• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Oct 27, 2012
    A dozen races on any night are tough to handle. Who, after all, finds a dozen races, no less on one program, that offer good wagering opportunities? But it was the night of champions, the best of the best in every division, so we approached the dozen Breeders Crown finals at Woodbine on Oct. 27 with all the tools we had available, looking for our usual suspects, overlays, and paying respect to the obvious favorites that seemed undefeatable.  

    What became of the night, we hope, was profitable for you. Our suggested contenders did well, though only one on top offered a victory among a slew of public choices. As well, we were not so adept at the upsets, though one of our second choices wound up to pay the most to win of all the races. 

    Our winner was Wheeling N Dealin, the frosh-colt trotter we thought would continue his win streak to nine races. He did just that, paying $4.20. Our pumped-up overlay exacta did not come through, as Caveat Emptor could only finish fourth. 

    The biggest upset of the night finished with our second choice beating our first. Rockin Amadeus orchestrated a crushing defeat to Captaintreacherous, who came up short with no particular excuse. “Amadeus” won to the tune of a $37 win mutuel. 

    Some voices of handicapping brought up a possibility for that upset, which like a few victories, seemed to favor first-over trips (or, as the case may be, offer a slowing inside lane). Captaintreacherous had little to offer in the last few yards of the mile, uncharacteristic to his style. The strongly favored Chapter Seven won the Open Trot racing the entire mile first over, while the European invader Commander Crowe had an easy trip on top until the same spot where Captaintreacherous tanked. 

    Maven defeated Check Me Out in the soph-filly trot, also by using some first-over tactics against a filly she could not defeat all season on any sized track. Check Me Out also tanked late, finishing third. It was another one of the obvious favorites we put in our first spot.  

    Choices we listed as win plays that were in the thick of the race were Sweet Lou and Golden Receiver, finishing second, and Rebeka Bayama and Market Share, finishing third.  

    Choices we included that finished by completing exactas—as we thought they would, only with different winners—were I Luv The Nightlife and Shelliscape. 

    Our exclusive Breeders Crown Countdown blog will offer closing comments this week, so check in for the aftermath entries. 

    Review all of the season’s great harness action at the archives we produce at Hambletonian Society’s page.

    News And Notes

    Trainer Jimmy Takter came into the 2012 Breeders Crown (BC) evening as the event’s all-time leader in purse earnings, was elected the Most Valuable Trainer, a title sponsored by Walsh Products. Takter had $6.3 million in BC earnings before he won with three students on Oct. 27: American Jewel, To Dream On and Rockin Amadeus.

    Driver Tim Tetrick became the first driver to win four BC events since the series was held on a single program. He drove Anndrovette, Chapter Seven, American Jewel and Heston Blue Chip to their victories.

    Long-time horse owner/breeder, amateur driver and harness lover Alan Kirschenbaum has died. The 51-year-old was a well-known comedy writer with many successful programs over the years. He was instrumental helping to keep harness racing in California as an activist for standardbred issues in the state. As of this writing the details of his passing are unclear. He was a friend of ours and of this column and we are profoundly affected by his death.

    There will be a new format for major race days this upcoming meet at Dover Downs with the top pace, the $30,000 Preferred pace moving to Thursday this season. On Tuesdays, the feature race will be a $23,000 Filly and Mare Open pace. The week’s top event for trotters, a $23,000 Open, is also now set for Tuesdays.

    Dover Downs’ opening day is Sunday, Nov. 4. The November and December racing schedule is Sundays at 5:30 p.m. and Mondays through Thursdays, post time at 4:30 p.m. During the first two month there is no live racing on Fridays and Saturdays.

    Beginning with the New Year, another race day, Saturday, will be added to the weekly schedule for January and February with Saturday and Sunday post time for weekend racing at 1 p.m. There are no change weekdays.

    All tracks are poised to cancel programs from Monday, Oct. 29 in lieu of the forecasted super storm Sandy, scheduled to hit the East Coast and go west to inland locations. As the area braces for an unprecedented climate trauma, updates will persist as to the continuation of all events.

    Extraordinary Extras

    Indulge in many 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 and for live coverage of the Breeders Crown elims and finals. 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.  

    Check out special podcasts 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.
    Cartoon by Thom Pye

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