Hambletonian: Atlanta Better Than The Boys; $274 Elim Triple; Public Seconds Sharp In Features; Lather Up Returns

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August 5th, 2018


As reported live from the Meadowlands at the Hambletonian day program, here is a complete rundown of our features’ results based upon our exclusive TwinSpires preview and Hambletonian Trail blogs’ wagering suggestions. And, of course, the other results North American harness activities, including the exclusive Freshman Frolics.

Friday, Aug. 3

On the Meadowlands Aug. 3 program we offered a single event, the $50,000 Dennis Drazen Hambo-eligible event. Although we had an H2W winner that evening (see list below for Decoy), our choice in the feature, who turned out the crowd favorite, Joey, tired with a serious outside trip and finished sixth.

Saturday, Aug. 4

Most of the dead-on favorites were stifled in stakes co-starring on the Meadowlands Hambletonian program. We fell victim to that with some choices and found some refuge in others, winning two of the stakes over the public’s top choices.

Just as planned, for instance, we scored with The Ice Dutchess ($12.80, $4.80, $3.20) in the James Doherty Final after her whisker loss in an elim last week was a treat when our choice scored in an 18-1 upset.

We were spot on, as well, in the Sam McKee Memorial when older pacers were corralled by our choice, Western Joe ($7.60, $3.00, $2.80), in a sparkling win.

In the John Cashman Memorial the public’s third choice defeated Hannelore Hanover. We liked the idea of beating her in that race but wound up second with Will Take Charge ($5.20, $3.20).

We were second, also, in the Lady Liberty, though we were expecting a larger offering from Pure Country ($3.40, $2.60). The favorite defeated her and the exacta came back $10.40)

In the Shady Daisy our choice, Alexa’s Power ($2.80) was closing fast but could only get third to the 8-5 second favorite.

In a few features we finished fourth: Obrigado, also surprising us with full-public support as the favorite in the Vincennes, he lost to the second favorite. The crowd liked our choice, Repentance (9-5) in the “Zanzuccki” but she was short, finishing, fourth, also to the second choice in the betting. The Cane Pace favorite and our choice, Courtly Choice (1-2) was also beaten by the crowd’s second favorite, as well as she also finished fourth.

Also expected to perform an easy win, Ariana G (3-5) had no excuse racing poorly and finished fifth in the Dr. John Steele for older mare pacers, while our second choice, Ice Attraction, did not fire to be her exotic partner and finished fourth. A 50-1 shocker won by a nose.

The only anomaly in our strange stream of losses was a wild longshot, Marseille, in the Peter Haughton Memorial Final. We were all over Marseille (85-1), looking for a balloon-busting win price or some heavy returns across the board but even the favorite finished off the board to the public’s second choice.


Sixteen youngsters on both gaits made last week’s “Frolics” list—the exclusive TwinSpires harness section. Two of them had not raced at post time (they will be on next week’s update review).

There was a single winner, Demon Onthe Hill ($3.20, $3.60, $2.40 ok) at Philly.

None of them finished second but four of them took show spots: Crosscut ($6.60) at Scioto; Budget Buster ($2.40) at Vernon; Costello ($2.20) at Philly; and Thanks For Leaving ($3.20) at Tioga.

There were three finishing fourth: Expedition (Philly), Black Dan (Ocean) and Lady Allaire (Meadowlands). Also on the list, finishing fifth or worse, were Toobigformybritches and Catch Me Conrad (Northville); Lindy In The Sky, Jenny Lake and Royal Trumpery (Tioga); and Highway In The Sky and Miss Martha Jones (Red Mile).


The Hambletonian Trail ended on Aug. 4 at the Meadowlands when the sole filly entered, Atlanta, won the final. We showed our trotting-handicapping muscle in the elim heats. The first elim heat was won by our most-likely winner, Crystal Fashion ($10.00, $4.20, 3.00). She caught Atlanta ($3.60, $3.00), who we considered an obvious exotic partner. Our outside contender which we supported strongly for exotics, took third. Met’s Hall ($9.60) helped complete a $274.40 triple (a $34.40 exacta) from our top choices.

Though the second elim heat was wrought with gallopers (one of them our top choice and the colt favorite, Six Pack) and in our live Twitter post we suggested Classichap (18-1), who made the final even after Six Pack knocked him out of a lead down the stretch, our other strongly suggested contender, Tactical Landing ($14.80, $7.80, $7.20), won.
Atlanta took the final in a wire-to-wire mile that made harness history for femmes (see News & Notes below).

Speaking of fillies, our choice in the “Oaks,” Phaetosive $2.40, $2.10) lost to the big favorite, Manchego. Our exotic suggestions included Seviyorum (91-1) who finished sixth and Lily Stride (82-1) who finished fifth.

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 33 active horses (an 12-percent win hit rate and a 45-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


Decoy, $15.40, $5,40, $3.40, Meadowlands
Northern Credit, $4.10, $3.10, $2.80, Yonkers
Shartin N, $3.60, $2.20, $2.60 ok, Pocono
Blood Money, $2.60, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Philly
Lather Up, $2.10, $2.10, n/s ok, Scioto


Good Day Mate, $5.00, $4.00 (Exacta $21.60), Meadowlands
Fine Diamond, $4.40, $3.60 (Exacta $17.70), Mohawk
May Day, $3.20, $2.10 (Exacta $4.80), Monticello
Sugar Shock, $3.20, $2.20, Philly
Fox Valley Halsey, $2.80, $2.40, Hawthorne


Frontier Telaphras, $3.80, Hoosier
Sweet Deisel, $3.60, Vernon
Walk the Floor, $3.50, $2.80 (Exacta $12.60), Vernon
Contemporary Legend, $2.60, Running Aces
Mach Time N, $2.60, Yonkers
Soronno, $2.20, Philly

News & Notes

Hoosier Park celebrates 25 years of racing highlighted by the 25th edition of the $325,000 (est.) Dan Patch Stakes on Aug. 10. The Dan Patch Stakes, Indiana’s richest harness for older male pacers, is set for Aug. 10. Lazarus N, the Wonder from Down Under, hailed as the greatest racehorse to ever emerge from New Zealand, is reported to be making his North American racing debut in the Dan Patch. The race card will offer premier exotic wagering, including a $20,000 guaranteed superfecta and a $15,000 guaranteed Hoosier High Five.

Before Atlanta, Continentalvictory was the most recent filly to beat the boys in a Hambletonian Final. That was in 1996 at the “original” Meadowlands, across the manmade moats from the new facility’s structure. Her bid to become the first filly to win the trotting triple crown [sic] was scratched from the Kentucky Futurity when suffering a pulled suspensory.

Lather Up is back. He out dueled and drew away to an impressive 1:49.4 track record victory in a $59,400 division of the Director of Agriculture pace for soph-pacing colts at Scioto Downs on Aug. 4. The time was a track record for his division at Scioto. It was Lather Up’s first start since his awful performance in the “Hempt” final at Pocono on June 30. After finishing second in a qualifier to Lazarus N in 1:48.3 at the Meadowlands last week, Lather Up went off the 1-9 favorite in the Scioto win and now has seven wins in eight starts this year, breaking the half-million mark in earnings with $500,365. The I’m Gorgeous colt is trained by Clyde Francis.

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