Fall Final Four At Meadowlands Overture; Marion Marauder’s Money Shot; A Moot McWicked Mile

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

November 22nd, 2018


This is it. After this blog and our weekly review (a day short this week due to the U.S. holiday that is dark for racing on Nov. 22), we return to our winter schedule, with selected features and strikes at single- and multi-race exotics. The stakes season ends for all divisions as December looms boldly and 2019 rises.

The traditional Fall Final Four (F3) at the Meadowlands. On Nov. 24 brings together a slew of frosh talent, poised to change their divisional status on Jan. 1, 2019. Below are our evaluations for plays in the F3 stakes, along with a few supporting Open fields offering stakes-like purses.

Our exclusive horses-to-watch (H2W) continues to incude as many solid contenders as we can find. The H2W will expand as the New Year begins. Our great wagering choices from North American tracks will be at your disposal through the short days and long nights and there will be plenty of races available despite the cold and lack of stars. Explore any and all horses we post for use in wagers of your discretion. Do your own handicapping and then consider any and all our H2W and frosh selections.



There are 10 frosh-pacing fillies in the $391,250 Three Diamonds Final. There were no elims for this event; therefore there were no byes. All entries appear in this single mile.

Some fillies from the Breeders Crown (BC) who have been the focus in the division most of the season are present for one last dash for big cash, including the arguable top gal, Warrawee Ubeaut. Ron Burke’s filly has burned through speed badges and devoured most of the others in her division one time or another and should come up the crowd’s choice. Burke sends two others, as well—Summer Charm and Slyph Hanover.

There are a few others we supported, either versus “Ubeaut” or in other features, through the season, two of them on board and certainly able to turn over a good price for an upset. First, there’s Renaissance Lady K, who was third for us in a Matron final behind a pair of 5-1 shots. The brave ones would also put in an exacta ticket with Beautyonthebeach. She has whipped up some dough in the latter part of the season and will be low on the list of supporters.


The other straight-to-the-final event sends all 10 trotting fillies entered in the $490,000 Goldsmith Maid.

There are two for Jimmy Takter and two for Burke in the field, a quartet that should attract money. Recently, we supported Nifty Norman’s Evident Beauty in a Matron. She was bet down well but lost to a 4-1 shot. She deserves attention here but will most likely be well backed here, too. Another former choice of ours was Takter’s Cant Touch It, who early in the season was weighed with great expectations. She was soft on the forecast but we figured she was not a proven dud and some maturing could finally satisfy the gleam. We want to give her another shot.

Cant Touch It was 2-1 in a Kindergarten Classic Final at the Meadowlands, toppled by a 17-1 shot. We may only hope that fans, due to that loss and her disappointing season, dismiss her so we can catch her in an upset here. It would be one last huge check for Takter, who leaves the sport in December. 


We were all out on Blood Money in the Matron but did not back Mangogh in last week’s elim (though we had him recently). Our elim choice did not make the final, so we have to decide if it is a smart move at all to bet against Captain Crunch here.

Captain Crunch’s BC was simply great. He sat cold amid the battling and emerged with a ton of strength to down his foes, looking like he could beat them going around the track one more time. Blood Money should be his only worry, but that one will have to be fully fueled to do the trick. Mangogh should be in the exotics mix as well.


Some of next year’s Hambletonian Trail horses show off the last of their freshman resumes in the $435,900 Valley Victory. The race attracted 15 declarations, which required last week’s pair of $20,000 elimination races. Making it a bettor’s race is the absence of Gimpanzee.

Luc Blais’ Forbidden Trade has only an outside post to overcome. The Kadabra colt has been sharp and forceful winning seven of 10 races and should get strong support.

Seven Hills (four wins for six starts) is also going to be popular in the win pool. John Butenschoen’s Muscle Hill colt is getting better, though this is the toughest bunch he has faced.

Add some points for Chin Chin Hall, an elim winner and two for only six races, and Tix And Stones (based upon his elim win) and the obvious contenders fall into line.

Our problem is Divine Spirit. We have backed Brett Pelling’s youngster three times and in all three he galloped. His last effort sent him off at 40-1. The problem, of course, is that he races well, just not all the way in his miles. Still, he is three for 10 or three for less staying on gait. A Father Patrick product, though he continues to “honor” his sire replicating a jumping Hambletonian performance, we have a hard time tossing him out. A wake-up winning mile here is unpredictable no matter what anyone tells you about handicapping this guy. So, let’s take him to win in a rare deuce-win play, just in case he shows up to trot, along with Seven Hills—but only if the latter offers a decent price as the second or third choice. Also, if you lean toward exotics with Seven Hills, the other win bet could also wind up second and blow up that price. 


Only five go in the Meadowlands’ Mares trot ($175,000) on F3 night, with Emoticon Hanover leading the small pack for favoritism. Who would have thought earlier in the season that she would be looked upon above Hannelore Hanover? The two may not even share the top spot, as Ice Attraction is also here raring to take them on again.

It’s a tough race to bet, considering the small field and great concentration on the three mentioned. All one can do is lean toward Trond Smedshammer’s Celebrity Ruth for any kind of price. It is possible, of course, for Ice Attraction to go off far higher than the obvious two mares, which would give us a win bet on her. Watch the board and make a judgment—or pass.


At a mile, the $175,000 Mares Trot at the Meadowlands on F3 night is Shartin N’s race to lose. There is little more to recommend about her—she is the division’s best and here is a great curtain call for her season. She has taken all of these one time or another this season. Caviart Ally has challenged a few times but came up short. Her Breeders Crown (BC) trip, of course, was impressive, but it’s difficult to see any improving trip taking Shartin N here. In fact, this is a soft field from the division that Shartin N has dominated. The best move is to key Shartin N and use her high-odds foes in exotics.


Do these horses ever stop racing? The Free-For-All trotters have been going at it month for month and here they are again, this time for $350,000. One caveat, of course, is Six Pack, the sophomore giant and his division rival Tactical Landing. They put a tricky twinge on handicapping this nine-horse field and Six Pack, especially, could wind up offering less than we would like from a soph taking on the big boys.

That being said, could the sophs’ appearance, along with a 9-post start put the odds for Marion Marauder on our side? That is, may this be a late-season bargain not to be missed? More evidence for that scenario is the presence of Yonkers International-winner Cruzado Dela Noche. The crowd will certainly be shopping for their own definition of value in this field and that could make Marion Marauder a great investment.


Filibuster Hanover is looking like he will be huge next season as he has a great late ’18 but McWicked is phenomenal. The likely Horse of the Year should once again destroy his division’s final field of the season. A win wager may strangely be worth it as an odds-on offer, considering he should be about 1-20 to pass.

Again, Filibuster Hanover is the best second contender and Western Fame should pick up some coin by getting on the board and into the exotics. So let’s leave it there.

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.


11/24/18, +Tyler R3; +Nassau County R10

11/23/18, +Centela Dragster R6
11/24/18, Twin B Delightful R2; +Johnny Gun R4; +A Bay Bay R7

11/22/18, +Tanzanian R7
11/24/18, +Moon Lake R9
11/25/18, +Regally Magnified R5

11/23/18, Sharplookin Finale R4; Elite Awards R5

11/23/18, Keystone Krystal R1; Musical Romance R5; +Endeavors Dot Com R10

11/24/18, Nitro Seelster R1; +Vague Traces R1; Happy Trio R9; Three Rivers Dell R11

11/23/18, +Perplexed R7; Follow The Wind N R9
11/24/18, +K Ryan Bluechip R1

11/22/18, Midnight Matt R3; Fashiononthebeach R5; Darcee N R7
11/23/18, +Vines To Heaven R4

11/26/18, +Cool Desire R9

11/24/18, +Unicorns N Glitter R6; Audrey Anna R9

11/23/18, Ella Christina R10
11/25/18, Big N Bad R14

11/26/18, Rockin Cougar R2

11/25/18, Silver Wings R1; Rock On Line R5; Fritzie Pic Up R6

11/23/18, Gina Grace N R3

11/24/18, Royal Reception R2; No Humble Jumble R4; Lifeontherange R7

Western Fair
11/23/18, +Mittany Nicole R2; +Go Rrrilla R5; +Social House R6

11/24/18, Vorst R2; Bettor Memories R6; Lettuceriprita A R9