We tackled Cal-Expo’s no-takeout Pick 4 last Saturday night and came up with two winners (remember, we urge you not to pass up win best on our higher odds picks from the ticket). Our big score was with Thouartthegreatest in the third leg. He won and paid $63. Another of our choices in that race, Axelrod, completed a $123 exacta. We also scored with a single from the second leg as RW Island Spirit won and paid $8.40. The ticket resulted in a third, a win, a first and second, and a third.
On Saturday at Dover, Matron elims featured frosh pacers and trotters with few surprises. We offered two passes, the first for the Matron elim featuring filly trotter Check Me Out. We thought she would be the dead-on choice since winning the Breeders Crown but we had no idea the others in this race would be so highly ignored. (Photo top right by Mark Hall)
Check me out went off five cents to the dollar. Her foes’ odds were astronomical (here they are in order of favoritism): 232-1, 342-1, 370-1, 424-1, 425-1, 430-1 and 450-1. The 430-1 finished second, creating an exacta of $21 as she won by 16 lengths, breaking a world record for her division on a five-eighths mile track.
Our second pass (filly pacers) featured a win by Destiny’s Chance, which we refused to take as the probable favorite here after giving her out and winning at Lexington to the tune of $63. She won, paying $2.20.
Delano (colt trotters) was the surprise—not because he won but because he paid $6.40. Forever Just (colt pacers) lost to the pair we thought would be the choices, Hurrikane Kingcole and Heston Blue Chip, respectively.
The second elim for filly trotters was not won by our choice, Chocolatte De Vie; she finished sixth.
At Indiana Downs, what’s left of the soph-colt-trotter crop went in the Oliver Trot Classic. We liked Live Jazz for the Campbell brothers. He went off at 7-2 and was making a go of the top into the stretch but was beaten by another 7-2 shot, Mr Web Page.
The FFA pacers for the Indiana Pacing Derby left us no choice but to call a pass since Foiled Again was tons better than all the foes in the field, especially coming from his terrific mile at Woodbine where he just lost the Breeders Crown Open Pace. Foiled Again won the “Derby,” paying $2.10.
Similar results spanned the Chester card on Sunday, Nov. 6 in elims for the Valley Victory, Goldsmith Maid and Governor’s Cup, all freshman stakes.
A pair of “Victory” elims (colt trotters) saw super-favorite Vic Smith jump and lose. That’s okay, we called that a pass anyway. In the other Victory elim we finished third with Quit Smoking Now to the obvious choice, Possess The Will ($2.40).
In the Goldsmith Maid (filly trotters), Our choice, Win Missy B won but we stayed clear of the race since she went off at such low odds, paying $2.40. In the second elim for this event, Fancy broke and finished off the board.
Another suggested pass was A Rocknroll Dance in a Governor’s Cup elim. He won, paying $2.10. Then a surprise to us, as our choice for the second elim, Escape The News, won as the even-money choice. Paying $4 from what we expected to be at least $6.
Dover hosted sophomore Matron elims. Filly trotters started the card with Cedar Dove winning off of her Breeders Crown victory; Pantholops was off the board. Filly-pacer Drop The Ball came back and won after a disappointing “Crown” affair but only paid $2.60. Chapter Seven is suddenly the best glamour-boy trotter in action (see news below), winning his split over our 76-1 shot, Magnum Kosmos.
Progress Pace elims for soph-colt pacers included a win for Alsace Hanover over one last shot we gave to Powerful Mist. Then, our 80-1 shot from the Breeders Crown, Fashion Delight, won the second elim paying only $5.40.
One of harness racing’s most reveled figures, Stanley Bergstein (photo left), passed away this week. Mr. Bergstein was as dear to the sport as any one personality, having shared his talents in many roles over decades of service. I was fortunate enough to be his editor for many years at the ill-fated TIMES: magazine and was proud to be considered a friend. I was on TV with him during the Little Brown Jug some years ago. It was a thrill considering I learned about him during his local OTB-harness TV show (Racing From Roosevelt/Yonkers) in the 1970s. We mourn his passing and are forever in his debt for things he taught us and contributed to the sport.
Manofmanymissions has retired. The unevenly performing yet smashingly speedy sophomore trotter was his own worst enemy, breaking stride many times during a commanding charge. When he trotted smoothly he was clearly the best of this division. He will go to stud in Indiana.
Whatever It Takes, another sophomore colt, one that we backed here a few times along the Hambletonian Trail, had to be put down last week due to illness. He never got going in the mainstream of the division but took some fields down at good prices when he was at his best.
Welcome to the TwinSpires Blog. Our contributors will be continually updating posts to offer commentary, insight, advice and expert opinions on horse racing and wagering. The goal is to help you win more and become a better all around horse player.
TwinSpires' horse racing author, handicapper, and podcast host, Derek Simon of Denver, Colo. offers his insightful, humorous and sometimes controversial take on the horse racing industry. He even publishes the ROI on the picks he gives out.
TwinSpires' harness racing expert, Frank Cotolo follows all of the big North American circuits throughout the year, providing the best value picks and latest news from the sulky.
The Director of Marketing for Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and astute handicapper, Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times.
A writer and editor who has been following horse racing for fifteen years. Peter has written books for the Daily Racing Form Press; Crown; and Simon and Schuster; among other publishers, and regular features in The Horseplayer Magazine.
A television racing analyst for Churchill Downs, Jill has earned acclaim and a loyal audience throughout Thoroughbred racing.