Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes
In the 22 weeks since the start of this season, between our feature picks and our horses-to-watch list (H2W), we have supported eight horses paying $40 and up, including D’orsay. This is just another reason we urge you to spread the word that the exclusive harness blog for bettors on the Internet is right here at TwinSpires.
As well as this blog, during the months of May through the first week in August, we are active discussing contenders in the weekend’s high-profile features for soph trotters, colts and fillies, on our Hambletonian Trail blog. We share the successes of those 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.
And now back to the big betting show from this past weekend.
We were sixth in the second Armbro Flight elim, as Ma Chere Hall (20-1) broke and was eliminated.
In the Fan Hanover elims we nailed the winner of the first of two, that being Uffizi Hanover ($14.50, $5.70, $2.50). In the second split, we were fifth with 39-1 Bahama Blue. However, those of you following Ray Cotolo @HarnessRaycer on Twitter were treated to the winner of the second elim, Table Talk ($77.80, $20.10, $10.40). Ray, of course, contributes to these blogs.
In the North America Cup elims, we had a presence and were correct about defeating Hes Watching, though in that split we had the show horse, Luck Be Withyou ($3.20). We faired better in elim two with Sometimes Said ($10.10, $5.50). Western Vintage, our choice in the first elim, finished fourth.
We won the better paying of the two Roses Are Red elims with Yagonnakissmeornot ($16.40, $4.50, $3.30). We were sixth in the first elim with Drop The Ball (6-1).
At Scioto Downs, in the Charlie Hill Memorial, we won but expected a far better return when we handicapped the event. Modern Family ($5.80, $4.20, $3.40) performed exactly as we predicted, going wire to wire strongly, but he was the second choice to Market Share.
In the three-year-old Indiana Sires Stakes at Hoosier on June 7 we were present with two seconds, both contributing to exactas due to being beat by dead-on favorites. Sling Shot Shooter ($5.20, $4.20) teamed for a $18.20 exacta in the colt-pacing final and Aleays Wearable ($6.80, $4.40) was the favorite’s partner in the filly-pacing final for an exacta worth $30.60.
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 the soph-trotting ranks, from out Hambo blog, we scored with the two obvious filly winners at the Meadows on June 4 with Shake It Cerry ($2.20, $2.10, n.s.) and Broadway Socks ($3.40, $2.20, $2.10). Our other finished second to the favorite—Passing Jetta ($2.80, $2.40) completed the $6.80 exacta.
In the Goodtimes elims at Mohawk on June 6, we were second to the predicted public choice with Il Sogno Dream ($5.80, $5.90 ok) with the exacta worth $19.60. We won the second in a cold $7.80 exacta with Trixton ($2.10, $2.10, $2.10) and Harper Blue Chip ($3.20, $2.30).
On June 8 at Vernon, we won the filly Empires Breeders Classic with Crediama ($6.90, $3.70, $2.50) and were third in the colt final with Hallanet ($6).
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).
Jacks Reef, $27.40, $7.70, $4.50, Saratoga
B Lo Zero, $10, $6.80, $4.90, Tioga
Time Stood Still, $5.90, $2.60, $2.30, Tioga
Comicbook Hero, $5.60, $3.20, $2.40, Meadows
Scarab Begonia, $2.80, $2.60, $2.20, Plainridge
Dragon Ridge, $8.90, $4.20, Saratoga
Shoot First, $6, $3.80, Scarborough
Giant Sculpture, $5.80, $4.60, Pocono
Summer Deo, $7.60, Scioto
Bessie, $4.60, Meadows
Oozies Bad Boy, $3.40, Vernon
PH Supercam, $2.60, Pocono
News And Notes
A note about our big upset winner, D’orsay …We have been very critical about Bee A Magician’s sophomore season, based on the fact that she raced only against the same fillies in her division, completing 2013 with no losses and being overwhelmingly voted Horse of the Year by industry journalists. We were not among her supporters for the top honor. Returning at four, Bee A Magician has yet to win in a few starts and for obvious reasons, one of which led us to D’orsay in the big hit. Bee A Magician is now a four-year-old and she has to compete with a division of aged mares that includes a large number of femmes older than four, such as D’orsay. These older gals bring more experience to the track and they are clearly the fresh, tough competitors Bee A Magician has never faced. We will be weighing that reality in future stakes for older trotting mares, though we don’t guarantee winners that reach the reward paid by D’orsay. Stay tuned.
The first baby races of the 2014 season were presented on Saturday morning. Along with the youngsters, Captaintreacherous prepped for his four-year-old debut in next Friday’s Meadowlands Maturity pace. In the day’s final race, the champ set all the fractions then drew well clear late in 1:50.1.
Trotting fillies opened the card and the prodigious Jimmy Takter freshman force picked right up where they left off last week, winning. The Donato Hanover daughter of Hambletonian Oaks-winner Southwind Allaire, named Sarcy, impressed with a powerful 1:58.3 win. Wild Honey cut the mile and won effortlessly for Takter in 1:59.4 / 28.2. Canepa Hanover is the Muscle Hill half brother to Glidemaster and he brushed to the front from third then opened a long lead before finishing in 2:01. He’s big, fast and pretty as well as being trained in the Takter barn. The Broadway Hall colt The Bakers Choice, in 2:01.2, won the fourth race. John Berger trains him. Takter returned to victory in the fifth with the Andover Hall filly Lilu Hanover. She sat in and split horses late to score in 2:02.3.
Pacers opened in the sixth and Western Pioneer popped from the pocket and streaked home to win for trainer Nancy Johansson. Divine Caroline impressed the crowd with her recovery from a final turn break and won easily in 1:56.4. She is from the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven and is trained by Joe Holloway, who spun right back with a nice Bettors Delight filly who won in 1:57.2.
Takter pacers finished one-two in the final baby race with Bet You edging Franzo (Rockin Image) in 1:56.2. This one is a son of Bettors Delight from the stakes-winning Armbro Amoretto. The later qualifiers featured some stakes stars with two freshman world-champion trotting fillies hooking up in the 11th race as sophomores and Designed To Be out-kicked Cooler Schooner to the wire in 1:53.1. Older trotter Waiting On A Woman scorched the track in 1:53 for new connections, now residing in the Ron Burke barn.
Returning stars Mister Herbie, Sunshine Beach and Somethinincredible were open-length winners in their respective qualifying races over the weekend at Mohawk. There were 23 lengths between Sunshine Beach and the place finisher in the fifth and final qualifier of the morning. The four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere tripped the timer in 1:51.3.
Mister Herbie, who has earned in excess of $1.7 million in his career, also won easily, in 1:55.3; it was a 15 length romp for trainer Jeff Gillis. “Herbie” is now a six-year-old and this was his first appearance of any kind on the track since November of last year at the Meadowlands Somethinincredible, a winner of $212,000 in her debut season, made her first three-year-old appearance, winning by 11 lengths in 1:53.4. It was her first start since the Three Diamonds final in November.
After recovering from knee surgery and making it back into training, three-year-old sensation, pacer I Luv The Nitelife, has faced a second setback in her return to the races. Richard Young, who co-owns the pacing filly along with Joanne Young, told Trot Insider that the four-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare suffered a spell of atrial fibrillation in training last week. “They made a few attempts to get her to convert back and it was successful. She should be fine,” said Young. “She will rest this week and go back in training next week.” Young said that the knee issue that originally had her sidelined is properly healed. Initially, the Youngs had hoped to have I Luv The Nitelife back for major stakes events in July. Those plans have been set aside.
I Luv The Nitelife was one of 2013’s Four Horses of the Apocalypse, as we coined the quartet that included her, Captaintreacherous, Father Patrick and Bee A Magician. These were two fillies (one on the pace and one on the trot) and two colts (one on the pace and one on the trot) which dominated those divisions.
Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.
Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog
Cartoons by Thom Pye