• Cotolo’s Harness-Weekend Review, 10-17-11

    POSTED Oct 16, 2011
    The Simpson Stakes at Vernon this past weekend did not offer many eligibles for next week’s Breeders Crown. The few freshmen racing had their connections looking for last-minute credentials to justify dropping their horses into the box. There is no supplementing for the two-year-old events.  

    On Friday, we approached the four stakes, two for filly trotters and two for colt trotters, with only three possible plays (we suggested a pass on the colt trot with Royal Shyster as the favorite; he lost anyway). Our first play for the fillies, Lady Crown, went off high enough to bet but was not a factor. Our longshot, 11-1 Getinonthesecret, was beaten by a 30-1 shot. We got third. 

    The success was with Classic Conway in the first colt event. We encouraged a wager at 9-5, feeling this colt had the big edge on the field. We were rewarded by having the betting public feel differently, sending “Conway” off at a hard 3-1. His victory rewarded us with a win mutuel of $8.60.  

    This is why we continually look to support contenders that the public won’t favor, those that offer a lot more than we estimate. Conway was a definitive overlay, personally valued at 9-5 and going off a good-deal higher than 50-percent more than that.  

    Saturday’s Simpsons were not so kind. Where we estimated a strong overlay situation with Blackjack Princess, we got just the opposite, an underlay. She won and paid a mere $2.70. Both of our colt suggestions, Blueridge Dancer (a bet at 9-2) and Steelhead Hanover a bet at (9-2) finished third.  

    This week, with a $2-base bet gauge, the total invested in our suggested contenders was $10 and the return was $8.60, resulting in a mild loss.   

    Speaking of an underlay, our Cal-Expo Pick-4 ticket produced a winner in My Tryin Ryan. We speculated he would go off at relatively strong odds in the third leg. We singled him, he won and paid only $3.80. The first two legs resulted in seconds and the last leg was unproductive. We go after them again next week. 

    As for next week, it’s Breeders Crown time at Woodbine.  

    Our exclusive Breeders Crown Countdown blog will offer analysis, news and handicapping (results, archives at Hambletonian Society) for the elimination rounds on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22. We will be reporting live on the TwinSpires blog at U.S. headquarters in league with the Hambo Society and our special staff at Woodbine in Canada. As well, follow us on Twitter for all the insider updates from sources we have planted at the scene. After the draw for the elims on Tuesday, Oct. 18, check the exclusive Breeders Crown Countdown blog for the fields and for comments.

    Harness News

    After a successful qualifier, See You At Peelers could be racing again soon. However, trainer Jimmy Takter said next week’s Breeders Crown elims may not be the venue.
    “Probably not,” Takter said about entering the filly in the soph-filly pace elims. “It’s very optimistic to go up there and maybe not fair to her to do that eight days from [the qualifier]. It’s something I really have to think about.”
    “Peelers” could, instead, according to Takter, race in an overnight and then go to Yonkers for the Messenger against the boys or go in the filly-equivalent event, the Lady Maud in early November.
    Western Fair is offering harness again, beginning its 51st season on Oct. 14. The schedule for this meet is four days a week, Mondays and Tuesdays with a 3:35 p.m. post time and Fridays and Saturdays which have a 7:05 p.m. start.
    Those Gerald Longo horses at Colonial Downs are still cooking. One we gave you, Free Parking Behind, was the second half of a $131 exacta last Thursday, paying over $32 to place.
    Two new series to several high-profile events highlight Meadowlands Racetrack’s 2012 winter late-closing program, according to Amy Silver of the track publicity department. The Charles Singer Memorial and Syrinx Hanover for three-year-old trotters that are non-winners of two pari-mutuel races or $30,000 lifetime will join the winter schedule. The Super Bowl for four-year-olds and Horse & Groom for non-winners of four will also provide earnings opportunities for conditioned trotters.
    The marquee events for older pacers, the Presidential, Cape & Cutter, Overbid, Aquarius and Four Leaf Clover, will return in 2012. Conditioned pacing events also include the Complex (five-year-olds and under), the Clyde Hirt and Exit 16W (four-year-olds) and the Junior Trendsetter (three-year-olds). For fillies and mares, the schedule includes the White Ruffles (four-year-olds), Night Styles (four and under) and Tender Loving Care (three-year-olds).

    (Exclusive cartoon by Thom Pye)  
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