• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Feb 17, 2013

    The winners from our exclusive H2W series continue to spark our best weekly action.  

    Feature-wise we took on the Junior Trendsetter leg divisions on Feb. 15 and the Exit 16W splits on Feb. 16 at the New Meadowlands. In the former, we were second at a long price with Beachfront and out of the money with the other two choices. Our 74-1 shot in the first Exit 16W finished fifth, while Yo Cheyenne Rocky was second to Little Michael B’s fourth.  

    We went deeper than usual with our suggestions for the TwinSpires bonus-tagged Woodbine Pick 4 on Saturday. Of the listed choices only McDynamite won at $7.80.  


    Here they are from the highest paying to the lowest paying winners from the H2W on our blog last Thursday:


    $22.00, Bagel Man, Meadows
    $21.00, Grayland Becky, Buffalo
    $13.00, Major Domo, Freehold
    $8.00, Double L Rumber, Cal Expo
    $7.20, Katies Dreamboat, Northfield
    $5.50, Just Frank, Buffalo
    $4.60, Gliding Boheme , Cal Expo
    $4.40, Devine Filly, Freehold
    $3.10, Red Star Stiletto , Fraser

    The following are the horses that finished second or third from Thursday’s list along with their post-time odds. Special notes on their affects in those positions follow. Be aware that some of them were second-timers on the list and will not return next week (you may continue following them on your own, using them as you see fit). Special notes on performances appear after these lists.  

    Speed Minister (9-2), Maywood; Celebrity Bombay (4-1), Meadowlands; Mystical Victress (8-5), Meadowlands; Beforethedaystarts (3-1), Northfield; Racsam Steve (17-1), Buffalo; Summer Snow (2-1), Yonkers; Latino Hall (dh2-1), Fraser; Milbanks Sniper (7-2), Fraser; Hillcrest Bigdaddy (9-1) Meadows; Charles Ray (9-1), Meadows; Franky Provolone (2-1), Cal Expo; Mister Fra (6-5), Cal Expo; Procrastinatinpeat (13-1), Fraser; Rich As Promised (3-1), Fraser  

    Daring (2-1), Buffalo; Carmelita’s Girl (4-1), Northfield; Card Dealer (5-2), Buffalo; Mysoontobe (4-1), Buffalo; Chang Dynasty (3-1), Yonkers; Dragon’s Blood (5-2), Pompano; Kg Mattattack (7-2), Fraser; Anais Kicker (9-5), Meadows; Just Pretend A (7-2), Meadows; Bewareofthisaffair (25-1), Cal Expo; Windy City Paige (7-1), Cal Expo; Outta The Red (15-1), Cal Expo

    All adjustments for returnees to the list and additions will be in the Thursday blog.


    News And Notes

    A group of thoroughbred owners and trainers have petitioned the Minnesota Racing Commission to revoke Running Aces’ gambling license, according to sources at the harness track. The group claims the raceway is not in compliance with state law. 

    A member of the commission told local reporters the state is reviewing request. The group accuses Running Aces with not living up to the stipulation demanding the track give 3 percent of its card table money to thoroughbred owners and trainers at Canterbury Park. They say Running Aces stopped making payments last August.

    A commission statement calls the action a waste of racing commission and taxpayers’ time, calling it a “frivolous complaint.” Running Aces has harness racing during the summer and offers card gambling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Plainridge in Massachusetts is preparing for an April 15 opening with a three-day-a-week schedule that will go through Nov. 30. Some Saturday programs will be available in August. Post time will be 4 p.m. EST through August and then change to 1 p.m. 

    Pompano Park has added Sundays for racing during March, dropping Tuesdays. Sunday’s post time will be 7:05 p.m. Racing secretary Greg DeFrank said he believes the move

    will draw attention “to our excellent racing product on a night where there isn’t much else on the harness racing calendar. This should further expose our guaranteed Pick-4 wager, that offers the lowest takeout in North American history.”.The takeout for the Pick 4 at Pompano is 10 percent.

    Live racing will return Saturday, March 9, to Rosecroft Raceway with purse hikes for horsemen. An average daily purse schedule of $50,000 per card, an increase of 33 percent from the 2012 meet. The new funds are available due to “gambling throughout the state” which track administrators hope will “allow local horsemen to compete and continue to upgrade their racing stock.”.

    Golden Receiver is the early money-earning leader in the sport. The eight-year-old pacer is the only horse in the sport so far to earn more than $100,000. Most of the top earners in mid-February’s standings are relative unknowns, the youngest being four, as the stake season is yet to hit its stride.

    Corey Callahan is the leading money-winning harness driver on the ides of February, with over $890,000 in purses won. Ron Burke leads all trainers in earnings with over $970,000.

    Our condolences go out to those hard-working veterans of harness reporting that were caught in the “significant restructuring” of the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG). The new transitional agreements with the Ontario government and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation concerning revenue from slots to tracks resulted in a reduction in the workforce of 109 salaried positions for harness at Woodbine and Mohawk racetracks.

    A statement from WEG was not so soothing to those the sport was lucky to have working in its favor. WEG said, “The people we are saying goodbye to have helped build WEG into a world-class horse racing and entertainment company. As we confront these difficult but necessary changes to our company, we remain committed to delivering a superior experience to our customers and demonstrating vital leadership to the Ontario horse racing industry to ensure its long-term sustainability.”

    We only hope that WEG realizes that in the opinion of this department remaining a world-class horse racing and entertainment company without those dismissed will be a difficult if not impossible task.



    Extraordinary Extras

    Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.   

    Every weekend as part of that blog 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.   

    Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog.


    Cartoons by Thom Pye
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