• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Oct 6, 2013

    Our three-day weekend of harness action began with a boon and turned a bit gloomy, though not as near as dim as the weather in Kentucky for The Red Mile’s concluding Grand Circuit program. The state was plummeted with rain—in some areas as much as seven inches in a few hours—and Lexington’s skies opened up on the pacers and trotters making a fast track to a good track to a messy track by the time the main events went off.

    First, the good news, which took place on Friday and Saturday and not all of it came from The Red Mile. Friday in Chicago we nailed one of the two Maywood Park signature frosh stakes, the Cardinal. Our choice, Ringo’s Z Tam, won the event and paid $18. That same night, as recorded in the horses-to-watch (H2W) results list below, we scored with Prosper in an overnight for a win price of $23.80. Southeast of Chicago, near-Pittsburgh’s Meadows produced Dragontina, paying $22.40.
    Meanwhile, at The Red Mile before the floods, a pair of our International Stallion Stakes choices succeeded. The best score was in the frosh-filly pace, where My Lady Day won and paid $19.80. In the frosh-colt trot we won with E L Titan. That one surprisingly received near-favorite status and paid $5.20 to win.
    The rains began on Oct. 5 but, as predicted, an “off track” would not be a factor in another Captaintreacherous victory. He won a division of the Tattersalls Pace, toying with second-choice Vegas Vacation’s threat in late stretch, to win, paying $2.60. In a division of the soph-filly pace Glen Garnsey, we scored with Carols Desire at $7.40, and our other choice, Parlee Beach, finished second to complete an exacta worth $19.80.

    By the time the first heat of the Kentucky Futurity for fillies went off, the rain was becoming an issue on the mile oval. To our amazement, our choice to win both the heats, Classic Martine, was the favorite. But Ma Chere Hall, the filly that we had given out many times this season when no one was onto her, defeated our choice in the stretch at a remarkable 5-1.

    Then, in the second elim heat, where it was winner-take-all, To Dream On (13-1) came from off the soggy pace to trot home the winner. Classic Martine (8-5), a factor for three-quarters, tanked mid-stretch to finish fifth.

    The weather deeply affected all of the races once it was considered severe. Many top choices went down with no other reasons available as evidence except the anything-but-fast surface. From Race 8, when Shelliscape, benefiting from a second-over trip and closing on faded speed, won at 5-1, there was little argument that the messy foundation played a role in all results. Golden Receiver won at 12-1 because he has not been able to handle this group recently (current fireball Pet Rock never got going and A Rocknroll Dance finished last).

    Breeders Crown Countdown blog the Kentucky Futurity for colts got going in the deluge. We were all right in heat one, when Royalty For Life controlled the fractions and embraced the conditions, as he had done in previous wins, won, paying a decent $3.60. Right behind him in heat one was Creatine (our Players Pool Hambo elim winner in August) and in the second elim heat, “Royalty” tried the same tactics but found his control of staying atop the field weak, while Creatine stayed afloat, got a sharp second-over trip and splashed home the winner at 15-1. He was followed by All Laid Out (51-1) and Spider Blue Chip (7-1) as “Royalty” and second-elim heat winner Your So Vain were empty late. Our second-elim choice, Lindy’s Tru Grit was 30-1 and finished fourth in that affair and scratched for the second heat.

    The spin-off blog, our Breeders Crown Countdown, in cooperation with the Hambletonian Society (where the race result stories are archived) and TwinSpires, will work in league with this blog and @FrankCotolo at Twitter as the exclusive bettors’ aid for handicapping two weeks of championship racing. Check it out in our Thursday TwinSpires blog as we begin live coverage of the Breeders Crown eliminations and finals from Pocono Downs on Oct. 11, Oct. 12 and Oct. 19.


    $23.00 Prosper, Maywood
    $22.40 Dragontina, Meadows
    $10.00 Indescribable, Colonial
    $4.00 Furious Five, Colonial 
    The following are the horses that finished second or third along with their post-time odds. Special notes on those finishes follow. 
    Broadwood (5-1), Vernon; Allstar Blues (1-1), Freehold; Zeller’s Island (1-5), Maywood; Fox Valley Presto (19-1), Maywood 
    There were no third-place finishers from the list.


    News And Notes
    Wagering on the 2013 Breeders Crown finals at Pocono Downs on Oct. 19 will include the following exotics in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association. There will be three Pick-4 wagers, starting with the first Breeders Crown race on the card, which will be Race 3. The three Pick-4 wagers will be offered up to the final Breeders Crown race, which is Race 14. There will be a guaranteed pool for each Pick 4 of $25,000 and all will have a takeout rate of 15 per cent. In addition, there will be an Early Daily Double for Races 1 and 2, which will be $75,000 Pocono Invitational races, and a Late Daily Double for the last two races on the card. The
    Pick 3 will be offered for Races 1, 2, and 3, and the takeout will be 15 per cent. Post time for the 2013 Breeders Crown is 5 p.m.

    Captaintreacherous, according to his connections, will race at four, barring any complications. Howeer, Myron Bell, racing manager of the colt, and Jim Simpson, President of Hanover Shoe Farms, have announced that the great son of Somebeachsomewhere will be retired and stand at stud at Hanover beginning in 2015.

    Last week we reported on the anticipated return of older trotter San Pail and his first encounter with last year's Breeders Crown winner Intimidate. However, Intimidate scratched from the event, due to sickness, and another scratch reduced the field to four. It was the first pari-mutuel start in well over a year for San Pail, North America’s Horse of the Year in 2011, and he finished second to Knows Nothing in 1:54.4. After a year away from the track to nurse a leg injury, nine-year-old San Pail won three-straight qualifiers at Mohawk before this event. He is trained by Rod Hughes. Knows Nothing is a four-year-old son of Kadabra and has won near $700,000.

    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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