• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Mar 31, 2012
    Once again, the black-inked column of our bankroll received activity and we shared it in every social networking venue available through TwinSpires. Of course, we had a few winners on the rebound, which is the strength of our exclusive horses-to-watch list (H2W), but every profitable penny counts.  

    Let’s begin with the H2W successes.  

    At Balmoral (these were published at my USTA Pick-4 weekend blogs), we had two winners. On March 25, Tone won, paying $18.40. On March 26 Judy’s Jet won, paying $16.80.  

    At Cal-Expo, a pair of winners surfaced off of our Pick-4 contenders at this blog. On March 30, Bewareofthisaffair won and paid $11.60, followed by Wrangler Reward’s win that same program, paying $15.80.  

    Twitter fans of the Cotolos (Ray and Frank) through TwinSpires had a field day at three tracks on March 25. Here is a list of the tweeted winners: 

    Chester Downs
    Artists Rally, $4.80
    Fraser Downs
    Red Star Bogart, $8.90
    Anjelles Aura, $8.50
    Flamboro Downs
    Major Dundee, $15.60
    Lilly Ellie, $18.30
    Dance Withtheshark, $10.00
    Luvumeanit, $13.70

    Connect with our Twitter team for late suggestions you can use for win, place or show and in all exotic. Follow Frank and Ray Cotolo at Twitter and wager from TwinSpires. 

    We zeroed in on the half-dozen George Morton Levy splits and gave you some tools with free Brisnet F.A.S.T. sheets (available through the series). We hit half of the sextet, though the prices were poor to miserable. Nob Hill High was the top priced at $5.70, while big favorites Atochia ($2.40) and Foiled Again ($2.20) dominated their splits.  

    On March 29 our Matchmaker choices at Yonkers finished fourth or fifth, all at unpopular odds.   

    We tried to defeat San Pail in the second leg of the Glorys Comet, using 76-1 Frenchfrysnvinegar but he trotted home third to the prohibitive favorite. In the Spring Championship, Aracache Hanover (8-1) finished second to the public choice, completing a $12 exactor. The last split of that series found our choice Kyle Major making an early go of it but tanking at 26-1.  

    At Cal Expo, our no-takeout Pick 4 didn’t come close to the winning ticket, which paid $6,931. That price was mostly due to two longshots, one of them listed above (Wranglers Reward from the H2W). But the other, in the final leg, tipped the price considerably. Tutiming Gal had gone off at 2-1 the week before but went off this week at 35-1. She won and paid $77.80, igniting the big payoff.

    News And Notes

    Scarborough Downs begins its 110-program meet on March 31. The Maine facility offers racing at 4 p.m. (EST) on Saturdays and Sundays, adding Fridays on April 20 and Thursdays on June 7. 

    Scarborough players are jazzed at playing drivers more than horses, giving some fine horses good shots at good prices with lesser-known men at the wheel. The heavily bet drivers include Drew Campbell, Ron Cushing, Chris Long, Shawn Thayer and Steve Nason.  

    Bettors beware of drivers Mark Athearn, Ryan Hall and Dan Deslandes among the less popular guiding horses most likely to be overlooked in the wagering.  

    Speaking of driver prowess …  

    Congratulations to driver Dave Palone (pictured right)  for becoming the second driver in the sport’s history to tally 15,000 wins. It would be laborious but revealing to do a workup of those wins versus his starts to see if Palone was profitable as a handicapping element. 

    My prediction would include a loss statement for Palone in the area of his victory mutuels versus his starts. A perennial favorite among bettors, especially at his home track, The Meadows, it would be hard to believe that the win prices associated with his talent presented a flat-bet profit.  

    Palone’s only obstacle from being the top driver of all time is Herve Filion. No one has ever, to my knowledge, done a workup of Herve’s mutuel returns. It would be fascinating to compare those results for the sake of the gamblers, whom, aside from my column over the decades, never get the complete analysis of drivers’ successes as they benefit players.  

    Also preparing for the start of its season is Running Aces Harness Park. Although it is two months from opening day, the Minnesota track is prepping by scheduling qualifying races and calling upon its community of horsemen to commit.  

    The track has had numerous problems due to political turmoil in the state represented by two well-known personalities, former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and former comedian Al Franken. Still, the purse structure will be “significantly higher for the fifth-consecutive season,” according to reports. 

    We will report news for players of Running Aces when it opens on Labor Day weekend, 2012, amid the swarm of Grand Circuit activity that include our reports on exclusive social media outlets.  

    In Canada, Georgian Downs opened its 11th season on March 31, the start of a 99-night meet. Georgian offers racing every Tuesday and Saturday night plus Wednesdays starting on Oct. 17, Mondays, Nov. 19 to New Years Eve and Sundays Oct. 21st to Nov.11. 



     (Cartoon by Thom Pye)  
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