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Harness Racing Notebook: Well Built looks to rebound in Simpson
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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Ken Weingartner
Freehold, NJ --- Well Built looks to bounce back from going off stride in the Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold on April 26 when he faces 10 rivals in Friday’s $51,543 John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old male trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack.

Part of a Chris Ryder-trained entry with Walk The Walk, Well Built is 7-2 on the morning line and will start from post No. 1 with driver John Campbell.

The field also includes, in post order, Sarcastic Man, It Really Matters, Lukas Hall, Deweykeepumnwhy, Keystone Wasabi, Who Wants Soup, Hot Type, Flyhawk El Durado, Trixton, and (from the second tier) Walk The Walk. Trixton is the 5-2 morning line favorite from post 10.

Fotowon photo
Well Built has earned $113,947 in his career with four wins and four seconds in 15 lifetime starts.

Last year, Well Built won a division of the Simpson and his elimination for the Matron Stakes. He is a son of stallion Muscle Hill, who was the 2009 Horse of the Year, and his dam is Working Girl, who is a half-sister to stakes-winner Poster Pin Up.

“He got jammed up in the Dexter,” said Ryder, who owns Well Built with Robert Mondillo. “I was mortified about that. But he’s fine; he’s training fine.

“I like the horse. He’s got good speed. He doesn’t usually make a break. I’m not going to say he’s reliable -- he was just unreliable -- but he shouldn’t have made a break. He had a horse alongside him and got a little anxious.”

Walk The Walk, owned by Ryder, Mondillo, Sidney Korn and Max Wernick, was unraced as a 2-year-old. The son of Muscle Hill-Letsjustalkaboutme has won two of four starts and $13,500 this season.

“He’s coming out of weaker company, but I like him,” Ryder said. “He just didn’t make it last year. He was ouchy last year, a big growthy horse. But here he is. I like the horse. He’s alright. He might be a little understaked for what I think he might be, but we’ll see. He’s still immature. He’ll be a good 4-year-old, I think.”

Ryder’s Odds On Amethyst, owned by Diamond Creek Racing, is not eligible to the Simpson and is preparing for the start of the New Jersey Sire Stakes on May 16 at the Meadowlands. The gelding is a son of Muscle Hill out of the standout mare Mystical Sunshine, who was trained by Ryder during her racing career.

“I’m really looking at the Hambletonian with that horse,” Ryder said about stakes-winning Odds On Amethyst, who made his 2014 debut on May 2 by winning in 1:53.2. “I’m not going to say he’s a top one, but he’s got a shot. I think he’s going to improve on his (1):53. I know he’s going to have to, but I think he will. If he gets much better he’s right there.

“He’s been a bit of a problem child. He’s his own worst enemy,” Ryder added. “The last two or three weeks he’s improved. He’s starting to realize he’s a racehorse.”

Trixton, the Simpson favorite, finished second to Odds On Amethyst on May 2, also in his seasonal debut. Trixton is a son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Emilie Cas El, who was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 1994. Trixton’s family also includes past stars Andover Hall, Conway Hall and Angus Hall.

Flyhawk El Durado, trained by Mark Ford for owner Martin Scharf, was the New York Sire Stakes champion last season and also captured a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. He finished third in the May 2 race that included Odds On Amethyst and Trixton.

Sarcastic Man, bred and owned by Bob Key, won the Dexter Cup elimination on April 26 at Freehold Raceway. He finished fifth in the final after getting stuck outside for the entire mile from post eight. Ron Pierce will drive for trainer Gail Wrubel. Sarcastic Man is 4-1.

Lukas Hall is owned by New Meadowlands Racing Chairman Jeff Gural and former New York Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet. His second dam is stakes-winner Mars Bar, who is a half-sister to Dan Patch Award winner Pizza Dolce. Trained by Kevin McDermott, he won twice on the New York Sire Stakes circuit last season.

Keystone Wasabi, owned by Peter Gerry’s Kitefield Stable, last year won a Landmark Stakes for trainer Janice Connor and won twice on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit.

* * *

The $33,516 John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old filly trotters attracted a field of three horses and will be contested as a non-wagering event at 6:50 p.m. Friday at the Meadowlands.

Annies List makes her 2014 debut, racing this season out of the stable of trainer Amber Buter after spending last year with Julie Miller. Annies List, who starts from post two, was purchased for $2,500 as a yearling and earned $92,969 for then-owner Andy Miller Stable. She is now owned by Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter.

In 2013, Annies List won four of nine starts, including the $50,000 Fall Harvest for 2-year-old filly trotters at Yonkers Raceway and two legs of the New York Sire Stakes.

Sweetie Hearts, owned by Bob Key, starts from post one for trainer Paul Reid. Sweetie Hearts, a homebred daughter of Angus Hall-Sweetheart K, has won four of 11 races and $56,505 in her career. Her family includes Key’s 1993 Hambletonian winner American Winner.

Thisgirlisonfire leaves from post three with driver/co-owner Jeff Gregory at the lines for trainer Linda Toscano. Gregory owns the filly with William Richardson. A daughter of Angus Hall-Back On Track, she will be looking for her first career win in her 10th start. She finished second in a division of the Reynolds last year.

* * *

Rockingcam Park is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Friday’s Reynolds Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers at the Meadowlands. She starts from post No. 6 for trainer Ron Coyne Jr. and driver Tim Tetrick.

 
Lisa photo
Rockingcam Park stopped Ken Doll J by a nose in last week's Simpson Stakes.

Starting inside of Rockingcam Park will be, from post one, McVita Bella, Blixtra, A La Notte Hanover, Gettingreadytoroll, and Fanticipation. To her outside are I Need Hotstuff, JK Molly, and Table Talk.

Rockingcam Park won last week’s four-horse Simpson Stakes, beating Ken Doll J by a nose in 1:53.2. It was her first start of 2014 after winning three of 10 races and $67,378 last year.

“That was a nice win,” Coyne said. “Last year was kind of a mixed bag. It’s nice when you have a filly that you have a lot of hopes for, but she found herself in some unlucky spots and things didn’t turn out the way we dreamed.”

Rockingcam Park finished second to Precocious Beauty in a division of the Eternal Camnation and was second in a division of the Reynolds. She went off stride in the She’s A Great Lady Stakes and drew post nine in the Breeders Crown, where she finished seventh. She also made a break in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship.

“She’s got big ability and a lot of upside,” Coyne said. “She’s a nervous filly, but if she gets herself where she’s squared away, she has a lot of talent. A lot of it is just mental maturity.”

The filly is owned by Rockingcam Park Stable, Blair Corbeil, Erna Corbeil, and J&T Silva Stables.

She is a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, the 2005 Horse of the Year, out of the Camluck-sired mare Cameron D Art. She is a full sister to recent Clyde Hirt Series winner Avatartist. Her family also includes 2005 She’s A Great Lady Stakes winner Little Miss K.

“Blair has a passion for Camluck broodmares,” Coyne said. “That’s the reason we looked at her. She was nice sized and stood correct; I couldn’t fault her. We liked what we saw and took a shot.”

* * *

Dexter Cup winner Sumatra will get the weekend off and then head to the New Jersey Sire Stakes.

USTA/Ken Weingartner photo
Sumatra was a 1:57.4 winner in the Dexter Cup final.

“It’s early in the year and I just thought we’d point him toward the sire stakes,” trainer Tom Fanning said. “Really, the Simpson was going to be my starting point with him, but when he was ready early, we put him in the Dexter; I thought that was a good start. He did well and we just want to keep him fresh and be good all year.

“We’re just looking long term.”

Sumatra fits a similar profile as Possessed Fashion, a now 4-year-old trotter for the Fanning Stable and owned by Joseph Smith, as is Sumatra. Possessed Fashion was an $87,000 purchase late in his 2-year-old season who made $230,780 as a 3-year-old.

Fanning cited the success of keeping that horse calm and relaxed by frequent turnout with another gelding from his stable. He’s not quite ready to try that strategy with Sumatra, who has won six of 13 races and $169,095 lifetime.

“We just gelded (Sumatra) in December and he’s really still kind of a tough guy,” Fanning said. “He’s not quite as ready to get along with others yet.”

He then laughed and joked, “If I could have a nice, big Belgian draft horse that could just put a thumping on him one day, then he’d be OK after that. That’s what he needs.”


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