Chalky Champs Crush Elims At Mohawk; H-Trail Scores Cold And Partnered Exactas; Easy State-Bred Winners Hit

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June 11th, 2017

My dad used to call bad nights of betting at the harness races a “shellacking” and even though we are well aware of our resilience playing this game, we took a shellacking and had to bow to the public choices big time in every feature—even the few where we scored on the side of the majority. The Hambletonian Trail choices (on the exclusive blog) did best.

Chronologically, we began on Friday, June 9, at Vernon with state-breds. In the trio of events for soph-filly pacers, our choices finished fifth in each with Studio One (15-1), Robin J (2-1) and Marquesta Seelster (7-1).

Friday night at Mohawk, we had one winner, this one in the Armbro Flight elim. It was favorite Charmed Life ($4.30, $2.50, $2.10), who we did not expect to be the public choice. In the other elim, the public choice (Hannelore Hanover) won while our femme, Kestrel (11-1) finished fifth.

We took another beating as Saturday, June 10, began at the Meadows, with three state-bred miles for soph-filly pacers. In the first split our choice, Risky Romance (10-1) finished fourth, beaten by a 20-1 shot (longest priced winner of all features reported). In the second mile our choice, Ideal Plan (8-1) broke and was eliminated while our other choice, V String (10-1) finished eighth, both beaten by one of the top three public picks.

Satuday night at Mohawk there was a cloud of chalk so thick it forced editing many of the show pools. Most public choices that won shared the same 1-9 tote odds.

We won with one of them, Fear The Dragon ($2.70, $2.10, n/s) in one of three North America Cup elims, missing the exacta because our other contender, Ocean Colony (n/s), got third. The remaining two “Cup” elims were easy pickings for Huntsville and Downbytheseaside. We were sixth to those guys, respectively, with our picks, Beyond Delight (69-1) and Stealth Bomber (14-1). You won’t see them in the final.

The pair of Fan Hanover elims were also stormed by the top choices, while we were sixth with Soiree Seelster (5-1) and 10th with Someomensomewhere (49-1). You won’t be seeing them in the final.

The closest we came to victory in the three Roses Are Red elims was second to Lady Shadow, the 1-9 choice, with Wrangler Magic ($4.20, $2.80), delivering a mild exacta worth $6.50. We were fourth in another elim with Sandbetweenurtoes (4-1) and then we had a public choice with Blue Moon Stride (8-5) in another elim and she finished sixth, beaten by a 6-1 shot.

At Scioto that night, we were third to the second-and-third favorites in the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot with Musical Rhythm ($7.80). The top choice, JL Cruze, broke early and was eliminated.


This week’s Hambletonian Trail offered the best results from our suggested contenders.

We scored best at Vernon in the Empire Breeders Championship (EBC colts) elim, nailing a cold exacta with Devious Man ($4.10, $3.50. $2.10) and Swell Chap ($7.50, $4.00). That was a generous exotic payment of.$20.80. In the other EBC, we picked up the exacta partner, Such An Angel ($11.60, $4.00) for a $35.60 exacta with the public choice on top.

In the Goodtimes elims on June 10, we were in the mix as a 14-1 shot beat the choice (see News & Notes below) and we beat the choice, taking second with Guardian Angel AS ($4.80, $3.00). In the second Goodtimes we were third to the winning public choice with Shake It Off Lindy ($3.10).

At Pocono, more colts were battling in sires stakes, one of the winners was our choice, Givitgasandgo ($6.60, $2.80, $4.20 ok). In another of the three contests we were second with Moonshiner Hanover ($3.40, $2.60), while Thisguyisonfire (19-1), also in that race, broke and was eliminated. In the third split we were fifth with Lucky Matter (20-1), beaten by the second choice on the board.

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 38 active horses (a 13-percent win hit rate and a 45-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.


If You Want Fire, $11.60, $6.60, $3.80, Buffalo
L Dees Yoyo Ma, $9.40, $3.60, $3.00, Plainridge
Sign Of A Diamond, $5.00, $2.20, $2.10, Scarborough
Always Sunday, $4.00, $3.00, $2.10, Northfield
Go Daddy Go, $2.40, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Philadelphia


Show Stopping, $6.80, $4.30, Buffalo
We Rob Banks, $5.40, $3.40, Hawthorne


Sachertorte, $4.20, Bangor
Vermillion Bird, $3.80, Scarborough
Anja, $2.90, Saratoga
Jacksrluckytoo, $2.80, Meadowlands
Good Luck Kathy, $2.70, Rideau-Carleton
REs Miss Amy, $2.60, Northfield
Hot Cycle, $2.40, Northfield
Do Over Hanover, $2.30, Saratoga
Mucho Macho Man, $2.20, Running Aces
Only Way I Know, $2.10, Scarborough

News & Notes

Super Pleasure, a notable trotter and sire, died on May 26, 2017, according to co-owner Bob Key, who bred and owned bim with John Glesmann. Super Pleasure was a son of Super Bow, his dam was the productive B J's Pleasure. Super Pleasure won 15 of 39 starts in a two-season career, as a freshman and sophomore, in 1990-1991. He went on to stand stud in Ontario for two decades and produced 607 foals, with 411 starters that banked more than $18.4 million. In his two racing seasons, Super Pleasure earned $827,238.

Although Walner is the most talked about glamour-boy trotter as the stakes season gets underway, trainer Frank Antonacci feels there is a lot of talent in the division this year and said, “It’ll be a fun year to be a racing fan.” The Antonacci family is no stranger to the Hambletonian, having won the classic before as well as being involved with classy horses over the past few decades. Antonacci was quoted before one of his sophs, International Moni, won an elim of the Goodtimes at 14-1 and the other, Shake It Off Lindy, made the final finishing third in the second elim.

The 71st season of harness racing at Batavia Downs, America’s oldest lighted harness track, features 71 race dates with seven matinee cards. The meet opens July 26 and runs through Dec. 16. Racing will be presented on Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m., Wednesday evenings at 5:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. Monday will replace Sunday in September and go at 5:00 p.m. Once again, the 2017 meet will be highlighted by a claiming series that the track introduced last year. Mid-level claimers accumulate points throughout the year and then battle for final purses of between $15,000 and $20,000 in November for each respective division.

Extraordinary Extras

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

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