Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes
We made a call that we did not feel was bold when we added to the fact that Sweet Lou would win the Dan Patch he would also put together Hoosier’s quickest mile in its harness racing history. There was a lot of hype about Dancin Yankee, a foe in the Dan Patch and the only horse this year to defeat “Lou,” but we dismissed it.
Sweet Lou ($2.40, $2.20, $2.10) became the fastest horse in the history of Hoosier Park when he won the $258,000 Dan Patch Invitational in 1:47.2. To our dismay, Heston Blue Chip (33-1) put in a giant mile first over but could not sustain the place position, quashing our hopes for a strong exacta price.
“I really didn’t think we were going that much,” Pierce said after the record mile. “I saw the splits and I was amazed.” He voiced some concern for second-place Bettor’s Edge. “He just kept coming and coming and coming and coming. This is a very long stretch but my horse raced great again.”
Bettor’s Edge has, however, been second to Lou a number of times this season and always appears to be coming and coming and coming but never gets there, so Pierce may have been overly concerned.
That night in frosh Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) finals, we delivered one winner in four events, Airman Batten ($2.80, $2.20, $2.20 ok). In another INSS final we were second with Feetonthedashboard ($4, $3).
At the Meadows on Friday we scored with the first of two Currier & Ives splits for soph-colt trotters. The winner was Wheelsandthelegman ($4.60, $2.20, $2.20 ok). In the second split we had the two trifecta participants, Skates N Plates ($3.20 n/s) and Southwind Sprit (n/s). With the favorite, Il Sogno Dream, on top, the trifecta paid $10.60, the exacta paid $5.40.
The first Gold Cup & Saucer trial found us second, as Bigtown Hero ($2.10, $2.10 ok) raced strongly against the favorite (Exacta $8.10). The second trial is Aug. 11, after press time, and we are looking for Mach Wheel to win it.
Saturday night at Hoosier we had one winner in the INSS finals for sophomores. It was no surprise to anyone that Always B Miki ($2.20, $2.10, $2.10 ok) won the colt pace. Our other three INSS final selections were off the board.
Sunday at Tioga, Hes Watching defeated our choice Jk Endofanera again in the Empire Breeders Championship. We were second ($2.90 n/s) and the exacta paid $4.90. We had a soft choice in the filly split (5-2), finishing fourth.
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). This week, there were 20 on the H2W list.
Ok Amelia, $12.80, $4.40, $4, Ocean
Whipmeintoshape, $3.70, $5.30 ok, Batavia
Tellitlikeitis, $2.10, Philadelphia
News And Notes
Rosecroft Raceway’s 27-date meet starts Saturday, Sept. 13 with live racing every Tuesday through Saturday through Dec.13. A purse increase of approximately 5 percent will be part of the fall purse structure, bringing the overnight purses to an average of approximately $65,000 per race date. Rosecroft will continue to provide additional incentives for Maryland racing participants including entry preferences and a 15-percent purse earnings bonus for “Maryland Preferred” horses and horsemen. “The racing program at Rosecroft continues to improve and Maryland horsemen and horses are the biggest beneficiary with over eighty percent of the starters and purse earnings going to Maryland owners, trainers or horses bred, sired or foaled in the state,” said Chris McErlean, VP of Racing for Penn National Gaming, parent company of Rosecroft.
As a precursor to the return of Yonkers Raceway’s International Trot next season, the Raceway is planning to host an Invitational Trot this fall, according to track publicist Frank Drucker. The date is Saturday, Oct. 25, the evening featuring the finals of the Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes (along with their companion filly events). “The purse would be commensurate with the quality of the field,” Drucker said. “We are gauging the interest of bringing the best trotters on the continent here,” COO Bob Galterio said. “We feel the date is perfect, a few weeks after Lexington and a few weeks before the Breeders Crown.” Yonkers will be getting in touch with the connections of elite trotters in the United States and Canada. As for the International, first held at Roosevelt in 1959 and last contested at Yonkers in 1995, there is no date set for its presentation in 2015.
Trainer Bob McIntosh’s Go Daddy Go won Grand River Raceway’s premier event, the $217,140 Battle of Waterloo, on Aug. 4. John Campbell, fresh off finishing second in the Hambletonian with Nuncio, drove the pacer. McIntosh hired Campbell to return to southern Ontario, where both the horsemen got their starts in the business, and Campbell averred, winning the final at a juicy 7-1.
Sectionline Yankee, twice a winner in overnights for our H2W list this season, became much faster on Aug. 8. The five-year-old mare equaled the track record of 1:50.4 for older pacing mares in a $15,000 conditioned event at Scioto Downs. You may have noticed that some higher class horses are being added to the H2W list. These are pacers and trotters that have stepped down into conditioned and Open events for lack of more stakes races available to them. Keep an eye out for some names that have been popular in the stakes coverage of divisions this season as they hit the H2W list. Horses we have chosen to win bigger events but lost have gone on to win less classy affairs, including Monkey On My Wheel, Let’s Drink On It, The Lunch Pail, Stevensville and Rossini, to name a few.
Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.
Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog
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