• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED May 5, 2012

    It wasn’t a very active week but it turned out profitable thanks to some concentrated plays. 

    The Hambletonian Trail got off to a tremendous official start with the Dexter Cup Final at Freehold. For the results of that race, as previewed on our spin-off blog, and to follow results of all the stakes involving eligibles of the August classics, go to the Hambletonian Society site. Check daily for updates, since many of the races involved in the Trail’s stream of events take place on weeknights before, after and in between the usual publication of these TwinSpires blogs. 

    The divisions covered, for those of you new to the feature, are the soph-colt trotters and the soph-filly trotters. 

    Throughout the weeks of the summer leading to the Hambletonian and “Oaks” elims, the “Trail” blog features wagering suggestions, race previews and event news, in league with the society and TwinSpires.  

    Also, connect to Twitter and follow Frank and Ray Cotolo for up-to-the-minute suggestions on wagers at many harness raceways. Then, wager from TwinSpires.  

    Get onto our mailing list to learn more about playing for profit by clicking here

    At the Meadowlands’ season opener, we struck hard Friday, May 4, in a “Simpson” stake for soph-filly pacers. One of three plays we suggested that evening (the other two lost), Day Blue Chip won, paying $10.20 and our second choice, Jaime Sue, at 11-1, completed the exacta for a $72 score. 

    On Saturday, May 5, at the Meadowlands, both of our suggestions won, though not at very pleasing prices. The Graduate series began and Rockincam won the first outing, paying $7. Bolt The Duer fooled no one in the Simpson stake for soph-colt pacers, paying $3.80.  

    At Cal Expo, the no-takeout Pick 4 on May 4 was a bust for us. None of our choices won. They finished third, third and fourth, sixth and seventh and seventh, respectfully. The winning combination paid $115.80, which was not the kind of bounty we shoot to collect. Be with us next week for another high-paying targeted ticket.

    News And Notes

    If you are watching races at the Meadowlands and notice that the drivers are reacting a bit differently with whips than you recall them doing it is because a change in rules governing the use of the whip started this weekend.

    The new and expansive policy concerning the use of the whip “prohibits the brutal and indiscriminate use of the whip upon any horse.”

    New Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural said, “At the Meadowlands, we recognize the importance of this issue and are doing everything we can [to assure] the safety of our horses.”

    Gural said there is a possibility of “developing a different type of whip and a larger saddle pad to further address the perception that the public has on this issue.”

    To read the directive about the whipping rules, click here.

    The connections of 53 glamour-boy pacers made the current payment to be in this year’s $1.5-million Pepsi North America Cup. They remain eligible to contest North America’s richest race for pacers.

    Headlining this year’s group is Sweet Lou, who became the fastest two-year-old in history with his 1:49 world-record performance in last year’s Breeders Crown at Woodbine for trainer Ron Burke.

    Among the recognizable colts due to target the big race are A Rocknroll Dance, D Terminata, Hillbilly Hanover, I Fought Dalaw, Mcerlean and Mybrothergeorge.

    The Pepsi North America Cup eliminations are set for Saturday, June 9, with the final slated for Saturday, June 16 at Mohawk.

    Two of last year’s Canadian-based stars have shown up at Woodbine to start another season.

    Daylon Magician, last year’s three-year-old trotting colt of the year in Canada and a major competitor on the Hambletonian Trail, rolled to a 1:54.3 qually win for regular pilot Jack Moiseyev. The son of Kadabra was forced to qualify after beginning his four-year-old season with a break in the Open Trot at Woodbine.

    Dreamfair Eternal, Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010, made her first 2012 appearance in a qually last week; she finished second.

    There are no bad reports on the failure of See You At Peelers in last week’s Matchmaker Series Final. We had the upset winner with Rocklamation in the Yonkers contest that turned out to be See You At Peelers first loss at that track.

    “She put up some pretty good numbers but she should have done better than where she ended up,” said her driver, Brian Sears. “Hopefully, she came out of the race alright.”

    Cartoon by Thom Pye
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