Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes
Next weekend we cover the end of January and the beginning of February as the claws of winter continue to scratch regions beyond the Polar Vortex. The rough-and-tough standardbreds will be racing as the month turns over.
The weekend that just passed offered some decent winners at decent prices on our horses-to-watch list (H2W). 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. After Monday, Jan. 27 all H2W horses from last week’s list will be updated below.
We chose two races from Charottetown Drivers Park for the first time while offering promising plays in overnights and we scored with one of the pair on Jan. 25. Scotian Lass was our first choice in Race 6 and he won, paying $9.90, $5.30 and $2.80. Our other first choice, Honeymoonisover finished third (2.60) at 6-1.
We engaged Dover on Jan. 26, offering Kenzie’s Beach Boy in one event. He finished sixth at a price we could never have predicted, 56-1. Our second Dover event resulted in Stubbs Hanover finishing third ($4.40) at 10-1 and our third choice, Polaris, finished second ($2.60, $2.20), while our second choice was sixth.
Every Wednesday night, TwinSpires’ 10-percent-bonus Buffalo Raceway 50-cent Pick 4 wagers continue. We assist with suggestions for your ticket. For Jan. 22’s exotic, via Twitter -- @FrankCotolo, @TwinSpires and @BuffaloRaceway – we had the highest paying horse of the winning quartet for the second week in a row. We singled Artsy Princess ($13, $7.80, $3.20).
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.
Tiger Bait, $15.40, $7.40, $4.80, Cal Expo
Runaway Disirae, $14.10, $5.30, $3.20, Fraser
Traers Hall, $10.80, $5.60, $4.60, Freehold
Trend Spotter, $9, $3.80, $4.20 (ok), Meadows
Bootswiththefur, $6.40, $3.80, $3, Meadows
Lord Terror, $2.60, $2.20, $2.10, Dover
Devil’s Embrace N, $8.60, $5, Dover
Red Hot Yankee, $5.80, $3, Pompano
One Last Shot, $3.10, $3, Fraser
Cinderella Smiles, $3, $2.30 (Exacta $12.70), Northlands
Kaya’s Sweetheart, $3, $2.60, Freehold
Cyclone Cully, $7.60, Freehold
Branding Party, $4.30, Fraser
Melboy, $3.80, Cal Expo
Tulfra, $3.80, Freehold
PL Dragon, $3.60, Meadows
Too Young Man, $3.50, Northlands
Jolt Of Whiskey, $3, Fraser
Ala Carte Bill, $2.80, Freehold
Arpeggio Hanover, $2.60, Dover
News And Notes
Illinois harness is still under Mother Nature’s spell, with arctic temperatures taking their toll on the young 2014 racing season. Balmoral Park announced delaying two qualifying days, originally scheduled for Jan. 28 to, Jan. 29 as more extreme cold is expected next week. Downstate, Maywood Park will conduct qualifiers on Jan. 30. The first draw for a Feb. 5 start date at Balmoral Park will be held Jan. 31.
Don’t go looking for harness racing at Harrah’s Philadelphia until some serious negotiations are complete. At a meeting of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission this week, the commission suspend harness racing at the racino due to issues with the condition of the racetrack. According to several reports, the commission took the action following complaints about the condition of the track’s surface, ignited after a terrible spill in November that severely injured driver Anthony Coletto. The track was scheduled to resume racing in early March.
A monumental agreement between United States and French standardbred industries has been signed. USA representatives Joe Faraldo, Alex Dadoyan, Tim Rooney, Sr. and his son, Tim, Jr., were in France to negotiate details of a breeding, wagering and simulcasting agreement between the countries’ racing officials. The agreement was signed on Jan. 25.
In addition to a breeding agreement, the two sides will work toward establishing a calendar of simulcasting of and wagering on Yonkers Raceway races in France and French races into the U.S. by the end of 2014. Faraldo called the deal’s completion “an historic, monumental agreement … the predicate for international simulcasting into Europe and a move forward to more global simulcasting of U.S. harness racing.” There is little history of cooperation between France (the country that created pari-mutuel racing) and the U.S. beyond the institution of a few celebrated races.
The French breeding book has been closed to American stock for more than a century. Things have certainly changed. The French have also made agreements with Slovenia and Ireland. After the agreement was settled, Dominique de Bellaigue, the French representative, said, “These agreements will help our respective countries build upon a foundation to the expansion of international simulcasting.”
All of the countries involved, of course, are suffering from a poor business atmosphere. Racing is in a global depression compared to its state prior to the digital revolution. Although the new technology has been embraced by the industry all over the world, rebuilding has been necessary to attain a new generation of supporters.
Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.
Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog
Cartoons by Thom Pye