• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Jun 15, 2014
    A solid weekend, though a few got away from us, while some low-priced overlays dominated and a million-dollar race went to our number-two, who was out number-one overlay.

    We start at the Meadowlands on Friday, June 13, where Captaintreacherous returned to the track in his debut as a four-year-old and won against similar in the $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity. Everything we wrote about the debut in our June 12 blog was dead-on and Captaintreacherous ($3.80, $2.80, $2.10) delivered a mile looking much like he has his best sophomore form, along with a very good price; rarely does odds-on look as plentiful as this pacer makes it.

    Saturday, our Hambletonian Trail blog presented one of three winners in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes divisions for soph-colt pacers. That winner was, of course, Father Patrick ($2.10, $2.10, $2.10). In another division, though, our choice Don Dorado was second ($2.60, $2.20) to the obvious favorite Nuncio. The exacta came back $5.40. “Don” was a remarkable 11-1, the pool prices eaten by the huge support for Nuncio. But Don, who we predict as one of the division’s blooming stars this season, looked terrific and deserves attention, even against Jimmy Takter’s trotting terror team, with colts and fillies dominating divisions so far this season. Our other choice in a split, DD’s Hitman (3-1), broke and was eliminated midway through the mile.

    Another Takter trotting terror, Trixton, was part of the triactor the Hambletonian Trail blog forecast for Mohawk on North America Cup (NAC) night. In the Goodtimes Final, Trixton won ($2.20, $2.10 n/s), with Il Signo Dream ($8.10, n/s, Exacta $10.20) and Harper Blue Chip was third to complete the very generous $39.50 triactor.

    Sunday at Tioga, the Hambletonian Trail covered New York Sires Stakes for soph-filly trotters, losing one and getting a good second with Beauty Of Grey ($8.50, $4.20).

    We share the successes of soph-trot endeavors here with our weekly update. The Hambletonian Trail comes to you in cooperation with TwinSpires and the Hambletonian Society. You can read the recap race stories and data on the history of the August classics at the society’s archives.

    Mohawk served the remainder of the weekend stakes on NAC night. We supported Uffizi Hanover for the third time since we had her when she paid the top price (4-1) in her two-year-old Breeders Crown division final last season. We chose her to win her Fan Hanover elim last week, which she did at 6-1. This week she took the final, paying $5.30, $3, $2.70.

    Fifth place seemed to be the most comfortable finishing spot for our other top picks but in the main event, the NAC, our second choice turned into the strongest overlay and he won as we thought he could in our June 13 blog analysis. The crowd, their enthusiasm going to buzz horses, local Canadian heroes and last week’s deceivingly fast elim winners, overlooked JK Endofanera. “JK” was sent off at 12-1. Our first choice was Lyonssomewhere, whose 3-1 odds surprised us. He was all out to start, something we did not predict when we assessed the speed brigade in the field, and he was forced to take the lead in a blistering 25-and-change move. The rest of the race went as predicted, with other speedsters battling to a 1:20-and-change three-quarters. This, as we wrote, opened it for JK, who paced rapidly past the tired ones to win. He paid $26.30, $9.20, $5.90. Our disappointment in Lyonssomewhere (fifth) does not disqualify him from a good season, as the lightly raced colt—another Takter trainee, though a pacer—gets rolling in upcoming stakes. Takter is still very high on this sharp son of Somebeachsomewhere.

    Last week’s 54-1 win with D’orsay for us turned into a 10-1 loss in the Ambro Flight Final, as he finished fifth behind a wall of horses to the public’s second choice.

    In the Roses Are Red Final, we were fifth with Summertime Lea, who we challenged with our second choice, the obvious favorite Anndrovette ($4.60, $2.80, $2.40).

    The Gold Cup also found us fifth in the end with Sunshine Beach (3-1) and this time, while we tried to beat the favorite Foiled Again, that one wound up second ($5.20, $3.20) to an 80-1 shot, rumbling the tote board.

    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 this past week offered a scant number of the horses on the list because few of the total horses we are watching were entered (none entered at Plainridge, Scioto, Northfield). Plus, Rosecroft Raceway closed and handed Maryland harness to the summer breezes of Ocean Downs in Ocean City’s resort playground. We will add Ocean Downs to the mix in the June 19 blog. Still, in the season’s 23 weeks so far, the H2W list has provided many winners and healthy prices in place and show, with 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).


    Youwillwishyouhad, $5, $3, $2.40, Vernon
    Drop The Ball, $3.40, $2.40, $2.10, Pocono


    Top Gear. $9.20, $6.40, Pocono
    Giant Sculpture, $4.60, $3.20 (Exacta $37.40), Pocono
    Jam And Jelly, $4, $3.80, Tioga


    Whitemountainpower, $3, Vernon
    Mcattee, $2.70, Saratoga

    News And Notes

    A few months ago a North America Cup hopeful was Arthur Blue Chip. You may have cashed on his largest paying win when we supported him at two in a Metro Pace elim. But his soph season is in trouble because now he is on the sidelines indefinitely. Trainer Dr. Ian Moore declines to elaborate on exactly what kind of leg injury is keeping “Art” from coming back to the track but he confirmed that the horse is still recuperating, saying he remains “optimistic about the prospects to get back racing … Nothing has changed with his situation and won't change for at least another six weeks. It will be August before any decisions will be made on his progress.”

    Goalie Jeff, 1989 North America Cup-winner, has died. Trained by Tom Artandi, the colt was the top three-year-old pacing colt and a winner of $2 million. The son of Cam Fella died at Finish Line Farms in Illinois. He was 28. Goalie Jeff was an outstanding racehorse, also winning the Little Brown Jug and Breeders Crown during his hot soph season. He also sired some classy horses.

    The Ontario Racing Commission has suspended Jody Jamieson, a top harness racing driver, for a period of 15 days, due to a positive for cocaine. Jamieson was slated to drive Hes Watching in the $ North America Cup but was replaced by trainer David Menary with Tim Tetrick. Jamieson last drove on June 7. The 38-year-old Jamieson admitted to the offense. In a statement he said, “I made an uncharacteristic, irrational and serious error in judgment on a Saturday night after the races, off the [Mohawk] premesis.” Jody said he is visiting a substance abuse professional and is “willing to take part in any and all random drug test on a go-forward basis that the [commission] seems necessary.” He promised to “earn back” the industry’s respect and trust.

    The connections of top-ranked trotter Sebastian K will come back to the races on June 20 at the Meadowlands in another FFA trot. “He’s not going to mind,” said Bernie Noren, assistant trainer for Ake Svanstadt. “He’s feeling good, he’s training good and everything is just fine.” Sebastian K easily won the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial elim in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1 and captured the final in a stakes-record 1:50.2. Those two starts were the beginning of Sebastian K’s North American racing career. The eight-year-old trotter was Sweden’s Horse of the Year in 2012 and has won 28 of 65 lifetime starts and earned $2.39 million.

    The horrendous performance of Precocious Beauty in a Fan Hanover elim last week, which cost her a berth in the final, according to trainer Gregg McNair, was because “she tied up bad. She’s a tie-up horse and we train her like one. She gets turned out every day. She got turned out that Saturday morning and it didn’t help.” McNair said the filly was all right according to a few times she was checked out before the elim. She is scheduled to be in a sires stakes at Vernon on June 28.

    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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