Features,Watch List Produce $119 Exacta Among Six-Plus Combos With Favorites; $27 Top Win; Double Digit Place Prices

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May 6th, 2018


Kentucky Derby weekend had many of our harness-racing features and horses-to-watch (H2W) choices in the mix; and though more contributed to exactas than they were winners, we collected a few sharp winners and combos from our high-percentage-return using favorites to top exactas and H2W longer shots as their partners. Through it all, the H2W hit-the-board percentage was 47 percent.

Let’s check the features returns in chronological order:

Friday, May 4

Miami Valley’s surge of Ohio-bred filly sophomores began with two divisions of trotters. In the first split we were second to the favorite with Impinktoo ($3.20, $2.80) combining for an exacta worth $10.80. In the second split we were fifth with Sesame (7-2). The race was won by a 4-1 shot.

The Ohio-sired filly pacers were next with four divisions. We took the place spot in one of the miles with Auntmill’smartini ($6.20, $3.40). That was won by the public’s third choice of three tightly priced favorites.

In the other rounds we finished eighth with Grant Me This (4-1), fourth with Princess Rougarou (16-1) and sixth with Thunder Again (39-1). Those races were won by two public second choices and a third choice.

Saturday, May 5

We begin our review on Kentucky Derby day with feature races on the second card at Pocono. In the Bobby Weiss Series there were two splits each for trotters and pacers. We opened the series with a winner in a trotting division, Via Lattea It ($8.80, $3.40, $3.40 ok). In the second trotting mile, our choice, Perfect Chapter AS (7-2) broke stride and was eliminated.
Galloping also lost us the first pace, as Ostro Hanover (8-1) finished seventh and was placed ninth in the confusion. In the other pace, Carly Girl (48-1) finished fifth to the favorite.

At the Meadowlands we addressed two Graduate legs for older pacers and the “Cutler” Memorial for trotters.

The Cutler, a six-digit event, marked the season’s debut of champion mare Hannelore Hanover. She beat them all to open her season and did it, of course, as the dead-on favorite. Our chance to beat her sat with Warrawee Roo (34-1) who finished a solid fourth in the extra-distance race with a field of 12.

We were out of both Graduate divisions, finishing fourth with Funknwaffles (18-1) against the winning favorite, and fifth and ninth, respectively, in the second division with Miso Fast (7-1) and Beyond Delight (49-1).


Our exclusive spin-off blog has launched. The blog’s first feature of the series leads to TwinSpires’ live coverage at the Meadowlands on Aug. 4. Colts and fillies, respectively, were staked to The Dexter Cup and The Lady Suffolk at Freehold on May 5.

The Dexter Cup was a true upset, won by a colt ineligible to the Hambletonian, Lindys Big Bang at 5-1. Our choice, a longshot, was Thrust Control (11-1) and he is eligible. Though he finished fourth we will see him again on the “Trail” as he battles to show his connections he deserves a berth in the two-heat classic.

In the Lady Suffolk, our choice wound up the public choice but Winbak Noelle (3-5) finished fourth in a near four-horse photo. The winner was a 21-1 shot, defeating one eligible “Oaks” filly and another with no papers to race in the classic.

TwinSpires Harness Blog:
Severe Handicapping For Harness Bettors


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 55 active horses (a 9-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


Jericho, $27.00, $14.60, $7.00, Plainridge
Dancin Fever, $9.20, $5.40, $3.00, Miami
Meratroid, $7.80, $4.60, $3.00, Plainridge
Talbotcreekwhiskey, $5.00, $3.10, $2.30, Mohawk
Sweet Talkin Satin, $4.20, $5.30, $2.60 ok, Vernon


Cakeatin Anniemay, $36.00, $7.80 (Exacta $119.00), Saratoga
Feeling Fancy Free, $13.60, $6.20 (Exacta $26.90), Cal-Expo
Sagebrush Sid, $12.40, $4.00, Meadowlands
True Detective, $5.80, $3.80, Hawthorne
Flyhawk Charm, $5.00, $3.00 (Exacta $15.40), Plainridge
Do Your Job, $4.60, $3.60 (Exacta $7.40), Philly
Anegada, $4.20, $3.00 (Exacta $16.40), Northfield
Duck Duck Dragon, $3.80, $2.10 (Exacta $7.80), Saratoga
Camtizzy, $3.00, $2.40, Scarborough
No Mo Fo Jo, $2.90, $2.70, Century
AFF Bigdaddy, $2.70, $2.50 (Exacta $33.00), Buffalo


Rock The Dream, $6.70, Buffalo
Remember Terror, $5.40, Century
Jetstream Gypsy, $3.90, Monticello
Ghost Pine, $3.40, $3.00, Meadowlands
Rocky Ground, $3.40, Freehold
Albergo Hanover, $2.60, Mohawk
Lightningpedia, $2.60, Yonkers
PL Leeroy, $2.60
Somewhere In LA, $2.60, Yonkers
Shane Adam, $2.40, Harrington

News & Notes

There is already a top-10 list for the Meadowlands Pace, which goes in mid-July. The probable contenders for the classic soph-colt race offers no surprises in week one, since most of the colts are being rated by their frosh seasons. In order, the top-10 reads: Stay Hungry, Lost In Time, Pedro Hanover, Hayden Hanover, Closing Statement, Captain Deo, Twin B Tuffenuff, American History, Babes Dig Me and Pro Beach.

Some of the Meadowlands Pace cast is also eligible to the $1-million North America Cup on June 16 at Mohawk. From the M-lands’ top-10 list are (in alphabetical order) American History, Babes Dig Me, Captain Deo, Closing Statement, Hayden Hanover, Lost In Time, Pedro Hanover, Pro Beach and Twin B Tuffenuff. They are paid up, along with Done Well and a dozen or so more.

As you may have noticed from the H2W list, Chicago harness is alive and racing again at Hawthorne, which opened the summer racing season with a three-day weekend, racing May 4 to May 6. The regular four-day-a week schedule then goes into effect with racing every Thursday through Sunday with a 7:05 p.m. post. A solid driving colony returned, including Casey Leonard, Kyle Wilfong, Kyle Husted, Ridge Warren and Tyler Shehan; trainers back are Tom Simmons, Terry Leonard, Frank Petrelli, Mike Brink, Brett Wilfong, Rob Rittof and Roshun Trigg.

New York State harness is abuzz as Tioga joins Saratoga, Vernon, Buffalo, Monticello and Yonkers. Tioga opened its 13th season on Kentucky Derby day. On June 10, Tioga features a $75,000 leg of the Graduate Series for 4 pacers and trotters. On Aug. 12, the the track features the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations, with races for both soph fillies and colts. Also featured on the card is the $175,000 Joie De Vie Open Mare Trot, as well as the $175,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot. On Aug. 19, Tioga will features the Empire Breeders Classic finals soph-pacing fillies and colts, each racing for a purse of $250,000 (est.). Also on that day will be the $175,000 Roll With Joe Open Pace and the $175,000 Artiscape Open Mare Pace.

Extraordinary Extras

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

And check my monthly column, Alternative Actions, at Harness Racing Update