Compact Matchmaker-Mare Winners Listed; $30, $32 Prices Best

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

March 14th, 2021

In this edition of the TwinSpires Harness Blog Weekly Update, take note that due to the altered schedule of Yonkers Raceway, the former “Levy” series, now the Bogata, presents its five preliminary legs on Mondays, so our review of those races—which being the Grand Circuit for 2021—will be recorded in the following Weekly Update.

Thursday, March 11

At Dover, our late-afternoon feature attracted the majority of the public as it made the big favorite of our choice, Jacks Shadow N ($2.20, $2.10, $2.10 ok). We also backed the place horse, OK Kudo ($9.60, $7.40), producing a strong $30.80 exacta. Sonny At The Beach (33-1) finished fourth.

Friday, March 12

The Grand Circuit launched with the Blue Chip Matchmaker Pacing Series. There were three short divisions for the mares in leg one.

In the first division the second choice won. Our sole shot was invested in Alii Nui (50-1), who did her best in the stretch but only beat two others in the field of six.

In the second division newly owned Alexa Sky ($3.70, $2.30, $2.10) performed better than we thought she would, leaving the other four (there was one scratch from the original sextet) in night shadows to win in a startling 1:51.2. Our two other choices, Seaswift Joy N ($2.60, $2.30) and Monica Gallagher ($3.60), completed the exacta ($7.00) and the triple ($19.40), respectively.

The final division in leg one went to the highest odds of our three choices when won by Blue Ivy ($15.20, $7.10, $2.80). Another, Siesta Beach ($2.30) finished third and Lady Dela Renta A (4-1) finished fourth in the field of six.

The Matchmaker continues with leg two next Friday.

The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Exactas listed include a H2W horse finishing second to a race-favorite or if the first two finishers are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses are listed—a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices are correct (even when a show price exceeds a place price or all prices are the same).

Please note that some results reflect horses racing after the blog posts (they appear the following week).

This week, there were 46 active horses (an 24-percent win hit rate and a 52-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit. Horses with asterisks before their names were tweets @FrankCotolo. Follow for all late choices.


Barrage Hanover, $32.20, $9.40, $4.60, Meadowlands
Rockin Lexi, $30.20, $9.40, $4.40, Meadows
China Dream, $11.00, $2.20, $2.10, Buffalo
Shiplap, $8.30, $3.50,  $2.60, Monticello
Actor Hanover, $4.80, $3.20, $2.40, Pocono
Eye Ofa Tiger AS, $4.30, $3.50, $2.80, Yonkers
Exsqueezeme, $4.20, $2.80, $3.20 ok, Cal-Expo
Pickles On Top, $4.10, $2.90, $2.80, WoMo
Braley Hanover, $3.40, $2.60, $2.40, Meadows
Capozzo, $2.60, $2.40, $2.10, Freehold
The Great PG, $2.40, $2.10, $2.10, ok, Meadows


Uptown Funk, $9.40, $5.20, Pocono
My Last Chance, $6.10, $3.60, Monticello
Percys Z Tam, $4.90, $2.10, Buffalo
Mr Varsity, $4.20, $3.00, Cal-Expo
Credit List, $4.10, $4.20 ok, Saratoga


Newsday, $24.80, Miami
You Said It, $6.20, Meadows
Just N Berlander, $4.00, Pompano
Delight Kate, $3.00, Northfield
Beach Pro, $2.80, Miami
Wild Country, $2.60, Pompano
Primo Giovanni, $2.20, Meadowlands
Alberts Dream, $2.10, Meadows


Pompano’s racing schedule has changed. Wednesday nights will no longer be racing nights. Thursday nights will be dropped after April 1. Racing with the new schedule continues on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays with a meet-closing program on May 2. Thanks to Greg Prewitt for the late-breaking news.

H2W followers: You may want to keep your own records on horses from the lists that lose two-straight races. Sometimes, our archives reveal, it is the third time a horse races after being purged from the lists, that it wins. A number of readers have suggested this move since noticing three-time listed horses tend to pay more to win than those listed twice. Use your judgment, especially if the horses in question appear in a race where first- or second-time horses appear.

Other readers have noticed the prolific place payments from the H2W list. Each year since the Horses-to-Watch list became an exclusive TwinSpires Harness Blog feature, the list has presented a parade of high-odds horses that lose to one of the top three public choices. When one of the H2W horses finishes second to a favorite, we take credit for the exacta (see H2W intro above this week’s results) when we have the place horse. Many readers picked up on the so-called “place-to-win” bet, and found it profitable to invest in place (and show) bets on H2W horses, as well as using them as the second element in exacta.

Tim Bojarski, Our veteran companion in the standardbred business, has also owned many horses over the years and this year he and partner Tony Gruppo have a mare in the Matchmaker Series. That pacer is Dbldelitebrigade. She is a daughter of Bettors Delight that campaigned Down Under, where half-mile tracks like Yonkers are the main terrain. She has already raced well at Yonkers.
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