• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Sep 15, 2012
    This week is odd so we will treat it differently. Firstly, we will review our weekend performances and send you to the Breeders Crown Countdown for storied reviews of major events (the Hambletonian archive area is devoted to the “countdown” stories).

    Next, due to the fact that the big features of the upcoming week are on weekdays at Delaware, Ohio, concluding Thursday, Sept. 20 with the Little Brown Jug, we will offer coverage at different times than usual.  

    During the “Jug” meet we will tweet and post on the TwinSpires Facebook page various updates, that is, all things about wagering with a sprinkling of news, et al. This live-on-line coverage will increase on Wednesday when the Jugette is the feature and for the big Thursday Jug heats program. Our contacts are industry-deep, making whatever we report exclusive. No other wagering site offers the data and information concerning this event (or any major harness event) like TwinSpires.  

    Our usual Thursday night blog will cover Jugette and Jug material. The Sept. 15 weekend’s post-Jug events will be analyzed at the Breeders Crown Countdown blog on or before Friday.  

    As for this recent week, we struck early on in the Peaceful Way at Mohawk with a decent upset against a 1-5 shot as Bee A Magician won and paid $7.70. With the super choice second the exacta came back $11.40.  

    Not much to brag about in the Indiana quartet. The only hit was one that nobody needed to be told about, as Nikki Beach won and paid $2.80. The other “Kentuckiana” stakes was a heartbreaker; our choice, Exotic Beach, went off at 18-1 but finished second.  

    Super Night at Balmoral developed into only two winners, Riccolo at $2.60 and Thank You Doc at $6. And on Sept. 14 we made a bad call thinking that Muscolo would be the favorite in the Charles Smith at Freehold. It turned out our choice, World Cup, was the favorite and he was stuck in a wide trip and finished third while Muscolo won with an easy trip and paid at 11-1.  

    In the million-dollar trot, our choice, Gym Tan Laundry, broke and had no chance of getting into the mix. As it turned out the big choice, Market Share, won at 3-5 with the second choice filling the exacta combo. No big deal. Keep an eye on “Gym” because he will return soon with a vengeance.  

    News And Notes

    Wednesday’s Jugette for soph-filly pacers has attracted a stellar field, the top two being American Jewel and Economy Terror. They will be the heavy co-choices in their elims, with the former in elim heat one and the latter in elim heat two. Both have the unfortunate circumstance of leaving from outside posts on the course that is usually unkind to any and all leaving from post 6 to post 8.  

    All in all there are 15 fillies involved in the two $59,210 elim heats, where the top four from each field return for the second heat. The winner of heat two will be the event winner.  

    The main attraction, The Little Brown Jug, will present a far more compelling pair of heats than last year, as the top glamour-boy pacers have decided to partake in the classic.  

    Among the usual suspects this year are Michael’s Power, Time To Roll, Sweet Lou, Simply Business, Dapper Dude, Thinking Out Loud and A Rocknroll Dance. The latter has to deal with post 7 in his elim against Sweet Lou from the coveted rail. These elims are each worth $78,008.  

    The top four horses in each of the elim advance to the $234,024 second heat. If an elim winner scores in the second heat, he will be the Jug winner. Otherwise, the three heat-winners will return for a $97,510 race-off.
    Super-soph filly trotter Check Me Out won an $18,000 open trot over a “good” track, beating older male trotters at Tioga Downs. Granted, the elders were not a classy group but nonetheless bigger and more experienced than Ray Schnittker’s champion gal. However, she is faster than the average aged trotter of either sex and on a good day she is much the best against any division.

    Glamour-boy trotter Archangel continues to do best in his home state and last week he put in a blazing mile at Batavia Downs for a win in a $65,475 division of the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS). The Yonkers Trot winner and the fourth-place finisher in the Hambletonian will no doubt go at Yonkers in the NYSS final on Sept. 22.

    Yannick Gingras is having the most successful season of his driving career. The 33-year-old Quebec native has banked over $8.8 million in purse earnings so far this season. With plenty of stakes purses left he will look to surpass his personal best of $11.9 million, set last year.

    The Breeders Crown is the next target for all the top horses in their divisions. Click here to get to  the exclusive Breeders Crown Countdown blog.

    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 and receive a free copy of a classic horseracing fiction book by clicking here. And listen to the podcast now available for beginners and veterans of harness betting, a new series available free so you can learn more to bet more and win more at TwinSpires. Click here.
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