• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED May 11, 2013

    This past weekend you had to go out of your way to find a winner from this department, as the weekend’s offerings, in general, missed their marks, mostly to favorites. Keeping good notes on our Thursday blogs and following through is what worked this week if you wanted to cash some great tickets. We begin with the successes.  (Photo on right by Thom Pye)

    One of our entries in the horses-to-watch list (H2W) left after the nominal second appearance. Carmelita’s Girl was not on this past Thursday’s H2W at Northfield. The horse went to post on May 10 and won, paying $140.60. If you have been following H2W horses the week after they leave the list, you have had a number of great winners.

    Also, from last week, we were third with Fred And Ginger in the Van Rose Memorial at Pocono against Golden Receiver. Fred And Ginger went to the Meadowlands on May 11 and just beat our choice, Hurrikane Kingcole, the favorite. Fred And Ginger paid $22.40 and atop “Hurrikane,” who turned out to be the favorite (something we did not count upon happening), presented an exacta worth $65.20. 

    This week, we liked Mister Herbie in one of the “Cutler” elims and we mentioned he had to beat the “now horse” Modern Family. He was second to Modern Family and that exacta paid $11.60. 

    We were right about one of the Woodbine finals in that the favorites could be beaten but in The Diplomat Final our outside contender finished third at 21-1 to a 6-1 shot, both beating the two top choices.

    For the soph-colt-and-filly trotters’ stakes, visit the Hambletonian Society’s special archive page for the Hambletonian Trail stories.  


    $22.20 Sun On The Rocks, Cal Expo
    $12.40 Dontgetinskyway, Buffalo
    $8.40 Outta The Red, Cal Expo
    $4.80 Dreaming Of Amy, Cal Expo
    $4.80 River Of Faith, Maywood
    $4.60 Vyce, Raceway
    $3.00 Hillbilly Hanover, Pocono

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

    Wisher (5-2), Pocono; Rocket Fuel (10-1), Hoosier; Wingull (6-5), Pompano; Fireyourguns (4-5), Buffalo

    Pacific Prince (3-1), Buffalo; Debs Girloffortune (29-1), Buffalo; Redmeansgo (21-1), Northfield; Fox Valley Bobbijo (19-1), Maywood; Chevie Balboa (2-1), Cal Expo; Redford Hall (1-1), Buffalo 

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


    News And Notes

    Our big TwinSpires Players’ Pool Hambletonian winner in 2011, Broad Bahn, was set to return to the races for a career as an older trotter but things have not turned out well. He was at stud in New York in 2012 but now will be heading for Europe to join the stable of Stig Johansson in Stockholm. His owner, Leif Alber, said he will take the trotter to Sweden to address some physical issues the horse has developed. “Johansson is one of the best trainers in the world,” Alber said, “ and if somebody can solve the problem, I believe he is the man.” Broad Bahn will be on the same flight as one of his former foes, Take My Picture, since that one is going to race in this year’s Elitlopp. 

    Joe Holloway’s enthusiasm for his filly pacer, Shebestingin, remains as she comes into her sophomore season after a rest from suffering an injury that cut short her two-year-old season. Since her return, Shebestingin (pronounced She-be-stingin), she has won three of four starts. Her only loss came by a neck to Jerseylicious, who won last year’s Sweetheart Pace on Hambletonian day (we tweeted that winner while covering the races at the Meadowlands) and is undefeated in eight starts this season. Shebestingin’s stakes schedule includes the Valley Forge, Mistletoe Shalee, Breeders Crown and Matron.

    “We were high on her last year,” said Holloway, who trains Shebestingin. “The reason I got her ready so early [this year] is she’s pretty inexperienced. I wanted to get a few starts under her belt … What are you going to do, wait until June and start up; it’s tough to train one down that tight. Now it’s a lot easier. She’s already tight; I can back off a couple weeks … She’s not going to race until the New York Sire Stakes [June 9] at Tioga. She’ll get two solid weeks off and then I’ll qualify her. Then it gets hot and heavy.”

    With Freehold closing for the summer and the major stakes visiting Mohawk and Pocono, the Meadowlands has structured several late-closing series to offer Freehold horsemen classes for their horses during the month of June. Events will be available for trotters, pacing mares and pacing horses and geldings who have made a minimum of six starts at Freehold in 2013 or are classified as C-2 at the Meadowlands as of May 27. Winners of over $30,000 in 2013 are ineligible. There will be two $10,000 legs and a $20,000 added final for each throughout the month of June.

    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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