Big Bucks For Soph Trotters All Weekend; Mohawk Elims For Frosh Finals; Grand Circuit Stakes Made Of Money

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

September 6th, 2018

Before we pick up the Grand Circuit at Mohawk, we offer sires stakes and older trotters in New York on Friday. Saturday is a big night in Canada with elims for next week’s lucrative finals for freshman colt-and-filly trotters. Simcoe Stakes host some top soph pacers and McWicked returns with another attempt at top dollars for his division at Scioto.

The focus of the Breeders Crown Countdown (BBC) blog includes a number of Champlain Stakes with good betting opportunities on Thursday and Friday.

Our horses-to-watch list (H2W) continues to cover North America harness in action, presenting “live” horses. Explore any and all of the possibilities we present for use in wagers of your discretion. Do your own handicapping and then consider any and all our H2W and frosh selections.


Saratoga hosts two lucrative New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for soph-filly trotters on Friday, Sept. 7.

The first is a $91,350 blast with eight gals on the gate. Ake Svanstedt has a pair entered led by Lucky Ava. She has been aggressive with Ake at the reins and will get some top dollar backing her. His other entry is Fury Road, who has cashed some big checks against the division’s top puppies. Linda Toscano’s Repentance will shave some money off of the Ake duo, as will A Gift For You from George Ducharme.

Outside of these is White Cheetah, who has been in the money six of nine times (three wins) and has the NYSS finals to look forward to if she can make some of the top dough here. Bettors may make a bit on her too in this case.

The second split is worth $89,950, with a field of seven. Division stars are included, with Plunge Blue Chip from Ake and Supergirl Riley, her strongest rival thus far. Lima Novelty also hails from the division’s top tier.

Toscano’s filly, Tribute To Seven, may not get the support of the top duo but certainly has a big shot here. She was productive during the Hambletonian Trail and could bring in a cool win price as she travels from the rail against the more popular fillies on the outside.

Leg 4 of the Miss Versatility series for mare trotters is a $40,000 event at Tioga on Sept. 7 with a field of seven. Red-hot-pays-a-lot Dream Together is here and should attract some action but NF Happenstance has been triple wicked for some time now for Jack Parker, Jr.

You have to go back a few years when we picked “NF” while reporting live at the Meadowlands and she came in second to the surprise of most people who knew nothing about her. At that time she had changed owners and trainers and by that time there were few who knew the name of reputation of the new trainer/driver Jack Parker, Jr. We learned of the sale to new connections earlier in the day and we knew Jack from his prowess on the West Coast a few decades back (you may recall his brother Howard who was far more active in East Coast harness than Jack). We called the exacta with the big favorite that day and scored significantly.

Today, still under the tutelage of Jack, NF has raced 23 times this year with nine wins and eight seconds, scourging this division of trotters. She is the top earner of the group and has little to no reason to lose. The crowd will probably agree, so we will key her with Celebrity Ruth, who is coming off an easy win prepping for the bigger purse here.


Eliminations for the Peaceful Way Final next week take place at Mohawk on Sept. 8. There are two elims worth $30,000 each for the frosh-filly trotters. Last week The Ice Dutchess broke and galloped home as a big favorite in a Champlain Stakes (CS). Fraulein Blucher was the favorite in another CS and finished sixth trotting normally. They are both in this elim and the best price should go to the latter. Fraulein Blucher is a Cantab Hall filly that cannot be denied yet; she’s too young. Since she will be the higher price of the two, we will take her again.

In the second “Peaceful” elim, our choice in the “Ice” race who won and paid $81.00—Tommi Canu Hearme—gets the rail but won’t offer us near as much against this crew. Takter’s Susy, who won last week, will get sufficient support to be the public choice. She is a Father Patrick filly and has the name brand. It’s the other Father Patrick filly, however, that could pay better. Linda Toscano’s Sisters Promise should excel in this, make the final and be considered a major contender the following week.


Also on Sept. 8 at Mohawk, there are a pair of $30,000 elims for the frosh-colt trotters looking for spots in the William Wellwood Final next week. This event is rife for upsets, making arguments for many a contender. The first split offers nine. We are immediately drawn to the sole Kadabra product, CT Conabra. The Jamiesons handle this one and considering some of the connections of the other entries, he could offer a good price after delivering a winning mile.

The second elim field draws out attention to the lone Cantab Hall boy, Union Forces. From post 8 he should offer some good scratch, especially against Takter’s Swnadre The Giant (a son of Swan For All named after the iconic wrestler Andre The Giant). A few of the other inside starters should get action, too, leaving Union Forces to pay well.


A single mile for the soph-filly pacers is worth $150,996 at Mohawk on Sept. 8. It only has six at the gate but look out for this sextet because the speedy Youaremycandygirl faces the speedy Kissin In The Sand once more. In this heavy favored Mohawk atmosphere, the duel will be on and there is no telling which heads which or how each breathes best, making a distinction between the two impossibly accurate. All that is left is to wager on a trip that imagines a scenario for Shower Play to slip through them after their fiery duel and upset.

Here they go again, the soph-colt pacers this time in two Simcoe Stakes worth $80,000-plus.

The first episode gives Babes Dig Me the best group from the division for him to be taken seriously. His Messenger was not a bad performance; he had one strong brush, the kind that could take this field. Still, “Babes” will be offering odds that won’t make us want to pay much attention to the mile. We like The Downtown Bus, who has won seven of 18 this year and looks to be the best of the rest. Babes isn’t our second choice, either. That goes to St Lads Neptune to complete a big exactor.

Coming off of a Messenger win in the third split is Stay Hungry, who will attract some of the biggest dollars of his season. This field seems to be one he could topple easily. If there is a shot at beating him, give it to Backstreet Shadow from the Moreau stable, which cooks in these parts of Canada.


Scioto’s closing stakes night includes its annual Jim Ewert Memorial for $250,000 and this year, again, it brings out the top older pacers. Fresh off the big defeat over Lazarus N, McWicked aims to continue a consistent campaign for big purse parts in this. Also hot and unbothered in the division is Western Joe. These two take the starring roles and the battle with “Joe” could help McWicked’s price, though not with the large measure in which it was affected in the Lazarus N affair. You could nail a good exacta or triple if you key McWicked and toss Joe. We would go for Western Fame and Nuclear Dragon to complete the wealthiest exotics that would include the giant McWicked.

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.


9/7/18, +Are You In R2
9/8/18, +Mr Euroman N R3; Upfront Countryboy R6

9/7/18, +July R5
9/8/18, All Stienam R5; +The Bruiser R11

9/10/18, Doc Semalu R2; O’s Cruise R6

9/6/18, Youmakemyheartsing R5

9/6/18, Spirited Encounter R7; Guccios Big Star R13

9/6/18, Run Rose Reanna 9/9 R4; Keystone Riptide R10
9/7/18, Sweetascantab R6; PH Kenny R10
9/10/18, +Darn Tootin Hanover R10

9/7/18, Sports Hero R2; Captain Ahab R8; Dancin Lou R9

9/7/18, Roy E Lizbin R8

9/6/18, +Glenferrie Dreamer ae R2, ae R14
9/9/18, +Macadoodledoo R7; +JK Wildfire R13

9/8/18, +Drunken Terror R1
9/9/18, _Starsaboveallerage R4
9/6/18, +Delco Dusty R2; Shiplap R2; McMurray R3; Buckeye N R7

Red Mile
9/6/18, +Shake N Bake R4; +Nixie Volo R5
9/8/18, +Egomania R5; +Captain Cash R5

Running Aces
9/8/18, Jenn On The Rocks R1; Proberts Legacy R4

9/6/18, Charlie The Tuna R7
9/8/18, Fceen R6

9/9/18, +Pembroke Mystery R5

9/8/18, Lather Up R9; Blazin Britches R11

9/7/18, +Shes Uncorked R4
9/8/18, Ey Cowboy R6

9/6/18, Major Marcus R1; Bettor Believe It R7
9/7/18, Twinkle R7; Yes Mickey R9
9/8/18, Dream Of Luck R3