Amazing Offerings For Overnight Races On The Agenda

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January 7th, 2016

Bitter cold has returned to the eastern seaboard and so has the action at raceways closed for the holidays, as well as full cards continue across North America from the past year to the New Year. As the winter stakes season approaches, we pursue profits in our personally selected features from harness races carried by TwinSpires. We also offer shots for the first Pick 4 at Miami Valley, which opens this weekend.

Keep our suggested contenders in mind for win, place, show and all exotics when you make decisions on betting any races we cover. That, of course, includes the horses on our H2W (horses-to-watch list), which come straight from our personal researching scores of races across North America.  

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Freehold/Race 5
Thursday, Jan. 7

Steady, quick to respond and likely to be dismissed describes an outsider in this trot that needs attention in all the betting pools. The public welcomed Sweet Miss Cantab when she came from the Midwest, going off at 4-1 and doing well with these types. She continued to put in productive miles (making the purse grid two more times of three) and each time the public laid off more. In this conditioned class on Dec. 10, she was gaining ground rapidly through three-quarters after beginning slow and far behind. Her competition here is uneven and rough-gaited but will get all of the attention, leaving a huge offering for backing the well-bred that just turned four.

Freehold/Race 9
Thursday, Jan. 7

Stepping into this class in mid-December, The Life Boat sailed smoothly on the outside at 28-1 to hold tightly and gain in the remaining steps to finish a close third. The 11-year-old has rested since that race and had two qualifiers before that since September. She gets a morning line of 9-1 and that would be fine with us, as would a bit less, too, but we don’t expect much attention to our analysis, so the price should be right.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Meadowlands/ Race 5
Friday, Jan. 8

This race brings together trotters in search of their class, as the new season tests them early. They all fit the conditions but considering their performances up until now, do the conditions fit them? There are more than a few contenders here, if arguments are to be made, and the one we hope will use this test as a stepping stone and pay well for winning, is Big Bang Hanover. It has been a spell since he took on higher company than this, well supported before burning out from a rushed effort to win on the engine, but there is no good reason to punish him for the loss or the hiatus. He is in good hands with Jim Campbell training and could command this field start to finish with patient hands steering.

Meadowlands/ Race 11
Friday, Jan. 8

Here is a perfect conditioned trot for a late-blooming sophomore-turned four, namely Northern Grace, to set up a class-climbing campaign. Trond Smedshammer’s well-bred gal found her stride to late to race with the glamour girls but she can cash in on some big earnings if she keeps up what she has been showing as the year turned over. Her 19-1 effort last week was sterling. She made two moves and finished second with Trond at the helm. Trond will probably find her the best spot possible with a quick start, seek some cover and find the path to charge. She may be worth a lot less to support than last time or the crowd may look for some brand names to back. The race is a first leg for a Pick 3, so don’t leave her out if you are stacking.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Charlottetown/Race 10
Saturday, Jan. 9

Bold Arrow has been dismissed by the crowd since making a two-class jump after a two-class drop from a loss in this class at 193-1. So, after three losses in this class since the hike, why would he look like a contender here? It’s because of his third effort in this class, last week, when he had a post mid-field and, with a slow start, soared to contend with the pair on top, a strong, fast gain of about 8 lengths, where he paced himself out. He is not matched as well as the public will decide in odds so he is worth the support.

Miami Valley / Pick 4 / Races 9-12
Saturday, Jan. 9

Miami Valley commences their 2016 racing season this Saturday, Jan. 9, featuring richer races and competitive racing events. The nightly Pick 4, encompassing the final races of the evening, could prove to be a profitable sequence

A conditioned pacing event starts the Pick 4, with two major contenders on our radar. E R Rudy, the more obvious of the two, enters off a win against non-winners of $5,500 at Dayton, doing so off a first-over trip. While he may be stepping up slightly, so is the rest of this field (exempting probable favorite Thisjetsabookin at the rail). She should procure some kind of stalking spot from post 2, hence why she’s a contender that offers confidence. Shipping in from Northfield, Kiss Of Terror could potentially provide a big upset. Two starts ago he brushed to the lead strongly after experiencing interference heading into the second lap. Considering his strength displayed through first-over grinds over a half-mile surface, he could transpose that ability to a winning performance over the five-eighths.

Looking outside of Fancy Creek Elusiv in the featured race, the $20,000 Open Pace, Talk Strategy should be a good value play. He has been aggressive against $20,000 claimers, winning once against them three starts ago from off the pace and finishing second two starts back. Putting in a dud of an effort in his most recent mile, he enters the Open off a claim, which gives this gelding more promise.

Leg three possesses two opportunistic longshots in Dixieland Band and Flying Rocket. Dropping from the Open level into a $20,000 claimer, Dixieland Band has been competitive against tougher competition, grinding first over at Dayton and attempting to sprint two laps at Northfield. The Maritimes native makes his fourth start in the U.S. and will need to secure an easy trip. Flying Rocket, on the other hand, will likely get ignored off of one bad mile. In his last start, he was forced to close from last, managing to finish sixth. Three starts back, also against $20,000 claimers, he drafted close to the top and brushed by horses to win by a neck. Despite his outside draw this gelding should not be neglected.

The finale, a $20,000 claiming pace for fillies and mares, is a crapshoot outside of Western Empress and My Hare Lady, both dropping to this company from the Open ranks. Western Empress finished second after being forced to chase Buckeye Thea, who sprinted clear of her competition in the stretch. She has been more consistent against the Open ranks than My Hare Lady, who made one start at that level off a two-win streak against $15,000 optional claimers. However, even though she was flat against Open stock, she portrayed herself as a dominant force against the optional claiming ranks, and the slight move up to this claiming level may not be as big an issue.

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 on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


Cal Expo
1/9/16, +Place At The Beach R5
1/10/16, +Endeavors King R8; +Yankee Flyer R10

1/9/16, Hopedale Paris R1; Lyons Katrina R2; Shadow Code R4; Every Day R5; Lucksgottachange R8; Red Magician R12

1/7/16, +JK Hall R3;
1/10/16, +Allstar Man R3

1/10/16, +Alice In Reins R1

1/8/16, +Fast Lane Firebolt R3; +Hook Line N Minker R5; +Remember Terror R10

1/7/16, Mystical Man R3; Electrify R4; Civic Duty R7
1/9/16, Gogh On R5

1/8/16, +Cndiana Jones R10
1/9/16, +Mullet Blue Chip R13

Miami Valley
1/9/16, Play Guitar R5
1/10/16, +Brow Down R7; +Sand Fortune ae R13

1/8/16, +Clubber Lang R8

1/9/16, +High flyin Sara R8; Pinkpolosocks R11

1/9/16, +Body Double R8

1/7/16, +Lancaster Park R4
1/8/16, Tower Of Power R3; Lets Leavem R8
1/9/16, D Gs Pesquero R7; Mckinney R10

1/8/16, Rocky Regal R2; Outa My Head R3; Major Dancer R7; Narcian Jewell R11

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition