• Year Of The Harness Horse Launches

    POSTED Jan 1, 2014


    This year’s Chinese New Year offers the Year of the Horse and includes all breeds. But here we are in the TwinSpires exclusive harness horse department, so we celebrate the year of the standardbred and look forward to working with all of our readers to surpass the great season we had in 2013.

    And, of course, happy birthday to all equines as they move into their new divisions.

    The first winter series coverage begins this blog, as the Meadowlands presents its Super Bowl series for trotters. We will also feature some overnight events that we feel could be profitable, as they have been so far (last week we crushed a race at Balmoral).

    Our horses-to-watch (H2W) list rolls on with hot contenders, all candidates for win, place, show and exotics.

    ’Super’ Men

    The Super Bowl series at the Meadowlands is a small overture to the 2014 stakes season. The conditioned trotting event has three divisions set to go in its first preliminary on Thursday, Jan. 2. 

    Team (Ron) Burke’s new acquisition of Time To Quit will have the bettor’s support in division one, showing massive improvement after moving to the barn from Illinois. With the public caught in a trance of speed, it may ignore classy Deacons Valley. Shipping in from Dover, he has been competing against the company of non-winners of five races lifetime. He has won four of his last six starts and should get a nice trip to upset the favorite.

    Division two highlights the Burke’s other acquisition, Cocotier, attained from Illinois-based Homer Hochstetler. Cocotier is dropping in class after racing against non-winners of three, where he faltered against that group last week. Just because it is a new starter from the Burke barn, we will not be fooled by a lack of alue. This is a mile where we can see a monumental upset, as well as the right preliminary.

    Making his first start on a mile track, as well as for trainer Scott DiDomenico, The Manipulator has an opportunity to stun the crowd. He has raced a majority of his life on a half-mile oval, being a victim of the draw as well as going an extra 16th of a mile at Yonkers. The gelding is adding Lasix for the first time and should be positioned well in the mile to pull off a perfect-storm toteboard explosion.
     
    The final division features a possible contender for the Hambletonian Oaks, Donatella Hanover, a Jimmy Takter trainee that hadn’t seen the races until November of last year. She is coming off of an eye-catching 1:53.3 second-place effort to Time To Quit, so she’ll take the money of the speed lovers.

    Meanwhile, coming from post four is Kentucky-bred Clementine Dream. Two starts back she went her first mile after a two-month absence and finished third from post 10. In her second outing a week later she had no opportunity to get into the race, being interfered and going off-stride as the public choice. She deserves another opportunity and may be the only threat in this mile to Donatella Hanover.

    This week’s overnight offerings:

    Monticello
    Jan. 3, Race 8

    Three sets of conditions bring together this group, none of which display recently successful campaigns. Among them, however, is Hold Her Tight, whose first race at Monticello after competing regularly at Saratoga can be tossed out due to an early misstep that eliminated her. This Kadabra mare can be considered the class of the class here, coming from “winners-of” affairs, and wreaks of excuses racing against better trotters. She was a sold dead-heated fourth at 26-1 before coming to Monticello; she was buried the race before that at 16-1; and the two before that include a poor showing from post 8 and a break at the start from post 8. On Nov. 17, in a class better than this race, she was sterling, dueling from the outside, taking the lead and just missing at 4-1. She should be a fine price today and if she trots smoothly to her best she should find victory a cinch.

    Meadows
    Jan. 3, Race 7

    A former stakes contender—we had him at decent prices three seasons back—Looking For Adventure finds a spot to topple his incessant place finishes. Finding decent employment at the Meadows, “Adventure” comes off of four fine races in which bettors withheld respect. Racing better than his odds, he should offer a solid win price here as the morning-line (ML) choice, Flying Instructor, seems the traditional public choice and track-hero driver Dave Palone gets a good mount but must have to deal with a step up and the 8 hole. Aaron Merriman’s mount, Object Of Art, should be more trouble than the two aforementioned and need be included in exotics.

    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.

    H2W
    Cal Expo
    1/3/14, High Bet Hanover R5; +Pips Jenny G R15
    1/4/14, Shax R6; Indesribable R7; Ohnoyoudidnt R10; +Dancing Barry R15

    Flamboro
    1/4/14, New York Colossus R3; +Cyndalianne DVC R8; Frilly Throng R7; Shiny Mach R9; Future Life R10; Modern Image R10 

    Frasier
    1/3/14, +Garden State Storm R1; +Nazko Tribute R3; Rays Edge R8; Lo Tengo R9

    Northfield
    1/2/14, +Milano Grande R5; Theta Blue Chip R14; Caribbean Girl R14; +Northern Fling R15

    Northlands
    1/3/14, +Sunny Bee R3; +American Passion R8.
    1/4/14, +Sealedwithapromise R2; +Outlaw Star Maker R2; Kg Explorer R4; Watch And Pray R4; Wish I Was R5; +Western Chrome R9

    Monticello
    1/3/14, Flower Girl Charis R4
    1/6/14; Cardine Hanover R4; Rocknroll Princess R5; Chop Chop Suey R6; Bathing Beauty R7; Artemis Blue Chip R11; Lightning Madison R13; Diaz Blue Chip R13

    Pompano
    1/4/14, Bar’s Gold Medal R2; In Mint Condition R8; + Highland Bogart R10

    Western Fair
    1/3/14, Hesurbuddy R2

    Ray Cotolo contributed to this edition.     
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