• Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Sep 7, 2014
    The weekend began on Friday, Sept 6 with a lightning storm so intense that Mohawk cancelled its program. With it went the eliminations for the William Wellwood. Those two events were raced on Saturday as non-betting events. The “Wellwood” goes next week.

    Yes, the harness blog for TwinSpires is still at this location. Make a note that the TwinSpires harness blogs are moving to a new address—the official TwinSpires website; we missed our Sept. 4 deadline, as technical glitches are being worked out. Soon the move will been established. We will guide you to the page from this residence and our personal pages on Twitter and Facebook.

    The Breeders Crown Countdown blog will stay at its current location and we will be linking to it for coverage of races connected to “Crown” eligibles leading to the championship events in November. Don’t miss one episode and look for archived race reviews at the Hambletonian Society site.

    This week’s “Countdown” races were at Mohawk for frosh and soph, colt and filly pacers. We had one winner there with The Show Returns ($4.90, $3.30, $2.40), a second with Winds Of Change ($5.80, $3.60; Exacta $14.50), and a third with Shes A Hot Mess ($2.80).

    It was a big sires stakes finals weekend and our best results came from Northfield, which we displayed as part of the horses-to-watch list (H2W). Of the eight Ohio Sires Stakes finals we nailed four, including, from high price to low (see below for exact pay outs), Honey B, Lofty Chip, Friskie Til Dawn and Crown Time Keeper.

    We only had a single winner at Hoosier Park’s state-bred parade of finals, with Always B Miki ($2.40, $2.10, $2.10 ok). We were second with Andi’s Alana ($2.20, $2.10) and third with Golden Big Stick ($3.20).

    We were off the board with the Pocono state-breds on Saturday. On Sunday at Philadelphia we had Father Patrick ($2.40, $2.10, n/s) and second with Limelight Beach ($2.80 n/s Exacta $8.60).

    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 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 49 active horses on the H2W list.


    Honey B, $53.40, $16.20, $7.80, Northfield
    Lofty Chip, $15.60, $6.80, $3.80, Northfield
    Friskie Til Dawn, $12. $4.80, $2.80, Northfield
    Tempster Hanover, $9.40, $5, $4, Scioto
    Lawgiver Hanover, $5.50, $2.20, $2.70 ok, Yonkers
    Winmando, $5, $2.40, $2.20, Ocean
    Whowhohoosier, $4.80, $4.20, $3.40, Scioto
    Crafty Time Keeper, $4.40, $2.20, $2.10, Northfield
    Jetting Around, $2.80, $2.20, $2.10, Maywood


    Emilene’s Future, $6.80, Northfield
    Pro Deuce, $6.40, $4.60, Scioto
    Impersonal, $5, $3.80 (Exacta $13.80), Maywood
    Gallie Bythe Beach, $4.60, $3.20 (Exacta $16.40), Philadelphia
    Delightful Dot, $4, $3.40 (Exacta $21.40), Maywood
    Painting The Town, $2.80, $2.80 ok, Plainridge
    Student Of Life, $2.80, n/s, Northfield
    Peter Pumpkineater, $2.70, $2.20 (Exacta $12.20), Batavia


    Ten Yard Penalty, $6, Tioga
    Donald Himself, $5.20, Maywood
    Money Paige, $4.40, Ocean
    Incredible Dragon, $4.20, Meadows
    Mr Thomson, $3.80, Freehold
    Fancy Pants Sandy, $3.20, Freehold
    Big Jer, $2.90, Yonkers
    Canbec Jewell Charlie, $2.50, Vernon
    Dellou, $2.20, Northfield
    Can’tcutthatchip, n/s, Scioto

    News & Notes

    Scioto Downs is still one outpost for our exclusive H2W but the track’s seventh decade in 2010 was a grim shadow of the once lucrative Ohio track. GM of racing Stacy Cahill had said there may be no choice but to close. But by June, 2012 after a racetrack-casino law was passed, Scioto became Ohio’s first “racino.” Cahill said the change met its promise and horsemen are happy. After dropping to $2.39 million in total purses in 2010, Scioto offered $9.89 million in purses during 2014 which more than doubled the $4.73 million at the track in 2012. Before this past weekend’s program, Scioto offered total purses of $11.71 million through 78 programs.

    Midwest champion trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. said Scioto is the best it has been. He has stayed, along with other popular horsemen, including Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., Josh Sutton and Aaron Merriman. “The money is unbelievable,” Merriman told the Cleveland Plain Dealer “[Many horsemen] ot racing for [good] money for so long, everybody wants it so bad now. And the horses are so much better.” There are purses and full fields, many with 10 horses. Scioto horses will continue to be monitored and will stay on the H2W list because the racing is great and TwinSpires bettors deserve the best competition possible when playing.

    When Yonkers Raceway hosts the 25th edition of the New York Night of Champions on Sept. 13, with $1.8 million in purses (eight sire stakes finals for two- and three-year-olds at $225,000 each, the track will offer a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool. The 50-cent wager includes races 5 through 9. As per existing Pick 5 rules, should no one select all five winners, the entire pool (minus takeout) would carry over to the Sept. 15 card.

    The next big thing in harness for the season is the Little Brown Jug and the TwinSpires harness social network will be in session all week, from Sept. 14 through “Jug” day, Sept. 18. Look for suggested contenders for many of the great stakes events the Delaware, Ohio meet offers. The track publicity department ranks Mcwicked as the number-one contender, followed by He’s Watching, Somewhere in LA, Sometimes Said, Lyonssomewhere, Limelight Beach, At Press Time, Cammikey, On Golden Ponder and Beat The Drum. Seven of those are Ontario-trained colts. We are keeping a close eye on Limelight Beach’s preps before the Ohio heats. With a new home in the Ron Burke barn and Burke feeling this one is his shot for a Jug, the price may be right, especially against the popular Mcwicked, who doesn’t always live up to his one-dimensional penchant for speed.

    Continuing our scan on drivers with streaks, we make note that Dave Palone’s seven-win program at the Meadows on Sept. 4 tossed a profit of $10. However, one horse made that possible, an $11.20 winner in Race 6. The next highest price paid by a Palone winner was $7 and the lowest was $2.20. As well, some of his losers in the other seven races in which he participated were big favorites. Palone continues to be a great driver, of course, but he is not a flat-bet profit regardless of his humungous number of career wins.

    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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