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

    POSTED Apr 3, 2011
    What a great weekend just passed for Yonkers bettors following our blog. Through the years we have had great success with the George Morton Levy Memorial Series and this past Saturday’s second round ranked right up there with some of the best results we have had, dating back to the YouBet blogs.

    On Saturday’s six-division “Levy” parade, our 50-percent hit rate produced top prices for any track, no less the Yonkers’ half mile where mile racing (remember that only the overnight events go at the 1 1/16-mile distance; the Levy and other stakes are raced at the traditional mile).

    In order, we gave you the winners of the first two divisions. Legal Litigator won and paid $10.60, followed by Southern Allie, winning as the third choice, paying $7.30. Then the bomb fell as our top contender in Race 9, Mainland Key N, won and paid $67. The math for a return-on-investment for this week’s sextet of Levy events is impressive and not just for the success of “Key.” Those three prices are sterling for this series and four-turn affairs at Yonkers.

    Also at Yonkers on Friday, we gave you PL Dragon, an $8.50 payoff to win. And a $13.30 exactor [sic] at Woodbine in the Spring Pacing Championship Final was dished out here with Hypnotic Blue Chip winning ($3.70) and Lisagain finishing second on Saturday.

    At Cal Expo we could only manage one winner in the Pick 4. It was a great surprise to us to watch the crowd rally behind Don’t Dally Witch and watch it win paying only $4.40.

    Speaking of watching, a horse we followed on our Cal-Expo watch list that continued to lose respect from the crowd while still winning did it again Saturday night. If you continued to follow Long Last Look, you caught him again, this time paying a remarkable $37.

    We were very much alive with another longshot, this one at Woodbine in the Youthful Final. We pointed to Fox Valley Yukon, which the crowd hated and let go off at 65-1.

    The pacer soared to the lead off the gate and stayed second as the dead-on choice took over. In the stretch there were severe moments of anticipation as “Yukon” gained real estate up the rail and the favorite tired.

    Most of us watching the race in those waning moments thought Yukon could wear down the choice. From the outside, the second choice gained late and just nipped Yukon for second.

    Harness News

    Last year’s exclusive Hambletonian Trail blog offered high hopes for Broad Bahn, a young trotter with excessive talent for trainer Noel Daley. But ill health plagued the horse and a bone fracture was discovered after winning a Breeders Crown elim. It was determined that the colt had been racing with the condition while having a stellar season.

    Broad Bahn, Daley reports, is on the mend and preparing for action. The trainer told reporter Ken Weingartner, “[The colt] is pretty good. I plan on racing him towards the end of May if he is progressing.” Daley hopes the colt could compete with the glamour boys of trotting this year.

    Pocono Downs is in full gear again this spring. Horses and horsemen from all over adorn the northern Pennyslvania race programs, especially since the Meadowlands is on an unusual hiatus while reorganizing through April.

    Driver Ron Pierce was there over the weekend, along with regulars like Anthony Napolitano and Joe Pavia, Jr. Our old pal Howard Parker is picking up some drives there, too and continually fools the public with his talents. We urge you to keep an eye on Howard’s horses, which are overlooked a lot due to the driver’s low profile and the fact that his former cohort (Pierce on the California circuit years ago) gets so much more wagering recognition when he is in the same race.

    Speaking of the old California crew, the son of West Coast driver/trainer Tim Maier has taken up tack at Pompano, during the Florida track’s extended season. Jason Maier, 28, has almost 100 wins as a driver and is a trainer/owner of stock now in Florida.

    (Cartoon by Thom Pye)
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