Confederation Cup Comes In Cheap; We Nail Big Soph Upset With Fear The Dragon, $12; H-Trail Cashes Two Of Three

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

May 22nd, 2017

The $176,000 Confederation Cup Final at Flamboro Downs on May 21 went to Western Fame at a paltry 2-1. We cashed on him bigger in last week’s elim. Our upset here was Roll With Joe (21-1), who did not make it on the board due to being hanged for three-quarters, while other two public choices (Check Six and the favorite Sintra) took second and third, respectively.

Also on Sunday, May 21, we were on top of another great upset, defying the public’s anointed soph-colt pacer Huntsville with our choice, Fear The Dragon ($12.80, $2.80, $2.10) in a sires stakes event at Pocono. We lost the other two events, one to the favorite while our contender, Point Somewherelse (6-1) finished fifth and to a 12-1 shot as we had the public’s second choice Photobombr Hanover (2-1) who finished fifth.

Saturday concentrated on elims for the Lismore and “Rooney” at Yonkers and a Graduate leg for trotters at the Meadowlands. Favorite Agent Q won a Lismore, while we were third with the entry of V String-Caviart Ally ($2.10), and a 9-1 shot beat our Caviart Cherie (22-1) as the public choice busted at the gate and was eliminated. The solo Rooney elim went to the huge choice Downbytheseaside, dowsing our attempt to be him with Summer Side (32-1), who finished fourth.

The four-year-old trotting Graduate Series began and another season-debuting star, Broadway Donna, the second favorite, beat the top choice, Dayson, while our strong contender, Cufflink Hanover (23-1) gallantly made it home fourth from a trying 10-hole trip.

Friday we backed a colt and a filly pacer in sires stakes for sophs at the Meadowlands with diametrical results. We won with a super favorite in the filly installment, as Colorful Jasmine ($2.40, $2.20, $2.10) flew to victory. In the second mile, our colt choice, Indian River Ace (46-1), finished fifth. He was all out trying to keep up as the favorite won easily.


This week’s Hambletonian Trail covered both sexes, beginning with Friday sires stakes for filly trotters at the Meadowlands. The focus was the return of Ariana G, frosh champ and she won as the prohibitive favorite. However, our choice at 56-1, Dream Baby Dream ($12.00, n/s), completed an exacta worth $35.00. In the other filly trot we were third with Hillarmbro ($2.80) and Evelyn (13-1) was fourth.

The colt splits produced a winner with Long Tom ($3.80, $2.60, $2.10), while Signal Hill (32-1) finished sixth in the second round.

Saturday, May 20, sires stakes at the Meadows featured colts in three lucrative splits. We took two of them with Andy M ($7.20, $4.00, $2.60) and Common Parlance ($7.20, $5.60, $4.60). We were third in the other mile with High Glider ($6.00), losing to the public choice.

Filly trotters with some Hambletonian Oaks interest battled at Mohawk Saturday in an SBOA Final, for a purse of $130,130. “Oaks”-eligible Gravitator ($3.20, n/s), our choice, was second to the favorite for a meager exacta price of $6.30.

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 52 active horses (a 19-percent win hit rate and a 46-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.


Jump Jive And Jam, $18.70, $6.30, $3.90, Mohawk
The Lehigh Legend, $8.40, $4.80, $3.80, Running Aces
Dakota Jack, $7.20, $3.30, $2.70, Yonkers
Sand Sonya, $6.60, $3.80, $2.60, Northfield
I Could Care Less, $5.60, $3.00, $2.40, Hawthorne
Thebestofme, $5.00, $2.60, $2.70, Charlottetown
Savannah Sunset, $4.20, $3.60, $2.10, Pocono
Bubeleh Stone, $4.00, $2.80, $2.40, Scarborough
BJs Guy, $3.00, $2.40, $2.10, Yonkers
Lets Drink On It, $2.60, $2.20, $2.20 ok, Hoosier


So Cam Lady, $11.80, n/s, Monticello
Pembroke Newt, $10.20, $5.20, Plainridge
Lucy From Hebron, $6.60, $3.40, Scarborough
Grand Galop Semalu, $6.40, $4.80, Scarborough
Show Stopping, $4.90, $3.00, Buffalo
Clara Bea, $4.80, $2.90 (Exacta $18.90), Monticello
Sure You Are, $2.80, $3.00 ok (Exacta $10.80)
I Saw Red, $2.20, $2.10 (Exacta $9.60), Vernon


Pan Taylor, $4.60, Scarborough
Madman Hall, $4.30, Yonkers
Jaipur, $3.00, Vernon
Semalu Express, $2.90, Monticello
Dapper Dude, $2.40, Meadows
Lady Spartacus, $2.10, Scarborough

News & Notes

Yonkers Raceway’s return to Sunday matinees begins on May 28 with a first post of 12:30 p.m. Races 5 through (1:45 p.m.) 8 (3:15 p.m.) are the “French  trots,” featuring oversized fields at 1 ¼ miles. The final post would be either 4:15 p.m. (11-race card) or 4:35 p.m. (12-race card).

When Running Aces opened its three-day-a-week harness schedule on May 20, familiar names adorned the program, only some were only familiar to those who followed the slim schedule of standardbred racing existing in the Midwest to the West. As we predicted, Cal-Expo’s leading trainer from its recently closed meet was Kathleen Plested. Her barn is in Minnesota for the meet and her first weekend of competition offered a good share of winners.

Some other names traveling on the shaky Midwest/West circuit have also shown up at Running Aces to participate. Gerald Longo’s stock is up from Florida, as is the productive crew in the Maier barn (Denise and Tim) Also, in from California is Luke Plano and veteran-West-Coast-conditioner Bob Johnson. Other recent Cal-Expo figures involved in the meet are Steve Wiseman,

Long-time California trainer/driver Joe Anderson has surfaced in the Midwest after a long hiatus. With the opening of Hawthorne’s harness meet (the sole harness racing pari-mutuel meet left in the once thriving standardbred state), Joe is conditioning some horses competing regularly. Also re-appearing is his son, Ryan, who had taken time off, reportedly, after an injury during a drive. Ryan Anderson is on the books as the youngest driver to ever win a Breeders Crown event. Also, Cal-Expo mainstay James Lackey has opted for Illinois over Minnesota, driving regularly at Hawthorne.

The man responsible for working overtime through the years to keep California harness racing alive and who was a good source and friend to our efforts in journalism over the years, has died. Alan Horowitz died in late April while in retirement. He was 73. Alam was executive director of Western Standardbred Association (now California Harness Horsemen’s Association ) and owner/manager of the state’s only yearling sale company when racing flourished in the Golden State. Alan almost single-handedly took the sport from the brink of extinction in the ‘90s and formed and led Capitol Racing in Sacramento to success in the Capitol city. He was an active and important figure in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when harness racing included meets at Bay Meadows, Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park and Pomona.

Extraordinary Extras

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

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