• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Aug 24, 2014
    With all of the stakes action focused at Mohawk this weekend, we found some fair prices on some obvious contenders that won. Next Saturday’s Mohawk program will present the lucrative finals to the elim events of the past weekend as we see more racing than usual during the U.S. Labor Day holiday weekend.

    In the Casual Breeze splits on Aug. 22 at Mohawk we were in tune with everyone in one elim with Lifetime Pursuit ($2.90, $2.10, $2.10 ok) and off the board with My Inspiration at 7-1.

    Aug. 23’s winners were topped by Go Daddy Go ($6, $3.10, $2.50) who offered a generous win price as a second choice in one of two Metro Pace elim splits. We tried to beat the huge favorite, Artspeak, but could not.

    Sweet Lou ($2.30, $2.10 n/s) easily won his 10th-straight race in a Canadian Pacing Derby elim for all of us. In the second split, our choice scratched (see News and Notes below).

    Again, the best we could do in the She’s A Great Lady trio of elims was the obvious Jk Shesalady ($2.40, $2.10, $2.10 ok), with our other two choices at 8-1 and 61-1 quite out of the mixes.

    A fascinating note of cashing on our contenders appears in our horses-to-watch list (H2W). The highest paying winner of the week was at Yonkers; we were following Insane In Spain on Friday night. He went off at 23-1 and shared the win with a huge favorite in a dead heat. The win prices were obviously compromised by the dual victory and instead of paying $48 to win, Insane In Spain paid 9-2 to win and more to place. We did, of course, win both exactas (using the favorite, as we suggest with our H2W choices).

    We continue this year’s Breeders Crown Countdown blog in our weekly TwinSpires harness previews, linking to it for coverage of races through the rest of the season leading to the championship events in November. Don’t miss one episode and look for archived race reviews at the Hambletonian Society site.

    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 30 active horses on the H2W list.


    Insane In Spain, $11, $17.20 ok, $4.30 (Dead-Heat Exactas, $42.60, $8.40)
    Art For Arts Sake, $6.60, $3.60, $2.80, Pocono
    Rules Little Man, $4.40, $3.40, $2.80, Ocean


    Bridges Beauty, $14.80, $9, Hoosier
    Spirit Of Desire, $8, $3 (Exacta $29), Pocono
    Whitesville Ted, $5.80, $3.80, Ocean


    Hobsons Choice, $6, Scarborough
    Scorpius, $3.90, Batavia
    Upfront Billy Boy, $3.40, Meadows
    Red Star Fiona, $2.80, Batavia
    Wilfully Scootereva, $2.80, Maywood

    News & Notes

    Captaintreacherous was scratched from a Canadian Pacing Derby elimination, according to trainer Tony Alagna, due to sickness. “We ran a scope down him because he was off his feed and he had a lot of mucus,” said Alagna. “He is fighting off an infection and we just didn’t think it was in his best interest to race him if he’s not a hundred per cent.” Alagna said it’s disappointing to have to pull out of the race, as the pacer is undefeated is six starts at Mohawk, “but we don’t want to compromise the rest of the year or the horse if he isn’t a hundred per cent.”

    Three Ontario-owned three-year-old pacing colts have paid $35,000 supplements to race in the Cane Pace at Tioga Downs on Sept. 1. With them there are only eight colts entered so eliminations will not be required. We will analyze the $437,325 final along with other Labor Day weekend features in our Thursday blog.

    Another great pacer has passed away. Life Sign, the 1993 Little Brown Jug winner and Hall of Fame member, died in Australia, on Aug.14, at the age of 24. A son of the incomparable Abercrombie and world champion filly Three Diamonds, Life Sign raced only at a two and three, amassing $1.9 million from 18 wins, 10 seconds and five thirds in 35 starts. Besides his record-breaking “Jug” success, most memorable for the outside trip on the half-mile in Ohio, he won the three-year-old Breeders Crown, Art Rooney, Governor’s Cup and others. At the stud Life Sign left the winners of more than $113 million in stakes in North America, placing him among the top-10 money-winning sires at his gait. While in Australia his stock earned $12.4 million and in New Zealand they amassed almost $2 million.

    There is still no word if Father Patrick will race in the “Zweig” at Tioga on Labor Day weekend. The once-immaculate gait of Father Patrick was compromised when he broke at the beginning of the Hambletonian and galloped all the way around. Then he showed up for a Tompkins-Geers and finished second to Datsyuk, just another in the division that could not get to “Patrick” all season. The race was reported as having an “uneventful” start, though Patrick went wide for a spell to take the lead. But he has never been “short,” and struggled to dismiss a challenge late even with difficult starts. All of his is leaving questions about his health and immediate racing plans and unless the Jimmy Takter team releases some information about a problem or Patrick is not scratched from the Zweig, we can only suspect something is amiss.

    Our continuing look at drivers streaking on programs brings us this week to Aaron Byron, who races at Tioga Downs. On Aug. 22 he won five of his 10 drives and that 50-percent win rate for him translated into profits for those following him with win bets. Wagering solely on the fact that Aaron was driving, it cost a bettor $20 for the evening. Aaron’s winners returned $54.20, a profit of $34.20.

    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 cartoon, informative harness history and products, click here ~


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