• Cotolo’s Harness-Weekend Review, 10-24-11

    POSTED Oct 23, 2011
    All right, some of you may wish to line up for rehab. However, those of us addicted to wagering on promising horses that the public rejects are not about to surrender. We are merely retreating to a certain corner of the world where we can catch our breaths and take on the next wave of races where value, luck and smarts conspire for the good of our bankroll.  

    The Breeders Crown elims on Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22, are what drives us into a space where we need to refresh our ammunition, since those two nights were deadly waves of chalk that left us winded. Below is a list of our choices, with notes about their efforts and how we see the loss.  


    Classic Conway—At 41-1 he races with no particular goal; a bad choice. The winner pays $8.

    Appomattox—Closes strongly late at 49-1, just closes too late. The winner paid $9.60.

    Personal Style—At 43-1, breaks at three-quarters before being able to mount a charge; no luck. The winner pays $2.50.

    Hurrikane Kingcole—Caught in a tangle as horses break, makes a three-wide move and finished third at 13-1; no luck. The winner pays $3.40.

    Machapelo—He is never in the thick of action; bad choice at 10-1. The winner paid $4.90.  


    Jezzy—She does her best but can only be second at 9-1. The winner pays $4.20 and the exacta with that favorite and Jezzy is a remarkable $46.

    Chapter Seven—This guy wins as the favorite? He pays $3.70. We estimated this group all wrong, thinking he would be the outsider to the two horses that finished second and third.

    Manofmanymissions—We told you if he didn’t break he would win; he didn’t break and he won, paying $3. Unfortunately our second choice, Whiskey Tax, at 16-1, finished a poor sixth.

    Pantholops—This gal is so ready to win for us at 23-1 that she becomes too excited and breaks right off the gate. She gets back on stride quickly and closes enough to make the final, finishing fifth. The winner pays $6.40.

    Maureen Rocks—At 5-1 she races a hole in the wind, unfortunately she does so on the outside most of the way and she cannot catch the favorite, who wins and pays $4.50, and completes the exacta.

    Swinging Beauty—She makes up a ton of lengths and finishes third at 13-1. The winner pays $3.60.

    Rocklamation—This gal does exactly what we think she could and wins, paying $13.80, still much less than we thought she would pay. We are not surprised that See You At Peelers tanks badly and doesn’t make the final.

    Custard The Dragon—At 10-1 we have no idea why he is unable to maintain the early lead and even when he gets cover cannot suck along and finish second. He winds up last. We expect to hear a bad health report. Meanwhile, the favorite we thought would lose, loses and the winner pays $13.90.

    Fashion Delight—He goes off a whopping 18-1 and winds up raring to charge second over but has to re-route when the colt covering him breaks stride. He fires back and manages to make the final, finishing fifth. The huge favorite is a colt we knew would be backed more than he deserved; he finished third. The winner, thanks to a safe pocket trip, pays $14.60.  

    Those last two elims were for soph-colt pacers and they testify to what we have been saying all season regardless of the criticism we have received from some industry insiders. This division is fickle and it has produced multiple winners of big events, making each event wide open for betting. We took advantage of many of those events and have won. Be assured that no Horse of the Year will surface from this group. We were right; end of discussion.  

    As for next week, it’s the Breeders Crown finals, all 12 of them, at Woodbine on Oct. 29.  

    For the last time this season, our exclusive Breeders Crown Countdown blog offers analysis, news and handicapping (results, archives at Hambletonian Society) up to the moment. We will again 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 our updates on Twitter. After the draw for the elims is complete on Tuesday, Oct. 25, check the exclusive Breeders Crown Countdown blog for the fields and comments.  

    Our Thurday blog at TwinSpires will include all of our suggested contenders for the finals. By that time we feel we will have gotten our breaths back and will be raring to defy the public for profit. As well, we’ll tell you more about the special Pick-4 Hit It And Split It feature offering a million points on Oct. 29 at Woodbine.

    Harness News

    Maryland has more harness racing again now that Rosecroft Raceway has opened. TwinSpires carries Rosecroft’s latest incarnation. The first race post time is 6:45 p.m., EST every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 17. Thursdays will be added for Dec. 8 and 15. All Superfectas will have an ultra-low, 10-cent minimum. In addition, a 50-cent minimum will be in effect for all Trifectas (all races), Daily Doubles (first two and last two races) and Pick-3 (last three races) wagers.

    From Above, fifth in his elimination for the Breeders Crown frosh-colt trot has been scratched sick from the final. This is trainer Greg Peck’s colt which we won with in two successive races before the “Crown” elim. In that elim we did not choose him, since he was bound to be an underlay. However, his performance was hideous.

    “He just wasn’t himself in the elim,” said Peck. “I said so after the race and I won’t race him if he’s not in top shelf condition. I’ve only raced him a few times this year and there’s no point in racing him if he’s not right. In fairness to the process I wanted to scratch him while there is still time for the also eligible to draw in.”

    The first also-eligible is Delano, driven and trained by Ray Schnittker. The Breeders Crown conditions read that if post positions for a race have already been drawn, the also- eligible will assume the position on the outside of the remaining starters in the front tier of the starting gate. Since From Above had drawn post 9, American Gangster, who drew post 10, will move in one position to the 9 and Delano will take post 10.
    (Cartoon by Thom Pye)


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