Final February Weekend Filled With Harness Racing Betting Opportunities

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

February 25th, 2016

There is no law of probability that proves we cannot do as well this week as we did last week, so don’t believe in streaks through the weeks, just follow through with our suggested contenders in this blog’s features and horses-to-watch list (H2W). The chances of success wagering for valued win, place, show and exotics are always good because all over North America, harness raceways are presenting profitable opportunities.

So we begin the last week of February on Thursday, at Freehold, with a few courageous calls (including the spin off of contenders for a Pick 3). Friday’s focus continues at Yonkers as we defy the public trust on the half-mile track and go for wins outside the box. And more on Friday finds us at Miami Valley to devour the Late Pick 4. Saturday we offer some hot picks from Northfield.

Supplementing the features action is, for course, the TwinSpires exclusive H2W (horses-to-watch list). Our contenders continue to score generously with across the board, single- and multi-race exotics. Take these horses seriously in all pools.   

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Freehold/Race 6
Thursday, Feb. 25

This race appears academic and yet the morning-line odds predict the outside horse, stepping into this class off of a front-pacing effort, will be the choice. What we see in Palm’s Beach, however, is a far better chance to win while the morning line dismisses him at 7-1. His miles of late are all check-cashing efforts in far better races. We can only hope that the wagering odds go our way. This is the beginning of the $1 Pick 3 and I would have no problem using Palm’s Beach as a single.
Freehold Pick-3 suggested contenders in Race 7 include Catalyst, who is on the H2W below and Touch Of Charm, who gets post 1 for his speed off of a three-call outside trip last out.

Freehold/Race 8
Thursday, Feb. 25

Concluding the Pick 3 and continuing the Pick 4, Race 8 presents an improving horse that could be underestimated by the public. Stepping up, M A Bay has only one bad race, that at the Meadowlands where he was 89-1. He came back after that and at Freehold he easily won a non-winners of 2 and comes into this conditioned race with the best form in the field.

Freehold Pick-4 suggested contenders in Race 9 include Travers Hall, who stepped down into this class and showed speed for the first time in months but was hanged and Classic Actor, whose Feb. 18 race is a toss out at 119-1.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Yonkers/Race 2 
Friday, Feb. 26

This is the second half of the Early Daily Double and the start of a Pick 3, launching what appears to be two favorites as the top choices. However, we see flaws in both. Miss Ali Mach N takes a small dip in class after one win and a third for the new connections. They tagged her for $12,500 and she fits here, where the crowd will embrace top local driver Brian Sears from post 2.

The co-favorite, Upfrontwhosurlady, leaves from her outside and will get support even though she was beaten three back by Miss Ali Mach N. Upfrontwhosurlady looks prepared for a bounce. Her win was a vast improvement and yet she makes a lateral class move.

Our outsider is Local Art, who leaves from post 3 and could benefit from the two top choices sparring for domination on top. Last week, Local Art made an aggressive brush and battled on the outside to finish on the purse grid. Two back, she was beaten by the same horse, Hustleonhome, while getting a suck-along trip. Hustleonhome would be a strong favorite against this group.

Here is a warning about the rail horse, Depth More Depth. Scratched at Yonkers after a sharp qualifier at Monticello and a strenuous two-turn effort at the Meadowlands in which she was pushed against tougher, she returns to her best recent class. She won at this level early in the year at the Meadowlands at 12-1. She will be in a position that makes her a danger of sneaking into the exotic picture and making it a large collection.

Yonkers/Race 3
Friday, Feb. 26

The second leg of the Pick 3 (and a Superfecta) is another mare-pacing conditioned mile. Firstclassflight comes off of two affairs she may have won but for a few steps here and there, as well as her trio of fourths before those put her on the purse grid. For the crowd it will probably be all about the rail horse, Lovineveryminute and mostly because their hero, Brian Sears, gets the rail in a pacer dropping slightly.

To cap the Pick 3, Race 4 check out the H2W list, where Warrawee Qually makes her second go on our watch, after being our choice to win one of last week’s features we chose at Yonkers. From post 8 she was 114-1, more than we could have estimated and she made no moves. That was her first race after a qualifier that was two months after her 2015 curtain call. She won at Philadelphia and was sharp after that win , though she came up short, both in better company than this race.

Miami Valley / Pick 4 / Races 9-12
Friday, Feb. 26

We shift our focus for the first time to the Friday night Pick 4 sequence at Miami Valley this week, with this being a promising sequence regardless.

Kicking off the Pick 4 (Race 9) is a high-level conditioned pacing event with the first of our contenders being Velocity Lana. Moving up in class off a stalled-covered effort, her inside draw may allow her to replicate her mile from two starts ago, which involved her stalking a slow pace and sprinting home to secure a second-place finish. Her best effort will come off a trip where she rides the rail and sneaks into the competition.

Paige Moon Dancer may have the better chance of our two contenders. Racing at this level in her previous three outings, she finally receives a post towards the center of the gate, which should manifest a trip that is closer to the pace. Demonstrating a strong closing ability, getting a position towards the middle of the pack will make her a major player.

A trio of mares could claim the second leg (Race 10) of the sequence, a claiming handicap event. E R Taylor, starting from post 4, has always been a part of the pace in the race but she frequently puts herself in trouble by moving uncovered towards the lead. The other two, Love Of Liberty and A Little Starstruck, both have talent at racing from off the pace. However, Love Of Liberty also has the ability to take this field wire to wire, especially from post 6.

Trotters compete in leg three of this series (Race 11), with Mama Made Me Blue being the most likely winner, and, perhaps, a decent price. She faltered on the lead somewhat inexplicably last time out, which would be the underlying reason that she would have inflated odds. If she lets somebody else lead the race, she could secure a pocket spot and win just like she did four starts ago.

Possibly possessing the ability to upset in this leg, Hard To Rock This has been rounding into form recently. She closed in on the leader from post 5 in her last outing, an improved effort from her post-9 stalled performance before. She’ll be better off if she can muster an ounce of speed off the gate to obtain a spot in the early goings.

Rounding out the Pick 4, the Fillies & Mares Open Pace has the possibility of harboring the best price in this sequence. Starting from the rail, Cast No Shadow is no longer eligible for the handicap placed at this level. In her last start, she was assigned post 8 after a strong second-place effort as the favorite. She has a history of poor miles from outside posts, so, assuming she’ll improve from the rail, she may be the one to beat.

Addys Way is another strong factor in this Open. She was parked the mile from post 9 last out, and made an authoritative brush to the lead to win the Open two starts ago. With the right trip, she will undoubtedly be involved.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Northfield/Race 3
Saturday, Feb. 27

Here’s a conditioner offering the kind of horse we love to spot play, as well as use in exotics, because the morning-line hate it and the past-performance lines in recent races are filled with bad-trip excuses. The horse is the mare Addie Pie, with a morning line of 25-1 and no explanation as to why. We will tell you why not, though. Looking closely at the trips of her recent three races at Northfield shows us aggressive efforts while hanging hard in the last two (claimers at a tad higher than would fit in this race) and then a third but for a traffic problem (impeded) and a tough trip to Chicago stepping up after almost winning as the favorite at Northfield and … catch your breath and simply consider this gal in all of the races pools that you play. It’s the beginning of a $1 Pick 5. There is an H2W entry below for leg three in the exotic.

Northfield/Race 9
Saturday, Feb. 27

The Jessica Millner claim of Hopeful Trust should be about to reap rewards. The mare had a deadly pacing duel last out, racing on top in the second tier for two calls, staying outside for three and holding well until tiring in the stretch on turn four. Local-favorite driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. take over and that, along with post 1, could attract every betting dollar in Ohio and more. Still, the morning line has her at 7-2 and that would be a bargain. Certainly she belongs in all exotic tickets. This race begins the Late Pick 3 and she is a strong single to start the triptych.

H2W Legend

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.


2/24/16, +RT Lange R3; +Dancing Thea R9
2/26/16, +Catch The Wave R5; +Flying Instructor R7;+Babe In The City R9; +Sailing Metro R10

Cal Expo
2/28/16, Rhis Western Star R2; +Play Guide R11; +Willey Bite R12

2/25/16, Annies Shooter R2

2/25/16, Rubber Soul R1; Perfect Vista R4; Stirling Breeze R8

2/26/16, +Dream N Of Mona R2; +Cams Cool Shark R8

2/25/16, +Rusty Skipp R2; +New York Terror R2; +Catalyst R7
2/26/16, +Sophisticatedkelly R1; +Seconds Later R5; H-andharleythejet R11
2/27/16, Copper Coast A R6; +One Bad Shot R10

2/26/16, +Feisty Love R5

2/27/16, South Jersey Honey R3; Hickory Big Red R5; Official Stripes R10
2/29/16, +Remember Terror R10

2/27/16, ++Saulsbrook Astado R5; +ER Rudy R6; +Johnny Come Lately R7; +He’s Got It R9; +Talk Strategy R9; +Creighton Hanover R10; +King Otra R11; +Hey Dali R11; +Lucky Shot R13

2/25/16, Gansevoort R4; Cadillac Jake R6
2/29/16, +Woody R7; Casanova Lindy R8

2/27/16, +Stonebridge Damsel R5; Rescue Team R8; +Bonos Lassie R12

2/27/16, +Freeneasy Hanover R7; Culinary Delight R8

Western Fair
2/26/16, +Lady Richmond R9; +Watt A Funny Face R10

2/27/16, +Dianna Santanna R4; +War Filly R4; Cheyenne Reider R9

2/26/16, +Warrawee Qually R4
2/27/16, Lean On You R3; Texas Terror N R9
2/28/16, Soul Train R3

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition