• Another Watch, Wager And Win Weekend

    POSTED Dec 5, 2012
    A few straggling stakes, only one national, are featured this upcoming weekend, though mostly we are focusing on our horses-to-watch list (H2W), including some this week from Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 at Northlands Park. The Alberta track hosts some of its local, annual features those days so we have been preparing for a chance to profit from the entire programs with our H2W list. 

    Look Out Cleveland

    The “flying turns” of Northfield Park host a few of the glamour-boy pacers in a strong race that always appears as an afterthought considering its date. This Dec. 8 is the date for the $130,000 Cleveland Classic, a race that makes little difference in the division’s champs but can be a good place to nail a longshot. 

    There were 38 horses eligible long before the draw and only six dropped into the box. The small, compact field brings together four of the season’s headliners. Anyone following the stakes season knows Thinking Out Loud, Pet Rock, Bolt The Duer and A Rocknroll Dance are the featured quartet. But the other two deserve attention, since either could provide upsets. 

    Rockin Finish is 12-1 on the morning line in the sextet and the only horse in thye field to have a race over the Ohio track. It was a race he won in October. Like “Dance,” he is a son of Rocknroll Hanover. The Virgil Morgan-trained colt raced his fastest at Woodbine. 

    Ron Burke’s Mortal Zin is another son of “Rocknroll.” The colt has eight victories under his belt and comes with a lifetime mark of 1:51.1 taken at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Mortal Zin’s morning line is 15-1. 

    There will be little value outside of the longshots unless Thinking Out Loud takes an abundance of win money. Then Pet Rock could be worth a shot and A Rocknroll Dance could win at the longest odds he has carried since before his throat surgery. 

    Deep Freeze Pacing

    On any given day in December in Alberta, it is usually sub-zero weather, at least before and after the Chinook winds take down the temperature. At Northlands Park in the province’s capital of Edmonton, filly and colt pacers withstand the disparity in degrees as they contest the track’s biggest purse events. 

    Friday, Dec. 7 the fillies are featured in the $75,000 Northlands Filly Pace Final after a pair of eliminations qualified the field. The outstanding favorite will be Phone Terror. Her elim win was straight forward, a wire-to-wire effort. In that race, third-choice Prairie Illusion, from Alberta’s prince of horsemen Keith Clark, was forced wide but made up 5 lengths on the outside.

    This week from post 2 “Illusion” poses a huge threat to “Terror,” while the other elim winner, Credit Card Junkie, has to deal with post 8 and a probable rotten trip. The other key contributor to the exotics should be Honor Roll, who also survived a tough journey in her elim.

    On Saturday, another $75Gs are offered to the soph-colt pacers in the Western Pacing Derby Final. In the elim won by this affair’s second morning-line choice, Cowboy Caper, that race’s 40-1 shot soared late to gain almost 8 lengths and finish third. Outlaw Highvoltage certainly has a shot to upset here, especially with top-choice Steve O and two-time winner Playbook on the outside. This is a classy little colt that has been productive in Alberta Sires Stakes and can use last week’s late-charging speed in other ways to win.

    Watching Horses

    Our H2W list has already provided TwinSpires players winners at decent prices. The H2W list continues to offer horses that are potent contenders, based on our experienced spotters’ evaluations of recent trips.  

    The legend is simple. We list the track atop the horse’s name, the date it (or they) will be racing and the race where it is (or they are) entered. If a + is in front of a horse’s name, it means that horse is appearing on the list for the second or third time. An ae means the horse is on the also-eligible list and needs a scratch to get into the race.

    12/7, Bun Jovie R1; +Keystone Bernard R7; Pebble Run R7; Warrawee Nimby R11;
    12/8, Virtual Escape R1; Brody Hanover R12

    Cal Expo
    12/7, Giles LS Hanover R3; +Vantage R5; Sleigh Bell R6; +Charmer R7; +JC’s Lucky Dreamer R9; Cinnamon R9; +Dreaming Of Amy ae R10
    12/8, +Franco Smoothie N; I’m The Reason R13; +La Cantera R16; Tangram R16

    12/7, +Kthanxbai R3; + Just Cruise On R4; Mach Maiden Heaven R6; Queens Heritaj R8; + Tahuya Rub A Dub R8; Country Hideaway R9; Lilkent R10; Aces Double Suited R10; Alotta Crackers R11

    12/7, +Buckeye Beauty R6; Lady Alicia R7; Southwind Thistle R8; Kilowatts Fantasy R10; Nola B R12 

    12/7 Total Rhythm R3; Red Star Tiger R3
    12/8, Succulent R4; Im A Wildcat R6; Flak Jacket R10; Outlaw Beacon ae R11; The Panductor R12

    12/8, Angle Of Attack R6; +Fox Ridge Banker R9

    12/7, JJ Regard R3+Southern Strength R6; Rock This World ae R8; +Cash Poor R12; Dangerismybusiness R12

    Ray Cotolo contributed to this edition.
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