Divisions Duel In Finals; Classic Trot And Pace On Docket

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September 3rd, 2015

Once again, from border to border, multi-divisional stakes finals feature the top performers of the season. Classic paces and trots with competitive casts and betting opportunities unavailable anywhere (virtual or actual) as we continue to dig for the best prices across the board and in exotics, at every sized raceway.

This week, the Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC) coordinates with this, our main harness blog at and the Hambletonian Society. This week the BCC covers frosh-colt trotters in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) at the Meadows and the Canadian Pacing Derby for older pacers at Mohawk. “Crown” eligibles race their ways to the finals  at Woodbine on Saturday, Oct. 24, with elims the week before.

Our exclusive horses-to-watch list (H2W) continues to strongly support our coverage of features by offering across-the-board horses ready to pump money into your TwinSpires account. These horses come from our personal files that scan overnight races all over North America for horses with potential the public may not see.

This Sept. 5, hit and split a million points playing Mohawk’s big stakes night. Click here for details.

Yonkers Trot

The Yonkers Trot at Yonkers on Saturday, Sept. 5 may have lost some of its stature over the years but on the tactical half-mile oval in New York it remains a great betting race when there is a full field and the 2015 edition, worth $500,000 offers a traditional field size of eight.

Is the public growing weary of Pinkman after a bad break and a defeat? The super gelding may wind up a few ticks higher in the betting than in his post-Hambletonian failures but he is still the best here. Crazy Wow, who beat him with a pocket trip in their elim, will challenge him, again, and Habitat, who easily won his elim. However, it seems a lost cause to wager against Pinkman. Certainly, we hope the public penalizes him for his latest efforts so we can get a good price on him. Then, we take Habitat over Crazy Wow for the exacta. Crazy Wow could be sorely over-bet here, as Habitat could be under-bet.

Thrill The Messenger

The lost and ignored Triple Crown of Pacing includes this classic pace named for the sire of all standardbreds, thoroughbred expatriate Messenger. There is $500,000 on the line in the 2015 edition, with eight out for the title (there were no elims). It’s a good betting race, if no longer a classic one, because the soph-colt pacers involved are not from the division’s starring cast.

Aside from In The Arsenal, the culprit that put Wiggle It Jiggleit away in a duel at the Meadowlands in the Cane Pace, the field is filled with second-rate performers. That includes Adios-winner Dude’s The Man, since that final wasn’t populated with any of the division’s stars.

In The Arsenal, however, is worthy of wagering against, since the factor of speed will impress bettors where it should not, as will earnings. The surprise horse here has to be Rock N’ Roll World, whose only win this season looked much like the timbre in this field. He may fire from the gate at post 6 and command the fractions while the rest fight for space and walk away in the short stretch with a hefty win price. That may be his best shot but if he finds another way to win, we will cash our tickets anyway. 

Great Gals

The $455,000 She’s A Great Lady Final is part of a big program at Mohawk on Sept. 5. Frosh-filly pacers have a field of nine from last week’s elims, won by Thatsoverynice and LA Delight. The latter had the tougher win but second to her was the choice we supported, Darlinonthebeach at 8-1. She could wind up the third choice here but still deserves a lot of respect and would be no surprise defeating the other two. Also flying from behind at 41-1 to make the final was Three Dreams, certainly one to pump up the exotics if she follows our choice here.

Metro Men

The $685,000 Metro Pace highlights frosh-colt pacers that have earned their ways into this top-notch affair. It hasn’t always produced champions of its own division, nor has it always spawned great sophomore or older champs but even when there is a dominant green pacer the race usually presents itself as exciting and worth a wager.

The three outside contenders we went with in the trio of elims all raced into the final and all offered top win prices. In this field, those three—Racing Hill, Pretty Boy Hill and Cruise Patrol—certainly all have a shot at the elim winners—Voracity, Control The Moment and Betting Line.

Here, Racing Hill may have the best shot of the three, leaving from post 5. If he gets a better position at the start then he did last week, where he was eighth by 13 ½ and made up nine lengths, he could have a terrific shot for trainer Tony Alagna. He may be cruising late with favorite Voracity and get up by a hair. It could be a fast half, as Cruise Patrol may stress the first quarter to get to the top from post 9 and set up a duel or a shuffle that gives late pacing the edge.

Pennsylvania Champs

Pocono presents a quartet of $350,000 PASS championships on Sept. 5 and most of the stars are in the mountains for the events. The filly trotters are first and “Oaks” winner Wild Honey leaves from post 8 against seven others. Bright Baby Blues, who could not negotiate post 8 in last week’s Hudson Filly Trot at Yonkers, picks up the rail and our vote to take this. “Honey” has her work cut out for her, since the gals to her left are gifted a few extra steps by virtue of their posts. Livinthefastlane has only been off the board once at three and could help the exotic prices.

Filly pacers go next in a tight contest. The division’s tops don’t qualify, so this field of eight features a mixed bag. Ron Burke has three; so does Brian Brown but Virgil Morgan Jr.’s single entry, Doctor Terror, could be in for the race of his career. The betting should be strewn out, which may be good for his backers.

The glamour-boy trot championship is, of course, sans Pinkman, but Takter teammates The Bank and Uncle Lasse, direct from the Hambletonian miles, will be revved up, wagered heavily and tough to beat. Judge the prices for value at your own level but don’t take wild stabs against them because you will have to pray for breaks to win. 

At last, glamour-boy pacers line up without the division’s top dog, Wiggle It Jiggleit. Coming off of last week’s 8-hole win at the Meadows, Wakizashi Hanover should be the huge choice in this group, even with Burke’s quintet ganging up on him. Poor Lost For Words, who cannot seem to do better than place recently, gets weighed down with post 8 for Brian Brown, who also sends out the rail horse, Rise Up Now.

We are considering Blood Brother, Takter’s pacer, who has been tough against tougher recently and is in a great spot (post 3) to get a terrific trip. If “Wakizashi” tries to take the mile from the top, “Blood” may be in a good spot to save ground behind him and take the speedy inside lane or cruise into lane two late and return a good price against the North America Cup champ.

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.


9/4/15, +Apostles Creed R4; +Robin Would R9; Lifes Lessons R10; +Mr Bricks R10

9/5/15, Rich Native R6

9/3/15, Honeymoonisover R3; Sweet Calypso R4; +Gramercy Hanover ae R6

9/4/15, Jinxys Delight R2; +Brooklets Honeypie R14; +Ella Rose R14
9/5/15, Next thing Smoke’n R6

9/3/15, +Simply Burbon R2; Flunkys Girl R3; Jovanna R10
9/4/15, Rip N Rock R8

9/4/15, So Dreaming R2; +Miss Luv R11

9/4/15, Southwind Frank R3; Taco Tuesday R5; +Danielle Hall R7

9/3/15, +Flirting Duezy
9/4/15, +A Dandy Bryer R4

9/4/15, Pick Of The Day R6
9/5/15, Johnnys Gilly R4

9/3/15, +Sumatra R6

9/3/15, Smashmouth R2; Ideal Vintage R3; Chucknlindy R5

9/4/15, +Cobra Joe R4
9/5/15, +Tomy Terror R5; +D’orsay R7; +Lilu Hanover R14

Red Mile
9/3/15, Global Power R1; +Boogies Dream R6; Getting My Shine On R7
9/5/15, +Forest Raider R7; +Urmygeorgia Hanover R9

9/5/15, Traceur Hanover R5; Duel In The Sun R8

9/4/15, +Proud Yankee R8
9/5/15, MJB Got Faith R3; Beach Memories R5; +McWilliam R6

9/4/15, +Alritzia Hanover R7; +Striking Electra R9

9/3/15, Urbana Bayama R11
9/4/15, Jack Attack R3
9/5/15, +Doctor Butch R7

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition