Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes
$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
Save My Dragon (1-2), Meadows; Kiasma (5-2), Buffalo; Westridge Warrior (6-1), Fraser; Dani California (7-2), Cal Expo
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
News And Notes
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.
Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog.
Cartoons by Thom Pye