by Al Cimaglia
August 11, 2018
Tonight, the focus shifts to the Carl Milstein Memorial Invitational at Northfield Park. The $400,000 Milstein is the richest invitational for pacers. The winner of this race will likely come from one of four combatants and they are evenly matched. My strategy will be to use #4-Springsteen and #5-Dorsoduro Hanover together in gimmicks and with the two program favorites. Only #2-Lather Up has had a race over the Northfield Park surface. This is a very interesting race and probably the drive will be very instrumental in deciding the winner.
On Friday night Lazarus N proved he has acclimated to the U.S. and then some as he won the Dan Patch Pace by a length over Split The House. The Wonder from Down Under was parked to a swift opening quarter but seized control and then made every call a winning one. Split The House raced a big mile and was parked the last 3/8's but was game to the wire. The 2nd favorite McWicked came on late for the 3rd but didn't have his usual pop at the end of the mile. Although trainer Casie Coleman wasn't concerned McWicked traveled from the east coast and had only six days rest, it appeared that could have made a difference. Lazarus deserves full marks and he should be a handful to deal with from now until the Breeders Crown at Pocono in late October.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
Race 11-Carl Milstein Invitational
1-Jimmy Freight (3-1) - Andrew Harris/Louis Roy - Canadian invader, winner of 2 straight and the last was in a sparkling career best 1:48.3, should be on the engine or in the 2 hole. Maybe he squares up with #2 down the stretch but this is a competitive field and others should be coming too.
2-Lather Up (2-1) - Clyde Francis/Montrell Teague - Program chalk leads the field in seasonal earnings of >$500k. Rough gaited and broke on 6/30 at PcD, rested and then came back to win in a quick 1:49.4 at ScD on 8/4. Looks like a major player once again in a tough race.
3-Thinkbig Dreambig (12-1) - Jimmy Takter/Jordan Stratton - Usually does his best work on a larger oval, looks like an outsider here.
4-Springsteen (6-1) - Rene Allard/David Miller - David Miller takes a seat again on this Allard trainee after a nice win at YR. This is a price shot possibility who can rally off a hot pace like he did in winning the Hempt Final. Best to respect at a square price.
5-Dorsoduro Hanover (4-1) - Ron Burke/Matt Kakaley - Burke trainee leads the field in lifetime earnings and is only $6 shy of #2 in 2018 winnings. Kakaley should have him in striking range, could be posing for a picture and is a must use in gimmicks.
6-Minnie Vinnie (15-1) - Curtis Carey/Aaron Merriman - Faces much tougher tonight and appears to be in tall cotton.
7-Slick Tony (20-1) - George Leager/Russell Foster - Pennsylvania invader loves to win and is 15 for 19 in his career. But now faces major league pitching and this post won't help his cause.
8-Always A Prince (10-1) - Tyler George/Trace Tetrick - Hoosier invader is a winner of 11 of 13 lifetime and has been dominant. Will likely blast out but the boys on the rail will be protecting their space and they are quick off the gate too. Terrible draw and doesn't have the small track experience of others.
Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia.