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Homeracing

Fear The Dragon Defies Outside Trip, Targets Huntsville To Win Adios; Favorites Rule In ‘Oaks’ Elims; $15 Win Price Tops Lot; Frosh Threesome Scores

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

July 30th, 2017

Fear The Dragon—always Fear The Dragon.
 
Our influence suggesting great horses, no less average horses, to win still doesn’t affect the greater betting public strongly, which is good, because when a great horse comes along and we present it from its best price at the season’s beginning to its shortest price, the value remains intact thanks to the wagering public.

This year has been no exception in the ranks of the glamour-boy pacers, since we introduced to bettors the monstrous Fear The Dragon. Up against the “experts’” choice, Huntsville, Fear The Dragon has not let that colt beat him once at three and his July 29 victory at the Meadows in the classic Adios Pace was not just a resounding victory—he won it racing off the pace going half of the mile first over—it was a win at 6-5.

Making Fear The Dragon the second choice was the public’s mistake, one we forecast, since the public would be mistakenly impressed with Huntsville’s Adios elim victory last week. Impressed by a mile that was a second faster than Fear The Dragon’s winning elim, the public once again put too much handicapping weight on raw finishing times. Also, the public gave extra points to Huntville for a fiery winning mile in the Meadowlands Pace, a stakes which did not include Fear The Dragon.

Thus, the 6-5 return on Fear The Dragon’s win should be considered gargantuan. He paid $4.60, $2.20, $2.10. If you dabbled in a cold exacta with Huntsville second, you wound up getting 5-2 on Fear The Dragon ahead of Huntsville.

In the sister event, the Adioo Volo, we were active only one division and that one got us a third with Brazuca ($3.00). She was defeated by the first-and-second public choices. With those obvious picks and our 5-1 shot, the $52.60 trifecta was generous even for those who boxed the three numbers.

At the Meadowlands Friday, July 28, two-year-old colt-and-filly trotters jousted for berths in next week’s top frosh stakes—the Peter Haughton and James Doherty memorials.

In the second “Haughton” elim for the colts we were made the favorite and finished second with Met’s Hall ($2.40, $2.20), losing to another colt with the same sire (Cantab Hall) that paid at 21-1. In the first Haughton our colt, Rose Run Tyrone, broke and was eliminated at 26-1.

We were dead on with the first Doherty winner, Phaetosive ($5.40, $4.00, $3.00). The win made our Doherty-elim experience perfect, since our choice in the second elim, Tiffany’s Flash, scratched.

Friday afternoon at Plainridge, the Spirit of Massachusetts event was a blow out with JL Cruz at 60-1. How did this guy finally wake up after a lame 2016 season and win a major event against the best of the older trotting division? The answer is easy—he got the trip. Sucked along with cover in scorching fractions, he inherited the top spot to defy the odds. Opportunistic miles like this can result in huge priced winners. We guess you won’t see JL Cruze beating the likes of these again soon. Our first choice, Crazy Wow ($2.40) was third and our second choice, Hannelore Hanover ($3.20, $2.20) was second.

FRESHMAN FROLIC

Eight two-year-olds were the focus of this section from July 27 through July 28. Three won and one finished third.

Winners included (in order of win price), at Philly, Cuts Like A Knife ($9.60, $7.60, $3.40); at the Meadows, Fish Is Fish ($6.80, $3.00, $3.00 ok); and at Hawthorne, Party’s Jet ($3.40, $2.40, $2.10). At Scioto, Oh My My My ($3.20) finished third.

The remaining four were Sesame (3-1), fourth at Scioto; Crown Count (39-1), fifth at the Meadows; Msmillionheiress (43-1), broke, finishing sixth at the Meadows; and Hickory Sassyfast (93-1) at Hawthorne.
 
All freshman losing in their first mentions in the “Frolic” section appear one more time in an upcoming H2W list.

HAMBLETONIAN TRAIL

This week’s Hambletonian Trail featured the July 29 elims for the Hambletonian Oaks as the glamour-girl filly trotters wiggled for berths in next week’s final at the Meadowlands.

It was no surprise that the first elim was an easy glide for Ariana G ($2.20, $2.10, $2.10), as we supposed. She can still drop into the main event with the boys (Hambletonian) next week and skip the “Oaks” final. We tried to follow her in an exotic with Dream Baby Dream (21-1), but she finished fifth and Treviso (53-1) but he broke and ended up seventh.

The second elim also went to the huge favorite, so our upset hopes were drenched when Caviart Wonder (60-1) finished fifth, which still gets her an aisle in the final.

Some colts considering dropping into the box for the main event raced in a Reynolds division at the Meadowlands. Bill’s Man ($2.20), our choice, wound up the favorite and finished third, beaten by the second favorite and a 5-1 shot. Also Saturday, an Arden Downs soph-colt trot division was ruined when our choice, Lucky Matter (14-1) broke at the start and was eliminated.

NOTE: We apologize for using horses to watch from the July 28 Red Mile program. We did not know that the events

H2W LIST RESULTS

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 36 active horses (a 22-percent win hit rate and a 47-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 is posted.

Winners

Rockathon, $15.80, $4.60, $4.20, Scioto
Respectable Dream, $8.60, $3.20, $3.00, Saratoga
Dark Pool, $4.80, $2.80, $2.20, Philadelphia
Exsqueeze Me, $4.40, $2.60, $2.20, Running Aces
Reign On Me, $4.40, $3.60, $2.40, Meadows
Rock On Creek, $4.00, $3.20, $2.80, Scioto
Zooming, $3.80, $2.40, $2.20, Pocono
Miss Valerie, $2.90, n/p, n/s, Ocean
 
Seconds

Astreos Delight, $8.80, $6.00, Scarborough
Chelsea’s Chance, $4.10, $2.70, Batavia
Don’t Forget, $4.00, $3.00, Hawthorne
Roll Away Joe, $3.50, $2.60, Yonkers
Shams Big Guy, $3.20, $2.10 (Exacta $12.00), Scarborough
Wings Of Royalty, $2.60, $2.20 (Exacta $8.00), Plainridge
 
Thirds

Show Me Up, $7.50, Saratoga
Blush, $4.80, Saratoga
Smokinmombo, $3.60, Scioto


News & Notes

Walner, the hands-down consensus choice to win this year’s Hambletonian, won’t be a part of the classic event. will not race in the upcoming Hambletonian Stakes. Trainer Linda Toscano said the injury was not career threatening, however, there was no date suggested for Walner’s return. The Chapter Seven sophomore was being raced lightly and only at the Meadowlands as preps for the August classic. He won two races, including a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial in a stakes-record 1:50.2. That put his win streak at seven dating back to his freshman season. “We have to do what is best for the horse,” Toscano said. “He’s special. I can’t do anything that might hurt him.”

Our exclusive Hambletonian top-10 will be updated Monday with the exit of Walner. It can be viewed by clicking here. Live and on-site coverage exclusively for TwinSpires harness fans and bettors takes place again this season, Aug. 5, from the press box at the Meadowlands.

The post positions and morning line will be presented for the Hambletonian and “Oaks” at the Meadowlands at a draw broadcast live on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 2 p.m.Eastern Time. The event will be streamed exclusively on the Meadowlands Racetrack Facebook page and YouTube channel. WFAN and SNY personality Marc Malusis will serve as the celebrity draw master. Post positions and morning lines will also be drawn for the John Cashman Memorial and the Cane Pace, two stakes on the Hambo program.

Despite being the sport’s driver with the most wins in his career, Dave Palone is not, on any given day, a good prospect to be a flat-bet profit (betting horses he drives with no other handicapping reason). Because he is such a fan favorite, his presence on any horse accounts for lower odds. However, on July 25 he won seven of 13 drives and presented a rare day of profit for the blind trust needed in such a betting scheme. By the grace of two 5-1 shots winning, Palone’s wins produced a return of $45.40 for a $26.00 investment, a profit of $19.40. 

Extraordinary Extras

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

For Thom Pye cartoons, informative harness history and more, click here ~

 

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