• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Nov 11, 2012
    It was a busy weekend for stakes, considering it’s this deep into the season. We had a great Saturday in the Midwest and a rotten Sunday in the East. But a few good bets got us over the top. 

    Saturday’s parade of American-Nationals at Balmoral featured eight events. Some of them did not warrant challenges of the top entries so we went with them and they won: 

    Market Share, $2.40 ; Always About Katey, $2.20 ; American Jewel, $2.10 ; and Chapter Seven, $2.10. 

    But where two challenges presented themselves, in our opinions, the profit was plentiful: 

    Our Dragon King, $46.80 ; Foreclosure N, $8.60. 

    We were second with Dynamic Youth and third with Canadian Justice, where the top choice, Northern Miss Hall was seventh, both defeated by a favorite.

    We lost the Messenger Stakes to the division’s greatest opportunist, Bolt The Duer. Our choice, Major Bombay was 26-1 and raced like he was 99-1. Still, “Bolt” won off of fractions cut by Pet Rock and was an underlay for us at 2-1. In the Lady Maude, Romantic Moment was hung out to dry and our equal choice, Economy Terror, finished second.

    Sunday at Dover the closest we came to a win, no less a strong one, was Moonlit Dragon, who was second at 14-1 to the favorite, completing an exacta worth $27.80. We will deal with the Matron finals and the Progress Pace in our Thursday blog.

    News And Notes

    Trainer Ron Burke had a pair of pacing mares that swept the Forest City Pace eliminations for pacing mares on Nov. 9 at Western Fair. Both were giant favorites: Rocklamation ($3.40) and Camille ($3.80).

    The $200,000 Forest City Pace Final will go to post on Saturday, Nov. 17. The field, in post position order, is Rocklamation, Modern Cinderella, Misty Moonstone, Tea Party Princess, Ginger And Fred, Ticket To Rock, Camille and Waasmula. The also-eligibles, in order of preference are Monkey On My Wheel and Swinging Beauty. We will analyze the race in our Thursday blog.

    Dover Downs opened last week and bettors mistakenly dumped dough on the usual top drivers at the meet. Dover is known for having heavy favorites based on drivers, moreso than a lot of tracks, and this affords a few lesser-known drivers to win on good horses that offer big prices. In the first week, Allen Davis was responsible for a few winners, one that paid $53, while Carlo Poliseno drove home a $30 winner and Jason Lynch nabbed a $35 win price. Be on the lookout for false favorites at Dover based on the popularity of the driver more than the form of the horse.

    Colonial Downs has been awarded 24 harness dates for 2013. It will begin Sept. 18 and go through Oct. 27. Racing will take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. EST. Colonial Downs is the only one-turn mile in harness racing and the only track in Virginia that features standardbreds.

    Victor Blue was a standardbred trainer, writer and photographer. The New York Times website paid homage to some of his work, including photos that have been called “atmospheric and evocative.” See it by following this link

    Harness horseman Mark King passed away on Oct. 25, at 53. He was from a well known and popular Delaware harness-racing family and spent his entire life and as an owner, trainer, driver and a track blacksmith. We knew him from his prolific campaigns at Pocono Downs in the ‘80s and ‘90s. In 1985, at Pocono, King set a track record when he drove five winners on one program.

    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. 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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