder-Hanover Shoe Farms-who-like Winbak-has landed three finalists.)
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