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Sire Stakes Analysis

Mark your calendar: The second round of Maryland Sire Stakes finals for 2-year-olds will be held the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Rosecroft as part of the regular betting card. The four races are worth a total of $268,000.

The first set of finals for 2-year-old pacers and trotters were held at Ocean Downs in late August, and the winners of each one are back at Rosecroft: Al Carter’s How Bout Dat Rusty (2-year-old filly pacers); Pamela Wagner’s undefeated Pats A Keeper (2-year-old filly trotters); Breakaway Racing’s Owzitgoin (2-year-old colt and gelding pacers); and Richard Hans’ Whoopdee Goo (2-year-old colt and gelding trotters).

The sire stakes are races six through nine on a 15-race program. As for the Sunday, Sept. 30 program, it’s pretty strong as the fall meet enters its third week. Here’s a look at several races:

Race 1

Trackman Selection: 9-7-8-5

Pete’s Picks: 4-8-7-9

Hanover Hustler: 8-7-1-4

Race 2

J P Oscar, who was recently brought to Maryland from Ohio, was a solid winner in the “non-winners of 2 pari-mutuel races lifetime” category here on opening night and last week was a strong three-wide second, beaten a neck by Boot Leg, at the next level on a surface rated sloppy. He looks good versus this crew as does Sun Match, who got in from the also-eligible list after a scratch and figures to move up after decent efforts at Harrington at this level.

Trackman Selections: 4-2-6-7

Pete’s Picks: 4-2-7-6

Hanover Hustler: 4-6-9-7

Race 3

It will be interesting to see how Turtle Gone Wild performs off of a two consecutive days of heat racing at the Great Frederick Fair Sept. 20-21. Before coming to Maryland for Brian Tomlinson, the 6-year-old went some quick miles on the mile track in Kentucky, and the Frederick miles were lively time-wise given the racing surface. Just a horse to consider at the lowest condition level at Rosecroft in a field that has a dart-board feel.

Trackman Selections: 4-1-3-5

Pete’s Picks: 4-5-2-8

Hanover Hustler: 4-1-7-8

Race 4

Trackman Selections: 5-4-3-7

Pete’s Picks: 5-3-9-4

Hanover Hustler: 2-5-9-7

Race 5

Trackman Selections: 3-4-1-9

Pete’s Picks: 3-1-4-9

Hanover Hustler: 4-1-6-5

Race 6

Lil Johnny went a strong mile and finished third behind Abelard Hanover—he’s in tonight’s first race—at a higher condition level last week, and given a decent qualifier with a nice closing quarter previously after a two-month rest, looks like the one to key on in an otherwise evenly-matched affair.

Trackman Selections: 4-7-5-6

Pete’s Picks: 4-3-7-9

Hanover Hustler: 5-4-7-6

Race 7

Whitesville Dixon had a decent summer at Ocean Downs and was competitive at the “open” level at Harrington in his last two starts but clearly enjoys the bigger track. Looks like a good play in a “winners over” race with a “non-winners draw inside” condition. Sizzlen Hot Herbie, who hasn’t raced in a month in part because of a Sept. 14 veterinarian scratch, definitely fits here given his previous efforts on five-eighths-mile tracks.

Trackman Selections: 6-4-8-1

Pete’s Picks: 4-3-8-1

Hanover Hustler: 5-8-4-6

Race 8

This is an excellent field for a $12,000 purse. The “open” condition at Rosecroft can vary depending on the week and the horse population. Sometimes the racing secretary may handicap the horses—assign post positions—or allow an open draw for posts. The horses in this race are assigned post positions by earnings in their last five starts, which means some very good horses, perhaps because of recent trips kept them out of the top three, end up drawing inside. One of them is Kiss A Dragon, who opted not to take a first-up trip last week after taking all the air the previous week. Maybe things will go his way tonight, but the two Harrington shippers with the outside posts—Special T Rocks and Slick Tony—are legitimate favorites in what should be a fine race.

Trackman Selections: 8-7-6-5

Pete’s Picks: 8-5-7-6

Hanover Hustler: 7-5-8-2

Race 9

Trackman Selections: 3-2-7-9

Pete’s Picks: 9-3-7-1

Hanover Hustler: 7-3-5-1

Race 10

Trackman Selections: 3-7-5-2

Pete’s Picks: 3-5-6-8

Hanover Hustler: 5-3-7-4

Race 11

Trackman Selections: 1-2-3-4

Pete’s Picks: 1-4-9-2

Hanover Hustler: 2-9-6-5

Race 12

Trackman Selections: 3-4-1-7

Pete’s Picks: 2-5-4-1

Hanover Hustler: 4-3-1-2

Race 13

Trackman Selections: 9-7-8-6

Pete’s Picks: 3-7-9-8

Hanover Hustler: 6-7-3-9

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