• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Jul 21, 2012
    Grappling with freshmen and sophomores on both gaits this past weekend presented us with a good number of plays. However, we were snaked by some longer shots than our longshots and some favorites where we hoped for upsets.  

    The Adios elims got us one winner but he turned out to be a loser with a winning entrymate. Allstar Legend was our choice but he lost to his stable partner Bettor’s Edge, who we liked a few weeks ago in a Meadowlands Pace elim. To make the win bitter, the entry paid a paltry $4.40. “Allstar” finished fourth to make the final. 

    The first Adios elim was a favorite’s delight with hometown colt Sweet Lou (photo below by Chris Gooden), winning over A Rocknroll Dance. Our choice, Hurrikane Kingcole, went off much lower than we thought and finished fourth.  

    Sweet Lou and Bettor’s Edge join A Rocknroll Dance, Thinking Out Loud, Hurrikane Kingcole, Bolt The Duer, Breakin The Law and Allstar Legend in the final next week. 

    Lack of luck followed us to Canada. In the Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk our choice Winning Mister broke early and was eliminated. Mister Herbie beat the big favorite Chapter Seven at 8-1.  

    Our Roses Are Red choice, Cee Cee N, was not up to beating Anndrovette, who beat the favorite Put On A Show at 13-1. 

    A 29-1 shot won the Lawrence Sheppard, beating the favorite Doctor Butch. Hail The Taxi paid $72 while our choice, Scalped, had a tough time of the mile and watched all of his foes cross the finish line before him. 

    On Friday at Yonkers a mishap turned the tables on a huge favorite and handed us a fine win. In the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for frosh-colt trotters, the huge favorite, Tirade Hanover, won with our choice, Explosive Action, coming in second. However, “Tirade” was placed from first to second after judges penalized his stretch ride due to stepping into the pylons. Our choice became a winner worth $12.40 and ignited a “hard-way” exacta with the favorite, paying $55. Luck matters and sometimes it pays off.  

    Our other NYSS choices were Brookroaddonnie (scratched), Sant Time (fourth at 20-1), Order By Keeper (third at 5-2), Wannacmyguns (second at 6-1). 

    In the frosh Tompkins-Geers that same evening, at Tioga, we scored with the colt Don’t Ya Know, who paid $7.70.  

    Our other Tioga pics were Simpletwistoffate (seventh at 39-1) and Cool Their Jets (fifth at 9-1).  

    Soph-colt-and-filly trotting stakes from July 21 are available at our exclusive Hambletonian Trail blog. The reviews of those events and archives of all that has happened since May are at the Hambletonian Society site.

    News And Notes

    It became official the other day that Check Me Out, the dynamic soph-filly trotter that has been devastating every member of her division, will not race with the boys in the Hambletonian.
    Ray Schnittker, trainer, driver and co-owner of Check Me Out, took the path of least resistance, to say the least, announcing his filly will race in the Hambletonian Oaks, not the main event with the colts and geldings.
    He told reporters he thinks it is the best thing for the horse. “I’d hate for her to get over her head or have to really kill herself to win.”
    Schnittker said he was worried she might be “barbecued somewhere along the line [against the boys]” but still thought that “nine out of ten times” she could beat most of the glamour-boy colts.
    All of the elim actions for the main event and the fillies will be covered live on our Twitter accounts, with an analysis of each at our Hambletonian Trail blog. As well, we will be live at the Meadowlands for both finals and the rest of the stakes-full card.
    On Monday, July 23, Batavia Downs opens its 66th season of harness racing. A bigger signature race, a new first race post time and Sunday afternoon racing in August are some of the changes at America’s oldest lighted harness track.
    The Robert J. Kane Memorial Invitational Pace offers a $50,000 purse this season on Oct. 6. A total of six matinees will be offered, including all four Sundays in August. The other two afternoon race cards are Labor Day and Columbus Day. Post time for all matinees remains at 1:15 p.m. with racing gates opening at 12 p.m.
    Racing will be Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays amd Saturdays at night for the first two weeks with Sundays replacing Mondays in August. Twelve races will be carded nightly except for Saturdays’ 13-race programs.
    Changes were made to the wagering menu; the minimum on trifectas has been lowered to 50 cents. However a $1 wager is required. One dollar daily double wagers are also offered.
    Superfecta wagering is on races with the exception of one and seven. The Pick 4 has been moved to the third race and the late-late double moves to the last two races nightly. The popular Pick 6 begins on race seven.
    North America’s leading dash winning harness racing driver in 2011, Dan Noble, will make his Batavia debut on opening night. Noble led all drivers last year with 773 wins. He currently sits fourth this year with 320 wins. Shawn Gray, currently the leading driver at Buffalo Raceway, will be racing stock at Batavia for the first time.
    Extraordinary Extras

    We invite you to enjoy our musings on other standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances. Every weekend as part of that blog we we offer Balmoral Pick-4-and-win picks at the USTA’s Strategic Wagering Program page which includes suggested win bets.  

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

    Get onto our mailing list. We’re beginning to contact people with information to help you play for profit. By clicking here you will be added to the list and be secure as a member (we do not share the emails with anyone). Free stuff is coming your way.

    Cartoon by Thom Pye
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