Frosh-Colt Trotters Aim For Pocono, Eye Soph Season On The Hambletonian Trail In Red Mile International Stallion Stakes

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

October 3rd, 2018


Here are the races for week eight of the 2018 Breeders Crown Countdown (BCC), the exclusive blog that coordinates with our weekly harness blog at and the Hambletonian Society to find great wagering opportunities for "Crown" eligible horses (noted in all texts with an “e” next to their names) from all 12 divisions as they race their ways to the finals. For the divisions’ best of the week, check the BCC companion blog, BCC Top Five Lists, generated by current winners and losers most likely to make it to the elims at Pocono this season.

This week’s divisions in play are two-year-old colt trotters on Thursday, Oct. 4. The International Stallion Stakes (ISS) replace the Bluegrass Stakes on week two of the Grand Circuit at The Red Mile. Our focus is upon the division that dreams of next year’s Hambletonian is in full battle array for lucrative purses.


The first field of frosh-colt trotters is worth a whopping $91,200. Connections for the five eligible colts in the field of eight must have a single thought in mind—get to the Crown elims by making a big impression in this ISS. Then, next stop–The Hambletonian Trail.

The top winner and earner, Forecast (e) towers over the rest in earnings and has won 50 percent of his 10 starts, the most here, giving him the early favorite status on obvious points. Jimmy Takter’s Hudson River (e) will also suck up some bets and will be trying his best for a big share.

Who could be a third choice of the public but may not be taken as seriously as the rest of the lot is Kings County (e). The cleverly named colt (his dam’s name is Brooklyn, which engulfs Kings County in New York City’s five boroughs) is by Muscle Hill and has earned six checks—three winning amounts—in eight starts for Dom Cecere. He has much to gain racing his best, which could be better than recently if only because we are amid the division of youngsters where some go unnoticed while improving greatly as they near their sophomore season.

There’s $92,200 on the line for nine in the next ISS split for these boys, all of which are Crown-eligible. Demon On The Hill (e) comes as a big favorite for Marcus Melander. He has been racing for top dollar all along and has three wins in seven starts. Post 8 could turn a few bettors off from Aldebaranwalkabout (e) but he will be noticed.

Last week, we backed Takter’s Super Schissel (e), who finished third to a big favorite and shows signs of “Takterian” [sic] improvement; enough, in fact, to back him again here.

A full field of nine go for $92,200 in round three and from the rail goes the undisputed choice of the public, Cantab Fashion (e). His mile last week produced more fans and let’s face it, many bettors invest in  horses they “like” for more reasons than should be used to handicapped (as well as the overwhelming math that sticks to their chances for the same obvious reasons).

That being true, fans of Green Manalishi S may draw back from supporting him from post 9, though in essence he may be an all-around better trotter than Cantab Fashion and under these circumstances you may only hope for a lopsided wagering balance, one where “Manalishi” goes off far better than “Fashion.”

However …

Last week we placed our devotion on Takter’s Wittyville, who finished third in a race of questionable drama. Again, improvement under more common circumstances could find Wittyville challenging the favorites aggressively and at a good price. Though he will never see the gate in a Hambletonian, he may prove to be one of those green boys that was always better than he looked in the sales ring.



Follow major 2018 Crown hopefuls on their journey to the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs at this Breeders Crown Countdown blog and the TwinSpires harness blog weekly, along with further information on the Hambletonian Society web site.