Best Of ‘Beach’ Winners At $14; String Of Sires-Stakes Scores; H-Trail Triumphs

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June 4th, 2017

The busy weekend began on Thursday at Philly with Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) and some familiar competitors. Once again we won with Fear The Dragon ($2.20, $2.10, $2.10), his prices sinking from our first hits. In that same race we had Ozone Blue Chip ($4.00) who finished third.

In round two we struck again with the winner, Summer Side ($4.20, $2.40, $2.10), as his value begins to sink. In that race we were also off the board with our second choice, Darlings Dragon (9-1).

The last PASS was taken by the top choice, Huntsville, and our attempt to beat him with Blood Line (10-1) failed as that one finished fourth.

New York Sires Stakes offered a quartet of lucrative splits at Saratoga on June 2. In division one our second choice, Playing Favorites ($7.20, $3.10, $3.00) won as our upset choice, No Chaser (11-1) was seventh.

In division two we completed the exacta with our first choice getting the place. Marquesa Seelster ($5.10, $3.90) partnered with the favorite for an exacta worth $13.40. Our second choice, Rockinsangria (55-1) was off the board.

We lost round three with Robin J (10-1) as the public choice won but in the fourth round we won with Artrageous ($5.70, $3.40, $2.40) and then we said goodnight to Saratoga.

That same night over at the Meadowlands, New Jersey Sires Stakes finals for soph pacers worked out well as we won the filly chapter with Misqued ($9.80, $6.60, $11.20 ok). The colt version found us third with Foundmytreasure (60-1) but there were no place and show bets allows as the huge favorite won.

At Northfield on June 3, the Battle of Lake Erie was taken by the favorite. Meanwhile, our second choice, Rockin Ron ($5.20), took the show and our first choice, Sunfire Blue Chip (18-1) got fourth.

The big Mohawk harness evening began with our biggest features winner. The first of two Somebeachsomewhere divisions for soph pacers went to our choice, Hurricane Beach ($14.40, $6.00, $5.00). In the second round we took second with Stealth Bomber ($6.20, $4.50) as he was nosed at the wire by a 42-1 shot.

The Graduate’s trot leg shut down on us early as our choice, Blenheim (60-1), broke at the gate and never competed. Our second choice, Cufflink Hanover (8-1) finished seventh and the public choice won with relative ease.

The Graduate pacing legs began with wicked fractions in round one. The shuffling made for a terrific opportunity for DJ Hanover (15-1) to get a perfect trip. It was so perfect in the fiery fractions that his win turned into a speedy set up and became the fastest mile in Canadian history—1:46.4. Our choice, Roll Away Joe ($5.20) took third.

The second Graduate pacing leg was won by the favorite. We were off the board with Artmagic (75-1).


This week’s Hambletonian Trail included sires-stakes tests from the Meadowlands on June 2 and more Grand Circuit Currier & Ives from the Meadows on June 3.

Colts and fillies were in the $100,000 New Jersey finals Friday and although the prices were minor, we nailed them both. The colts’ contest went to our choice, Long Tom ($5.20, $3.80, $2.40). The obvious Ariana G ($2.20, $2.10, n/s) took the filly final, where we did not present exotic wins with our contenders Hillambro (50-1) or Feed Your Head (48-1), both finishing off the board.

Saturday afternoon we struck with the first Currier & Ives, catching Fraser Ridge ($5.80, $3.80, $3.40), though we expected a larger price. In the second episode we were off the board with Affair Of Honors (23-1) and Backstage Pass (23-1). In the third event we took third with Always A Good Time ($3.40), while Andy M (6-1) was out of it.

On various Wednesday nights we tweet for TwinSpires Twitter members from @FrankCotolo –retweeted by @twinspires—and the raceway involved. Losers from each week will appear on the next week’s horses-to-watch (H2W) list unless they race before that blog is published, so watch for them returning to the races on days in between blogs. Watch for special tweets from raceways on various Wednesdays.


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 40 active horses (a 15-percent win hit rate and a 40-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 is posted.


Jupiter Rising, $18.80, $8.80, $3.00, Plainridge
Ohio Larry, $11.00, $4.60, $4.00, Hawthorne
Tidquist, $8.60, $4.00, $2.80, Tioga
Allamerican Extra, $4.60, $2.40, $2.10, Plainridge
Bet You, $4.30, $2.50, $2.30, Saratoga
V String, $4.20, $3.00, $2.10, Philadelphia


My Guiding Light, $9.40, $5.40, Running Aces
Do Over Hanover, $8.30, $5.10, Saratoga
If You Want Fire, $6.60, $4.20, Buffalo
Fleurje, $5.10, $4.90, Charlottetown


RM Imp, $4.20, Scioto
Rosas Touch, $3.20, Scioto
Art For Arts Sake, $3.00, Monticello
Hedges Lane, $2.40, Scarborough
Troon, $2.40, Monticello
Keene Olivia, $2.10, Vernon

News & Notes

Ocean Downs in Maryland takes over the harness action from Rosecroft Racewsy on June 11. The spring-summer meet goes through Sept. 4 with racing Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (dark June 15 and July 27). Post time is 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.

In case you were looking for Yonkers Raceway on the H2W list, its absence is not a mistake. Racing is on a short hiatus. Harness action returns Friday, June 16 (post time 7:10 p.m.). 

Pompano Park closed out its 2016-2017 season, holding 126 programs, on May 31. The Hennessey brothers swept the driving and training titles. Driver with Wally tabbed 265 victories and his trainer brother Dan stacked 49 wins. Harness racing returns on Sunday, Oct. 1.

Driver Jim Morand was injured in a race accident on May 25 at Harrington and is home recovering after undergoing surgery on his shoulder. The accident occurred shortly after the half-mile mark when Pocket Party (Tyler Davis up) appeared to get rough gaited in close quarters with Bill Board (Victor Kirby up) and Morand driving Art Of Fire. All three drivers were tossed from their sulkies and one of the horses went down. The three horses were all fine. Morand, who has enjoyed a successful career in racing for more than three decades, has won 9,404 races lifetime, ranking him among the sport's top drivers all time.

A trainer to watch at Running Aces is Brett Ballinger. Although Cal-Expo leading trainer Kathleen Plested leads the conditioners’ standings in purses, Ballinger has a sterling start with the highest win percentage in the early meet. In the all-important win-percentage standings, Ballinger is first with 33.3, followed by Plested with 29.6, a tie of Bob Johnson and Gerald Longo with 27.3, followed by three-way a tie of Edwin Quevedo, Rick Magee and Scott Banitt with 25. As the meet ensues, expect more success from Denise Maier.

Extraordinary Extras

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

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