Double-Digit Duo Of ‘Doherty’ Winners; Favorite Fillies Fly In ‘Oaks’ Pair; Adios Groups Applauds Public Choices

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July 29th, 2018

There were ups and downs on the three-day betting campaign but some fine winners and exotics came through in our features, freshman section and horses-to-watch list.

Here’s how everything went:

Thursday, July 26

A bettor’s story of playing the state-bred champion quartet of races for sophomores at Harrington is the stuff that fuels the legendary tales of the unlucky. In three of the four events, we support outside contenders. Those three races were won by the public’s favorites. In the fourth race we wound up with the public choice, which broke stride and was eliminated as the mile was won by the public’s second choice. 

The favorite we backed was Déjà Vu Blue. She broke early and though she recovered to get back into contention she finished fourth, beaten by the second favorite. We nailed the place horse, Vandalous ($ n/p, $ n/s), but the choice was moot considering the altered betting schemes.

Our losses to favorites in the other three division finals were Brother Kenny (15-1), third with no show betting; Cinder Block (19-1), fifth; and Time And Motion (67-1), sixth.

Friday, July 27

Friday presents the opposite side of the bettor’s nightmare, when not only does everything go right for his or her wagers but it proves going against popular opinion is how to sustain true success.

Both of out choices in the James Doherty elims won and both beat the consensus opinion of the “experts.” In the first elim we waited until the final strides of the mile to claim the win with Special Honor ($38.60, $11.80, $5.80) in an event where all three of the public choices finished off the board. Our exacta partner, Jezzys Legacy (44-1) finished fifth after a sharp mile.

In the second edition, our choice defeated the 3-5 favorite. We won with Starita ($14.00, $4.80, $3.40). With the favorite, the exacta paid $55.00, twice as much as the other way around.

Saturday, July 28

The afternoon Meadows program featured Grand Circuit action. Our general assessment of The Adios Pace in our preview blog was spot on, that is, it remains to be a poor wagering race. The winner, favorite Dorsoduro Hanover, offered little to backers. Remember two weeks ago, when we had him finishing second at 50-1, sparking a Meadowlands Pace three-digit exacta and triple? Our swing for the fence was Wes Delight (51-1), who barely got a call, finishing fifth.

Our choices in the trio of Adioo Volos (AV) were all greatly involved. In the first split we finished third with Serene Stride (14-1). With no show wagering, our choice could only contribute to a measly $16.00 triple.

In the second division we followed the favorite home with 18-1 Painted Lady ($11.60, $4.00). That exacta paid $22.40.

The last AV was easy for Alexa’s Power ($3.60, $2.80, $2.60), while our hopeful-upset-exotic-partner Double A Mint (5-1) finished fourth.


Sixteen youngsters on both gaits made last week’s “Frolics” list—the exclusive TwinSpires harness section. There was one scratch and two errors, as Highway To The Sky and Princess Riley were in no-betting races at the Red Mile.

We had a single winner, Vivi D ($5.60, $3.40, $2.60) at Scioto.

Two on the list finished second: Frontier Telaphras ($38.00, $12.60, Exacta $80.60) at Hooser, and Sweet Deisel ($5.40, $3.60, Exacta $24.00) at Vernon.

Finishing third were Cantab Ed ($3.80) at the Meadows; Be Not Nobody ($12.20) at Scioto; abd Whisper Of Gilina ($7.50) at Vernon.

Also on the list were My Trump Card (sixth), Box Cars (eighth) and Sugar And Spite (fourth) at Scioto; Wheel And Deal (seventh), Soronna (sixth) and Keystone Abbey (fourth) at the Meadows; and Lady Lone Star (eighth) at the Meadowlands.


The Hambletonian Oaks elims at the Meadowlands set the stage for next week’s glamour-girls-filly final. The first elim belong to the super-favorite Manchego ($2.20, $2.10, $2.10), who we did not defy.

The two top choices (our, included) rolled around the last turn together but it was Phaetosive ($3.60, $2.60, $2.10) to win. The other public choice, Plunge Blue Chip ($2.10) faded to third.

Also on tap at the Meadowlands were some Reynolds Stakes for colts, a few grasping for performances that would justify dropping into the box for the main event next week. Along with everyone else, we went with the top choice in the first event. Met’s Hall ($3.40, $2.20, $2.10) may have been impressive enough to join the main event’s competition.

In the other Reynolds, the favorite won and our outsider, For A Dreamer ($14.00), finished third.

In the afternoon at the Meadows two Arden Stakes colt trots were on the program. We were third in the first with House Hubby ($5.80) and got stuck with the breaking favorite, Joey (6-5), in the second. Joey finished sixth.

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 41 active horses (an 20-percent win hit rate and a 51-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


Cumberland Gap, $22.60, $7.60, $4.80, Scioto
Last Dragon, $12.40, $4.20, $3.20, Hawthorne
The Land Shark, $7.60, $4.80, $3.40, Northfield
Rockin Billy, $5.60, $2.60, $2.10, Hoosier
Agent Q, $3.40, $3.00, $2.40, Yonkers
Grace An Mercy, $3.40, $2.40, $2.10, Red Mile
Hell On Wheels, $2.70, $2.10, $2.10, Monticello
Fox Valley Gemini, $2.60, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Hawthorne

Surfer’s Paradise, $10.40, $7.60 (Exacta $33.40), Batavia
Barbie’s Belle, $5.80, $4.00 (Exacta $15.80), Northville
Gazing Star, $4.20, $3.60, Hoosier
Blow A Cloud N, $3.80, $2.40 (Exacta $8.60), Philly
Crazy K, $3.20, $3.20 ok, Northfield

Last Dragon, $8.00, Hawthorne
Bob N Tony, $6.40, Vernon
BJ Savanah, $6.30, Grand River
Walk The Floor, $4.50, Vernon
Paparazzi Hanover, $2.70, Mohawk
Camera Queen, $2.40, Red Mile
Freakonomics, $2.10, Yonkers
No Mas Amor, $2.10, Meadows

News & Notes

Trotters arriving in New York from France in June are gearing up for the first leg of the French American Trotting Club series at Yonkers on Aug. 5. The series will have three rounds of $35,000 legs on Sundays in August and then a $120,000 final on Sept. 2. These races will be simulcast to France as part of the SOA of NY and Yonkers’ simulcasting partnership with the French connections. The French American Trotting Club is a program developed by the SOA. An American contingent traveled to France to select two dozen French trotters to bring back to the U.S. for new American owners. The horses were randomly assigned to their new owners to prevent anybody from having an unfair advantage in the series.

Lazarus N, the “Wonder from Down Under” pacer shipped to the states to take on its best, qualified at the Meadowlands on July 28 versus Lather Up, the soph-colt pacer on the mend after shooting to the lead of his division. The two battled fast fractions for a qualifier, with a 1:23 three-quarters before the older Lazarus N drew away from Lather Up to win in 1:48.3. Lazarus  N seemed no worse for the wear of traveling around the world to sit in quarantine before stretching his legs again. Lather Up showed no signs of the horrible shape he showed losing the “Hempt” final a few weeks back.

On July 27 at Hawthorne, reigning Illinois-bred Horse of the Year Fox Valley Gemini took to the track in leg three of the Robert F. Carey Jr. Memorial. He was defending a two- and a three-year-old campaign that had not seen one loss. On July 27, Fox Valley Gemini kept his streak spotless by winning his 16th-straight race. As expected, Fox Valley Gemini was sent away at 2-5 with Casey Leonard in the bike for trainer Terry Leonard.

Glamour-boy trotter Alarm Detector used a qualifier to prep for the biggest test of his career—the 2018 Hambletonian. Alarm Detector opened a 26-length to win in 1:54 against members of his division. Ben Baillargeon trains the Canadian frosh champ of 2017. Alarm Detector earned seven wins in 11 starts at two and three. Before the qualifier at Woodbine he finished third to top-Hambo contender Six Pack in that one’s world-record win in a Stanley Dancer division at the Meadowlands. Alarm Detector was timed in 1:50.4.

Meadowlands Pace-winner Courtly Choice will be supplemented to the Cane Pace. The event, a major soph pace presented for years at Freehold, was moved to be a feature on the Meadowlands’ Hambletonian day program on the first Saturday in August. In the wake of Lather Up’s hiatus from division action, Courtly Choice earned the top spot for glamour-boy pacers. He has won six of eight starts, the Meadowlands Pace being an investment of $61,000-plus to supplement.

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