• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Aug 17, 2013

    Super Stakes Saturday at Pocono was not rife with big prices but we did score some winners that complemented our contenders’ list. The fields were in fast motion on the five-eighths oval and that produced a few world records, most opportunistic. 
    Our best showing for the evening was with the freshman-colt pacers at Mohawk and with the horses-to-watch (H2W) list suggestions. 
    The Nassagaweya Stakes, which we handicapped with a focus upon sire-win percentages for two-year-olds this season, slammed home two longshot winners for us. In the first split, Arthur Blue Chip won and paid $17.20. In the second stakes mile, Somewhere in LA won for a price of $17.10. Those two scores put the Mohawk stakes in the black for profits, since we lost two of the Eternal Camnation affairs for the frosh-filly pacers and the other “Nassa.” 
    The first loss for Captaintreacherous does nothing to blemish his greatness. A duel to the wire from the half in the Battle of Brandywine saw the “Captain” on the outside of Sunshine Beach, another son of Somebeachsomewhere, and the inside got the advantage in the 1:47.4 mile. 
    The stunning I Luv The Nitelife presented a sharp record that was well earned. That soph-filly pacer is an amazing and superior horse. With her, the undoubtedly marked favorite, we were second with Somewherorarainbow for a $22.40 exacta. 
    Our best winner at Pocono was A Rocknroll Dance, who was a part of the speed-charged brigade; he paid $10. Short winners at Pocono included Drop The Ball ($2.60) and UF Dragons Queen ($2.20). 
    Hillbilly Hanover took second in the Cup & Saucer Final, Sweet Talkin Satin was second in a “Battle” consolation and Foiled Again was third at Saratoga. 
    The Breeders Crown Countdown blog, the Hambletonian Society and TwinSpires’ bettors’ aid for handicapping top contenders’ events heading toward the October classics, is live. Check it out each week in league with our Thursday TwinSpires blog. 
    $46.00 Angels Finale, Plainridge
    $2.70 Samartina, Tioga
    $2.20 Lauderdale, The Rted Mile 
    The following are the horses that finished second or third along with their post-time odds. Special notes on those finishes follow. 
    Preachinatthebar (6-1), Plainridge; Steph’s Place (6-1), Running Aces; Cantholdmebackmack (2-1), Running Aces  
    Every Girls Desire (3-1), Batavia; Powerful Passage (4-1), Ocean; My Cover Girl (6-5), Running Aces; Allamerican Redhot (1-1), Running Aces 
    News And Notes
    The Meadows will be dark for a little more than two weeks for track maintenance and refurbishing. When the Meadows resumes live racing on Tuesday, Sept. 3, it will introduce a new schedule featuring mostly afternoon cards. Generally, the track will race each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with first post at 12:55 p.m.
    For the balance of 2013, only two evening programs are scheduled: Friday, Sept. 13, when the Meadows hosts Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championships and consolations for each three-year-old division, and Saturday, Oct. 5, when the Meadows again will serve as the site for all eight Pennsylvania Fairs championships. First-race post time for those cards is 6:55 p.m.
    George Brennan reached a milestone in his driving career, nailing his 8,000th win. We congratulate George, who has not always been given the full credit he deserves. Also from Yonkers Raceway, on Thursday, Aug. 15, trainer Rene Allard reached a record 2,000 wins in his career. The 26-year-old Quebec native became the youngest trainer in the history of the sport to reach 2,000 wins.
    The hubbub about Brian Sears’ seven-win night at Yonkers on Aug. 16 was in league with a string of favorites that may have won with any competent reinster. Sears’ winners that night paid under $5, all major contenders regardless of his presence. That same night at the Meadows, Brett Miller won seven, with his highest payoff $11 and including an $8.40 and $7.40 winner.
    Yonkers’ Pick-5 wager has a new condition. Should there be a Pick-5 carryover of $7,500 or greater, the Pick-5 for next night of racing will feature a $25,000 guaranteed pool. Any carryover of less than $7,500 means a “guarantee” of $10,000. The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager offered on Races 5 through 9 nightly. It has no consolation payoff. The Pick-5 also continues its built-in Monday/Tuesday $10,000 guaranteed pool – a base number which now could become greater, depending if there's a carryover –as  part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program. The Raceway’s five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 p.m. 
    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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