Attack On Meadowlands Pace Scores $107 Exacta, $260 Triple; Top-Picked ‘Sheppard’ Frosh Best; ‘Frolic’ Youngsters Sharp

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July 15th, 2018


The Meadowlands Pace, the sport’s big weekend feature on July 14, deserves the lead for this update-review edition of the TwinSpires harness blog—because we crushed all three positions and the strategy that led to big exotics profits.

Our three choices (see July 12 blog for analysis) were the components for the finish, as the favorite Courtly Choice ($4.40, $3.20, $2.80) closed late in the stretch to pass Dorsoduro Hanover ($28.20, $8.80), while Stay Hungry ($3.20) got up for third. We warned bettors about “Dorsoduro” even though we thought “Courtly” had the best possible chance to win. The exacta with our two contenders paid $107.20. With “Hungry,” our other major contender, hitting the board, the triple paid $260.00.

The July-14 section below offers more Meadowlands action along with the other weekend features and the H2W list—Here is how it all went down:

Thursday, July 12

The favorite was best in the Indiana Sires Stakes Final at Hoosier Park for frosh-colt pacers. Our choice, Melanie’s Tedy (56-1) came home sixth to no avail.

Friday, July 13

Two of the four frosh-trot New Jersey Sires Stakes finals interested us at the Meadowlands. We were involved in both.

In the filly-trot conclusion of the state-bred series, the favorite broke at the start and was eliminated. Our choice, French Café ($3.20, $2.80) followed the public’s second choice home.

In the colt trot the favorite won and we rolled home third with Hudson River ($2.80).

Saturday, July 14

The first of two Miss Versatility legs was won by the second favorite as the 3-5 choice finished third. We were off the board with Barn Bella (12-1).

We did not defy the dominance of Hannelore Hanover ($2.10, $2.10, n/s) and offered an exacta with Ice Attraction ($9.80, n/s), which was a cold strike of an exacta worth $25.20. That price was pumped by Ice Attraction’s non-support in the race, going off at 63-1.

The soph-filly pace Mistletoe Shalee Final was a public-picked purse-grabber, as the top two betting choices won easily. Our choice, Sansovina Hanover (99-1), raced well, threatening to blow up the exotic prices but was passed late by closers to finish off the grid.

The Hambletonian Maturity was another romp for public-choice Ariana G. Our hopeful upset, Sortie (66-1), was dull all the way around the 1 1/8 mile, finishing seventh.

The Golden Girls for pacing mares found our top choice and the undisputed race favorite Shartin N, short, finishing fourth, at the extra distance. However, we had a second choice, the mare we told bettors would pump up exotics if Shartin N won, and this pacer flew in the stretch to win on the outside. That was Divas Image ($65.60, $17.80, $12.60).

We were humbled by the favorite in the William Haughton but caught second with Filibuster Hanover ($7.40, $5.00). The exacta returned $35.40.

At Yonkers we won the Lawrence B Sheppard Pace for freshmen with Hickfromfrenchlick ($5.30, $3.60, $2.60), which was a fair payoff across the board for the six-horse field.


Thirteen youngsters on both gaits were contained in this week’s “Frolic” list from the exclusive TwinSpires harness section. There were seven tracks involved.

Our three winners were topped by Stella Jane ($15.40, $6.00, $5.00) at the Meadowlands, followed by two intense favorites, Mr PM ($4.20, $3.40, $2.20) at Hawthorne and Yacht Street ($3.40, $2.60, $2.80 ok) at Hoosier.

Next on the pay grid were four thirds, Flawless Store ($15.00) at Scioto; Caia ($3.80) at Philly; Blood Money ($2.10) at Pocono; and Remember Then ($2.20) at the Meadows.

Among the also-raced, we had Friendalee (Scioto), King For Life (Vernon), Sugar Shock and No Mass Amor (Pocono) all finishing fourth in their contests. Warrawee Unique (Pocono) finished fifth and Sackfullofmemories (Scioto) finished sixth.

Freshmen losing in their first mentions appear one more time in an upcoming H2W list.


The important Del Miller splits for fillies aiming at the Hambletonian Oaks opened with the sharp performance by Phaetosive, the public choice. Our prospective challenger, Piranha Fury (48-1), finished sixth.

The second Del Miller division we managed to beat super-favored Manchego by the thinnest of hairs at the wire with Plunge Blue Chip ($6.20, $2.40, $2.10). The win was the fastest win of any soph trotter this season—1:49.4.

In the first edition of the essential Hambo prep, the Stanley Dancer for colts, mega-favorite Wolfgang took the lead midway and won with ease. We were pushing for Evaluate (5-2), who took after Wolfgang but faded to fourth in late stretch.

Wolfgang’s top foe heading to August was the winner of the second Stanley Dancer split, as Six Pack soared to a world-record mile, winning in 1:50. Our shot, Fashionwoodchopper (8-1) was left floating in arrears through the sizzling fractions.

TwinSpires Harness Blog:
Severe Handicapping For Harness Bettors


The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Also, exactas listed are included when a H2W horse finishes second with a race favorite or the first two finishers making up the exacta are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses were listed to complete a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices published are correct even when a show price exceeds a place price or any or all of the prices are the same. This week, there were 49 active horses (an 6-percent win hit rate and a 33-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).

Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place, show and exotic results occurring by press time but some horses race after the blog is posted (we list them the following week) It is up to you to follow horses that have not performed before this weekly review


Dial A Chic, $7.60, $4.00, $3.20, Plainridge
That’s Right Jack, $5.80, $3.60, $2.40, Meadows
Raging Fingers, $4.30, $3.30, $3.10, Grand River


CJ Marshall, $10.60, $5.00, Plainridge
Shaylo, $10.60, $6.90, Tioga
Sheldon, $9.30, $4.20, Monticello
Peekaboo Tattoo, $8.20, $4.40, Running Aces
Major Hill, $6.90, $5.10 (Exacta $38.20), Mohawk
Gifted Way, $3.60, $2.60, Tioga
Quick Aracache, $3.40, $2.60 (Exacta $18.20), Hoosier
Love Without End, $2.40, $2.10, Scarborough


California Love, $5.20, Scioto
Skywaybrenlinsfib, $4.80, Hoosier
Who Says That, $3.60, Northfield
Tito, $3.00, Pocono
Cashahallic, $2.30, Tioga

News & Notes

Once again, our pre-season choice for soph pacer of the year, Fox Valley Gemini, had no challenges in a race. He won his 15th-straight with a commanding mile at Hawthorne on July 12. Fox Valley Gemini is still the undefeated, reigning Illinois-bred champion. Terry Leonard trains Fox Valley Gemini. It was the May, 2018 edition of Hoof Beats where the TwinSpires harness-blog editor’s choice was published this way: “Fox Valley Gemini launches a sophomore career with nine wins in nine starts and is probably matured enough to become a major force against higher earners at three.”

American Winner, 1993 Hambletonian champion turned influential sire, died July 13 at age 28. He lived at his owner/breeder Robert Key’s farm in Pennsylvania. The son of Super Bowl had modest success at two but at three became a force in his division, winning the Dexter Cup at the start of the season and going on an eight-race winning streak. On Hambletonian day he won his elimination heat the final. He suffered soundness problems at the end of that season, finishing second in heats of the Kentucky Futurity and third in the Breeders Crown Final. He was retired at three with 16 wins in 27 starts, $1,302,451 in earnings, and a lifetime mark of 1:52.3.

As a sire, American Winner’s offspring earned $24 million, with his last foal born in 2015. In North America, his son Credit Winner carried the bloodline strongly, also having a big European influence through his son Viking Kronos. American Winner had significant success as a broodmare sire. His mares produced Muscle Hill, arguably the top trotting sire of the new millennium. His mares have produced the winners of $63.1 million in North America alone.

Four-time Little Brown Jug champion driver Ron Pierce is the 34th Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame Honoree by the Delaware County Fair. Pierce, 62, scored back-to-back “Jug” wins in 1998 and 1999 with Shady Character (1998) and Blissfull Hall (1999). He returned to win the 2004 edition with Timesareachanging and in 2009 with Well Said. He ranks second in “Jug” earnings with $1.7 million. Pierce retired from racing with 9,570 wins and $215 million in earnings. He was enshrined into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., in 2005. Pierce will be presented the Jug honors during the 2018 Ohio race meet on Sept. 16-20.

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.

And check my monthly column, Alternative Actions, at Harness Racing Update