• Cold-Continent Capers On Our Watch

    POSTED Dec 4, 2013

    It’s never really dark in the world of harness racing. These big, muscular standardbreds take on the bitter cold with every bit of fervor in which they cut through the thick humidity of summer. Though the superstars of the season have packed it in until after their collective January birthdays, the overnights across North America continue to sweep through raceways like the bitter breezes of December.

    In the utmost quadrant of the continent, Alberta’s Northlands Park presents its top too affairs for the province’s champion soph colt and filly pacers. Back east, the new Meadowlands enters week three with one last soph-colt pace, a Grand Circuit leftover, a Reynolds stake.

    Our horses-to-watch list (H2W) takes over, for the most part, as the co-feature of this blog while winter series brew on either side of the border. The H2W expands beginning with this blog, below.
    Northwest Passages

    Alberta’s best sophomore colt pacers settled the final’s field for the Western Canada Pacing Derby with two $2,500 elims on Nov. 30. The big event goes to post at Northlands Park on Saturday Dec. 7.

    The big favorite in elim one, Premium Attraction, didn’t make the final; he busted at three-quarters making his major bid and was pulled up. The second choice, Big N Bad, led from start to finish and won with 6 lengths between him and 13-1 shot Outlaw Falcon. Brenin and American Venture were the other qualifiers.

    The favorite in the second elim, Beren Hanover, got a perfect trip for area mainstay Keith Clark and won over Bettor In The Bank (18-1) and Tip Top Tap (7-2) . Also qualifying was Play Me Right (4-1).

    In the final, the Clark horse will be a top choice, as will the first elim winner. They are, along with Play Me Right, the speed trio. Of the two elims, the only pacer to earn his way was Bettor In The Bank. He was slow to start, eighth by 7 lengths but he gained 3 lengths at that position, swung three wide to get fifth and made up enough ground to come within 1 ¼ lengths of Beren Hanover. “Bank” is one of three from the Clark barn but he didn’t race coupled with “Beren” so he could be the contender with the best value.

    The night before, the soph fillies go in the $75,000 Northlands Filly Pace Final. Clark looms dangerously here, which is no surprise considering his successful history with this and the colt event, sending out the obvious choice, Keep The Dream along with the morning-line (ML) third choice, Contesta Hanover

    ”Contesa” won the first elim with an easy trip, taking over at three-quarters and unchallenged to the wire. GT’s Selene, the final’s second choice on the ML, defeated Keep The Dream in the second elim. The true earner of a berth in this final, however, is Cenalta Fireworks. She is a 15-1 ML entry and could be an upset if she doesn’t have to make a wide bid, as she did when making the final.

    Reyonolds Wrap

    A $48,848 Reynolds stake puts a lid on the Grand Circuit for 2013 as six soph-colt pacers head to the gate at the Meadowlands on Dec. 6. There isn’t much to aim for in this sextet, with two familiar colts—Twilight Bonfire and Rockin Amadeus—at the center of attraction. All you can do is take our third choice, bound to be at longer odds than the top duo, and go for a price to win that may be bigger than his chances. That colt is Rocky Mountain Guy and he has a shot here to make a late-season headline in a small field of second- and third-stringers in the crop. 

    H2W Legend
    Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last time) because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered but on the also-eligible list. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


    12/7/13, Compass Connection R9; Windsong Destroyer R11

    Cal Expo
    12/7/13, Lodi Dorian Blues R7; Village Benjamin R8

    12/5/13, Newsboy Moriarty R7  
    12/6/13, Doomsday R2; Prince Mccardle R10; Sexy Smile R10
    12/7/13, Go Go Raider R4; Willie Boots R5

    12/5/13, Topville Bridgette R3; Desiree Bellabella ae R11  
    12/6/13,+Cinnamon Spider ae R4

    12/6/13, Woodside Warrior R1; +Mynah Hanover R5; +Jungle Of Terror R7; +Miss Chip K R13; +Florida Vortex R13
    12/6/13, +Hot Mandy R1; +Icanfeelyoubreath R3; +Townline Kriss R3; Scratch R12

    12/8/13, Blissfull Romance R6; +Lauderdale R7; Womanizer Hanover R11

    12/7/13, Rick’s Sign R3; Artomatic Pilot R4; +Growly Gus R5; Mr Tommy Fra R10

    12/6/13, +Pedro’s Dream R2; +Baby Boy Grin R8   12/7/13, +Subliminal Hanover R7 

    12/6/13, Bold Fresh R1; Redestrian R2; Bonus Miles R3; Somekindadancer R5;AG Smart Alec R6; Im A Mainer R7; Orderingin R9 
    12/7/13, Tylers Rendezvous R1

    Ray Cotolo contributed to this edition.

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