• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Jan 19, 2014

    Our horses-to-watch list (H2W) was the source of the week’s most successes. Make sure you check out the across-the-board prices and the exactas included because next week you may decide to back some of your horses to win, to win and place or across the board. Certainly some of the place and show prices have been exceptional and offer a profit from support beyond playing to win.

    After Monday, Jan. 20’s Monticello program, any H2W horses from last week’s list will be updated below.

    We had a winner in one of the two Super Bowl Series affairs at the Meadowlands on Jan. 16. Clementine Dream won her way into the final, paying $9, $5 and $3.80. In the first leg, we expected Connie Keeper to be a certified longshot but did not imagine the public letter her go at 213-1. The favorite won the division but Connie Keeper’s fourth-place finish, though in no way profitable, was a very good finish considering her odds.

    She raced better than our first overnight choice from the Meadows on Jan. 17. Four Starz Kyle was seventh at 7-1. The second suggested race found our contender, PL Dragon, go off at 2-1 and finish third while our second choice in that race, Hall Of Memories finished sixth at 34-1.

    TwinSpires’ 10-percent-bonus Buffalo Raceway 50-cent Pick 4 wagers continue on Wednesdays and we hope once again to assist in suggestions you may add to your Jan. 22 ticket. For Jan. 15’s exotic, via Twitter -- @FrankCotolo, @TwinSpires and @BuffaloRaceway – we came through with the highest paying horse of the winning quartet, Carlina Hanover ($10.80, $4.80, $3.70). The other three finishers were strong public choices, resulting in a Pick-4 payoff of $178.50.


    H2W RESULTS

    The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Also, exactas are included when a H2W horse finishing first or second completes the result with a race favorite or another H2W horse listed as the winner in the same race (*asterisks note the particular races along with track name). This holds true, also, for trifectas if three H2W horses finish win, place and show.

    Winners

    Knuckles, $28.10, $5.80, $3.90, Western Fair
    Hillcrest Romeo, $17.20, $6.40, $3.80, Cal Expo
    Beach Hero, $15.40, $5.20, $4.20, Western Fair
    Nazko Tribute, $14, $5.70, $4.50, Fraser
    (entry) Panic At The Disco, $11.20, $4.40, $2.80, Fraser
    KG Cody, $10.40, $4.30, $3.20, Northlands
    Poorlittlerichgirl, $7.80, $3.20, $2.60, Cal Expo
    Lookinforadventure, $5.40, $2.60, $2.10, Meadows
    Latino Hall, $4.80, $3.80, $3, Fraser
    Wattafine Rythem, $4.80, $2.90, $2.40, Western Fair
    Smooth Criminal, $4.40, $2.90 (no show wagering), Northlands
    Live A Little, $4.20, $3, $2.20, Cal Expo

    Seconds

    Sunny Bee, $12.60, $5, Northlands
    Karets, $10.20, $5.80 (Exacta, $38.20), Meadows
    Shiny Mach, $9.50, $7.90, Flamboro
    Kayla's Dream, $8.20, $3.80 (Exacta, $37.80), Pompano
    One Last Shot, $3.30, $2.90 (Exacta, $11.80), Fraser
    Just Fred, $3.20, $2.10, Pompano
    Plum Crazy Baby, $2.80, $2.40, Cal Expo

    Thirds

    Pureform Dreamer, $12.20, Fraser
    Twentyone Guns, $6.40, Cal Expo
    Westridge Warrior, $6.30, Fraser
    Somethinsgoinon, $5.80, Fraser
    Rock Allstar, $4.10, Fraser
    Mmmmmh, $3.50, Fraser
    Stilleto Hall, $3.50, Fraser
    Cheytenne Ford, $2.70, Western Fair
    Mattacardle, $2.60, Meadows
    Real Pretty, $2.40, Northlands
    Red Hot Yankee, $2.40, Pompano
    Dragons Wall, $2.10, Cal Expo
    Flight Exec, $2.10, Pompano


    News And Notes

    At age 72, driver Walter Layfield, Jr. has been driving harness horses or more than five decades. He has not been active for several years and then he has hooked up with trainer Richard Lewis at Dover Downs and the team is proving to be successful. Layfield has driven more than a dozen Lewis-trained horses at Dover’s current meet and has posted four winners.

    Meanwhile at Dover, youthful Tyler Davis is winning races at age 21. His dad is Allan Davis, second in the current driver standings, and his grandfather is Eddie Davis, the all-time leading race winning driver in the Middle Atlantic region. The third generation driver, Davis, won his third race of the season on Jan. 8, piloting a 32-1 shot.

    Nationally, Dave Palone, was named HTA Driver of the Year. It’s the seventh time Palone has won or shared the honor based on raw number of wins, money won from them and Universal Driver Ratings (similar to a battling average) percentage. On the point tabulation, Palone had a rating of 85.5. Yannick Gingras is runner-up at 83.5. Next in order were Tim Tetrick, Brian Sears and George Napolitano. The award has nothing to do with bettors profiting from bets connected to the driver.

    The 2014 Breeders Crown is scheduled to take place at The Meadowlands and will be raced over two nights in November. The events will be divided into a four-race block of distaff races on Friday, Nov. 21 and the remaining eight on Saturday, Nov. 22. The $500,000 Breeders Crown Trot and Pace for three-year-old fillies and a pair of $250,000 “Crowns” for Mare pacers and trotters go on Friday night. All four $500,000 Two-Year-Old events, the $500,000 sophomore colt pace and trot and the $400,000 Pace and $500,000 Trot will be raced on Saturday night.

    Tom Charters, president of The Hambletonian Society, which owns and administrates the Breeders Crown series, said, “The Breeders Crown has been conducted in just about every format, single races, blocks of races, all twelve races on one night, and we try always to be sensitive to host track parameters while still getting the most bang out of the event in regard to publicity, TV and promotions. The Meadowlands has been home to many of harness racing's most important events over the past 30 years. We look forward to the return of the Breeders Crown under Jeff Gural's management and especially look forward to the new facility. The one-mile oval in East Rutherford, New Jersey, has hosted 67 Breeders Crown races, more than any other racetrack and in 2014 will celebrate 30 years of Breeders Crown history. TwinSpires hopes to be reporting live both nights with special attractions for account-holders.

    Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) announced the dates for their 2014 stakes season, which includes a new twist where all of the finalists in the stakes events will receive a percentage of the purse. In addition there will no longer be byes issued for stake events. The 31st edition of the Pepsi North America Cup will offer a guaranteed purse of $1 million on Saturday, June 14 at Mohawk. The continent’s finest three year-old pacers will line up behind the gate, with eliminations scheduled the week prior on June 7.

    The lucrative June 14 card offers a showcase for the continent’s best horses across several divisions, including the $400,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies, the $325,000 Roses Are Red for older pacing mares, the $270,000 Armbro Flight for trotting mares, the $225,000 Goodtimes for sophomore trotting colts and the $100,000 Gold Cup for older pacing horses.
    Mohawk will once again play host to some of North America’s most prestigious Grand Circuit events. On July 19, the $550,000 Maple Leaf Trot, for older trotters, will be offered for a 62nd time. The $685,000 Metro Pace for two year-old pacing colts is set for Saturday, Aug. 30. Co-featured on the rich Labor Day weekend card are the $650,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers and the $450,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes for juvenile pacing fillies. The Canadian Trotting Classic, for three year-old colt trotters, will go on Saturday, Sept. 13 for a purse of $685,000.  The $375,000 Peaceful Way final for two year-old trotting fillies, the $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotting colts and the $365,000 Elegantimage, for three-year-old filly trotters, are also featured on the mid-September weekend.

    The Grand Circuit stakes return to Woodbine for its Fall meet in October. The $1.9-million Fall Four (Goldsmith Maid, Three Diamonds, Valley Victory and Governor’s Cup), will be contested on Saturday, Oct. 25.

    Also in 2014, all finishers in the stakes finals will earn purse money. The winner will continue to receive the traditional 50 percent of the total purse, while those sixth through last receive 1 percent each. Those finishing second through fifth will receive 24-16-10 percent, respectively, of the remaining purse after first and sixth through 10th are paid. Plus, if 11 horses or fewer declare to start in a stakes series, there will be no eliminations and all declared horses advance directly to the final. Byes will no longer be issued in stakes events.

    News And Notes

    At age 72, driver Walter Layfield, Jr. has been driving harness horses or more than five decades. He has not been active for several years and then he has hooked up with trainer Richard Lewis at Dover Downs and the team is proving to be successful. Layfield has driven more than a dozen Lewis-trained horses at Dover’s current meet and has posted four winners.

    Meanwhile at Dover, youthful Tyler Davis is winning races at age 21. His dad is Allan Davis, second in the current driver standings, and his grandfather is Eddie Davis, the all-time leading race winning driver in the Middle Atlantic region. The third generation driver, Davis, won his third race of the season on Jan. 8, piloting a 32-1 shot.

    Nationally, Dave Palone, was named HTA Driver of the Year. It’s the seventh time Palone has won or shared the honor based on raw number of wins, money won from them and Universal Driver Ratings (similar to a battling average) percentage. On the point tabulation, Palone had a rating of 85.5. Yannick Gingras is runner-up at 83.5. Next in order were Tim Tetrick, Brian Sears and George Napolitano. The award has nothing to do with bettors profiting from bets connected to the driver.

    The 2014 Breeders Crown is scheduled to take place at The Meadowlands and will be raced over two nights in November. The events will be divided into a four-race block of distaff races on Friday, Nov. 21 and the remaining eight on Saturday, Nov. 22. The $500,000 Breeders Crown Trot and Pace for three-year-old fillies and a pair of $250,000 “Crowns” for Mare pacers and trotters go on Friday night. All four $500,000 Two-Year-Old events, the $500,000 sophomore colt pace and trot and the $400,000 Pace and $500,000 Trot will be raced on Saturday night.

    Tom Charters, president of The Hambletonian Society, which owns and administrates the Breeders Crown series, said, “The Breeders Crown has been conducted in just about every format, single races, blocks of races, all twelve races on one night, and we try always to be sensitive to host track parameters while still getting the most bang out of the event in regard to publicity, TV and promotions. The Meadowlands has been home to many of harness racing's most important events over the past 30 years. We look forward to the return of the Breeders Crown under Jeff Gural's management and especially look forward to the new facility. The one-mile oval in East Rutherford, New Jersey, has hosted 67 Breeders Crown races, more than any other racetrack and in 2014 will celebrate 30 years of Breeders Crown history. TwinSpires hopes to be reporting live both nights with special attractions for account-holders.

    Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) announced the dates for their 2014 stakes season, which includes a new twist where all of the finalists in the stakes events will receive a percentage of the purse. In addition there will no longer be byes issued for stake events. The 31st edition of the Pepsi North America Cup will offer a guaranteed purse of $1 million on Saturday, June 14 at Mohawk. The continent’s finest three year-old pacers will line up behind the gate, with eliminations scheduled the week prior on June 7.

    The lucrative June 14 card offers a showcase for the continent’s best horses across several divisions, including the $400,000 Fan Hanover for three-year-old pacing fillies, the $325,000 Roses Are Red for older pacing mares, the $270,000 Armbro Flight for trotting mares, the $225,000 Goodtimes for sophomore trotting colts and the $100,000 Gold Cup for older pacing horses.
    Mohawk will once again play host to some of North America’s most prestigious Grand Circuit events. On July 19, the $550,000 Maple Leaf Trot, for older trotters, will be offered for a 62nd time. The $685,000 Metro Pace for two year-old pacing colts is set for Saturday, Aug. 30. Co-featured on the rich Labor Day weekend card are the $650,000 Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers and the $450,000 Shes A Great Lady Stakes for juvenile pacing fillies. The Canadian Trotting Classic, for three year-old colt trotters, will go on Saturday, Sept. 13 for a purse of $685,000.  The $375,000 Peaceful Way final for two year-old trotting fillies, the $365,000 William Wellwood Memorial for two-year-old trotting colts and the $365,000 Elegantimage, for three-year-old filly trotters, are also featured on the mid-September weekend.

    The Grand Circuit stakes return to Woodbine for its Fall meet in October. The $1.9-million Fall Four (Goldsmith Maid, Three Diamonds, Valley Victory and Governor’s Cup), will be contested on Saturday, Oct. 25.

    Also in 2014, all finishers in the stakes finals will earn purse money. The winner will continue to receive the traditional 50 percent of the total purse, while those sixth through last receive 1 percent each. Those finishing second through fifth will receive 24-16-10 percent, respectively, of the remaining purse after first and sixth through 10th are paid. Plus, if 11 horses or fewer declare to start in a stakes series, there will be no eliminations and all declared horses advance directly to the final. Byes will no longer be issued in stakes events.

    Extraordinary Extras

    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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