• Cotolo’s Harness-Weekend Review, 9-26-11

    POSTED Sep 25, 2011
    It was such a good weekend for our plays that even when we told you to pass because a horse was impossible to beat, those horses won. We tossed a good profit and even came up with a winner in our first Cal-Expo Pick-4 experience for the season that paid enough to cover our ticket and put some extra pennies in our pockets. 

    All of this happened after the catastrophes of Sept. 21 and 22nd with the Little Brown Jug program. A “catastrophe” for us, of course, is being defeated by dead-on favorites, expected to win from the get-go. The “Jug” was admittedly weak this year but we tried to beat the choices in small fields; no luck. And the Jugette was equally as disturbing, especially since our choice to win two-straight heats was eliminated in the first heat due to an outside trip.  

    Then it was Friday and we suggested strongly a few Keystone Classics events at the Meadows. The third suggestion from a trio of races (we finished fifth and fifth in the first two) was our strongest case and we won. Breaking a track speed record and joyfully ignored at the windows was Pantholops. His win returned $34.40, enough to cover the night’s action, including two losses in state-bred events at Yonkers (one winner, Major Look, returned $5.30). 

    The it was Saturday and the big event, the Milton Stakes at Mohawk, presented another victory, though it offered less than promised. With a 7-1 morning line, Laughandbehappy, (pictured, New Media Image) who we endorsed as the outsider contender, went off at 3-1. The mare was firmly backed late in the wagering, proving that many bettors saw what we saw in her and/or a lot of TwinSpires account-holders read this blog and allow it to affect their choices (this is a good thing).  

    Sept. 24 at Vernon Downs, holding more state-bred events, was not as productive for us, with only one winner, Classic Conway, paying $4.80. This was not expected, so ditto on the final comment about Laughandbehappy. Of course there were two other winners but we suggested a pass on Delano ($2.80) and Heston Blue Chip ($2.10). The evening was lousy with short-priced winners. Our other choices finished seventh, third and second, respectively. 

    Our first crack at the no-takeout Cal-Expo Pick 4 on Saturday resulted in one winner and some keen excuses. First, however, let me reiderate that these attempts will always be reasonably priced shots, so we suggest you play any horse we have on a ticket if you feel that horse is a valuable play. That is your call.  

    Last season, doing the win betting as well as the combo betting produced a slew of winners, one which paid over $100. As well, we hit a Pick 4 once with a $700-plus payoff on a low-priced ticket. It was a profitable campaign and we hope to sustain the success this year.

    We began with a winner, Mystically Mine, paying $13.80. Our other choice in that first leg finished second, so if you further invested, even if you boxed an exacta, you got another $66.80.  

    Our second-leg choice, an 18-1 single, broke while stressing for early domination. Our third-leg choice finished second and our two fourth-leg choices finised third and fourth. The winning Pick 4 paid only $252. We are aiming for higher than that price when we cash a ticket. So do not ignore our suggestions each week. You can add to it based on your own money-management scheme but please be aware of playing within the races as well as owning a Pick-4 ticket. 

    Our exclusive Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the stories for top “Crown”-eligible contenders (at Hambletonian Society) continues as the clock ticks for the elimination rounds in late October. Keep in tune with those pages as well as these TwinSpires blogs.  

    Following us on Twitter offers you late picks on races not included in this blog and updates on choices we speak about here. As well as tweeting some profit-making plays, we leave some links and guide you to news and information.

    Harness News

    The only one-turn mile track in harness racing, Colonial Downs, has opened for another season. I give you fair warning: Watch for horses trained and driven by Gerald Longo. This hard-shelled veteran that toughed it out for years in California rides under the radar of many players while campaigning at this meet.  

    Never deny Longo’s entries, no matter the odds, and watch the trips his horses take, especially when losing, because Mr. Longo, in my experience, is aggressive and always out to score. Sometimes that causes his charge to finish badly. But that only helps raise the odds on that horse next time.  

    bet daily on Colonial’s product and the average $29,585 bet on incoming simulcasts, that $157,011 figure easily outdistanced 2010’s average of $131,908.

    The 2011 average total handle of 874,625 beat the $860,765 figure of a year prior. Out of state handle on Colonial’s races dropped slightly, from $732,090 a year ago to $722,983 this season.

    Colonial Downs’ 14th harness season began Sept. 17. Pacers and trotters compete every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. thru Nov. 5.
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