Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notessweltering heat turned into dangerous conditions for man and beast, causing some raceways to cancel their July 7 programs—even the night cards. Temperatures in the hundreds from the Midwest to the Atlantic seaboard swarmed over the minds and bodies of all creatures—even bettors!
If you haven’t read the Eric Carlson exclusive interview by Ray Cotolo you can read it by clicking here. Eric won his first Meadowlands race the Saturday after doing this interview.
This is the best, if not only, time of the year when the issue of sires may be important to harness racing bettors. The freshmen have hit the track and that means new crops from sires expected to be great as well as proven sires are being represented by progeny.
Among pacers it is interesting to note that Badlands Hanover, who has been siring for some years now and now does so in Canada, leads in two-year-old earnings. “Badlands” was a front-stepping speedball who, when he went to stud, led the new atmosphere of breeding for speed in the standardbred industry. Badlands progeny showed the early foot of their sire and convinced a lot of other breeders and conditioners to definitively alter training methods that once emphasized strength and stamina in standardbreds.
“It’s all about breeding for speed now,” Joe Thomson of Winbak Farms said to me in an interview when Badlands stood his first season in Delaware.
In keeping with speed, frosh-trotting leading sire is Kadabra. He was soph-trotting champ during a year he was not eligible for the Hambletonian and beat most of the classic’s eligibles racing in other major stakes that year. We jumped on his progeny early, documenting his success with fillies, and delivered a good number of winners during our run at YouBet. Poof Like Magic was our winning choice the year she debuted on track and made her mark.
We will keep you posted if we notice any early season trends in freshmen from new sires, trying to grab an edge the only way we can when it comes to using sires to handicap harness horses.
Horse-of-the-Year San Pail, a three-time defending Maple Leaf Trot champ, will not be in the 2012 edition on July 21 at Mohawk, according to trainer Rod Hughes. After finishing fifth- in a June 22 qualifier at Mohawk (timed in 1:58.3), Hughes was concerned. He said he noticed that the trotter’s left-hind boot was down “and that’s never a good sign.” Apparently San Pail hit himself in that area at some point in the qualifier. A vet found a slight injury in that area, so he is not going to the Maple Leaf Trot.
Cartoon by Thom Pye