• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Jun 1, 2013

    It was a stakes-filled weekend and if you like the headline events get used to it because we are just starting with the big-purse flow. Let’s start this review with our good-news wins. 
    At the Meadows we nailed the $178 exacta in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) for soph-colt pacers with Our Dragon King, who paid $31 to win. Our other choice, Martini Hanover, was second to complete the combo.
    At Yonkers we had the winner in the Lismore with JK Black Beauty, paying $9.70. 
    Then, to our second-placers we add Betterthancheddar in the Molson Pace and Lonewolf Currier in the Art Rooney Final. The best second, however, was Varadero Hanover, who was 56-1 in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere stakes. The place price was $27.50 and the show was $6.90, as the favorite finished off the board.
    In the two other PASS miles we had thirds with Some Kinda Beach (8-1) and Big Risk (7-1). In the Golden Girls and New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) finals for soph pacers we had three fourth-place finishers. We passed on the filly NJSS due to the strong favorite and she lost.
    For result stories on the slew of soph-colt-and-filly trotters’ stakes, visit the Hambletonian Society’s special archive page for the Hambletonian Trail stories. 

    Only 11 on the H2W went to post this past weekend; here are the winners:

    $12.80 Fiftytwoflat, Scioto
    $8.20 Medley Mindale, Northfield
    $7.60 Magical Ability, Scarborough
    $6.40 Fraggle, Northfield
    The following are the horses that finished second or third along with their post-time odds. Special notes on those finishes follow. 
    Millbrook Millie (8-1), Vernon
    There were no thirds.
    All adjustments for returnees to the list and additions will be in the Thursday blog. 


    News And Notes

    Two-year-olds are revving up and youngsters from the Jimmy Takter stable are showing their stuff in baby races at the Meadowlands. Lifetime Pursuit trotted to a 5-length, 1:57.2 effort to start. Takter drove the next winner, Shake It Cerry, in 2:01.3 to win by 2 lengths. “Cerry” is a daughter of Donato Hanover from Solveig, making her a full sister to $300,000 winner Solvato and half-sister to $378,000 winner Dontyouforgetit. Takter’s next winner was Father Patrick, who rolled to a 4-length win in 2:01. Then, Instant Respect was 3 lengths the best in 1:58.1.

    Mohawk held baby races and trainer Dave Menary’s barn took three. Somebaysomewhere hit the wire first in her test in 2:02 over the track rated “good.”

    Menary next scored with Hes Watching, who also came from behind to take his test in 1:56.4, the fastest mile of the program. Menary’s colt, King Royalty, wore down the leader in the lane to narrowly win in 2:03.3. 

    Trainer and owner Eddie Green had a pair of winners starting with the trotter Century Amadeus who was home in 2:05. Green’s second winner was Valorscross in 2:04.1. The other winner on the card was Boomboom Ballykeel who gave trainer Cm McKnight a 2:00.4 ride to win by 4 lengths.

    Last year’s Hambletonian winner, Market Share, returned at four to the races on May 31 at the Meadowlands. He was rated off the lead and wound up in a perfect stalking position as Harbor Point set an honest pace of 27.1, 55.1, 1:24.1 and Ice Machine provided cover. Driver Tim Tetrick guided his charge in the last turn and finished off foes in 1:51.1. The colt is conditioned by Linda Toscano.

    June 1 was opening night at Running Aces Harness Park. It was the first of 53 programs that will go every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday through June, July and August. It’s the sixth season of racing at Minnesota’s only commercial harness track. Trainer-driver Jason Ryan, who has brought a nine-horse stable to Minnesota, is new to the horseman community. He is a promising young 24 year-old. Also new to the ares is Luke Plano, whose father is Vernon’s top reinster, Rick. Luke was the leading driver in California over the past two years, earning over $8.5 million with his mounts to date. Trainers making their initial Running Aces starts are Don Sherman from Michigan, Bob Johnson from California, Paul Ruhl from Ontario and Brett Ballinger of Illinois.

    As of this writing, 35 three-year-old colts and geldings remain eligible to Canada’s richest harness race, the $1-million North America Cup, which has eliminations on June 8 at Mohawk. The majority of them tuned up this past weekend. Rockin Amadeus is set to match strides again with Captaintreacherous if the two wind up in the same elim and/or in the final. “Amadeus” won on June 1 over Johny Rock, another “Cup” eligible, by a nose. Also winning over the weekend were eligibles Vegas Vacation and Beach Memories. We’ll cover all the elim fields in next Thursday’s blog.

    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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