Counter Forces Rule ‘Cup’ Card; Tweets Top Best Returns

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June 22nd, 2015

The past stakes-loaded weekend presented many surprises and unusual—if not unpredictable—results that qualify to be categorized under “A” for anomaly. These things happen. Persistent bettors are used to counterintuitive streaks and they know mathematics is adjusting in a way that Wall Street “corrects” vigorous trends.

We were able to spot a few important ones and identified uncommon probabilities and we hope you were able use them for the good of your bankroll. First, there was our distrust in the public’s endorsement of Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup. “Wiggle” did not accept his first huge challenge from sterling foes and suffered the first loss of his career as a prohibitive favorite. However, Artspeak once again paced too much real estate beyond the stakes’ mile and did not beat him (he finished off the board).

On the plus side was that our suggested exotic partners in the race included the actual winner (Wakizashi Hanover), the show horse (Betting Exchange, $8.40) and the fourth finisher (In The Arsenal). If you used Wiggle instead of Artspeak, your superfecta came back $410.45. Our estimation of Artspeak remains positive, since his loss can be explained. A greater horse would have shaken off the adversity but by the same standards a greater horse than was Wiggle would have not come up short.

As well, “Wakizashi” won while taking advantage of the top two horses’ weaknesses with an easy trip and a clear path to victory. Though Wakizashi was only 5-1, he was not wagered upon that much because the public felt he would get lucky; they backed him based on the same kind of trip that won him his elimination. This is not to say he is not a fine pacer, this is to say that the sophomore crop of 2015 is far more competitive than most of the journalists surmised.

There were, however, occurrences in the June 20 program at Mohawk that defied prediction. On the Hambletonian Trail, for instance, Jimmy Takter’s strong favorites, Canepa Hanover and French Laundry, took turns leading in the Goodtimes. The latter got the lead when the former jumped badly and then the latter jumped badly. Our choice, Iron (53-1), jumped badly at the start and was eliminated. The result, a resounding 76-1 winner, was entirely circumstantial.

In other stakes, Jk Shesalady lost again but the Fan Hanover Stakes was not won by the filly that beat her in the elim—it was won by a 5-1 Wrangler Hanover. Oddly enough, finishing just behind her was The Show Returns, a filly we won with a few weeks back, when she paid over $80 to win. Her place price, with “Jk” off the board, was $104.30 and her show price was $27.50. We did not suggest her on the board in this race, we are only reporting the oddity of the matter.

In the Roses Are Red Final we were third with Sandbetweenurtoes ($5.40)—though in our Pick-4 ticket we included the winner, Lady Shadow ($6.80, $3.60, $2.90. We did not beat Bee A Magician, as Shake It Cerry finished fourth in the Armbro Flight. In the Mohawk Gold Cup we were headed for a win with Great Vintage when the Takter pacer broke and skipped backward to finish eighth at 6-1. The Cup Consolation was won by a 4-1 shot and our choice, Go Daddy Go, was fifth.

If you were following @twinspires, the Twitter account we hope you took advantage of the two double-digit winners we supplied that were not in either of the week’s blogs. In Race 2, the team came up with Winds Of Change ($23.00, $7.20, $4.20), as well as the third finisher, Duc Dorleans ($3.40). If you included the race favorite, Piston Broke, who finished second, in exotics, you may have been rewarded with an exactor worth $90.50 and/or a triactor worth $339.70. Then, in Race 13, we tweeted the winner, Marlee B ($26.90, $13.70, $8.90).

Friday at the Meadowlands, we were second in a Graduate with Father Patrick ($2.10, $2.10 ok) and third with All Bets Off ($3.60).

All Hambletonian Trail race stories are archived at the Hambletonian Society website.
In between published harness blogs, follow @FrankCotolo and @TwinSpires on Twitter.


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 the 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 54 active horses (a 7-percent win hit rate and a 39-percent in-the-money hit rate).

Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place and/or show results occurring after press time and that it is up to you to follow those horses that have not performed before this weekly review is posted.


Iced Out, $14.00, $10.80, $5.10, Saratoga
Lyons Again, $7.00, $3.60, $3.00, Philadelphia
Glorie Dream, $5.00, $4.40, $3.40, Hoosier
Mattoxs Spencer, $3.40, $2.20, $2.40 ok, Running Aces


Docs Bonanza, $6.40, $5.80 (Exacta $10.80)
Ponyta Boy, $4.30, $2.60, Buffalo
Art Of Duty, $3.50, $2.10, Buffalo
Cielle, $2.60, $2.60 ok (Exacta $10.80), Scioto
Lucky Lime, $2.40, $2.40 ok, Scioto
Woodmere Jolt, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Charlottetown


Bettors Choice, $12.40, Scioto
Er Monica, $6.80, Hoosier
Moshannon Mojo, $4.60, Meadows
Saint Pattys Doll, $3.90, Vernon
Winonefordoug, $3.60, Running Aces
Beauxarts Hanover, $3.20, Scarborough
Times Are Tight, $2.80, Northville
Da Terror, $2.60, Running Aces
Daughty Hanover, $2.60, Scarborough
Fleurje, $2.60, Charlottetown
Change Your Luck, $2.10, Philadelphia

News & Notes

Happy Sires Day. Since it was just Fathers Day and two-year-olds are starting to hit the track, here is a quick scan of horse daddies—sires—that are doing well in younger divisions as the 2015 season gets hot and bothered. Though it is extremely early for freshmen, it is a surprise that the leading pacing sire in that division is Dali. Twenty of his 40 foals have started and made the most money to date. He is followed by Sand Shooter, Shadyshark Hanover, Rockin Image, Panspacificflight. Do you remember any of them? The trotting-sire leader is also a surprise. Mr Cantab leads with 22 starters from 66 foals. Keystone Blitz, Swan For All, Big Stick Lindy and Jailhouse Jessee follow him. Big Stick Lindy leads the average-earnings category. When you are handicapping these early frosh races, be aware of these sires; they may continue to excel, giving you a sharp edge on getting prices unavailable later in the season.

Champion-trotter Varenne, the leading sire in Italy and winner of a Breeders Crown in the states, is said to be the subject of a major motion picture in development. According to a Swedish news source that interviewed Jori Turja, who trained Varenne, a movie about the horse will be a drama, “like the one that told the story of Seabiscuit.” Varenne is now 20-years-old. He earned $6.8 million—the most money won by any trotter in history—while racing.

North American Harness Update, Ray Cotolo’s popular harness-racing podcast, had a hash-tag game that appealed to new fans and old on Twitter @NAHarnessUpdate. Entries were asked to merge Presidential candidates with the names of harness horses old or new. The names swarmed in, all of them quite clever and amusing. Here are some: Muscle Hillary; Huckabee A Magician; Shake It Cheney; Jeb Bushwacker; Father Pataki; Captaintrumperous; A Rock N Rubio Dance; Bernie Sand Vic; Barack N Roll Dance; Randrovette; Carsonihilator; and Jl Ted Cruz.

Extraordinary Extras

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

Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog

For Thom Pye cartoons, informative harness history and more, click here ~