Crowd Smothers Features; Lather Up Trounces Soph-Colt Pacers; $23 Tops Win Prices; Nine Exactas Combined

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

June 24th, 2018

It’s always tough to see the betting public correct at alarming rates, as is what happened in our features this week.  At Yonkers and Pocono the majority of bettors looked super smart as their majority of opinions ruled the toteboard results. Also, there were no surprises in the Hambletonian Trail events. We pulled out some double-digit winners and assisted exotics in the H2W (see list below).

Here is how it all went down:

Thursday, June 21

Favorites won all three New York Sires Stakes for soph-filly pacers at Yonkers but we were involved in two of the three exactas with our choices finishing second. In the first split our place horse was Painted Lady ($5.90, $4.20), completing the $27.80 exacta with the public’s top choice.

In the second split we completed a $16.80 exacta, which was a big price for a winning favorite atop our choice, Ms Cheesman ($2.70, $2.10), which was also the public’s second choice. Our other exotic partner in that event, Azreal As It Gets (11-1) finished fifth.

Lastly, we finished fifth with Believe In Me (7-2).

Saturday, June 23

The elims’ winners for next week’s Sun Stakes Saturday at Pocono could have been handicapped off of the toteboard. The favorites were so dominant that their paltry prices affected the exotics where a longshot became involved.

The most impressive and agreed-upon-by-us favorite soared to victory in the last elim for the Max Hempt trio. That horse is Lather Up ($2.40, $2.10, $2.10 ok). The pacing colt does not appear to be bothered by early wide moves or late challenges. In this mile he brushed off both and excelled down the stretch to leave his foes in the dust. We did have the $13.60 cold exacta, however, with Nutcracker Sweet ($5.60, $6.20).

 In the third Hempt we had the winner, though we did not predict he would be so loved by the public. Hitman Hill ($4.40, $2.80, $2.20) was an easy winner, though it seems he will not have a prayer in the final against Lather Up.

The first “Hempt” elim was won by the public choice (who will also have a chore in the final), while we were eighth (after a good first half leaving from the 8 hole) with Decoy (27-1).

The soph filly pacers had two elims for the James Lynch Memorial Final next week. The public’s second choice (by a few cents) won, while we were fourth with Hypnotic Tale (12-1). We did better in the second elim, finishing third with I’m Trigger Happy ($2.10), losing to the top-choice favorite.

Not much was different in the Ben Franklin elims. We did offer a “lock” and win (as did everyone else) with McWicked ($2.40, $2.10, $2.10 ok). We hit the board for third on the other two elims, losing to the top choice with Western Fame ($3.40) and to the crowd’s third choice—highest win price at 3-1 of all the elims—beat our Sintra ($3.10).


Left over from last week’s Update are Hambletonian Trail-blog events recorded on June 17 at Pocono where a trio of PA All Stars events were held for colt trotters.

In the first split, the public’s second-choice won with the first choice finishing second. We finished ninth with Story Time Hanover (36-1), never trotting a step after jumping off the gate.

In round two, we finished fifth with Raileegotaholdonme (105-1) as the second favorite won. Then, in the nightcap of the events, the public’s third choice won as we finished seventh with Brother N Arms (26-1), who broke stride at three-quarters and was eliminated.

At Pocono on June 23 there were three elims for the glamour-boy trotters (an open) to set up the final of the Earl Beale, Jr. Memorial next week. All three public choices won, including one filly.

In the first round, we were third with 18-1 Lawmaker ($2.60). In the second elim we were second, completing a $6.00 exacta with Evaluate ($2.40, $2.10). In the third, the colts’ solo filly challenger, Manchego, won as the huge choice, while we were ninth with Fourth Dimension (9-1). That one is one of the two top choices in the Hambletonian Future Wager, now open through TwinSpires (see special blog now posted for details). Fourth Dimension left from post 8 and was competitive until making a bad break at three-quarters; he did not make the final.

TwinSpires Harness Blog:
Severe Handicapping For Harness Bettors


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 55 active horses (an 11-percent win hit rate and a 38-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


Hot Cakes, $23.60, $3.80, $2.80, Bangor
Do Work Son, $11.80, $3.40, $3.00, Hoosier
C C C, $11.20, $2.40, $3.00 ok, Scarborough
Bucklegirl Babette, $6.20, $4.20, $4.20 ok, Hawthorne
Ex Hanover, $3.30, $2.40, $2.20, Mohawk
Jimmy Freight, $2.50, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Mohawk


Fuzzy Sweater, $12.60, $6.40 (Exacta $63.40), Plainridge
Heart Of The Ocean, $9.40, $4.80 (Exacta $36.20), Hoosier
Shell I Be Bad, $6.90, $3.00, Vernon
Platoon Seelster, $5.70, $4.00 (Exacta $33.00), Yonkers
Locamotion Fred, $4.80, $4.20, Hoosier
Steuben Patriot, $4.10, $3.30, Buffalo
Ready Any Time, $3.40, $2.60 (Exacta $5.80), Meadows
Andover The Cash, $3.00, $2.40 (Exacta $5.80), Philly
Smart Move, $2.10, $2.10 ok (Exacta $6.00), Northfield


Lovineveryminute, $6.90, Yonkers
Sgt Grit, $3.60, Plainridge
Ex Crown, $3.20, Vernon
Muscles Jared, $3.10, Vernon
Tap My Feet, $2.60, Running Aces
Southwind Blizzard, $2.40, Saratoga
Abida Hanover, $2.20, Northville

News & Notes

Peter Wrenn has become the 14th North American harness driver in history to reach 10,000 driving wins. At Hoosier Park on June 19, with earnings of more than $72 million, Wrenn joined Dave Palone, Tony Morgan, Herve Filion, Cat Manzi, David Miller and Dave Magee in the 10,000-win category. He found win 10,000 steering Blue Power for trainer Ron Otto. Wrenn is a Michigan native. He recorded his first win in 1978. Wrenn won a career-high 634 races in 2007 and has surpassed the $2-million mark in purse earnings seven out of the last 10 seasons. We have yet to calculate his flat-bet profit figures. We will report it when we do.

We did work figures for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.’s eight-win evening at Northfield on June 16. Ronnie drove in 15 of 16 races that evening. His return was $31.60 for the $30.00 cost of playing all of his drives. The flat-bet profit percentage, therefore, was 5 percent. At Pocono that same night, George Napolitano, Jr. scored eight wins. His return was $33.20 for the $28.00 cost of playing his 13 efforts, a flat-bet profit of 15 percent.

The fastest trotter among freshmen so far is a filly named Check Out Trixie, a daughter of Hambletonian winner Trixton and Check Me Out. Trainer Ray Schnittker drove her to a win in 1:58.1 at Pocono. Tying for fastest among pacers was Lyons Night Hawk, a son of Sweet Lou, winning in 1:53.4 for trainer Gareth Dowse. Captain Malicious, a son of Captaintreacherous, won in 1:54.2, The trainer is Schnittker The quickest trotting colt is Our White Knight, a son of Crazed for trainer John Butenschoen, winning in 2:00.2.

Our exclusive feature, Freshman Frolic, starts soon for the 2018 crop. Our annual feature returns to our preview blog. Each racing season, TwinSpires harness blog’s Freshman Frolic feature presents probable profit-making novice pacers and trotters based upon breeding statistics. Exclusively prepared for TwinSpires harness bettors, we cover two-year-olds at multiple North American tracks. Over the years, many double-digit winners have come from this section as we share our experienced edge with bettors.

Extraordinary Extras

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

And check my monthly column, Alternative Actions, at Harness Racing Update