• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Oct 20, 2013

    Saturday night, Oct. 19 we gathered again in the press box at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with the sport’s top journalists from all over the world, this time to cover the dozen Breeders Crown finals.

    It was a bit different from the week before when we covered the elimination races. On both nights when the racetrack offered elims on the program, the Pocono Mountains were aglow with bright nights and a sparkling sky. This week, the closer it came to post time the more gray the sky became and the air went from gently moist to pelting wet with rain. The five-eighths-mile oval went from conditions “fast” to “good” to “sloppy” more quickly than a world record mile was broken by either gait.

    Still, the show went on and the results were not so different than they might have been were the mountain breezes blowing in clear October skies. Armed with our on-site senses and our laptops, the Twitter accounts of @FrankCotolo and @HarnessRaycer rolled out tweets with tips, info and photos throughout the card.

    Again, we thanks the
    Hambletonian Society –Tom Charters, Moira Fanning and the Board of Directors—for the accommodations and chance to work at the event representing TwinSpires.

    What follows are the results of our efforts to assist bettors in finding the most valuable wagers up to the minute of each post. A few of our last-minute alterations in the Thursday blogs’ choices were positive, though the entire program offered far more public choices winning than we enjoy backing. But many of our horses were alive and thoroughly involved in prices on the board and in exotics.

    Breeders Crown finals, 2013

    Two-year-old Colt & Gelding Trot
    One of the four “locks” we addressed won the first event. Father Patrick ($2.10, $2.10, $2.10) finalized his divisional crown with an easy win just before sunset and showers. We backed him up with two horses, Nuncio ($3.40, $2.20) and Don Dorado. The latter broke and was eliminated. The exacta, which last week paid us $26.80, paid $4.20.

    Two-year-old Filly Pace
    One of only two winners on the program that paid double digits was our choice, Uffizi Hanover ($10.20, $5.20, $4.20). Our second-and-third choices were off the board.

    Two-year-old Filly Trot
    This was our worst effort in the result category but in our own defense we never had a shot with any of the three we offered because they all broke stride and chopped their ways over the finish line at the back of the field. Lifetime Pursuit finished ninth, Demanding Sam finished seventh and Cooler Schooner—the race favorite—finished eighth.

    Open Trot
    We did not mention the winner, Market Share, but he shared the trifecta with two of our choices. Our top choice, Arch Madness was third ($6.20) and our third choice, Mister Herbie was secon ($5.80, $4). The winner was tweeted by @HarnessRaycer. Market Share ($6, $3.20, $3.20) led the $1.96.40 trifecta.

    Three-year-old Filly Pace
    The second lock of the program, according to many punters, was I Luv The Nitelife ($4, $2.80, $2.10) and shockingly enough, she was second choice. Her even-money win was “a gift” according to more than one pro handicapper. Our other choices were off the board. From @HarnessRaycer came the place horse, Authorize ($10,60, $7.80) and an exacta worth $43.80).

    Two-year-old Colt & Gelding Pace
    Paying close attention to tweets and blogs may have rewarded followers in this event. One of our third-place choices and our choice that won last week’s elim, Luck Be Withyou ($5.80, $4, $3.20), won. The tweets offered extra warning about a 34-1horse not mentioned in our blog. Losing by only a head, Sometimes Said ($20.40, $7.80) took the second spot. The exacta paid $120. Our other third choice, Somestarsomewhere ($2.80) was third. That trifecta paid $3.80.80. Our first choice, So Surreal, broke making a big move at three-quarters, and was eliminated.

    Mare Trot
    Our third choice and the super favorite, Maven ($2.60, $2.20, $2.10) won easily as the rain continued in sheets through the area. Again, our choice broke as Check Me Out jumped at the beginning of the race and as he came back on gait and made a move late, he broke again at the top of the stretch. Our second choice was off the board while @HarnessRaycer tweeted the winner.

    Open Mares Pace
    Our main choice was off the board while our second and third choices finished in that order. Rocklamation ($5, $3.40) and Anndrovette ($2.80) competed the trifecta.

    Three-year-old Filly Trot
    The third lock won in a flash with a flash. Bee A Magician ($2.10, $2.10, $2.10) was never challenged once on the lead early. One of our third choices, Frau Blucher ($3.60, $2.80) completed the meager $6.60 exacta. Our two other listed horses were off the board, one of them due to a break.

    Three-year-old Colt Pace
    Once again we encouraged the adventures of Captaintreacherous ($2.10, $2.10, $2.10) and he provided the thrills necessary to make harness racing history (photo above). Multiple moves in the gritty going and a stubborn lead-capturing stride won it again for the pacer that deserves Horse of the Year honors. Our other choices were off the board.

    Three-year-old Colt Trot
    Our original choices, Royalty For Life, was scratched “due to injury” and that left us with two outsiders that were off the board.

    Horse Pace
    Passing the probable favorite, we were nosed by him at the wire when Pet Rock ($4.60, $3.20) finished second and our first choice, Modern Legend ($5.20) got up for third.

    It has already been determined that the 2014 championship series will be presented at The New Meadowlands. We hope to be there to cover it for TwinSpires bettors.

    The final two months of the harness season still offer some stakes events and we are going to return over the next few months and into 2014 with a more extensive horses-to-watch (H2W) list. So stay tuned, the action is far from over in 2013 and will continue abundantly into the winter of 2014.

    Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.

    Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog.

    Cartoons by Thom Pye





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