• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Apr 21, 2013

    Two seconds in the Matchmaker series (Handsoffmycookie [5-1] and Keepers Destiny [5-2]) were as close as we came to getting upset winners in the mares’ series, which goes to a final next week at Yonkers, along with the George Morton Levy final for the older males.  

    The “Levy” offered nothing but chalk, with all of our chancy choices falling hard to the obvious public choices. We will try to make sense of an upset in the final when we return with our Thursday blog.   

    Here are the results of all the wins this past week from the extraordinary H2W list, exclusive to TwinSpires. It was not our greatest week for winners but the weeks that have passed for the list have been so spectacular that it is tough to maintain the great winning and price ranges we have been attaining. Still, the list members have mostly been competitive; check out the seconds and thirds and come back on Thursday for more great contenders.   


    $24.20 CCs Lover N, Pocono
    $12.80 Rock Man, Vernon
    $5.80 Bubbler, Maywood
    $3.00 Frost Bites K, Meadows
    $3.00 Where’s Waldo, Vernon  

    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).    

    Melodie Hotspur (49-1), Maywood; Exquisite Gen (7-2), Cal Expo; Every Girls Desire (7-1), Buffalo; Beechwood Wayne (1-1), Buffalo; KD Rowdy One (22-1), Cal Expo

    Fort Ord (3-1), Lebanon; Mastermaker (7-2), Freehold; Tahuya Speed (31-1), Fraser; Just Ryan (4-1), Fraser; Sassy L Lynn (7-2), Northfield; So Reserved (4-1), Maywood; Save My Dragon (3-5), Meadows; Hurricane Scotty J (10-1), Pocono; Cry For Cash (2`-`), Buffalo; Delco Rocknroll (12-1), Pocono  

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



    News And Notes

    Googoo Gaagaa (pictured), last year’s sensational soph-colt trotter that could not race in the Hambletonian because his sire is a pacer, is carefully preparing for his four-year-old season. The world champion finished fifth in an April 16 qualifier at Philadelphia with regular driver Corey Callahan.  

    “We’re not going to do anything fancy,” Callahan said, aiming to qualify with a time of 1:57 or so. But “Googoo” was 11 lengths behind the winner in 1:58.3. Trainer Richard Hans hopes to come back next week and go around 1:55. Googoo’s first 2013 test is expected to be the $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity for four-year-old trotters on May 4 at the Meadowlands (see story of race below).  

    Last year, Googoo Gaagaa won nine of 14 races and earned $624,700, getting major attention for his record-setting performances and unusual breeding. His sire, Cam’s Rocket, was a pacer and his mother, Kora’s Trotter, a trotter. Googoo won last year’s $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial at Pocono in 1:50.4, which is the fastest mile ever trotted on a five-eighths-mile oval. A week earlier, he won his “Beal” elim in a then-world-record 1:51.3. He also won the $500,000 Colonial Trot at Philadelphia in a stakes- and-track-record 1:52.1 and the Maryland Sire Stakes championship at Rosecroft in a stakes-and-track-record 1:54.1.   

    In 2011, Googoo trotted the fastest mile ever (at the time) by a two-year-old on a half-mile track when he won the Maryland Sire Stakes championship by 41 lengths in 1:56 at Ocean Downs. Hans said Googoo is “even bigger than last year and has trained back really well.”   

    The Meadowlands Racetrack will offer two brand new $100,000 races to four-year-olds when the Championship Meet begins in May.  The Meadowlands Maturity provides four-year-olds to compete against their own age group (as opposed to racing with all-aged foes) for a significant purse in the early part of the season. The race is on Saturday, May 4. The Maturity pace comes two weeks later. The purse will be composed of $75,000 in added money. There are no conditions other than being a foal of 2009. The race will be limited to the top-10 lifetime money winners as of the date of declaration.  

    Walter Case, Jr., one of the most successful harness drivers of all time, his career thwarted by a slew of personal problems, continues his fight to return to racing, according to Bill Finley. Case’s initial signals from the racing authorities and track managements that will determine his fate have been positive. He applied for a Pennsylvania racing license and is awaiting word on whether or not he will be accepted.

    Case’s attorney, Howard Taylor said the veteran horseman is “as optimistic as [he] can get.” Taylor said that getting Case back in the sulky is a twofold process. Not only must he be granted a license but also one of the three Pennsylvania harness tracks must be willing to allow him to drive. He said the two are intertwined.  

    Taylor presents a good argument about a track allowing Case to race. He said that any track “should be banging the door down to welcome him. The handle goes up everywhere [Case races].” The Pennsylvania racing commission said they look very favorably upon the request if a track would let Case be a member of their driver community. “Mr. Case could be back within thenext couple of weeks,” said Taylor.  

    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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