East-Meets-West Success—Cal-Expo $49 Winner, Yonkers $21 Feature Score Top Weekend’s Abbreviated Action

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February 18th, 2018

The Saturday surprise on the East Coast was a larger-than-life snowstorm. It took out our Feb. 17 features, which were at the Meadowlands. After three races the track cancelled racing, leaving our features for the week ending Friday. Another few tracks in the East went dark due to bad weather and poor track conditions but a few big prices surfaced inbetween. Here’s the chronological report, followed by the horses-to-watch (H2W) list.
Thursday, Feb. 15

Our Power Plays (PP) at Freehold were ruined with breaking trotters and an editorial blunder. First, the blunder: We missed a horse that should have been on the H2W and though we negleced to post his second appearance, he returned and won this Power Plays event. Mass Psychology ($6.60, $4.60, $3.60) won our PP this week at 2-1. Last week he was a loss in a Partners For Picks at the Meadowlands, where he broke and finished eighth, going off at 70-1). We won’t take credit for the win, since it was our mistake.

Meanwhile, from our PP contenders that were published, Donato Stageman (3-1) broke and finished sixth and Big Sky Glide (9-5), the favorite, broke and finished seventh.

We did nail the place horse, Future Flight ($5.80, $3.60), while are fourth contender, Misnight Zette (7-1) finished fourth.

Later in that same program, the favorite defeated another feature race contender when Dragoninthechips (29-1) finished seventh.

Friday, Feb. 16

We reached out for a PFP at Yonkers and got leg one with Adonis Bay ($21.20, $10.00, $6.40). Then in leg two we were third to a 4-1 shot with Natural Leda ($5.90). The third leg found us fifth with Ricimer A (5-1).

All losers in our selected features appear the following week in the H2W list except any that raced in a feature after already listed on the H2W.

TwinSpires Harness Blog:
Severe Race Coverage 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 23 active horses (a 9-percent win hit rate and a 44-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


Storming D Odds, $49,00, $11.80, $5.20, Cal-Expo
Derek Delight, $4.40, $3.20, $2.20, Northfield


Walter White, $4.80, n/s, Miami
Royal Mistress, $4.40, $3.40 (Exacta $10.70), Northlands
Lougazi, $3.20, $2.60, Hawthorne


Real Evidence, $4.60, Pompano
Just That, $3.20, Freehold
Dontdoubtthelakers, $2.80, Cal-Expo
Joyful Sound, $2.80, Northlands
Classy Dragon, $2.60, Woodbine

News & Notes

Earning 3,000 driving wins is a major accomplishment for Ryan Anderson. The son of veteran driver/trainer Joe Anderson, Ryan hit the mark at Hawthorne Feb. 16. The 37-year-old began his career in 1998. He has finished second 2,716 times and third 2,677. His drives have earned in excess of $28 million. He has also trained 160 winners. He was 20 when he drove Popcorn Penny to a Breeders Crown championship for soph-filly pacers at Mohawk in 2000. At that time, Ryan became the youngest driver to win a Breeders Crown race.

If you are looking for horses at Buffalo on the H2W list, we are sorry to say that the recently opened meet has had more problems. First, the lack-of-horse crisis caused a reduction in programs. Then, according to track management, poor track-surface conditions were added to the unfortunate circumstances weighing down the current meet. Buffalo cancelled programs on the weekend covered in this Update Blog. Keep watching our harness blogs as we monitor horses bumped from the H2W as the meet continues.

Hannelore Hanover, the six-year-old world champion trotting mare, a favorite to become 2017 Horse of the Year, will return to the racetrack in 2018. For now, however, she is in the “equine family” way. Hannelore Hanover, already named Canada’s 2017 Horse of the Year will be bred this spring to Southwind Frank, will breed and race this season, her connections said.

Feature races like the Stewart Fraser Memorial and Breeders Crown finals brought the best pacers in North America to Alberta’s capital once, competing at Northlands Park. Those were the days when Northlands’ wagering was the highest in all of the continent on a per-capita basis. After 118 years of hosting pacing, trotting and runner racing, the last harness racing program took place at Northlands on the afternoon of Feb. 17. The horses, after a six-week break, will move to Century Downs. Then, in the fall, they will move into their new home—Century Mile, adjacent to the Edmonton International Airport.

Extraordinary Extras

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