• Cotolo’s Harness-Weekend Review, 4-25-11

    POSTED Apr 24, 2011
    Friday, April 22, players took on the races at Woodbine and Cal Expo in the first round of the battle for two seats at the National Harness Handicapping Championship (NHHC). The final round is this July, at the Meadowlands if it is open, or at another high-profile harness track to be announced. The next round is May 22 and we will keep you posted on that action, again with late tweets to post time.

    We were not much help to players on April 22. Both tracks offered races unkind to our brand of bet.

    One of our Cal Expo watch-list horses, Freedomize, won late in the program and paid $27. 

    At Woodbine that night our first Ontario Spring Stakes choice, Legend’s Luck, was third at huge odds but taken off the board with all wagers on him refunded. An incident around the final turn that caused interference inspired the judges to make the wager moot. Our second choice in the other elim finished fourth.

    The Matchmaker’s ultimate round of three divisions at Yonkers returned two place horses. The $301,000 final is on April 30.

    Saturday we struck with a good one at Woodbine. Grin For Money came home first, paying $26.80. At Cal Expo, two watch-list horses came back rather short: Bo Knows Power paid $4 and One Hot Tamale paid $3.80. Our Pick-4 ticket did not produce any winners.

    At Yonkers the “Levy” round that decides the final field for April 30 was active in the cashing department, though there were not any bombs. River Shark won ($4.20) and Real Nice was second for a $13.40 exacta. Mr Massimo won, paying $8.50, with our other choice, Gallant Yankee, second (exacta paid $26.40) and our other choice, Forensic Z Tam, getting third (trifecta paid $51.50). 

    We will be tweeting again this Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30. Go to Twitter and check to follow me, Frank Cotolo, for last-minute choices at harness races across North America, including Pick-4 suggestions and overlays we find as betting ensues.

    Harness News

    With the Meadowlands still in flux, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is prospering, attracting top names in horses and horsemen. This Tuesday, April 26, fillies and mares battle for the largest overnight purse the track has ever offered.

    The $60,000 Open Pace features the likes of millionaire Not Enough, Rock N Soul, Spirit To Spare and Riley Character, to name four. The horsemen competing for all the big dollars on the Pocono programs include Meadowlands regulars John Campbell, Brian Sears and Tim Tetrick.

    Racing at Pocono is presented Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with a 6:30 p.m. post (EST).

    Trainer Jimmy Takter is touting his sophomore-pacer Grams Legacy (Lisa Photo on left) as a major North America Cup contender, putting the colt into the glamour-boy pacer division mix.

    “My other two colts can’t even touch him now,” Takter said in an exclusive interview with Trot Magazine.

    Grams Legacy raced only five times at two, making just $40,000. In the Woodrow Wilson he broke.

    “He would have won the ‘Wilson,’” said Takter, “but he broke right at the wire. “He was very immature and I stopped early with him.”

    Grams Legacy is a brother of Progress Pace and Oliver Wendell Holmes colt Rockin Image, who earned close to $1 million in 2010.

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