Fear The Dragon Devours Huntsville; Top ‘Zweigs’ Zap Favorites; Killer Kentucky Kids Are Public Choices

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August 20th, 2017

Fear The Dragon ($2.80, $2.80, n/s/ ok) had no reason to be afraid of his major foe, Huntsville, at the Meadows on Aug. 18, because he came up short, finishing off the board to the champion pacer that he is yet to beat this season. We also had the third finisher, Blood Line (n/s/).

In the second of the two Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for the glamour-boy pacers, our first choice, Ocean Colony scratched and our second choice, Summer Side (19-1) was fourth.

The Gold Cup & Saucer at Charlottetown resulted in an upset, as we predicted, but not with our upset candidate and with a caveat to the event. The defending champion, YS Lotus, scratched in the afternoon, its trainer worried about the intense heat of the day. Our choice was Sports Lightning, going off at 15-1. He finished sixth of the seven starters. The winner was 10-1.

The Red Mile went bonkers with bush league babies over the weekend and most of the Kentucky Sires Stakes for these freshman colts and fillies were true to form enough for the public to win seven of 11 with their first or second choices. We gave out only two that came in third—Raileegotaholdonme ($3.20) on Aug. 17 and Tipp City ($6.40) on Aug. 19.

Three of our choices broke and were eliminated: Cordoba Hall (6-1), Zeppelin Bi (7-2) and Top Expectations (6-5) on Aug. 17. Also on that card, Sunset Drifter (17-1) was sixth and Special Miss (18-1) was eighth.

On Aug. 19, our three contestants off the board were Oberlin (35-1), fifth; Rush To Judgment (45-1), sixth; and Newsday (7-1), eighth.


The “Zweigs” at Vernon, consolations and finals, were small circuses of soph trotters on Aug. 18. Ariana G’s battle against the boys in the Open final failed; she finished second to 34-1 Yes Mickey, who had a perfect trip and took advantage of the filly’s early wide sweep to the top. Both of our contenders dug in deep but were off the board, those being International Moni (3-1) getting fourth and Bill’s Man (16-1) getting fifth.

The Open consolation went to the favorite, while we were fourth with part of the Smedshammer entry, Cresurrey (9-1).

The Zweig filly final found our 17-1 choice part of a big exacta, finishing second to a 7-1 shot. Sunshine Delight ($12.40, $9.10) partnered with Evelyn for the combo.

In the filly consolation our contender, Northern Courtney (7-1) broke on the move in the stretch and finished a distant fifth.


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 31 active horses (an 19-percent win hit rate and a 52-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.


Showtime Terror, $12.40, $5.60, $7.20 ok, Century
Pine Bush Missy, $8.10, $10.40, $5.30 ok, Monticello
Coastal Treasure, $6.00, $3.00, $3.20 ok, Running Aces
Seventimesavirgin, $5.20, $3.80, $2.60, Hoosier
Frost Damage Blues, $4.90, $3.60, $2.60, Yonkers
Dolce Seelster, $2.90, $2.10, $2.10, Rideau-Carleton


Northern Matador, $22.00, $5.50, Batavia
Hot Roddy, $8.60, $4.20, Plainridge
Wake, $7.00, $4.00 (Exacta $14.40), Scarborough
Love To Glide, $4.20, $3.00 (Exacta $25.60), Philly
Shanghai King, $3.30, $3.30 ok (Exacta $12.60), Saratoga
Python Blue Chip, $2.80, $2.50, Yonkers


Yanklet Hanover, $8.00, Ocean
No Mo Fo Jo, $4.90, Yonkers
Shakerattlenrock, $4.00, Scioto
Yupper, $2.60, Meadows

News & Notes

Here is the second week of our exclusive TwinSpires top 10 contenders list for the 2017 “Jug” on Sept. 21 (not any or all in this list are guaranteed to race in the Jug but they are all eligible).

1-Fear The Dragon
2-Classic Pro
5-Blood Line
6-Miso Fast
8-Ocean Colony
9-Mac’s Jackpot
10-R J P

Cal Expo announced a $20,000-guaranteed Alan Horowitz Memorial Series for pacers has been added to the stakes schedule and will debut at the next meeting, which begins on Oct. 28. The series is named for Alan, a major force in California harness racing over the last several decades and a member of the California Harness Horsemen’s Association Hall of Fame. Alan passed away in April at the age of 73. The eliminations for the “Horowitz” will be held on Nov. 11 with a $5,000 purse. The $20,000 finale goes on Nov. 18). The series is a starter allowance for horses and geldings that have started for a base price of $5,000 or less since Aug. 15 of the event’s current year and have not won for a base claiming price exceeding $8,000 since that date. Also eligible are fillies and mares that have started for a base claiming price of $6,000 or less since Aug. 15 and have not won for a base claiming price of $10,000 since that date. The top-10 money earners from the eliminations qualify for the final.

Back in the sulky since a drive in June, Mario Baillargeon competed in a qualifier at Mohawk on Aug. 15. The five-race morning session featured Baillargeon’s only drive, guiding a Manofmanymissions gelding that trained and co-owned by Mario’s brother, Ben. Mario and his horse won by 2 ½ lengths in 1:58. The veteran horseman for decades, who we met first at the defunct Hollywood Park meet in 1978, has steered his mounts to more than $96 million.

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 ~