• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Apr 14, 2012
    There are any number of expressions for having a bum time at the track and no matter how well you chose your plays, those expressions can describe things when they go astray in every way. Horses break, get into a load of trouble along the journey to the finish line, are blocked, impeded and simply put in all-out clunkers and the next thing you know the results turn into a “bloodbath” where you “take a beating” and get “hammered.” It happens to us all and this weekend it happened to anyone following our leads. 

    Being beaten by favorites is acceptable, since we rarely invest strongly where certain horses dominate. But when the public choices come home in rapid-fire succession, we are not happy.  

    We have been competent going after prices in the George Morton Levy miles at Yonkers but this week the best price came from a horse we had last week but denied this week. Fitz’s Z Tam paid $10.60 for us last week but we did not visit the window for him on April 14. He won and paid $14. Our only “Levy” choice, Strand Hanover, paid a measly $3.90 and  was our only winner.  

    The other Levy splits went to the obvious choices with prohibitive prices. Boo hoo. And the night before, on Friday the 13th, our closest Matchmaker competitor, Summer Snow, was second at 22-1. She was defeated by the dead-on choice and completed an exacta worth $19.20. Only Hula’s Z Tam finished on the board from our other three choices, third at 6-1. 

    At Cal Expo, we had only one winner in the Pick 4—Hiho Legacy—at $5.80. Favorites dominated the exotic, which came back $214.30. One of last week’s winners, Serious Art, won again during the program, paying $7.40.  

    Remember that throughout the Levy series free for all Brisnet F.A.S.T. sheets are available. Also, stay connected to Twitter with Frank and Ray Cotolo for late suggestions you can use for win, place or show and in all exotic. Follow and wager from TwinSpires. Get onto our mailing list to learn how to get upcoming horses to watch by clicking here.

    News And Notes

    Balmoral Park’s business surge continues as wagering increases as spring ensues. The exotic combos, like the 50-cent Pick 5 and the weekend Pick 4s (which you can follow with our picks at the USTA site) continue to attract lots of play.

    On Saturdays the 50 cent Pick-5 wager is offered on races two through six. It has offered a few delicious carryovers. On Feb. 22, five mid-priced and longshot winners in the mix awarded three fans $44,675.10. It was the largest Pick-5 payout in Balmoral history.

    Balmoral also offers a $20,000-guaranteed Pick-4 pool on races 10 through 13. The Pick-4 has a one-dollar minimum and a 15-percent takeout. Through April 9, the average one-dollar payout has been $3,096.74. The average Pick-4 pool in March was a record $40,316.

    Sunday night racing has also been an enormous success. Four Sunday cards in March produced a handle of $4,841,800. Starting Sunday, April 15, Balmoral will raise the two Sunday guarantees pools by $5,000 each. The 50-cent Pick-5 will have a guarantee of $15,000 every Sunday. The Sunday Pick-4 goes to a $30,000-guaranteed pool with a 15- percent takeout. The Wednesday and Saturday Pick-4 guarantees remain at $20,000 with the same 15-percent takeout.

    Balmoral currently has the lowest percentage of winning favorites in the country at 33 percent. You read correctly, the lowest is 33 percent. Wow.

    Cartoon by Thom Pye
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