• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Apr 13, 2013

    Once again this week, success is all about the horses-to-watch (H2W) list, with second-timers making up for some of the many that lost as first-, second- and-third public choices.  

    The Levy divisions at Yonkers on Saturday were won by choices except for the best bet, Something For Doc, who finally lost to a horse we gave out in round one, Razzle Dazzle. Our other choices in Levy divisions this week finished second or third to the top dogs.   

    On Friday, our Matchmaker choices only produced two seconds, Full Picture (our other choice, Moonlit Dragon was third) and Rocklamation.    

    Now to the big winners. Here are the results of all the wins, places and shows from the extraordinary H2W list, exclusive to TwinSpires.   

    H2W


    $52.50 Diditagain Hanover, Buffalo
    $19.20 Stubby’sleisureguy, Lebanon
    $17.20 Yourmyaddiction, Cal Expo
    $12.00 Stinky Sham, Lebanon
    $9.00 Cheyenne Cam, Buffalo
    $8.80 Heartland Liberty, Maywood
    $7.80 Premier Flash, Meadows
    $5.40 Mmmmmh, Fraser
    $4.80 Incredible Gambler, Cal Expo
    $4.20 Ak’s Livin Large, Meadows
    $4.00 Bruener, Maywood
    $3.60 Fox Valley Touche, Maywood
    $3.20 Apple N Strawberry, Northfield

    The following are the horses that finished second or third along with their post-time odds. Special notes on those finishes follow (where two sets of odds appear it reflects two races in as many weeks). 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). 

    Seconds:
    Save My Dragon (1-2), Meadows; Kiasma (5-2), Buffalo; Westridge Warrior (6-1), Fraser; Dani California (7-2), Cal Expo  

    Thirds
    Campside Angel (6-1), Northfield; Dakota’s Bridgeman (5-1), Lebanon; Beechwood Wayne (26-1), Buffalo; Peppy Jack B (4-1), Cal Expo; Beach Crisis (7-1), Cal Expo; Sand Jake (8-1), Maywood; Melodie Hanover (23-1) Maywood; Fancy Ideal (26-1), Fraser; Camblazer (3-1), Fraser; Passing The Girls (6-1), Fraser; Kablooie (7-2), Cal Expo; Jane The Brain (33-1), Cal Expo; Racetrack Diva (8-5), Cal Expo   

    At Fraser, Fancy Ideal and Westridge Warrior contributed to a triple with the public choice, paying $49.90. At Northfield, Campside Angel and Wildatthebeach, along with the public choice, completed the triple worth $31.80.    

    If you are watching horses for the third time, after they leave the H2W list, you may have hit Ohyouateonetoo, $66.40 at Balmoral and Jc Mik Mac Jillio, $20.60 at the Meadows.    

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

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    News And Notes

    On April 12 Vernon Downs began a new harness season to enthusiastic wagering on all platforms. The 60th season opened in the rain with a sloppy track. We hope to add Vernon horses to future H2W lists, so stay in touch.

    Raceway Park has scheduled qualifying races for April 20 as anticipation mounts for opening night a week later. A 45-day rule is in effect at Raceway so horses need a good, clean charted line in qualifying time since March 12-13 to be eligible for the opening weekend (April 27-28) programs. We will be watching Raceway for sharp contenders all season.

    Jimmy Takter students were roaring in qualifiers at the Meadowlands. The most famous of the crew, Rockin Amadeus, made his 2013 debut a winning one, joining stable mates Wherethegirlsare, Superstar Hanover, Corky and Bluto. Rockin Amadeus’ most recent start was his Breeders Crown victory in late October at Woodbine, where he defeated frosh-champ Captaintreacherous. “Amadeus” won his prep in 1:54.1.

    As Dover Downs ended its season, driver Corey Callahan won his fourth-consecutive driving title; Josh Green won his ninth trainer award, his eighth straight; and Versado, trained by Nick Surick, was voted Horse of the Meet by the Delaware Valley chapter U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) members. The 2012-2013 Delaware live harness continues at Harrington Raceway on April 21. Dover will open again on Nov. 3.

    Trainers Jim Campbell, who only a few years ago was practically out of the business, is in the limelight again. He trains three of the top 22 top-rated trotters of 2013 but says he is not going to get too excited over anything he sees during training miles. Campbell’s Fashion Athena, Fashion Blizzard and Hall Of Muscles are around three weeks from their first qualifiers this season. All three horses are training well but Campbell is not making any predictions.

    “I guess I’ve been doing this too long,” said Campbell, who trains the highly regarded trio for owner Fashion Farms. “I’ll make bold plans off of good races but not off of training miles. [The sophomore-trotter divisions for this season are] a tough group,” Campbell said.

    Campbell expects Fashion Athena to debut in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on May 15 at the Meadows. Fashion Blizzard won five of 12 races last year and earned $302,439. He won the New York Sire Stakes championship and a division of the International Stallion Stakes for colt trotters. Aside from going off stride in two starts at Woodbine, including the Breeders Crown final, Fashion Blizzard hit the board in his remaining races.

    “I was very happy with him,” Campbell said. “He’s got a few quirks that I hope I don’t see too often with him. That’s what happened to him in the Breeders Crown. He had a hard time getting away from the gate … He can get real aggressive before the start. Once the gate folds you can do whatever you want with him.” Fashion Blizzard is expected to debut in the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon on May 24.

    Hall Of Muscles won once in 11 races last year, capturing a division of the Keystone Classic in 1:56.2 at the Meadows and earned $102,014. Hall Of Muscles is expected to begin the season in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on May 24 at the Meadows.

    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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