Dan Patch Stakes At Hoosier; Fear The Dragon At Northfield; Sires Stakes Episodes All Over The East

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August 10th, 2017

The second week in August marks the beginning of the post-Hambletonian season. Thanks for all the followers of updates and photos @FrankCotolo on the afternoon of the Meadowlands’ big day of stakes and we hope you all took advantage of being with us on Twitter, where we landed the Hambletonian winner and some elements of a few tasty exotics.

Meanwhile, the 2017 Hambletonian Trail ends and next weekend we launch another TwinSpires-exclusive blog—the Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC). The BCC, also in association with the Hambletonian Society, features exclusive focused coverage of selected top events in all divisions up to the October elims and finals, this year at Hoosier Park, which we will cover in an expanded BCC edition.

Speaking of Hoosier, this week’s big features are the Dan Patch at Indiana’s harness track, and at Northfield the Carl Milstein Memorial marks the return of Fear The Dragon. As well, there are sires-stakes aplenty in the Keystone and Empire states. 

The weekly H2W (the horses-to-watch) list never stops being posted, so do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections when playing your bets. Of course, remember to be fully armed with a plentiful TwinSpires betting account. Check it out along with all of the North America harness action covered below.


Three $50,000-plus Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) divisions for two-year-old filly trotters highlight the Philly program on Thursday, Aug. 10. The probable favorites, of course, are those coming from the “Doherty” final, which may be a false lead for the object of value.

Jimmy Takter’s Swing It Cathy could be overlooked in the opening division. Seen as taking a bold step up, “Cathy” has already handled PASS gals at this level and took a place check at 10-1. Because Takter drives her himself here and the star drivers are guiding more obvious choices, Cathy is the catch in this contest.

Division two also supports the Doherty argument and also allows us to take advantage of what the public may dismiss. Winmill has been racing well enough to seriously consider here against others. She qualifies for PASS event coming from a sire not recognized as productive—yet. All of this is good evidence to see her upset foes that have had no trouble galloping instead of trotting.

The last of the PASS trio presents a few fillies that are showing considerable swagger and Chris Beaver’s Zoe Bi, especially, will draw the attention of the betting majority, along with Seviyorum from Julie Miller. Meeting this group for the first time is outsider Olive R Klosov. The crowd looks for familiarity and that doesn’t stick to trainer Scott McEneny, which is good for us. The money will go to the obvious Morning Line choices, while the young, productive daughter of Donato Hanover offers a great price along with a great chance to upset.


With only six frosh-filly trotters on tap, a New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) mile at Vernon on Aug. 10 offers $117.600, what may be the most any of this sextet races to earn all season.

Trond Smedshammer is in the catbird seat here with Celebrity Ruth, who is four for eight and who may be better than the nine-for-10 Barn Bella, who is also the top earner this season. Ron Burke’s Heels On Wheels may offer a challenge that gives either of those top picks some trouble (not breaking, just speeding). The outsider with a better shot than most would agree is Charlie Norris’ Maewegonow. She can win this but her odds won’t distinguish her true chances. That’s our kind of bet.


Ten older pacers celebrate the great American pacer in a $325,000 Hoosier Park event, the Dan Patch Stakes. Fresh off his longshot victory at the extra-distanced Sam McKee Stakes last week at the Meadowlands, Check Six gets post 9 in an attempt to tally on his third win of the season. The Midwest’s own Freaky Feet Pete, lightly raced this season with only one win, joins the fray, along with the usual older-pace suspects, including Rockin Ron and All Bets Off, Burke-barn residents with Check Six. It all makes this a very evenly matched affair up for arguments that include most entrants.

This is a good race to back Dr J Hanover. Tony Alagna’s pacer has excelled in this division’s weaker stakes and could be set for a winning trip here, set up to give him a free path in the long Hoosier stretch. A good price is guaranteed as the wagering is bound to be more bias than the morning line predicts. 


Friday, Aug. 11, finds the glamour-boy trotting division at Tioga for NYSS miles. Each is worth $39,000-plus. There is only one Hambletonian co-star and he shows up in division two—Guardian Angel As. He was dueling with the winner for three calls before breaking and here he should show his class, as Hambletonian finals tend to be “key” races, spawning winners.

Round one should find a big favorite in Optimist Blue Chip. However, we like the Millers’ colt here—Top Flight Angel. Julie Miller sends out top-notch trotters and they have a great high-win mutuel percentage, especially when Andy is driving. This guy should go under the radar and is worth the backing.

Finally, round three leans toward a strong favorite—Swell Chap—but once again the Millers may have the edge at a price, this time with Money Macintosh. His five races include a win, a place and a show and put him in direct competition sitting in the 2 hole.


A trio of PASS miles worth $54,000-plus each are the Aug. 12 afternoon pickings at the Meadows. There are only three sires’ reps in the first division’s short field. Maxus, the Muscle Hill boy from post 3, is a Takter product that may get favorite status but we are more interested in Crystal Fashion, a Cantab Hall product from Jim Campbell’s group. Even as a second favorite, should the crowd become aware of his true chances, Crystal Fashion is worth it.

Next, seven hit the track with no one more suspicious than the other. Takter’s top money-winning Samo Different Day could be the dead-on choice but Noel Daley’s Explosive Lindy coult out-trot him as he improves and certainly will offer more across the board.

The afternoon-cap PASS for these green guys expects to be led by Whats The Word, though rail-starter Lawmaker will challenge that betting status. We have liked Burke’s Rose Run Tyrone, though he is still a maiden (along with two others here) in his first four starts and a marked improvement will pay off.


Top division champ Fear The Dragon, rested, takes to Northfield’s ‘Flying Turns’ on Aug. 12 for the $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial. Eight soph-colt pacers are merely co-stars. Among them is Downbytheseeside, who did not make much of an impression upon Huntsville in last week’s Cane Pace. He will have to gun for the top here to try to establish any edge, as “Fear” will have no excuse destroying this field without a major excuse.


In two $71,000-plus PASS episodes for glamour-girl pacers at Pocono on Aug. 12, we see some from the big card at the Meadowlands returning to battle. In division one, Caviart Ally comes from the Shady Daisy, where two moves only got her a place check. She rules this field, especially since the buzz horse, Awash, has to negotiate post 9 on this awful ring for outside posts. Even though, Awash may get the bulk of the win money, leaving Caviart Ally once again an under-bet element, which would be great for us.

Round two is another battle between Agent Q and Idyllic Beach, both on the outside here but locked and loaded with overwhelming class. Making a case for Bettor’s Up will draw attention enough to possibly make her the second choice over Idyllic Beach. Takter’s filly has had some problems at three but she may offer too much to pass in this PASS. So, it’s Idyllic Beach for us.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


8/11/17, +BZ Guide R7
8/12/17, +Southwind Torque R4; Mcsexy R10

8/12/17, Fire Dance R2; Lucky Lucka R5; Blue Star Admiral R9

8/10/17, Keepcalmndanceon R4

8/10/17, Laugh Out Loud R4

8/10/17, +Roknrol Freddy R12
8/11/17, Devisser R4

8/12/17, +JK Will Power R13

8/11/17, +Miss Mimi R2
8/12/17, +Daylight Rush R5; Arazi R8

8/10/17, Summer Moonshine R6
8/14/17, Pine Bush Missy R2

8/10/17, +Unreal ae R1

8/10/17, +Unreal ae R12

8/10/17, +Maine Cast R2

8/12/17, +JJ Flynn R11; +The Wayfaring Man R12

Red Mile
8/10/17, +Beauxarts Hanover R7
8/12/17, +The Flight Rose R5

8/10/17, Katie Nona R1; Dolce Seelster R3; Danzig Moon R5; Gunnar Boy R9

Running Aces
8/12/117, Mint To Cruise R4; Coastal Treasure R5; +Gold Star Bugsy R6

8/11/17, Happy Heart R2; All Native R5; +Walks Two Moons R7

8/13/17, +Wake R1; +Shams Big Guy R5

8/10/17, +Oh My My My R3; +Sesame R3; +Musashi R12

8/14/17, +Mac’s Jackpot R12