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Homeracing

Fear The Dragon On Top Again, Wins $1-Million North America Cup; Mixed Bag Of Choices Across The Board On Undercard

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

June 18th, 2017

The big Mohawk North America Cup is history and we helped make it with our unassailable endorsement of Fear The Dragon ($4.90, $2.60, $2.10). Just shy of 3-2, the powerful colt proved once and for all the breadth of his talent, as we predicted before he entered the season and as he continued to win. This was his sixth-straight win for Fear The Dragon as a sophomore and the second time he defeated Huntsville, the anointed soph who was supposed to dominate the division all season. Huntsville was second, while Downbytheseaside finished third.

Looking at the rest of the evening’s stakes chronologically, here is how our Mohawk contenders performed.

The Armbro Flight resulted in the obvious couple making up a measly exacta price. Our contender, Broadway Donna (8-1) was nowhere near the trotter she promises to be (we are not giving up on her), finishing eighth; a dull effort in a dull race won by who else but Hannelore Hanover, followed by Charmed Life.

The Mohawk Gold Cup featured the kind of pace-setting shuffle that made a closer have a great shot. Unfortunately that closer was Mcwicked (the public choice). Our contender, Great Vintage ($6.20) got third and may have been the winner were it not for a trip realignment in the stretch, where he had to be taken three wide away from tiring horses to get any path at all.

The North America Cup Consolation found us with the even-money favorite, Hurricane Beach (1-1), who cut suicide fractions through three-quarters and stopped like a cheap wristwatch and finished far behind (with our exacta choice, Beyond Delight [33-1] who sucked along in second most of the way) The fiery early fractions allowed Eddard Hanover at 12-1 (he should have been 99-1) to nail other closers and win the event, his first victory of the season.

The Fan Hanover Final could not have been closer but for it to be a dead heat and we wound up the unfortunate second with Agent Q ($10.40, $5.50) to the 11-1 Bettors Up. Agent Q raced far better, as she dueled right out of the gate with a 54-1 shot and found a seat second to the eventual winner. She was coming very strongly late but a step that was lost in the early going cost her the win at 16-1.

None of our Pick-4 tickets hit. Win, place and show finishers from non-stakes events that were legs in the Pick 4s appear in the H2W list below and those off the board will appear in next week’s list.

We began our freshman series a month early this season but that is no excuse for the failure of our first attempts at cashing in on two-year-olds from current top sires. These green pacers and trotters will click and often will surprise everyone with great prices. Last weekend we gave out Igotallnet (45-1), who finished fifth at Hoosier and three Illinois-breds racing at Hawthorne: Angel Dance (33-1), finishing eighth; Fox Valley Euforic (27-1), finishing sixth; and JBs Shooting Star (28-1), finishing fourth. The freshman watch continues. Make a list of all the losers for replays.

HAMBLETONIAN TRAIL

This week’s Hambletonian Trail we were hot for Shake It Off Lindy (14-1) but the other Frank Antonacci-trained colt, International Moni, who won as a longshot last week in an elim for the Goodtimes, won at 2-1. Our other contender, Guardian Angel As (17-1) never raced a step, finishing ninth.

The Empire Breeders championships will be reported in next week’s edition.

Wednesday, June 14, we sent out a tweet for three spot plays at Hoosier. One of them was freshman Igotallnet, as above. The other two both finished fourth—Brooklets Caleigh (11-1) and Wheels A Turning (27-1).

On various Wednesday nights we tweet for TwinSpires Twitter members from @FrankCotolo –retweeted by @twinspires—and the raceway involved. Losers from each week will appear on the next week’s horses-to-watch (H2W) list unless they race before that blog is published, so watch for them returning to the races on days in between blogs. Watch for special tweets from raceways on various Wednesdays.

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 38 active horses (a 12-percent win hit rate and a 43-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

Ideal Jet, $17.10, $6.60, $4.50, Mohawk
Rockin Wizard, $5.90, $4.20, $3.00, Mohawk
Shady Jack, $8.90, $3.90, $2.70, Rideau-Carleton
Rockin Show, $7.20, $3.70, $2.60, Tioga
Photobombr Hanover, $5.60, $2.60, $2.10, Philadelphia
Majo Lou Beka, $3.70, $2.80, $2.20, Rideau-Carleton

Seconds

Dinner At The Met, $8.50, $5.90, Mohawk
Venus Delight, $3.80, $3.40, Meadowlands
Next Success, $3.60, $2.80 (Exacta $15.60), Pocono
Yanklet Hanover, $3.60, $3.00, Ocean
Vermillion Bird, $2.60, $2.20 (Exacta $8.80), Scarborough

Thirds

Silvio Dante, $7.60, Plainridge
Cufflink Hanover, $6.50, Tioga
Justlikeithought, $5.00, Hoosier
Rockin Romeo, $3.20, Ocean
Whitesville Liz, $3.00, Ocean
Roman Conqueror, $2.60, Scarborough
Regal Son, $2.50, Mohawk
Sandbetweenurtoes, $2.30, Mohawk
Iaquinta, $2.20, Tioga
Pocket Novel, $2.10, Century
Skade, $2.10, Century


News & Notes

Last season’s Hambletonian-champ Marion Marauder is back on the track. He won his first race at four on June 11 at Tioga Downs. It was an easy victory in a Graduate Series trotting division. None of the connections for the Trotting Triple Crown winner have changed. Paula Wellwood still trains and Scott Zeron guides him. It was a soft field but the millionaire horse needed the pari-mutuel route as he will engage against more experienced older trotters in stakes to come.

Market Share, 2012’s Hambletonian champ, has something significant in common with Marion Marauder. They are the only Hambletonian champs since 2005 that are currently racing. The other winners of the August classic, from 2005 until 2017, have all left the racing wars. From 2005 on, here are the missing-in-action Hambletonian winners retired or passed: Vivid Photo, Glidemaster, Donato Hanover, Deweycheatumnhowe, Muscle Hill, Muscles Massive, Broad Bahn, Royalty For Life, Trixton and Pinkman.

We have no details but some situation is responsible for the delayed return to racing for Wiggle It Jiggleit. Owner George Teague announced that his five-year-old pacer missed the Ben Franklin eliminations a few weeks back because the horse “has a little issue with his back.” It is known that “Wigg” had back problems at two and at three but it is not been established if the condition has worsened at five. Teague also said that he hopes Wigg can be ready for a July 15 return racing in the William Haughton Memorial.

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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