Betting Harness-Horse Two-Year-Olds In 2020, Part One

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

April 10th, 2020

Each harness racing season, an exclusive section of the TwinSpires harness blog has been Freshman Frolics. It's a carefree title for our serious attention to betting on the sport's youngest competitors. 

Two-year-olds are always described, for the most part, as unreliable bets--especially the trotters. Fearless (and with our own device), we manage to follow and nail some juicy win prices on two-year-olds and we base our success on the very fact that they are unreliable. This contrarian view makes a profit, mostly, because common handicappers use the same elements to measure two-year-olds' performances as they do for experienced pacers and trotters.

There's the rub. Betting two-year-olds for profit requires a different perspective, one that does not demand a deep understanding of bloodlines and especially not a general fear of how often they fail to excell. In the following two TwinSpires harness blogs we will share with readers our process of collecting freshmen we suggest as contenders. Better yet, we are showing you in relation to the upcoming season for the "delicate" division, so you can better understand and even do some of your own contender suggesting when the season begins.

First-Time Sires

Some of our best bets in two-year-olds come from first-time sires and then, mostly from unproven studs. Though all first-time sires are unproven studs, we like the ones unrecognized for greatness, the low-profile, high-earning racehorses that do not qualify as champions.

For instance, this season, everyone is waiting for the progeny of Always B Miki because everyone easily remembers he was one great pacer, a stakes giant in each division he faced. Expectations are great for his progeny, but it offers no edge to the bettor. Always B Miki colts and fillies will be hammered at the windows, so to speak, and if they perform anywhere near expected, you won't be getting any great prices on those babies.

Frosh product from "Miki" or any recent champion-turned-stud distracts handicappers from other first-time sires. But turning away unproven sires is judgment that cannot be accounted for, since new sires have yet to prove how productive or unproductive they will be in their new role. That means we get an edge with the lesser-known pacing and trotting kids because there are only a few of us paying attention to their productivity.

The Others

This season we are eyeing the first-time pacing sires that have done well, though nowhere near as well as Miki. The others are Arthur Blue Chip, Betting Line, Control The Moment, JK Endofanera and State Treasurer. Already, you must be tipping your memory banks for remnants of their prowess on the track. That's a good sign.

On the trot, there is only a duo of new dads. The most popular of the pair is Southwind Frank. Vaguely recalled is the second, Bar Hopping.

As well, we'll take a look at the leading sires of frosh colts and fillies from 2019, focusing on their average earning stats from the divisions.

Watch for part two.