• Cotolo’s Harness-Weekend Review, 3-14-11

    POSTED Mar 13, 2011
    This past weekend did not do much to add to our bankroll but also did little damage, considering minor successes that kept us in the black.

    The Cal Expo non-takeout Pick 4 the past Saturday, March 12, did not come through for us, as did the $767 strike with our March 5 ticket. This week’s attempt cost less, however, due to a scratch in the event’s last leg. Only one of our horse’s won: Myra’s Hiho, which paid $6. We were second in two other legs and out of the money in the remaining one.

    From the watch list in California, though, Satire returned to win and pay $8.60. Our Friday, March 11 watch-list horses from Buffalo were scratched as the entire program was cancelled after a few races due to dangerous weather. On Saturday at Buffalo, we had one place horse, one breaker and two off the board.

    At the Meadowlands our only immediate success was the return of Rock N Soul, that 80-1 shot from our productive Hambletonian day blogcast; she paid $13.40 in her debut as a mare. A horse we told you to watch in last week’s Four Leaf Clover, Valentino, won a chapter of that series on March 12, paying $15.60.

    At Woodbine the Damsel Stake elims delivered two place horses, Ardor Locke (3-1) and LH Nenia (6-1), both losing to the public choices.

    New Season’s Greetings

    Some of last year’s better known names are qualifying to return for another season of racing. Among them is Trond Smedshammer’s Arch Madness, now seven (pictured above). The trotter qualified for the second time this year at the Meadowlands, coming off of a broken split bone injury he suffered last year.

    Arch Madness earned $2.41 million so far. Smedshammer told USTA reporter Ken Weingartner, “We’re just getting him ready. There’s no other plan. He hasn’t raced since July, that’s why I wanted to get him ready a little earlier. He doesn’t have any stakes races until the Cutler [Memorial in early May]. Pocono opens, Chester opens; there are places he can race.”

    Last year, Arch Madness won the $220,000 “Cutler” at the Meadowlands and also set a world record for a five-eighths-mile track by winning in 1:51 at Pocono. Then he was injured and sidelined.

    “He was no good at all,” Smedshammer said. “He wasn’t lame; it’s not a weight-bearing bone. But he’s the kind of horse that if he knows he’s not right, he’s not going to give you much. He’s just going to protect himself. We knew something was wrong. It was an easy decision to quit.”

    Smedshammer thought about trying to get Arch Madness ready for the Breeders Crown, which was in October, but decided against it.

    Arch Madness won the 2007 Breeders Crown for soph colt trotters and the 2008 Maple Leaf Trot in stakes-record times. Smedshammer believes the horse will return to stakes-level form.

    “If he doesn’t, he won’t race much,” Smedshammer said. “He’s not going to be an overnight horse. He’ll decide where he’s going to race and what he’s going to race in, if he’s good. I’m sure he’ll come back.

    Smedshammer also took another one of his older trotters, Likeabatoutahell, out for a second qualifier and the eight-year-old was looking worthy of a competitive season.

    Millionaire-pacer Hypnotic Blue Chip, which was another of our 2010 Hambletonian-day blogcast successes, readied for a go in 2011 with a qualifier. He is now five.

    Trainer Chris Ryder reported that surgery to remove a bone chip from the knee of his champion pacing filly Put On A Show went very well and that everybody connected with the horse expects she will be able to race in 2011. Ryder said, however, that there’s no rush in bringing “Show” back.

    (Cartoon by Thom Pye)
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