Blizzard Of Features On Both Sides Of The Border; Pacing For Profits

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

January 12th, 2017

North America is battling winter weather, which has forced a few racetracks here and there to cancel some programs but all in all harness racing battles back, offering enough races to keep TwinSpires players busy. Our second preview blog of the season pursues personal harness-race features from at tracks carried by TwinSpires with the usual aggressiveness that defies the climates.

All of our suggested features’ contenders, including the horses on our H2W (horses-to-watch list), often play a profitable role in win, place, show and all exotic wagers. So, once again we urge you to do your own handicapping, and then compare and consider our selections when betting.    


Freehold/ Race 6
Thursday, Jan. 12

You could make a good case for some of these low-conditioned pacers but an argument for Shaving Mug, the Morning Line’s (ML) even-money favorite, would not convince me he is worth that price. Our eyes focus upon the 3 horse, Nigel Tufnel, with a 12-1 ML that seems to highly underestimate the gelding.

His first race back from a layoff was a good performance in a level up from this race. Back in November of he stepped down into this class and won to no one’s surprise (6-5). So, here he is again, well-rested and in a good post to launch a wire-to-wire win or to sit the pocket and sweep to the finish line first. Anywhere near 12-1 may be a gift. This race launches a Pick 3.


Freehold/ Race 10
Thursday, Jan. 12

Non-winners of merely $1,000 in the last five starts will not display a field of go-getters. These eight are no prizes and the ML may be nothing more than shots in the dark. Such conditions could present a high-priced winner. For us, that could be the 7 horse, Magnum Mike.

His most recent race, in this class at Freehold, is no disgrace. From post 8 he maintained a steady outside ride and finished evenly. The four races before that show that even in the face of better horses he puts in a few strong moves. On Nov. 17 we see the same kinds of moves, only in this race he is first over, duels and finishes third. He is disqualified from third and placed seventh for getting sloppy in the late battle for the top position.

By comparison to the ML favorites (post-positions 1, 2 and 4) and the ones that are coming from layoffs, Magnum Mike’s form doesn’t look so bad and is worth what will probably be a chance at high double-digit rewards for backing him.


Meadows/ Race 5
Friday, Jan. 13

This combo-claimer ($6,000-$8.000) finds Wahine in a perfect spot to split the field down the middle and come up with a cool price. He comes from a straight $8,000 tag with a big excuse, getting stuck on the outside early. He stepped down for that race and is in for $7,000 here. However, in his recent three races he has forward moves that make it impossible to toss him out now for bad finishes—and those were for $10,000 tags. At that level he was smoking at the Meadows and may smoke again against poor ML choices.

This is an Exacta, Trifeca and Superfecta, so if you are thinking of exotic tickets, don’t forget Love You Bad, claimed for $5,000 in his recent race last week and looking to make much of it back quickly.


Meadows/ Race 9
Friday, Jan. 13

Another claiming combo, this one for $15,000 to $20,000, begins the Pick 5. The ML favorite leaves from post 8 and looks strong again, going for his third-straight win. However, we have a case for Queens Lonely Earl. His morning line of 10-1 would make it a thrill to wager. He was one of the top three choices in his recent performance at this track and in this class but failed from an overland journey. The race before that he was second at almost 6-1, losing to Charles VII, the ML choice here from post 8. For our money, her is bound to be strongly in the mix here.


Charlottetown/ Race 7
Saturday, Jan. 14

A few horses stand out in this low-conditioned event with sparse front speed. The most probable, yet probable to elude public support with a 10-1 ML, is Fleurje. Toss out his Jan. 7 race, where Jays Little Spark, post 3 here to Fleurje’s post 5, excelled a step down, and in look at Fleurje’s best race starts. She has the early lick to handle this field and with a clean path to the top early is dangerous.

Lexis Mandy, the ML choice, will probably try to get the top early and if Fleurje can get the catbird seat behind her it could be even a bigger win for her. As well, the extreme outsider, post 8’s Gascogne Dickie, must shoot for a good spot early and could be sucked along for a finish affecting exotics. Those three (in your prescribed placement) are our best estimations for a large triple. 


Charlottetown/ Race 10
Saturday, Jan. 14

We don’t feel this conditioned mile is as competitive as the ML odds predict. Onehotvett was all out a step higher on Jan. 7 and was short by 2 lengths, finishing sixth. That’s right, only 2 lengths, meaning there was a five-horse cavalry charge in the final strides. In this mile, she may not be short and go wire to wire. And if she duels with ML-favorite Ideal Space, she thwarts that one. It would be wonderful to get 6-1 on her.  

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.


1/13/17, Bad Bad Boy R4; Goodnite Goodluck R10

Cal Expo
1/13/17, No Moneys Allowed R3; Twomickeytrip R6; +Hare To Eternity R7; Serious Art R11; Gram Rules R12
1/14/17, Quality Sport R8; +Lodi Machette Man R10; Eternal Grace R12

1/14/17, OK Gladiator R2; +Beechwood Tiger R3; +I Aint No Lady R4; Athletic Putnam R5

1/16/17, +Bossy Volo R2; +Renegade Bob R15

1/12/17, Rain Gauge R4

1/15/17, Angies Beach Boy R5; +Lets Go Places R8

1/12/17, +Bull Wheel R9
1/13/17, +Pei Pei R1; +Mass Appeal R3
1/14/17, +Sonic Ivy R11

1/16/17, +Connecting Flight R10

1/13/17, +Marion Millonair R5; +Opulent Yankee R6

1/13/17, +Buffs Image R3; Leavumlady R12
1/15/17, Rocknroll Jewel R9; +ER Bella R12; JDs Courage R14

1/12/17, +Chester Hanover R7

1/14/17, +Marmaria R6

1/14/17, Acesndeuces R6; +Flak Jacket R8; Premium Attraction R10

1/14/17, Silver Spir R8
1/15/17, Screenplay R3

1/14/17, +Audreys Dream R10

1/12/17, +Nerida Franco N R5
1/13/17, +Democracy N R4; +Wrangler Magic R5;