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Harness Racing: Dexter, Graduates, Sophs In Focus

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

April 29th, 2021

TwinSpires Harness covers the Hambletonian-worthy colts in the Dexter Cup as the Grand Circuit continues on Kentucky Derby Day. There is plenty of harness racing action during and after the Churchill Downs program ends, so read on as we offer state-bred series and selected features. There is also our never-ending TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch list (H2W), offering suggestions enhancing exotic combinations and fair-priced win, place, and show finishes.


Miami - Races 4, 6, 9, 13
Friday, April 30

The Buckeye Stallion Series (BSS) begins on this program with nine divisions of Ohio-sired colt trotters and pacers. We are being selective, choosing four of the fields we like best.

Pacers Race 4
Though he failed twice on the H2W, Official Bean can win this on class alone and should be a strong price to do so. He has to beat Beeneetee, a Virgil Morgan Jr. colt that is just getting started this season for Virgil’s powerhouse stable.

Pacers Race 6
Scott Cox’s Big Boss Hill has two wins in three starts and could take this field wire to wire with his superior speed. Brian Brown will have Caviart Sargent firing early from the outside to get position and if he doesn’t hang outside, he will be trouble for all.

Trotters Race 9
Jessica McCown trains My Pal Sparky, a handsome colt that devoured a conditioned trot on April 19, giving the field eight lengths before taking the overland route and beating the bunch by 1 1/2 lengths. Drawing post 10 on the inside is a good path for Tim McKoy’s Wegoforthefront to get on the board for a spot in the exotics.

Pacers Race 13
King Klueber flew to victory faster than any of this group has raced and has already accrued a big bag of dough winning two of four. Cyclone Union Jack has only been out once but won showing top speed as a favorite and should be expected to be on his toes again.


At Freehold on Saturday afternoon, May 1, the Dexter Cup Final will host soph-colt trotters aiming for Hambletonian glory. Last week’s winner, Incommunicado, won with aplomb and should be a strong favorite. He is one of Ake Svanstedt’s duo of entries along with Ambassadoe Hanover, who took a bye from the elim. The other bye is Julie Miller’s Sunny Crockett. Even the two in the final’s field that did not race in the $38k elim won’t have what it takes to beat Ake’s Incommunicado here.

Upset-minded Chapolier, last week a whopping 40-1, did not improve in the elim as well as we expected but we are not giving up on him yet, especially not here, where he could contribute much to the price of exotics if he races a mere few ticks faster than last week.


Miami - Races 4, 5, 8
Saturday, May 1

At Miami, more Buckeye divisions, these for fillies, are on tap. This time we have settled on three in which to address wagers.

Trotters Race 3
Chris Beaver’s Fiesty Pistol on the inside may be a decent price as the crowd digs into its pockets for Ron Burke’s Sewin Sue on the outside. Fiesty Pistol won at Northfield as the favorite while Burke’s filly was second at Miami.

Trotters Race 5
Anette Lorentzon has one from her well-earning group here—Lady Resort AS. She was third last week as she campaigns in the Midwest, fooling everyone at 16-1 to finish third. She is all we like in this $17.5k division.

Trotters Race 8
Lorentzon also sends Shenzi AS into the series. It’s the gal’s second mile of the year. She finished fourth in her 2021 debut here, needing that race, making two moves as well. Jogging Sweats could get away with offering a bigger price than his chances indicate and should not be ignored.


Two $50k divisions of the Graduate for four-year-old pacers are on the agenda at the Meadowlands May 1. The first division (Race 8) looks close, though last week Captain Barbossa was mighty winning a conditioned event. The Greek Freak, the clear second choice to the “Cap,” was third against him.

We are going to back Groovy Joe, who finished third last week at 9-1. Blake Macintosh’s pacer has been on the board in all three starts this season and will most likely be off the betting grid after the aforementioned pair.

Two races later, the second division should feature a strong winning mile by Chief Mate. He is coming back after only three days' rest, having prepped for this with a 1:52.3 win at Yonkers. Four launch their 2021 season, including Elver Hanover and Warrawee Vital but right now Chief Mate is obviously the best in this field.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and confirm the wagers available at the prescribed track. H2W offers possible contenders researched from reviewing races. Horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track with the date of their race and the race number (R6 ) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name, it appears on the list for the second time (horses are listed twice only if, at first, they failed to win. An “ae” signals also-eligible. Types of wagers to make are based on your judgment.


5/1/21, Arrhythmic Surge R2; Wild Bill M R4

5/1/21, Victoriana R10; Alpine R12

4/30/21, Casa Miasa R2; Fernado R4

4/30/21, +Alkippe R1

4/29/21, +Jeannies Terror R9; Lucky Matter R12

5/1/21, +Shameful Eyes R7

4/29/21, +Swiss Bank Hanover R4; Redneck Fortune R6, +American Champ R9

5/1/21, Eyes Of Mercy R3; Outofbait R9; +Smiley Dragon R10; +Shady Madam R10; Savemedasportspage R11; Rosey Time R13
5/2/21, Lougazi R6

4/29/21, Model R1; Travlin Swan R4; Est Belle R6; Shark In The Bay R10; Bearly Behavin R12

4/30/21, +Mr Hasani N R3

4/29/21, Dontstopbelievn N R9; Leave And Roll R10

5/1/21, +Windsong Jack R9 , +Captain Nash R2
5/3/21, Gotcha Hanover R1

4/30/21, One After Nine R3
5/1/21, Always As Fast R9

4/30/21, +Ideal Wheel R7