• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Aug 10, 2013

    We came off of our championship weekend with some mild wins this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 9 and Aug. 10. 
    At Hoosier on Friday, we gave you a pair of Indiana Sires Stakes winners. Rose Run Parker paid $6.60 in the frosh-colt trot. Bankers For All, though she finished fifth, returned $3.80 as she was coupled with the winner, Swan Yankee, in a frosh-filly trot. Our other colt trot choice scratched. 
    Over at the Meadows in state-bred action, Longwell was third to Bluto, a soph colt trotter we warned about, he being the Jimmy Takter horse that was left out of the Hambletonian box. High Bridge and Smoother Ride, in another sires-stakes mile, were second and third, respectively. And Lindy’s Tru Grit was second at 8-1, combining in an exacta with the favorite for a $12.20 exacta. 
    In Friday’s New York-bred action at Tioga, we gave you one winner in four events: Stay Up Late, paying $10.20. 
    Saturday’s first Gold Cup & Saucer trial went well for us. We gave you the winner, Escape The News, paying a generous $8.10 in a short field with three other higher-profile pacers. 
    That night at Pocono, we had only one second in three state-bred affairs. Handsoffmycupcake, at 4-1, combined with the race favorite for a $14 exacta. 
    Next week, in league with our Friday blog, the Hambletonian Society web site and TwinSpires support an exclusive blog: The Breeders Crown Countdown, which will follow major stakes races with serious “Crown” eligible contenders. We hope to prosper in the races leading to the elims and finals this October, where we will be on site at Pocono Downs for harness bettors through TwinSpires. 
    There were 15 horses on this week’s H2W list. Two horses were scratched, one was on the also-eligible list and did not get in. Winners listed were from the previous H2W list that appeared prior to the special Hambletonian-program blog, which did not carry an H2W list. 
    $17.40 Billied, Running Aces
    $9.80 Johnny Grippa, Saratoga 
    The following are the horses that finished second or third along with their post-time odds. Special notes on those finishes follow. 
    Stingy (2-1), Plainridge 
    Eery Girls Desire (10-1), Batavia; Hidden Ability (2-1), Plainridge; Native Roots (1-1), Batavia
    News And Notes
    September’s Little Brown Jug contenders for this year are topped by the obvious eligible, Captaintreacherous. However, there is still no official commitment for the colt to compete in the “Jug.” The classic event is one of the few elim-heat stakes left and, of course, it takes place on the four-turn mile at the Delaware State Fair. Certainly, Captaintreacherous has nothing to prove and would be expected to handle the half-mile and the heats without trouble but since his connections have not committed, pundits speculate that he will not show up due to the track’s size. As soon as we hear anything about the decision, we will publish it via this blog or Twitter @FrankCotolo.
    Other high profile colts are expected to make the Jug a bit more exciting in 2013 than it has been in recent years. Should enough eligibles decide to drop in the box, ther could be three elim heats, setting up a dynamic final. Some of the other glamour-boy pacers that may go for the classic’s crown include Vegas Vacation, Lonewolf Currier, Odds On Equuleus, Rockin Amadeus and Johny Rock.
    Harrington Raceway’s 67th year of live racing resumes Monday, Aug. 12 with a 13-race program. George Dennis maintains a slim lead over Ross Wolfenden in the driver standings. Joe Hundertpfund, Jr. is the top trainer to date and brothers Wayne Givens and Les Givens are close behind. Live racing will be conducted on a Monday through Thursday schedule through Oct. 24. The track’s signature event, the Bobby Quillen Memorial, will be held Sept. 9 (eliminations) and Sept. 16 (final).
    A report from Pocono Downs indicates there is one trainer who has a couple of horses racing there that is being investigated following an abnormal blood test on one of his horses. Pocono officials would not identify the trainer and insisted it was not a big deal. For a local story, click here.
    Sometimes is seems so simple to drive in a harness race. We see so many races without incident that we neglect to realize the danger facing all of the humans and animals. Last week at Saratoga Harness, the ninth race turned into an unfortunate reminder of the hazards the sport presents when a horrific spill scattered the entire field but for the leader and injured many of the drivers. Witness a race gone wrong to remind yourself that harness racing is no walk around a racetrack. Click here for video.
    Extraordinary Extras
    Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances
    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.  



    Cartoons by Thom Pye
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