Giant Weekend With Little Brown Jug, Yonkers’ New York Championship Miles, Hoosier Stakes Parade And More

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

September 22nd, 2016

It’s a long weekend of stakes, front-heavy with the Little Brown Jug and accompanying traditional events on Thursday, Sept. 22. Then there are stakes on Friday and on Saturday Hoosier Park presents a star-studded stakes program. Mohawk’s Milton finalizes that night and the parade of six-digit New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) finals adorn the Yonkers card. Prepare your TwinSpires account (if you haven’t sensationalized on the past few weeks’ winners from this blog) because we continue to be greedy when it comes to profits and we are sharing all of our distinct contenders.

The TwinSpires horses-to-watch list (H2W) puts overnight-mile harness contenders on the betting table across North America. These exclusive choices are great for all types of wagers. No other handicappers cover this much activity and few can brag as much about profiting from choices. You won’t find our best winners on any on-line or hard copy sources. Take these horses seriously when constructing your wagers.


At the Delaware, Ohio fairgrounds’ half-mile track, tradition trumps topography. Glamour-boy pacers take to the slick-fast track to make more history than money and most “Jug” fields feature the division’s best as the season wanes. Two elim heats, six in one and five in the other, qualify the final’s field.

Betting Line has been superb but not dominant this season. I say that because although he has beaten many of the top colts in his division he has not raced as much or as voraciously as them. Betting Line is the all-out choice to win his elim heat and the final, one as easily as the other, but we will nudge history for profit’s sake.

Since June, Lyons Snyder has come up short. Twice, Betting Line took him. Since Jimmy Takter took him for owner Jeffrey Snyder he has been tuned up, winning against lesser rivals and second to Betting Line in Canada. In the first elim heat, he faces Betting Line and on the half-mile he may have the slightest of edges but he only needs a whisker to win. Chances are Lyons Snyder will go for the throat, taking the lead and powering through fractions that make Betting Line and the other speedy types work hard on the outside. Also, he could get a garden trip if Betting Line soars to the top and save enough to nip the huge favorite. Lyons Snyder could win the first elim and has a better chance of doing it than winning the Jug final. Lyons Snyder will also be a decent price for the small field, since Check Six should get the second share of the win bets and Dr J Hanover will pull in some dollars.

The second Jug elim heat may not offer much of a return for your investment. Racing Hill has only lost to the two top colts in the division—Control The Moment (now retired) and Betting Line. He has been off since romping in the Messenger and this track is raw meat for him.

All season long, we have kept Western Fame on our top-ten list for the Jug. Takter has him ready and if there will be any upset, it will be Western Fame, who drew the rail in the second elim heat. It may be a garden trip or it could be by the slightest of margins, as we described for the first elim heat, or Takter has him so primed he will score from start to finish.

The $122,500 Old Oaken Bucket for soph-colt trotters has a 10-horse field with none of the division’s stars. Waitlifter K is the only 2016 Hambo colt here and his best race in those heats could beat any of these. But will the crowd respect his class? Perhaps the crowd will embrace high-earner Cufflink Hanover? Where else could they find any high price?

It’s a volatile field that may be veteran driver John Campbell’s and veteran trainer Per Henriksen’s chance to score during the meet, as John drives Blenheim, a productive, if not headlining soph colt. Along with Waitlifter K, Blenheim could ignite fine exotic pay offs.


This series for mare trotters comes to an end with this $120,000 final featuring eight trotting ladies. None of the belles in the field ring any stakes-memory bells, leaving this affair wide open for many arguments about who will win and how. It’s hard to even forecast whom the crowd will favor. Perhaps the top earner, Charmed Life, will get the populace call? Maybe, after all of our support over the past months for Rules Of The Road, which has ended in disappointment, this is the race she is embraced by everyone, in which case, she will go off at an unworthy offering.

All we can argue for is that Elegant Serenity, lightly raced in comparison to her foes and in Ohio to chase a big purse, will be up for a speedy, surprising mile. Trainer Roger Mayotte is scheduled to drive her and she could surprise him with a sterling performance and the public with a sterling price.


More traditional two-year-old stakes begin at Hoosier on Friday, Sept. 23 with the Kentuckiana Stallion Management mile for filly trotters. Ten from the top of the division meet at the starting gate, nine of them prepared to chase Ariana G, the Muscle Hill filly that has won seven races in seven starts.

Takter’s filly will be on the attack in the $250,000 affair from post 9, while a pair of Rob Burke fillies leave from posts 1 and 2. Every attempt at identifying Ariana G’s upset has failed with the finest of competitors, certainly some stronger than the nine she opposes here.

An argument could be made that Can’t I—the superb filly from the blueblood combo of Cantab Hall and Buck I St Pat—is in a better position than ever to make Ariana G taste defeat. However, she would be, at best, the second choice, because the 9 hole shouldn’t deter bettors from wagering on the top filly.

Bound to be under-rated, though, is Amuse’s. She is a filly by improving sire Break The Bank K, winning four of seven and placing once. She should be in the mix if she can’t win and out-trotting Can’t I will do the price some good.

Saturday, Hoosier hosts another Kentuckiana stakes, this one worth $246,000 for frosh-filly pacers. Ten here are in pursuit of Idyllic Beach, the well-bred glider from the Takter barn. She has, though, lost twice in seven starts and has to deal with post 9 in this event.

From post 1, Glassine Hanover should get a lot of attention, as well, so we have to go with the greenest of the gals, Somesleazetoplease. She has two seconds in as many starts and to improve here means to win at a price.


The $140,000 Elevation for frosh-colt pacers is also on the Sept. 24 Hoosier bill, featuring 10 sidesteppers and the unbeaten Every Way Out. There may be a better price on him than expected since there are Takter and Burke and Alagna colts on board to challenge, in which case the If I Can Dream colt would be the bet. He certainly looks as if he can beat this group with ease.


For $100,000 there is a mixed bag of soph-colt pacers in the Jenna’s Beach Boy mile also on the Hoosier Saturday card. It is not a stretch to look for an upset here as we watch the crowd lean toward Burke’s quartet, led by JK Will Power. We like the hometown boy, Downthehighwy, who faces tougher than usual but may be able to excel for that reason. Given this opportunity, he could pay better than he ever would had the field been lined with his usual Hoosier foes.


Hoosier Park’s derby for older pacers should be a short-but-sweet circle of speed for Always B Miki. Wiggle It Jiggleit won his hometown stakes at Harrington last Monday and stays out of this one, leaving “Miki” to handle five others who have not been able to beat him on his own terms.

Shamballa beat him at the Meadowlands when Miki dueled to a stall but that situation is hard to fathom here, even with Freaky Fete Pete and All Bets Off able to apply front pressure. Judge the available pay offs for exotics or watch Miki go for a track-and-personal speed badge.


The Centaur Trotting Classic, worth $220,000 to FFA trotters, offers a familiar field of 10, led by Hannelore Hanover. Another hometown act, Homicide Hunter, will attract dollars and be all out to take the bulk of the winner’s big bag of cash. Maestro Blue Chip can either try to dominate a top-heavy win or roll around those two but he will cause them trouble.

A good shot at taking advantage of all the fussy fractions those three can create is Muscle Up The Goal. His students’ earnings at the Jug meet proved trainer Chris Beaver has had a lot of his stock in great shape. “Goal” has earned a lot of money for merely four wins out of a dozen starts and could make this his season’s trophy.


Yonkers Raceway hosts the octet of New York Sires Stakes finals on Saturday, Sept. 24 for two- and three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Each state-bred field battles for $225,000. For the sake of space and time, below we list the order in which the NYSS events appear (Races 1 through 8) with a brief comment for each of our top choices.

Frosh-filly pace—Robin J. We backed the sharp Roll With Joe gal from the start of the sire’s rise to prominence.
Soph-filly trot—Swinging Royalty. Her connections operated the campaign of her sire, a Hambletonian winner.
Frosh-colt pace—Twin B Cowboy. A Roll With Joe product who prepped last week in the U.S. after shipping in from a Canadian campaign.
Frosh-colt trot—Devious Man. We warned you about him just before Hambletonian day and he has been awesome since then.
Soph-filly pace—No Clouds Bluechip. In an even field she has a terrific shot at a decent price.
Frosh-filly trot—Heels On Wheels. She has been steadfast in her first season and could have her best outing at a strong price.
Soph-colt pace—Missile J. Top state-bred earner who may share the top chunks of purse with Roll Away Joe, second best of the group.
Soph-colt trot—The Royal Harry. One of the fine post-Hambletonian members that has been sterling since failing in the classic.


Mohawk gathers the berth-earners from last week’s Milton Stakes elims for a very one-sided final. One of last week’s elims was 52-1 Wrangler Magic, who got a garden trip as favorite Wassmula could not find footing while leading to the stretch (only three of 13 horses came near wire-to-wire victories on the program). The best performer in that field was Sandbetweenurtoes, who ate up real estate late.

In the second elim, Lady Shadow continued to treat her division’s rivals poorly, winning without regard as the rest of the field chased her stressfully. Lady Shadow gets post 3 in the $300,000 final and ranks as one of the “mortal locks” of all time. Few horses, no less pacing mares, have earned that status in the history of the sport, so how can we begin to look for an upset? We can, however, offer exotics with the failed favorite Wassmula, who may find racing on the front more pleasant (she could be second at a price this time) as Lady Shadow catches her. Added to the exotic mix, Sandbetweenurtoes should contribute to exotics and pump up the price.

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.


9/23/16, +Goodnight Goodluck ae R11
9/24/16, +Catch The Wave R3; +KC Colt R11

9/22/16, +Howmacs Pride R2; +Neal R4; +Julep Hanover R8; +Ideal Space R10
9/24/16, Red Magician R6; Rodeo Joe R7; Zanzibar R12

9/23/16, Sectionville Aqua R6; +Always A Camotion R7; +Town Temptress R10

9/23/16, +Cup Day Spur N R9; +Smooth Finish R10
9/24/16, +Roadway R12

9/22/16, Jakes Spur R5

9/24/16, Part Time R5
9/23/16, +Over Friskie R1

9/22/16, Run Around Sue S R4

9/24/16, Manofmanyimages R3

9/24/16, +Im Babys Big Girl R4; Western Luann R5

9/22/16, Hititoutofthepark R1; Ophelia R13
9/23/16, The Real Buckeye R2; +Rustys Winnings R4; +Shanghai Jack R13

9/23/16, Allamerican Extra R3; +In Front Charlie R5

9/24/16, +Music Is Art R7; Don Dorado R9

9/22/16, +Danzig Man R2; Grace And Claire R5; Burkes Bandit R7; Wicked Speed R10

9/22/16, +Big Crystal R8; +Angel Or Terror R8

9/25/16, Kinda Naughty R5; Can I Say R7; Stell R Time R9

9/24/16, +Kesons Silhouette R4

9/22/16, Gallant Seelster R11
9/23/16,  +Gallant Major R3; +Al Raza N R10

Ray Cotolo contributes to this blog