• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Jul 27, 2014
    The Hambletonian Trail reaches its destination next weekend, with the Cotolos on hand, live on site at the “new” Meadowlands. Our Thursday blog at TwinSpires and at the Hambletonian Trail page will cover all of the action on the strong stakes program for Saturday, Aug. 2. Remember you can read the archives of the “Trail” races for the colts and the fillies and enjoy other related features at the Hambletonian Society site.

    There were no Hambletonian Oaks elims, just a prep that took place Saturday, July 26 at the Meadowlands and once again our choice won and delivered a fair price as the public dismissed her again (as the did in the Del Miller Memorial) for Designed To Be. Shake It Cerry ($6.80, $2.60, $2.60) won over the favorite for a $13.80 exacta.

    Friday, July 25, we nailed the Peter Haughton Memorial elim with Centurion ATM ($8.40, $2.40, ns) with a $10.40 exacta. We were second in one Merrie Annabelle elim with Jolene Jolene ($11.60, $7) with a $25 exacta.

    Back to Saturday, the “Cashman” elims found everyone on our side again, as Sebastian K ($2.20, $2.10, ns) won his split (we were fourth in the first elim).

    It was Adios weekend at the Meadows and we were online live offering tweets during the stakes portion of the program and redirecting viewers to the blog analysis for the major Adios events. The Adios Final went to the dead-on favorite McWicked, with one of the three contenders we suggested could upset, Somewhere In LA ($4.40, $3.60) getting second for a $9.60 exacta. In the Adioo Volo, our choice Marathon Day ($6.60) was third. We failed to hit the board in the consolation. Our tweets for the Arden Downs resulted in only one second, Chaxiraxi Hanover ($3.40, $2.60), with an exacta worth $13.60. Those races were very chalky.

    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.


    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).


    O’Sundland, $7.40, $4.60, $3.20 (Exacta $22), Hoosier
    Request For Parole, $4.80, $3, $2.30, Mohawk


    Malak Uswaad N, $3.40, $2.40, Harrington
    Bunkerhill Bill, $3, $2.80, Running Aces
    Nefertiti Bluechip, $2.80, $2.50, Mohawk


    Oaklea Winfrey, $6, Georgian
    Amigo Ranger, $5.20, Saratoga

    News And Notes

    Qualifiers at the Meadowlands on July 26 began with Hambletonian favorite Father Patrick, his mile the only prep before next week’s Hambletonian. His performance was as sterling as expected, with driver Yannick Gingras steering him around the two turns in 1:52.

    The return of 2013’s champion three-year-old filly pacer, I Luv The Nitelife, was another feature of the Saturday qualifiers, winning after being nursed back from injury by trainer Chris Ryder with a smooth 1:53.2 mile.

    A pair of Meadowlands Pace finalists also sparred and Lyonssomewhere got the best of JK Endofanera in a 1:51.1 mile. Trainer Jimmy Takter put the speedy colt on the lead and stayed there to rebuff JK Endofanera’s closing move.

    The last of the season’s frosh divisions made up the rest of the events. Among the notables were Trond Smedshammer’s Yankee Glide colt Finish Line in 1:58.1 and his Andover Hall filly Chezando in 2:00.4. Jimmy Takter’s French Laundry, a Muscles Yankee colt, won in 2:00.1, holding off the impressive closing rush of the $175,000 Cantab Hall colt Colbert, making his very first start for Ake Svanstedt.

    Pacers featured ASAP Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere, winning for the third time in morning trials, this one in 1:52.4. Linda Toscano trains the colt. Trainer Tony Alagna had a good day beginning with a pair of his pacing fillies that went to the wire together. They were Martinique and Cashaway in 1:54.1. New Jersey Sires Stakes champion Artspeak won in 1:53.2 for Alagna and A Plus completed an Alagna hat trick by winning in 1:54.1. She’s an American Ideal filly. Ed Hart’s Cam’s Card Shark colt Dealt A Winner won over Alegna’s Rock On The Hill in 1:54.2.

    Last year’s Hambletonian champ, Royalty For Life, has been retired. While the four-year-old was getting ready to race in the “Cashman” he suffered a serious suspensory injury. Trainer George Duchame conferred with the owners and the decision was made that he should probably not race again. Since taking the Hambo crown, “Royalty” has had some problem or another.

    He missed the Breeders Crown Final last year with a health issue, took his hiatus, turned four and came back in the Hambletonian Maturity a few weeks back, racing poorly during traffic in the crowded field. That excuse being noted, he came back to finish third in an overnight and was going into the Cashman looking for his first win of the season against some of the toughest competition he had yet to face in his short career.

    With the passing of founder Bill Perretti this year, the future of one of harness racing’s most successful breeding farms is uncertain, according to USTA’s Ken Weingartner. Most of the farm’s mares and yearlings have been sold and 29-year-old Matt’s Scooter died in June. However, all farm properties are being maintained with the high standards set by Mr. Perretti and visitors are welcomed and expected during Hambletonian week to the Cream Ridge, N.J. spread.

    You can stroll the grounds visit the stalls of Rocknroll Hanover, Muscles Yankee, Matt’s Scooter, Windsong’s Legacy and others. You may take a guided tour, get an update on our active stallions Lucky Chucky and Muscles Yankee, enjoy a snack and view a collection of Hambletonian and stakes race memorabilia recording the legacy of Perretti Farms. Visitors can take home a Perretti Farms hat as a memento of their visit. Visitors are welcome from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, Thursday, July 31 and Friday, Aug. 1. Please contact the farm to arrange a visit. You can call 609-259-7555 or email nicolaa@perretti.com.

    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 ~ For more Thom Pye cartoons and products, click here


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