• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED May 4, 2013

    It was the beginning of the Hambletonian Trail and we repeated with a winner in the soph-colt trot classic Dexter Cup at Freehold. Celebrity Maserati defeated the big favorite, paying $6.00. All race reviews and reports will be posted at the Hambletonian Society’s special archive page.   

    In the inaugural Meadowlands Maturity we spoke of the buzz horse, Modern Family, but supported Little Brown Fox at 23-1. Modern Family won, paying $8.20. A surprisingly good effort from Uncle Peter brought that one home second at 10-1. “Fox” was flat, staying sixth around the mile.   

    The Simpson three-year-old colt pace was a joke mile for the Johny Rock side of the huge favorite John Butenschoen entry, winning at 30 cents to the dollar. Our choice, Kenzie’s Beach Boy, was sixth at 36-1.  
     
    In Pocono’s Van Rose Memorial there was no beating Golden Receiver. The prohibitive favorite stormed the group of older pacers, paying a mere $2.60. Our Fred And Ginger upset did not surface, though he was a clean third at 4-1.    

    In this week’s results for out horses-to-watch (H2W) list, exclusive to TwinSpires, we had a remarkable number of seconds, covering a gamut of prices. Come back on Thursday for more great contenders.       

    H2W


    $14.00 Hurricane Hanna, Northfield
    $10.40 Terrys Star Dragon, Freehold
    $6.20 Racy Betty, Lebanon
    $5.60 Best Magic, Freehold
    $5.00 Flashy, Hoosier
    $5.00 Stiletossilverheels, Cal Expo
    $3.60 Shabalabandingdong, Maywood

    The following are the horses that finished second or third along with their post-time odds. Special notes on those finishes follow.     

    Seconds:
    Swimsuit Model (5-1), Lebanon; Red Rufus (3-1), Lebanon; Southwest (7-2), Vernon; Avantage (2-1), Pompano; Prime Escape (7-1), Maywood; Pin Stripes (4-1), Maywood; Ironstone Wiz (9-1), Freehold; Upandover Hanover (27-1), Buffalo; Jk Abigezunt (18-1), Buffalo; Bailey’s Magic (4-1), Buffalo; Pw Tootsie (4-1), Buffalo; ER Sister (1-2), Hoosier; Holy Chip (6-5), Hoosier   

    Thirds:
    Padre Manuel (8-5), Freehold; Pair Of Eyes (5-2), Northfield; Wingull (5-1), Pompano    

    H2W Cashing Notes

    At Vernon, Southwest’s place to the favorite caused an exacta worth $23.40. Upandover Hanover paid $20 to place. Jk Abigezunt paid $14.60 to place.    

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

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    News And Notes

    There are no results on the H2W for May 4 at Vernon Downs due to a serious problem. After a confirmed case of equine herpes at Vernon, management and the New York Gaming Commission have made the decision to cancel racing in the best interest of the harness racing community. No horses will be allowed to ship into or out of Vernon until further notice and trainers attempting will be dealt with accordingly. Horsemen and women have been urged to use hygienic precaution when working from horse to horse, trainers should keep an eye on their horses, and continually take their temperature.

    Management and the New York Gaming Commission will continue to gather more information on the situation and more information will be made available as soon as possible.   

    Next Saturday night at The Meadowlands Racetrack the first event for trotters will be the $40,000 eliminations for the $200,000 (est.) Arthur J. Cutler Memorial trot. The series conditions rule that in the event that the event does not require eliminations a $50,000 Open trot will be offered to series eligibles as a point-bearing race. The $58,000 Hudson River Pacing series final will be raced on May 11 as well. The John Simpson Memorial soph- trotting stakes will be raced on Friday, May 10.    

    The Molson Pace at Western Fair will be contested as a $150,000 Invitational event this year on Friday, May 31. In recent years, the Molson Pace has had eliminations and a final the following week. However, this year’s event drew fewer nominations (17), which prompted the change in format. Western Fair, though, has added a new twist to this year’s race. A Molson prep will be held on Friday (May 24) and the winner of that will receive an automatic berth into the Molson and will join seven other invitees for the main event.

    More high-profile performers from last year qualified at the Meadowlands. To Dream On, one of the best rookie trotting fillies last season, won her 2013 debut with a 1:56 score for trainer Jimmy Takter. Last year To Dream On won eight of nine starts, earning $719,000. She last raced in the Breeders Crown final at Woodbine in late October, winning by more than 3 lengths. Captaintreacherous recorded his second winning qualifier of the season with a 1:54.3 mile for conditioner Tony Alagna. Maven, a winner of $758,000 during her sophomore season debuted and finished a close third. Millionaire pacing mare Drop The Ball qualified against only two horses but she won by more than 24 lengths. And I Luv The Nitelife recorded her third winning qualifier, this one over Nikki Beach. I Luv The Nitelife earned $682,000 during her rookie season in 2012.   

    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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