Double ‘Zweig’ Scores With $27, $17 Winners, $53 Cold Exacta; Courtly Choice Tops Division; H2Ws In Money 50 Percent

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

August 19th, 2018


Our Hambletonian Trail scores were matched with wins at Tioga this weekend with some of the same horses that merely contributed to exotic scores on the first Saturday in August. Upsets came through with glorious prices. As well, the newest division head of the glamour-boy pacers wears a new speed badge and other horses returning to win and hit exotic spots helped the horses-to-watch list (H2W) record 50 percent win, place and show returns, contributing with favorites in six exacta.

Here’s how it all came down:

Friday, Aug. 17

Vernon hosted glamour-boy-and-girl trotters in the post-Hambletonian classic “Zweigs” and we presented both of the winners that shook up the public choices.

In the colts’ Zweig we finally made believers out of chalk bettors with a horse we have watched and supported closely through the weeks of the Hambletonian Trail blog. Beating the two big favorites, filly Manchego and hot colt Six Pack ($2.10), the latter which we thought would be second, was our own Met’s Hall ($27;60, $4.50, $2.90). He was a significant part of our exotics in the Hambletonian elims and final, as well as we cashed in on him during the “Trail” period.

With the filly Zweig we also defeated the top choice but as our second choice she came in second to our Supergirl Riley ($17.20, $3.40, $2.90) for a cold exacta of $53.00.

We were third to the winning favorite in the Zweig consolation with Mississippi Storm ($3.20).

Saturday, Aug. 18

At Pocono we took a shot at another leg of the Great Northeast Open Series because we were following a horse coming off of a strong performance and banked on a big mile at a decent price because of it. However, we lost to our second choice, the favorite, More The Better ($4.80, $3.00, $2.20) and finished third with Split The House ($2.20). We also thought Split The House would go off at higher odds than as the public’s second choice.

Sunday, Aug. 19

A New York afternoon at Tioga was featured due to the track’s top attractions. In the first major race, the Roll With Joe, the correct closers took over in late stretch and the longest shot, at 15-1, won by a nose over our choice, Dealt A Winner ($4.50, $2.50).

There was a pair of Empire Breeders Classic finals and neither resulted in surprise. We went along with most in the colt edition, winning easily with Courtly Choice ($2.80, $2.10, $2.10), who also won last week’s elim (see H2W) and we were third in the filly stakes with I’m Trigger Happy ($2.90), who was second in last week’s elim (see H2W) and who was a member of the field in the Shady Daisy “key race” we discovered, which was won by Youaremycandygirl, who also won as the favorite in this race.

Also on Sunday, Pure Country (7-1) finished fifth, unable to beat the favorite, Shartin N, in the Artiscape Open Mare Pace.


Frosh-filly trotters and pacers were the divisions focused upon in major sires-stakes action over two days and two tracks.

A trio of events at The Red Mile on Aug. 16 produced two favorites and a 5-1 shot winning. In the first event we were third with Lindy Pearl ($6.60), beaten by the favorite, French Café. In the second mile were finished fifth with Mercedes Talma (16-1) to the favorite Dark As A Pocket. We were sixth to a 5-1 winner in round three with Devilish Delight (66-1).

On Aug. 18 the afternoon Meadows program featured a trio of frosh-filly pacers, each split won by one of the two public choices. We were fourth in the first group with Sweet Lucy Lou (22-1) and fifth in the second edition with Odds On Naples (14-1). It was the third stakes where we were second to the favorite with Stonebridge Soul ($5.60, $2.40), contributing to an exacta worth $19.40.

Watch for next week’s BCC Top Fives blog for changes in the 12 divisions’ best performing eligible horses.


Thirteen youngsters on both gaits made last week’s “Frolics” list—the exclusive TwinSpires harness section. One scratched. As usual, losers will be on next week’s H2W list).

There were two winners: Swanstotalpackage ($4.20, $2.40, $2.40) at Hoosier and Zero Tolerance ($3.60, $2.80, $2.10) at Vernon.

One finished second: Egomania ($2.60, $2.40) at The Red Mile.

Finishing fourth were Linden Art (Scioto); Donovan Z Tam (Hoosier) and Alii Nui (Red Mile). There was one finishing fifth: Sunburst It is (Hoosier). Finishing sixth was Heavens Challenge (Vernon). Qing Qong Bluechip (Vernon) broke and finished seventh, as did Louphoria (Red Mile).Captain Cash (Red Mile) broke and finished 10th  and Shake N Bake (Red Mile) did not finish.

TwinSpires Harness Blog:
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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 52 active horses (an 21-percent win hit rate and a 50-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


Ollie’s Z Tam, $14.60, $3.60, $2.20, Hoosier
Osprey Impact, $13.20, $4.60, $3.00, Plainridge
Costello, $11.60, $3.40, $2.40, Meadows
Geez Joe, $7.40, $3.60, $2.20, Pocono
Mr Ranger, $6.20, $3.00, $2.80, Running Aces
Full Of Delight, $5.80, $2.60, $2.10, Northfield
Obrigado, $4.20, $3.00, $2.20, Yonkers
Ice Attraction, $3.40, $2.50, $2.10, Tioga
Denver Dolly, $3.00, $2.20, $2.10, Plainridge
Broadway Donna, $2.90, $2.70, $2.10, Tioga
Lather Up, $2.20, $2.10, n/s, Scioto


Firedrake, $12.20, $5.40, Running Aces
I Am The Danger, $10.20, $5.20, Meadows
Draco, $8.70, $3.80, Monticello
Rockaboo Baby, $7.40, $4.80 (Exacta $20.80), Hoosier
Veyron, $7.00, $4.20 (Exacta $22.70), Mohawk
Tom And Stan, $6.80, $5.00, Scarborough
Centela Glory, $5.50, $3.00 (Exacta $24.60), Century
Drunken Terror, $4.00, $2.80 (Exacta $11.80), Pocono
Shnitzledosomething, $3.00, $2.40 (Exacta $4.80), Hoosier
I’m Trigger Happy, $2.60, n/s (Exacta $3.50), Tioga
Courtly Choice, $2.20, $2.10, n/s, Tioga


Coauthor, $7.00, Plainridge
Luckille Amarone, $3.40, Northfield
Top It Up, $3.30, Century
Believe In Me, n/s, Tioga

News & Notes

The Hambletonian Society reports that the 2018 Hambletonian Future Wager’s three separate pools were a success with bettors and it resulted in healthy payoffs for those who backed the winning filly, Atlanta. The minimum future wager was $1, with win wagering only with 17 percent takeout and 15 betting interests each time the pool was opened.

The official first-place finisher in the 2018 Hambletonian determined the winner of each pool. The first pool offered the top 14 contenders including all fillies paid to the “Oaks,” as “the field.” Those who bet the field in this pool won with Atlanta ($7.00 win mutuel). In the second pool Atlanta was 8-1. Those who bet her got $8.00.

The third pool opened after the race entries were drawn for the two eliminations. With Atlanta’s official entry into the Hambletonian instead of the Oaks, the future line was set at 4-1. After finishing second in her elim heat, Atlanta won the final heat, rewarding her Future Wager pool-three bettors with $11.80. On track, she returned $6.40. The total wagered on all three pools exceeded $33,000. The bet will return in 2019.

Trainer Ron Burke recently earned the mark of $200 million in earnings and then added another milestone when he had his 9,000th winner. Starting Aug. 17 at 8,994 wins, he added three at the Meadows and one at Scioto. Victory 8,999 came at Pocono and two hours later he had 9,000 with a winner at Northfield.

Batavia Downs’ 2018 racing season offered its first regularly scheduled Friday program on Aug. 17. Make note, Batavia bettors, that Friday racing will now be conducted weekly until the end of the meet. There is a 6 p.m. post time. Batavia appears on the H2W as we find possible contenders, checking the charts weekly. That includes any shippers from Yonkers, Saratoga, Monticello, Tioga, Vernon or from out of state that are entered in Batavia events.

The management of Flamboro Downs announces racing continues on “Canada’s fastest half-mile track” on Saturday, Sept. 1. A new post time of 6:35 p.m. greets the fall meet, says management, “to take advantage of optimal product placement in the simulcast schedule.” September race days are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, before changing to Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from October to December.

Rainbow Room, a star two-year-old last season, only qualified once at three and has been on the sidelines due to injury. The Joe Holloway-trained daughter of Somebeachsomewhere sustained a broken coffin bone following a 1:52.1 qualifier at The Meadowlands where she finished second to Kissin In The Sand. Trainer Holloway said, “We’ll race her lightly in the Winter” though she will miss all stakes.

Also sidelined for the season is Wiggle It Jiggleit. The sophomore sensation hasn't raced in his current division since 2016. Co-owner George Teague says he won't race this year. Teague said Wiggle It Jiggleit was paid into some late-season stakes with the hopes for a return at the end of this season but the six-year-old won’t be making it to the track, as he continues to suffer from leg problems.

And there is one more disappointment. Fourth Dimension, the 2017 award winner for best two-year-old male trotter, will miss the remainder of this season due to a fracture on his left knee, according to trainer Marcus Melander. Fourth Dimension last raced on Aug. 4 in the wild second elimination of the Hambletonian and was one of the field’s galloping group. Melander said the colt will require four months to recover. This year, Fourth Dimension did not win in four races. He came into the season as the early favorite for the August classic.

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