Features In The Deep Freeze; Miami Valley Opens; Variety For Victories
As 2017 rolls through its first month, plenty of full harness programs across North America present wagering opportunities promising profits for our TwinSpires accounts. The New Year will soon offer the winter stakes season and until then, we pursue early success in our personal features from harness races at tracks carried by TwinSpires.
This week our features begin at Freehold, move on to the Meadowlands and then to the Meadows, back to the Meadowlands and Miami Valley, which opens its season this weekend.
Again this season, our suggested contenders could play a profitable role in win, place, show and all exotic wagers. Do your own handicapping but consider our selections when betting any races we cover. That, of course, includes the horses on our H2W (horses-to-watch list), which include selections from personal research into all of the recent performances they have made.
Freehold/ Race 4
Thursday, Jan. 5
In this conditioned event, Sonic Ivy steps up, having earned the hike with a smart, tough win. As usual, the track handicappers have put the best chances to obvious class-drop contenders. Sonic Ivy has the old advantage of timely form and considering the competition here, the old adage works in league with the old advantage. That is: Better to support a horse on its way up than one or two on their ways down.
Freehold/ Race 9
Thursday, Jan. 5
Certainly, attention must be given to Pei Pei, ignoring a 25-1 Morning Line (ML). After shipping back to New Jersey after a strong race in Maryland, Pei Pei showed courage coming back, perhaps as a result of some success at Rosecroft (a third from post 9 against weaker). She zoomed out quickly when returning to Freehold at this level and was hanged for two calls (at 71-1). Without a duel, she may have swept that race at huge odds. She is a contender here, for sure, with an upset price against a few forced to come down to her level.
Meadowlands/ Race 7
Friday, Jan. 6
The Late Pick 4 begins with a reasonable opportunity to knock some tickets out by giving Nerida Franco N better chances to win than her odds. She probably won’t get the kind of support that will land her a spot in the top three public choices. However, we see her doing far better than her Dec. 22 race, which didn’t finish badly considering she had a slow start from post 9 and finished on the purse grid. Here, she could continue what is a recent form that is productive. She has been sitting on a win since she stepped up some levels at Yonkers since a near win at the Meadowlands last November.
Meadowlands/ Race 9
Friday, Jan. 6
A Pick 3 starts in this conditioned mile for mare pacers. Starting her four-year-old season and shipping from Yonkers, Givemeyourheart is bound to be contentious and could take this first challenge against older mares, except for one (Gypsy Bellevue, who we nabbed last week when she won from a little better post). Givemeyourheart was looking for her fourth-straight win in New York before she stepped up having to deal with Yonkers’ dismall 8 hole and trailed. Given the rail next out, she was hanged while chasing two and just picked up a fifth check. Here, post 7 means far less trouble than it may be at Yonkers and she is on schedule to return to her winning ways. Those recent two finishes may help her odds rise.
Meadows/ Race 6
Saturday, Jan. 7
As a strong favorite at this level, Connecting Flight broke stride badly and galloped for two calls two weeks ago. He gets the 8 hole here and that should send bettors to the 1 and 2 horses, one of which is handled by the track’s driving hero, Dave Palone, and trained by Ron Burke. Those brands bring cash. However, the bargain here will be with Connecting Flight, who can overcome the 8 hole and without galloping can put this group away. This race launches a Pick-3 sequence.
Meadowlands/ Race 5
Saturday, Jan. 7
Stratocaster nearly won at the Meadowlands two back and then went to a “winners-of” conditional at Monticello. He was forced to duel trying to get the lead early and was hanged on the four-turn mile, finishing sixth as the favorite. Back in New Jersey now, Stratocaster is back at the level of his third-place Meadowlands finish (he was barely a length behind the top two finishers at 7-1). He may be a good price and certainly is worth the support against this ragged group.
Miami Valley/ Race 7
Saturday, Jan. 7
Two good recent races before turning six have Blooming Genius in a great spot here. Kayne Kauffman claimed him three back at Dayton and he was well meant in his first start for Kauffman but dueled out early at 7-2. He should go off near his 8-1 ML.
Also worthy of addition in this race’s trifecta is Buff’s Image. He raced evenly at Dayton aftershipping in from Pocono, where he paced a blockbuster second at 68-1.
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.
1/6/17, Hare To Eternity R8
1/7/17, +Real Attitude R2; +Centalta Eclipse R10; Eternal Grace R12
1/7/17, Beechwood Tiger R2; Jet Passing R3; I Aint No Lady R4; +Sporty B Skipalong R5; +Fleurje R6; +Bold Arrow R7; Scarlet Saphire R8
1/9/17, Renegade Bob R12
1/5/17, +Alacrity R7
1/8/17, Lets Go Places R4
1/5/17, Poacher N R6; Bull Wheel R7; +Im Sid The Kid R8
1/7/17, +Galyns Gift R4
1/6/17, Opulent Yankee R1; Marion Millinair R6
1/6/17, ER Bella R5
1/7/17, ER Rudy R2; Final Retrieve R3; Always Kenzwe R6; Rocknroll Jewel R10
1/5/17, +Snoz, R3; Wizard Of Art R5
1/6/17, Chester Hanover R3; Bupa Bruiser R4; +Crown Isle R7; +Tie Your Shoe Ed R8
1/7/17, +Fly Me Courageous R4; +Stirling Cordelia R6; +Derek Delight R10; +Darns Diva R10
1/7/17, Flak Jacket R8; +Scrappy Fella R10
1/7/17, +Gold Star Sonata R4; +Match Point R7
1/8/17, Rock N Row R1; No Bad Dreams R2; Body Double R3; Abreathofreshart R6
1/7/17, Audreys Dream R11
1/8/17, +Jacks To Open R5
1/9/17, Roll With Josie R5