• Cotolo’s Harness Review

    POSTED Dec 4, 2011
    This will be an abbreviated review, since the main events discussed from our blog before the weekend won’t take place until Monday, Dec. 5. After midnight turns the 5th into Dec. 6, check this page again for a blog update. Then head back to this page on Friday, Dec. 9 after midnight EST for next week’s installment.  

    The Autumn Stakes at Woodbine have been sprinkling eliminations for two- and three-year-olds that are Ontario-bred and these are the only stakes left bar the Cleveland Classic on Dec. 10 at Northfield. Our assessments of the Autumn Stakes-elim adventures were not productive over the last weekend.  

    Twin B Miracle was not up to even a good performance in Dec. 2’s first soph-filly pace elim, not finishing well enough to make the final. We passed the second elim. 

    Dec. 3’s picks did not fire as well as we thought, although Adventure Bound finished fourth to make the final in elim one. Justlikejessejames broke and finished fifth in the second chapter.  

    We expect better results on Monday night in finals for the soph-colt trotters and frosh-colt pacers. 

    Here is a review of those choices as a reminder of if you missed the Dec. 1 blog: 

    Monday, Dec. 5, soph-colt trotters are hosted in the $60,000 Autumn Stakes Final and frosh-colt pacers meet in a $50,000 conclusion. 

    In the soph affair, Oaklea Trace was 10-1 in his elim, making two moves to lead and still gaining against the two that beat him to the wire. Also, Vimy Ridge made a pair of moves in his elim and won at 7-2.

    The freshmen triple should include Pansational, who finished second at 4-1, being nipped at the wire after a strenuous but speedy trip. Twin B Wrangler should return stronger after being a strong choice and Solid Performance gained to be third after a tiring opening quarter racing wide. 

    Before the meager successes of the weekend, here is a note about our coverage of the no-takeout Pick 4 at Cal-Expo these past two weeks. We have been using the schedule from the meet before this that placed the exotic bet’s legs at certain points late in the card. That schedule changed and we offered advice in an incorrect first leg and last leg. From here on, we will be dealing with the wager using the final race on the program as the last leg of the late Pick 4 unless anyone tells us differently. 

    Meanwhile, inside of our ticket this past weekend (the previous weekend the races were cancelled due to a fog attack) the Race 9 winner, Whitman ($4.40) was our single in Race 9 and Jessalilpeace ($6.80) won Race 12.    

    Harness News

    Batavia Downs concluded its 65th season of live harness racing on Dec.3.
    Top trainer honors were shared by Alex Giuliani and John Mungillo with 44 wins. Jack Flanigen was the top driver with 124 wins.
    Pending New York State Racing and Wagering Board approval, America’s oldest lighted harness track will reopen on July 23, 2012.
    One of the biggest stories to hit the harness scene in years comes from New York. Sixteen harness trainers were suspended and fined by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board for 28 positives occurring at Yonkers, Monticello and Saratoga Harness.
    Meanwhile, it is almost time for the Meadowlands. It will kick off its 2012 harness meet on Friday, Jan. 6.

    Live racing will run Thursday through Saturday through March 8, then Fridays and Saturdays through June 23. The track will be dark the week of April 22 leading into the start of the Championship Meet on Friday, May 4. The track will resume a three-day schedule June 28-Aug. 4, before concluding the meet with weekend cards Aug. 10-11 and 17-18. With the addition of Dec. 28 and 29, a total of 81 harness dates will be raced in 2012. 

    Click here to view the 2012 racing calendar: http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com/calendardates.aspx?id=93

    (Cartoon by Thom Pye)

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