Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes
There were two Grand Circuit soph-colt trotting events at Pocono, highlighted by the return of Father Patrick. He won easily in round two ($2.10, $2.10, no show) but for TwinSpires harness blog readers he did not make it to the top of the headlines. For our wagering pleasure, we nailed the first round with our choice, Auspicious Hanover ($31.60, $4, $3).
Friday, May 23 at Tioga, two New York Sires Stakes featuring Hambletonian Trail colts won a pair, each out choices. Flyhawk El Dorado ($4.10, $2.20, $2.50 ok) and Expressing Action ($5.50, $3.50, $3.40) were impressive winners in their miles if not in their prices.
Friday at the Meadowlands in the first of two New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) divisions for colt trotters, we were second with Sumatra ($8, $4.80)—keep note of some delicious place prices on our choices in the stakes as well as below on the list for our horses to watch (H2W). In the soph-filly event, our top choice Heaven’s Door finished second but was disqualified and placed 10th. However, our second choice, Cee Bee Yes, won ($12.40, $6.20, $3). Then, we were second in the next colt affair with 23-1 Resolve ($7, $4), with the favorite on top for an exacta of $15.40.
Saturday, May 24 actions, more wagering opportunities continued to deliver winners. The highlight of the night was our prediction at Yonkers that the industry-anointed soph-colt pacer, He’s Watching, would not win his “Rooney” elimination. We challenged him with Stevensville, who out-paced the 1-9 He’s Watching in a wire-to-wire sprint. Stevensville paid $21.60 (no place or show betting). He’s Watching put in a terrible performance, behooving his driver and trainer and he did not make next week’s Rooney final field. If something is wrong beyond our evaluation, which is predicated upon his talent and not a health malady, we have not heard the details.
We finished second in the second Rooney elim with Some Plana ($3.90, no show betting) with the favorite on top for an exacta of $8.30. Our first choice broke and was eliminated.
Two Lismore elims for the soph-filly pacers were highlighted at Yonkers by the second round, which rocked the toteboard when Also Encouraging faded to fourth at three-quarters after a strenuous start on the outside to get the lead. She was our first choice, turning into the huge favorite by the crowd. But, our second choice, Rusty’s Bliss, finished second and because Also Encouraging was off the board, Rusty’s Bliss paid an astounding $62.50 to place. There was no show betting.
Across the river at the Meadowlands Saturday, we wound up with a boxed-exacta win in a NJSS for filly pacers with our choice, Blixtra ($7.60, $5) topped by our second choice, the public favorite Act Now ($2.80, $2.20, $2.20 ok), which paid $24.60.
In the colt NJSS we were second with Dancin Hill ($2.40, $2.10). However, our second choice, Doo Wop Hanover won ($3.40, $2.20, $2.10) and our third choice was third (Rock Out $2.20), making for the trifecta ($16.80) elements.
Neither of our colt-pacing Pocono Cup choices was on the board at Pocono that same evening.
Sunday’s Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah’s Philadelphia found us third to Market Share, the crowd choice, with DW’s NY Yank ($4.60). In the Betsy Ross that day, we were fourth with Monkey On My Wheel.
Along the Hambletonian Trail (blog now active) in cooperation with TwinSpires, you can read the race stories and data on the history of the August classics at the Hambletonian Society archives.
TwinSpires and Hoosier continue a three-pronged power-packed program for harness players. Tuesdays, wager all you want and earn 10 TSC Elite Points per dollar bet. Click here for details. Every Thursday night, there is a 20-percent bonus on hitting the Pick 4 starting at Race 3. Click here for details. And the ongoing 10-percent Pick-4 bonus every racing night on Pick-4 hits continues through the meet. Click here for details.
In between published harness blogs, follow @FrankCotolo and @TwinSpires on Twitter to get tips on Hoosier contenders you can use in your tickets. Other possibilities appear in exclusive H2W list.
Our H2W was active again, with some bright winners and healthy prices in place and show, with some exacta hits (using public choices in tandem with our picks) as overnight action continues to be the focus of the list for TwinSpires harness players.
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 in the same race (an asterisk appears when both horses were listed to complete the exacta).
Case Dismissed, $76.40, $27.40, $6.60 (Exacta $211.40), Meadows
Lukes Raoule, $25.40, $8.40, $4.40, Rosecroft
A Fool For Mark, $17, $7.80, $8.40 ok, Scarborough
Grix Gadoo, $6.60, $3.60, $3.40, Scarborough
Areyouinorout, $4.60, $3.50, $3.80 ok, Buffalo
Dew N Doughnuts, $4.60, $2.60, $2.20, Meadows
Bettor’s Night, $10.20, $4, Scarborogh
Jitterbug Hanover, $9, $2.80, Scarborough
Shenandoah Tomcat, $7.40, $2.80, Rosecroft
Noble Warrawee, $6.30, $3.80 (Exacta $12.20), Yonkers
St Lads He Man, $6.20, $4, Pocono
Time Stood Still, $5.90, $3.90 (Exacta $14.40), Tioga
Ramblingamblinman, $4.80, $5.20 ok, Pompano
Sealark Hanover, $4.80, $3.20 (Exacta $15.80), Maywood
Rafferty Hanover, $4.30, $4, Buffalo
Here’s Ethel, $4, $3.60, Meadows
Bonos Lassie, $3.80, $3.20 (Exacta $14.40), Hoosier
Mcgreat, $3.20 n/s, Pompano
Political Desire, $3, $2.20
Sometimes Said, $2.60, $2.40, Meadowlands
Its Bush Time, $2.30, $2.60, Saratoga
Gonna Rock N Roll, $2.10, $2.10, Pocono
Fox Valley George, $13, Maywood
Jaipur, $6.30, Tioga
Another Beauty, $5.80, Maywood
Racin For Gold, $5.80, Pompano
Fedigan’s Glory, $3.60
Best Of Curragh, $3, Plainridge
Bagel Man, $2.20, Harrington
News And Notes
Captaintreacherous lost a qualifier to Foiled Again but only by a whisker. The two dueled at the Meadowlands as if it were a betting race, showing that they have the genes of champions.
Foiled Again was tuning up to travel north for another Molson Pace at Western Fair. The May 30 event will feature the two-time Molson champ in his sixth Molson appearance. Last year’s winner, State Treasurer will be back, along with PH Supercam, the “Levy” winner, Dancin Yankee and Apprentice Hanover, as well as Captive Audience, Bettors Edge and Bandolito. Watch for our analysis in the Thursday, May 29 blog.
Kawartha Downs’ owner Skip Ambrose said that live harness racing will take place at the Ontario five-eighths mile track this summer due to an agreement reached with the Ontario Racing Commission. The tentative schedule calls for racing every Saturday night from June to October (race dates are to be announced within the next week pending approval of the track’s license. The full schedule for Kawartha Downs’ 2014 season, which will be the 42nd year of harness racing, will be released shortly.
Mohawk Raceway is back in action, hosting its 51st season. The 102-day meet will kicked off last week; live racing will be held five nights a week on Mondays, Tuesdays (except May 27 and Oct. 7), Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Each race night will have a 7:25 p.m. first race post time. The most anticipated event on the stakes calendar is the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup, featuring the season’s three-year-old pacers to that point, Saturday, June 14. The evening will offer a special post time of 6:45 p.m. Watch the TwinSpires harness blog for complete coverage, beginning with eliminations on Belmont Stakes weekend.
There have been few disappointments in the pari-mutuel debuts of last year’s divisional heroes and heroines. As of this writing, Shake It Cerry, Western Vintage, Father Patrick, Shebestingin, Somwerovrarainbow, Maven and Market Share have all come back sharp and looking in fine fettle to take on the new season.
Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.
Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog
Cartoons by Thom Pye