• Another Winter Of Harness’ Content

    POSTED Nov 23, 2011
    Into the last month of Y2K plus 11, harness bettors take only two breaks, Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Meanwhile, the race cards ensue, even the Meadowlands is poised to begin a new season as all the king’s horses pace and trot across the birthday line New Year’s Day. It’s getting colder but that just fires up the heats as the world’s most monstrous horses pound the heavy, freezing limestone and cut through all elements winter delivers. There is no better atmosphere for harness racing! 

    This week we re-introduce the Watch List, our personal book of future wagers, while encouraging you to keep your own records, mostly checking on all the overnights as the 2010 season lay bare to the plethora of winter racing across North America.  

    We continue the quest for striking with a Cal Expo no-takeout-Pick-4 winning ticket. The Saturday event is analyzed below. Remember to consider some of our longer shots (3-1 and up) on the ticket for win bets, also. 

    Forest City Mares Meet

    Some star mares from this season will be at The Raceway at Western Fair District this Saturday night for the $195,000 Forest City Pace, the feature event of the Fall Meet at the London, Ontario racetrack. Nine pacing mares that have earned $10.5 million in purses, with five having a million dollars or more in their career bankrolls compete for the title.

    Last year’s edition saw Dreamfair Eternal establish a stakes record of 1:54.3. She’s back to defend her title with he who guided her to the 2010 title, Chris Christoforou.

    Breeders Crown-winner Anndrovette is here with driver Tim Tetrick, who makes his first appearance at Western Fair.

    Here is the field:
    1. Warrawee Koine – Trevor Henry
    2. Voelz Hanover – Mario Baillargeon
    3. Seriously – Jody Jamieson
    4. Ginger And Fred – Trevor Henry
    5. Blissful Smile – Scott Zeron
    6. Dreamfair Eternal – Chris Christoforou
    7. Anndrovette – Tim Tetrick
    8. Chancey Lady – Luc Ouellette
    9. Ticket To Rock – Jody Jamieson

    Anndrovette will be flat on the board, which is not to our liking. We had her before she surged, picking up $19 at her best price. Then the odds sank and she used front speed to win on the big tracks. Leave her out of this and if you get near her morning line of 6-1 on the defending champion, take Dreamfair Eternal. Driver Christoforou won with her here last year and has the experience to take her around the four turns. It could be a satisfying upset.    

    Matron Leftover

    Those pesky glamour-boy pacers take one more shot at each other in a Matron Stakes Final at Dover on Sunday, Nov. 27.

    With Betterthancheddar done after winning the Windy City, only Westwardho Hanover stands in the way of a division title. His Matron elim was a big mile and he will be the choice here along with the other elim winner, Hugadragon.

    An upset is unlikely, making this race a probable pass, but with a pair like this it is not hard to make a case for a burn-out scenario. If that is the case, then Lookinforadventure could be the colt to pick up the pieces for trainer Bruce Saunders. Early in the year, Lookinforadventure was racing well off the pace against dueling speed; he was beginning to look like a mighty contender in the division. But he never got enough to aim for with his closing style. He could make one last statement in this division, which has shared so much of the stakes treasures this season. Take a shot. 

    Watch List

    Once again this year we make you privy to our personal “Watch List,” featuring horses that have earned the right to be taken seriously as valuable wagers in at least their next two races (at the same track we note their performances). Being trip handicappers we search replays and charts for horses that have not been able to overcome adversity or are showing encouraging signs of life in recent miles.  

    Usually, we take any of these back at 4-1 or up but you will judge the betting value; we will report all activity regardless of price. We will follow and follow up on their performances, as well as tell you when they are racing again through this blog or on our Twitter page.  

    Big Gus –broke early leaving from the 10 hole as the second choice

    Island Tiger –scratched coming into a race as an outside contender

    Morgan Shark –closed long and hard to finish a tight third; Nov. 26, Race 8

    Omaha Survivor –was hung for two calls in a good effort

    Charlie Beans –broke twice early, went three wide, held to be a close fourth. Nov. 26 Race 4

    Count Howie –was a beaten favorite and fried when hung early.

    Gaugin CC –rushed wide to get the early lead, stayed with the group well at 55-1.

    Rush Of Fools –gained 6 lengths in an early brush, went first over and obviously faded. Nov. 26, Race 12

    Warners Rambaran –dueled outside near the top, dead-heated for fourth at 31-1. Nov. 26, Race 9

    Fantasy Character –gained 7 lengths, suffered interference and still got second at 30-1.

    Key Western –was hung for three calls and held for third. Nov. 26, race 7

    Rush N Supreme –had early foot with a strong brush then hung.

    Show Me Glory –was three wide to the top early, held lead to three-quarters and finished fourth at 59-1. Nov. 26, Race 6

    Cal Exotic

    The no-takeout late Pick 4 at Cal Expo for Nov. 12 begins with Race 9. Remember to use the best-valued members of this ticket (3-1 and up, for instance) as win bets. 

    Leg 1
    (5) Stanza was second at 4-1 and only lost because of an early wide move to the top. This is a debilitating move on this oval but she still finished second. 

    Leg 2
    (1) TJ Beach Poker had a dull effort after showing off at 13-1 the previous week, finishing a formidable second. He remains an outside contender that should be on the ticket. (4) Jessalillpeace closed stoutly to be second last out while being supported at the windows.  

    Leg 3
    (6) Whitman was not up to snuff as the favorite but we have to consider that a clunker and give him another shot. (8) Devilish Donnie loves this track and is working his way back to win a few in a row.  

    Leg 4
    (5) Girls Lie Too wound up third after making a tiring move to be first early, hanging and tiring at 10-1. But that show of early foot could be a flare that we need to address in this ticket.

    The ticket: 5/1,4/6,8/5  = $2 for $8 

     (Ray Cotolo assisted in this edition.)
    (Horse photos by Lynn Burton)
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