• Bring On The Divisions—2014 Stakes Season Starts

    POSTED Apr 30, 2014
    Sires stakes, Grand Circuit stakes and the Hambletonian Trail races share the limelight from this weekend to the end of the year. As the entire population focuses on Churchill Downs on May 3, potential stars take aim at making noise and money in harness racing stakes. It’s just the beginning on the first weekend in May.

    There may be little reason to leave your Internet connection on Saturday, since you can follow all of Churchill Downs’ exciting Kentucky Derby program on line and go directly into night time action with a bevy of harness tracks to browse for prospective betting events, many that are listed below.

    During the week, we continue with harness action –

    TwinSpires and Hoosier now have three power-packed programs 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 horses-to-watch (H2W) list.

    The H2W, on our exclusive list for TwinSpires harness blog, is rich with probable profits from overnights across North America as the 2014 stakes season gets underway. Use these suggested contenders that are proving productive across-the-board wagers and serve as profitable members of exotics.

    Glamour-Boy Battle

    Grand Circuit stakes series named after historic horseman John Simpson begin for 2014 at the Meadowlands on Saturday, May 3 with a $47,253 event for soph-colt pacers. This is the first outing for the glamour-boy division that will dominate so many headlines as the season ensues. Ten colts, two of them in a PJ Fraley entry, go to the gate.

    All but one has already made a seasonal debut—Somewhere Fancy won two of six at two for Linda Toscano—and three have already won as sophomores. Last year’s Governor’s Cup winner, JK Endofanera, Ron Burke’s addition, comes off of two winning qualifiers. He was never worse than second at two. Joe Holloway’s Stratos Hanover is two for four already and can be forgiven for his loss in last week’s “Reynolds” for a tough trip.

    Considering the obvious name power behind those, we hope for the crowd to overlook Jet Airway, one of the colts returning at three in his first effort. He was coming around during the Red Mile meet after some success in Canada and has qualified well to take on his soph campaign.

    PA Fillies Fight

    The Meadows opens for a Saturday on Kentucky Derby Day and offers Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) action. Three divisions of soph-filly pacers from stallions in the Keystone State are featured in the first round of lucrative miles offered by the PASS program.

    In round one, worth $69,982, our Courageous Lady pick, That Woman Hanover, should dominate, though we don’t expect the 7-1 offered to us when she raced second last week in the feature at Northfield. It’ll be your judgment for value but we cannot look beyond her in the first of the PASS miles.

    The round-two ($70,382) choice will most definitely be the Dave Palone-driven Weeper. We will dismiss the obvious there for a price with Upfront Badgirl. Improvement is the key with her, along with the crowd’s refusal to support anything but what everyone can see on paper. Look for a price well worth the bet.

    The nightcap may appear to be a tight fit for all but Brian Brown’s Sister Stroll may have an edge. With only one start and one third she has earned over $13,000 and should improve upon her mark, a qualifying time slower than the rest here but moot in the scheme of things. An aggressive drive is almost guaranteed with Aaron Merriman, along with a price worth the backing.

    ‘Trail’ Mix

    Also beginning this weekend is the Hambletonian Trail, the journey of three-year-old colt and filly trotters to the first weekend in August for the Hambletonian and its “Oaks.” It’s another traditional start at Freehold, with the fillies first, going in two divisions of the Lady Suffolk on Friday, May 2. Both short fields are worth $33,075.

    In split one, none of the five gals are eligible for the Oaks. Bella’s Spunkin comes into the stake with two wins in three starts, while the others are nowhere near as savvy so far. Suegrabbitnrun, from the productive Schnittker barn, is showing promise and if she improves she could win here as a second or third choice.

    The first three from the inside out are Oaks-eligible in the second division’s quintet. Mistresswithmuscle, Cee Bee Yes and Glams K look to begin the Trail with success. The latter is the most experienced so far; all the others are new to the season. Cee Bee Yes comes from the Julie Miller barn and even with husband Andy on the mend and just about guaranteed to miss returning to the bike by August, the Millers are gunning for both crowns. “Yes” could be more than ready to start the Trail with a win, though a mutuel price is up for grabs.

    Saturday's Dexter Cup is analyzed in our spin-off blog, The Hambletonian Trail.

    H2W Legend

    Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last time) because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “AE” signals the horse is entered but on the also-eligible list. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.

    H2W

    Bangor
    5/3/14, +Adrians Girl R4

    Buffalo
    5/2/14, +Pembroke Crankcall R12
    5/3/14, Terlinqua R6; +Western Alumni R8

    Cal Expo
    5/2/14, Bank Of Lodi R5; Twentyone Guns R10
    5/3/14, A Real Miracle R2; +Its Getting Hairy R3; KD Nicol R4; Grandpa Stevie R8

    Freehold
    5/2/14, Mcnickles Mcdimes R4; Gimmesomeroom R10; Pownal Bay Magic R11
    5/3/14, Tagmaster R3

    Hazel
    5/2/14, Babys Chump Change R1; Neuff Butter R7; Pretty Blue Eyes R11

    Hoosier
    5/1/14, Royal Heart R2
    5/2/14, Bonos Lassie R6
    5/3/14, +Bazinga R1

    Meadowlands
    4/25/14, +Scandalous Hanover R2; +Wheels R10

    Meadows
    5/2/14, Tsm Picassa R1; +Bergerac R9; Strother R15
    5/3/14, Chip Chip Mac—AE—R3, R5

    Miami Valley
    5/2/14, Summer Deo R2
    5/3/14, Gentleman Friend R7

    Plainridge
    5/3/14, +Our Priority R6; Famous Image R6
    5/4/14, Fantastic R2; Famous Image R6;

    Pocono
    5/3/14, +Word Power R11

    Pompano
    5/3/14, +Goldstar Raider R7

    Rosecroft
    5/3/14, Madiba R12

    Saratoga
    5/3/14, Celestial Dreams R2; Dingle Bay R4; Most Fun Yet R6; Recent News R7; D Terminata R8; Muscle Beachboy R8

    Scarborough
    5/3/14, Flash’s Camilla R2; + Coral Snake R6; +Cyclone Artist R7; +Fritzie Rocket R10

    Tioga
    5/3/14, +Stettin Hanover R2

    Vernon
    5/1/14, Maxnificent R1; Quickway R4
    5/3/14, +Team Edward R6; +The Green Knight R7

    Yonkers
    5/1/14, Rocky Regal R3
    5/2/14, Noble Warrawee R2; Stormont Lancelot R7; +Seagram R11


    Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.      
  • 2014 Kentucky Derby Analysis

    POSTED

    Name Comments
    California Chrome Pros: Top last-race BSF (4-25, +68% ROI since '92). Best overall LSRs. Won last race by 5+ lengths.
    6-1 fair odds Cons: Typically doesn't gain ground on the turn; needs clean trip. Sire (Lucky Pulpit) has 6.40 AWD.
    Vicar's In Trouble Pros: Big move on the turn in the Risen Star. 
    30-1 fair odds Cons: Weak final prep (2.5 Key Race Rating), big speed figure improvement last time makes him a bounce candidate, 5.00 Dosage Index and trainer Mike Maker has 0.36 IV in the Kentucky Derby.
    Dance With Fate Pros: Solid juvenile base and good three-year-old form.
    30-1 fair odds Cons: Sprint sire (6.33 AWD) and he lost position/ground from the first- to second-call last time (29-0-2-0 since 1992). Runs like a turf/AWS specialist.
    Wicked Strong Pros: Improving LSRs, strong pedigree.
    12-1 fair odds Cons: Brisnet speed figure in the Wood was 14 points superior to his next-best number.
    Samraat Pros: Great juvenile form, very game and he's learned to rate.
    10-1 fair odds Cons: No Brisnet speed figure progression this year.
    Danza Pros: His performance in the Arkansas Derby was outstanding, featuring a negative ESR and a positive Pace Profile (10-of-98, +31.12% ROI since '92). He's also working well.
    20-1 fair odds Cons: Most recent BSF 17 points superior to previous figure; greater than 15-1 in final prep (60-0-2-3 since '92); Todd Pletcher's Derby charges tend to be underlays.
    Hoppertunity Pros: Gradual improvement and a trainer (Bob Baffert) with a stellar record in the Run for the Roses (1.44 IV).
    12-1 fair odds Cons: "The Curse of Apollo" — son of Any Given Saturday didn't race as a two-year-old. Kind of a plodder, doesn't accelerate quickly.
    Intense Holiday Pros: Shows quick acceleration and is typically in the mix. May have been compromised by being closer to the pace last time.
    20-1 fair odds Cons: Louisiana Derby field of dubious quality (2.5 KRR). Has only two career wins — neither in Grade I company.
    Wildcat Red Pros: Tough to get by in the stretch, with one win and two losses by a neck or less.
    50-1 fair odds Cons: If it looks like a sprinter and runs like a sprinter, it's a sprinter. Wildcat Red has a 5.67 DI and unratable speed — not the ideal combination to get 10 furlongs on the first Saturday in May.
    We Miss Artie Pros: He's gained significant position and ground on the turn in each of his last two starts and recorded a positive Pace Profile in the Spiral.
    20-1 fair odds Cons: most recent BSF 13 points superior to previous figure; Todd Pletcher's Derby charges underperform their Derby odds 77% of the time (8-27, 0.80 IV).
    Ride On Curlin Pros: Responded well after a rough trip last time and is reunited with Calvin Borel in Louisville.
    25-1 fair odds Cons: Arkansas Derby had a 2.7 KRR and son of Curlin recorded his best BSF in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint at ELP.
    Chitu Pros: Top trainer and a game effort in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis.
    50-1 fair odds Cons: Like Wildcat Red, this guy looks like an unbridled sprinter. Hard to imagine him getting the kind of trip he desires.
    Tapiture Pros: Excellent juvenile form and he showed the ability to rate in the grade II Rebel.
    20-1 fair odds Cons: Last-race Form Rating less than 33% (61-0-2-1 since 1992) and trainer Steve Asmussen underperforms the tote board 83% of the time (0.64 IV) in America's greatest horse race.
    General A Rod Pros: Very game, fast and possesses surprisingly good route breeding.
    15-1 fair odds Cons: Trainer Mike Maker has been awful in the Derby and "General" has 8 Quirin speed points (Big Brown only winner since 2000).
    Medal Count Pros: Trainer Dale Romans' charges have outrun their odds in three of his four Derby tries —  and two of those three (Paddy O'Prado and Dullahan) looked an awful lot like this guy.
    15-1 fair odds Cons: Like Dullahan, Medal Count does most of his running late, which might leave the son of Dynaformer with too much to do in the stretch.
    Candy Boy Pros: Steady improvement, ability to accelerate quickly mid-race and likely value, thanks to a too-close-to-the-pace effort in the SA Derby that led to an 8 3/4-length defeat by California Chrome.
    8-1 fair odds Cons: Tactics aside, Candy Boy's most recent effort was hardly encouraging. 
    Uncle Sigh Pros: Raced well prior to throwing a clunker in the Wood.
    75-1 fair odds Cons: Poor form and the apparent inability to rate makes this guy a very dubious proposition.
    Vinceremos Pros: Well-bred WinStar colt.
    99-1 fair odds Cons: He was beaten 10+ lengths in his last race (39-0-1-0 over the past 22 years) and, even if one were to look past that debacle, the son of Pioneerof the Nile looks too slow.
    Harry's Holiday Pros: Good effort in the Spiral.
    99-1 fair odds Cons: Atrocious recent form and his best race came in an ungraded sprint stakes at Turfway Park.
    Commanding Curve Pros: Consistent improvement and the ability to move on the turn make him a threat. Trainer Dallas Stewart (2.03 IV in the Derby) adds to the appeal.
    25-1 fair odds Cons: Only one win — a maiden affair at Churchill Downs — to his credit and a +2 ESR last time (3-of-103, -56% ROI since 1992).
  • Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes

    POSTED Apr 27, 2014


    A quartet of major races at Yonkers on Saturday, April 26 included the finals of the ‘Levy’ and Matchmaker series and two generously funded consolations for participants of the events over the last six weeks.

    The biggest and best price was predicted in the TwinSpires harness blog last Thursday. Fashion Mystery won the Matchmaker Consolation, paying $43.80, $10.40 and $11.40 (ok).

    We engaged in the results of the other three features, though not with winners.

    In the Matchmaker Final, our choice—Yagonnakissmeornot—went off the favorite and finished second to the other horse we mentioned—Somewherovrarainbow—as a probable winner, though we thought that horse would be the choice. With no show wagering, our choice paid $2.30 and the Exacta with our other choice paid $10.80.

    In the Levy Final we went against stalwart Foiled Again and beat him, though we finished second (with Apprentice Hanover) to the race’s second-choice, PH Supercam. With no show wagering in this race, either, we picked up a generous place price of $8.80.

    The Levy Consolation went to the favorite and we were third with Word Power but there was no show wagering in this race, either.

    Over at the Meadowlands we were surprised to have chosen the dead-on choice in the W.N. Reynolds event for soph-colt pacers, though he won easily. Always B Miki paid $3.40, $2.80, $2.10.

    Friday, April 25 at Northfield, we also beat the favorite in the Courageous Lady but settled for second to a 20-1 shot. That Woman Hanover paid $7.60, $4.60, being sent off at 8-1.

    More horses to watch (H2W) result activity, listed below, was positive as across-the-board prices mostly shone and five win or place contenders teamed up with favorites to produce five exactas.

    TwinSpires and Hoosier now has three power-packed programs 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 horses-to-watch (H2W) list.

    H2W RESULTS

    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).

    Winners

    Wanna Win, $17, $5.20, $3.60 (Exacta $19.60), Cal Expo
    Miss Annie J, $13, $5.10, $3.10, Yonkers
    Perma Grin, $10.60, $4.60, $4 (Exacta $24.20), Meadows
    Cyclone Artist, $9.40, $4.20, $2.60, Scarborough
    Dvcflyingfrenchman, $8.60, $5.60, $3.60, Freehold
    Ryans Caviar, $3,40, $2.50, $2.30, Buffalo
    Salazar, $2.60, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Buffalo

    Seconds

    Lucky Man Again, $7.80, $4.20, Cal Expo
    Iron N Steel, $7.60, $6.20 (Exacta $16.20), Hazel
    Bergerac, $6.80, $4 (Exacta $25), Meadows
    Lucky Land, $6.40, $5.20, Cal Expo
    Restless Yankee, $4.30, $3.20, Vernon
    Our Priority, $3.80, $4.20 ok, Plainridge
    Team Edward, $3.80, $2.60 (Exacta $13.60), Vernon
    Scandalous Hanover, $3.20, $2.60, Meadowlands

    Thirds

    Canbec Fridolin, $8.30, Yonkers
    Kaitlyn Rae, $5, Hazel
    Bettor Be Genuine, $3.70, Saratoga
    SJ’s Caliente, $2.40, Vernon

    News And Notes

    Saturday, April 26, the morning qualifiers at The Meadowlands were raced over a track that was dry but dulled by overnight rain, with spring-like temperatures and a steady 10-15 mph breeze from the west (against the wind in the homestretch). Some stars from last season were out and winging. Now three, filly trotter Lifetime Pursuit won in 1:58.4 for trainer Jimmy Takter. Her main foe, Shake It Cerry, won in 1:58.

    Soph-colt trotters qualified, looking like a Hambo elimination. Father Patrick, the Hambletonian future book favorite, made his debut for Takter and was second to Odds On Amethyst in 1:54.1.

    Older trotters took the track next and Corky was another winner from the Takter barn. He’s a four-year-old now and this was his third qualifier. He defeated Fico and D’Orsay One of the session’s marquee match ups, a battle of the sexes, saw Market Share against Maven, who won in 1:54 over her male rival

    Western Vintage won from well off the pace in 1:52.4 for trainer Nancy Johansson and Sweet Lou wrapped up the day’s events with an uneventful 1:52.1 win against Odds On Equuleus and the top mare Drop The Ball

    Final preparations are under way for the ninth season of harness racing at Tioga Downs, with the first of 61 programs set for Saturday, May 3. While opening night post time will be 5:00 p.m. and Sunday afternoon cards will have a 1:30 p.m. start, evening cards have a new and earlier post time for 2014. Friday and Saturday night programs will begin at 6:15 p.m., as will the handful of non-holiday Monday and Thursday cards scheduled for the upcoming meet. Once again, the Cane Pace and Roll With Joe Pace headline as the racing season’s features, with top three-year-olds battling in the Cane Pace on Monday, Sept. 1 and older pacers contesting a $200,000 (est.) “Joe” purse on Sunday, June 1.

    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

  • Kentucky Derby Turnoffs

    POSTED Apr 24, 2014
    I have often discussed how important it is that a horse show the ability to gain ground on the turn in Kentucky Derby preps, à la Animal Kingdom in the 2011 Spiral.

    (Click on image to enlarge)

    In that Grade III event, the son of Leroidesanimaux passed three horses and gained two lengths en route to a 2 ¾-length score.

    Six weeks later, he was having his picture taken in the Churchill Downs’ winner’s circle.

    Just as important as positive moves, however, are negative ones.

    What’s the difference, you ask? Well, a positive move is any gain of running position and lengths (the latter stipulation helps to ensure that the move was due to the horse accelerating rather than just picking up stragglers) on the far turn, while a negative move is just the opposite — a loss of both position and lengths on the far turn.

    For the sake of simplicity, I consider the far turn to be the span between the first and second call in routes and the span between the second call and the stretch call in sprints. (Obviously, prepping for the Kentucky Derby in a sprint race raises other issues… but it has happened.)

    Take a peek at horses that showed a negative move on the turn in their last race prior to the Derby:

    (Click on image to enlarge)

    Simply put, these horses just don’t perform in Louisville. Not only are they 0-for-29 since 1992, only two — Menifee (in 1999) and Pioneerof the Nile (2009) — have so much as hit the board.

    So, without further ado, here are the potential “turnoffs” in Kentucky Derby 140:

    Horses that lost position and lengths from the first call to the second call in their final prep

    * Dance with Fate
    * Vinceremos
    * Coastline
    * In Trouble
    * Casiguapo
  • Yonkers Finals, Northfield Features Fillies

    POSTED Apr 23, 2014
    Spring’s first fling with big purses ends on Saturday, April 26 with Yonkers Raceway’ $567,000 George Morton Levy Memorial and $371,400 Blue Chip Matchmaker pacing series finals and consolations—the ‘Levy’ for $100,000, Matchmaker for $75,000.

    In Ohio, soph-filly pacers battle in the Courageous Lady at Northfield on April 25.

    At the Meadowlands on Saturday, a $49,015 W.N. Reynolds Memorial is the earliest Grand Circuit (GC) event to date, offering soph-colt pacers a chance to be displayed before the official GC rolls in May. 

    Hoosier Park ups the ante every Thursday night, guaranteeing a $10,000 Pick 4 over races 3 through 6 and TwinSpires is doing the same by doubling our Pick-4 bonus to 20 percent on Thursday nights.That's correct, hit the Pick 4 and you will get a bonus credit equal to 20 percent of your gross winnings, up to $500.

    We will be adding Hoosier to our horses to watch (H2W) list and suggesting horses during the week on Twitter @FrankCotolo and @TwinSpires. Clickhere for details.

    We have added a few horses to watch (H2W), on our exclusive list for TwinSpires harness blog. Use these suggested contenders that are proving productive across-the-board wagers and serve as profitable members of exotics.


    Last Of The Levys

    Yonkers Raceway presents the big event of the weekend, featuring the biggest harness-racing money earner of all time, Foiled Again, in the final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series Saturday night. Foiled Again is looking for his third Levy title. This year, he won his first four prelims legs and put in a real stinker in the last, finishing off the board. This is how “Foiled” raced last year, also. His wins were strewn together and his losses were unexplainable. Where does that leave him on April 26?

    You cannot throw him out, but since Bettor’s Edge races in tandem with him as a Burke entry and P H Supercam/Mach it So race as a P J Fraley-trained entry, you are left with the best of the rest, Apprentice Hanover for a decent win price. He should good off far higher in odds than are his chances, while the remainder of the group—Saphhire City, Texican N and Dancin’ Yankee—may find the mile a struggle, while offering more in the pool than they deserve.

    In the consolation, no one could blame you for taking a shot with Word Power to beat probable favorite Easy Again. That one defeated Foiled last week and the crowd will favor that win, though not much a feat. Word Power won against similar last year at Maywood (we gave him to you at $15.80) and this looks like a similar spot for him to excel and so paying well. Trainer Larry Remmen has him primed after a slow start in this series.

    Matchmaker Mayhem

    Also Saturday, April 26, the Matchmaker Final and Consolation bring together most of the six-week series’ best. From the rail in the final, Somwherovarainbow will be bet heavily and have a great advantage, even though she has had some trouble in leg divisions. Anndrovette always poses a threat and her experience among older foes needs to be respected and will be via the betting.

    From post 2, Yagonnakissmeornot may be a third or fourth choice, sharing one of those spots with Summertime Lea, who drew post 8. On a good night, as the legs have proven, either of these two could win. The latter races as a Ron Burke entry with Rocklamation, which will hamper the odds, and Krispy Apple won’t be wagered upon alone, being in a PJ Fraley entry. So, Yagonnakissmeornot gets our call.

    In the consolation, we are going back to supporting Fashion Mystery. She played out some serious trips and picked up some dough during the legs and will be a strong price in a weak field.

    Brave Beaus

    The $110,000 Courageous Lady presents a small field of soph-filly pacers this Friday, April 25 at Northfield. One of the six behind the gate, Kayla Grace, was a $10,000 supplement to the field, becoming the 3-1 morning-line choice by track handicapper (and Executive VP of Racing) Dave Bianconi. Kayla Grace enters the event with a 15-for-15 record, a mark of 1:55.1 at Hazel Park and earnings of $69,227. All of Kayla Grace’s races were in Michigan. This will be the first time she travels for an event on the national stage.

    “It is really hard to say how she will do,” said trainer Marie St. Charles. “Michigan is not a real strong [harness racing] state and she has never been tested. All I know is that she knows how to race and she obviously knows how to win.”

    St. Charles, however, has had success outside of Michigan. Her horses (aside from 13 Michigan Sires Stake champions) have won at Woodbine and Hawthorne.

    The field is small, said Bianconi, because some of the fillies staked and expected to race in the race did not enter. “Two or three came up sick. I wish the field size was seven or eight, but what we lack in quantity, we have made up in quality,” said Bianconi.

    There are, on paper, classier fillies than Kayla Grace, so she will be tested to the hilt. At two, for instance, Sister Stroll was top frosh material in Pennsyvania and Ohio, winning five of 11 against far tougher than “Kayla” has met. Also, That Woman Hanover’s record sparkles for trainer Dan Altmeyer. She finished 2013 with a winning triptych and Altmeyer says she is ready for her seasonal debut. “It would have been nice to draw inside on the half-mile track. This is her first time on a half, but she’s handled all the tracks so far and the turns where we train in Florida are a little tight, so I don’t think she will have a problem.”

    If there’s a big purse anywhere, expect a Ron Burke trainee to take part. Here, A La Notte Hanover is well placed (Burke places his stakes horses in fields of similar class) and has had a good prep at the Meadowlands, finishing second as a top choice.

    We are going with “Woman” and “La Notte” to defeat Kayla soundly. Even with the “Flying Turns” of the Northfield half-mile, which bettors may feel benefits Kayla, the class of our two choices, especially Woman, is the key to a win and at a reasonable price.

    Rolling Reynolds

    The “Reynolds” starts the Early Pick 4 with Race 3 and features nine (four in two entries) lightly raced three-year-olds. It’s the first group in the division to go in a stakes contest. Two in the field did not race as freshmen and two are making their first starts off of frosh campaigns in 2013.

    Trainer Joe Holloway has a sharp pair with Stratos Hanover and The Lunch Pail, the former with two wins already this season and the latter strong from outside posts in Pennsylvania events. Thomas Cancelliere conditions the other entry, Frankandjoanne and Parnu Hanover. The former broke his maiden at Pocono recently and the latter hasn’t raced since last November. There should be some strong action on both of these entries.

    Holloway has a third horse here, outside of the entry (different owners) and coming from post 9, Always B Miki won’t be so attractive to bettors. He was bred in Indiana by a sire that raced in New Jersey with speed to spare, Always A Virgin. This one has speed and has shown an ability to come off the pace, so being young and versatile and having some experience in classy events should make him a legitimate contender here. A good price is nearly guaranteed, especially if driver Corey Callahan—a crowd pleaser in Jersey lately—takes one of the other two horses he is listed to drive.

    H2W Legend

    Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last time) because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “AE” signals the horse is entered but on the also-eligible list. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.

    H2W

    Buffalo
    4/25/14, +Upfrontoutthedoor R11; +Somethingtobehold R9; Pembroke Crankcall R9
    4/26/14, Ryans Caviar R3; +Lucky Millionaire R4; Western Alumni R8; +Salazar R8 

    Cal Expo
    4/25/14, +Vantage R6
    4/26/14, Its Getting Hairy R3; +Wanna Win R4; +Whiskey Bernie R6; +Lucky Man Again R7; +Lucky Land R9; +Red Star Wild One R10

    Freehold
    4/26/14, +Brickyard Ben R3; +Palm Beach Boy R5; +Wildridge Sam R6; Dvcflyingfrenchman R8

    Hazel
    4/25/14,  +Kaitlyn Rae R8; Too Shy R10; Histerio R11
    4/26/14, +Iron N Steel R8

    Meadowlands
    4/25/14, +Scandalous Hanover R2; +Wheels R10

    Meadows
    4/25/14, Perma Grin R5; Bergerac R9; Strother R14

    Miami Valley
    4/25/14, Forevers A Deal R3; Student Royalty R7; Action-broadway R10

    Plainridge
    4/26/14, Our Priority R3

    Pocono
    4/26/14, +Caerleon Hanover R1; Baximum R3; +Damon Blue Chip R6

    Pompano
    4/26/14, Goldstar Raider R9

    Rosecroft
    4/26/14, Fancy Fraternity R11

    Saratoga
    4/24/14, +Ladys Bag Man R10; +Bullville Honey R10
    4/26/14+Alastair Hanover R4;+Tinys Million R6; +Bettor Be Genuine R12

    Scarborough
    4/26/14, +Regal Delight R1; Coral Snake R5; Adrians Girl R6; Allamerican Vixen R7; Cyclone Artist R7; Fritzie Rocket R9

    Vernon
    4/26/14, SJ’s Caliente R1; Team Edward R4; Highway R5; +Restless Yankee R7; The Green Knight R9; PJ Lucky R9

    Yonkers
    4/24/14, Miss Annie J R12
    4/25/14, +Canbec Fridolin R2; +Defiance N R9


    Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.   
    Photo by Thom Pye.