Harness Racing: Day & Night stakes racing horses to watch
Classics at the Meadows, Running Aces and again at Mohawk take us through the weekend and deliver us to Ohio for the Little Brown Jug and some special coverage.
See our spinoff feature on Sept. 18 stakes at Mohawk on Edge.
Contenders in the never-ending TwinSpires H2W.
Horses-to-watch list reached a 55% across-the-board high last week, and we shoot for even more to cash the spot bets and enhance the payoffs of your exotic combinations.
Thursday / Sept. 16
A trio of Keystone Classics are the afternoon features with two for sophomore colt trotters and a single for sophomore filly pacers.
Six fillies go for $58k in the solo division. Darby Hanover and Marsala Hanover are the moneybag babes, having raced and earned with the division’s best. That pair, though dropping, gives more of a chance to Lady Newton. In an August PA All Stars, she finished fourth after making two moves. Aaron Merriman wants the drive and may inspire her.
In the first of the colt trots ($31k each) splits, we are willing to chance another trot-turned galloper with Redwhite N Goo. Scott Betts sends out the son of Googoo Gaagaa, whose reputation is “fast or last” considering his progeny’s propensity to break stride. Even so, Redwhite N Goo has three wins in only five starts, emphasizing wins over miscues.
In round two for the colts, Whiskey Blu brings a hunky 12-for-19 record to the field, his saddle stuffed with six digits of win money. Todd Schadel’s Top Me Off has won 13-of-20, but far less money. Speaking of trotters galloping, Ake Svanstedt’s Capstone steps down into this field after chasing wins futilely in seven starts, some blamed on miscues. Still, he has earned six digits, recording five placings this year, and this could be his first win of 2021 considering the class.
Friday / Sept. 17
Sophomore filly trotters ($29k) and sophomore colt trotters ($41-$80k) aim at big Keystone Classics (KC) purses this afternoon at the Pennsylvania oval.
Filly-split one has a five-horse field and here again we go with the Googoo product, Goo Goo Doll. Filly-split two sends six to post and the class of the field, You Ato Dream, certainly has an edge, but Jim Cambell’s Evening Stroll has matured enough to beat her and is worthy of the mild upset support.
The first KC colt pace presents some familiar glamour boys. Hellabalou returns to the scene of his national introduction when winning The Adios and top-earner, Lous Pearlman, has become Ron Burke’s top male since midseason. One to consider aside from the obvious is Linda Toscano’s Crunch Hanover. He has been ornery, hitting the board 11 times in 13 starts, and his two moves at Philly on Sept. 5 show he can solidly oppose the top two without counting on luck.
The other soph KC pits three Burke colts and Carbine, who is Tony Alagna’s speedball. Carbine is in his best spot here to break his own speed-mile win and topple the Burke trio. The only other danger for the top two is the classiest of the lot, Chase H Hanover. He has not seen this lower level and may prosper from the drop.
Saturday / Sept. 18
A full program of statebreds with the track’s best purses ($40k--$50k) is Running Aces’ Saturday night special. Here are brief comments on our best decisions of the dozen events:
2yo filly pace—Wish I Had Thyme is lightly raced with great upset spot on the rail.
3yo filly pace—Maze has been following the best all season and rules in this field.
3yo filly trot—Bowl Of Ice should topple top three public choices.
2yo colt pace—Rosco P Coletrain from strong sire line may romp.
Mare pace—Brooklyn Moonshine hits the board regularly among this group.
Saturday / Sept. 18
Soph-trotting fillies meet again in the $414k Elegant Image. Ten are behind the gate, nine of which target the fabulous division queen Bella Bellini. Her presence makes supporting any other filly like buying a lottery ticket, leaving what happens to luck.
Using Bella Bellini as a key in exotics may be the way to go here, but in order to get a price you’ll have to find the crowd’s least popular contestant for second (which is like buying a lottery ticket to cash the exacta). That is your challenge if you care to take a wild stab at betting the race.
Horses to Watch List:
9/17/21, RM Blackhawk R1; Skyline Hanover R2; Masster Blue R8; +Latoka R8
9/18/21, Sports Hero R1
9/16/21, +Brimfield R7
9/18/21, +DA Delightful R8
9/17/21, +Party Whip R4
9/18/21, +Squirt R4; +Arroyas Dance R13; +Foolish Terror R14; +Campus Queen R14; +KJs Foxy Lady R15
9/16/21, Steuben Hanover R10
9/16/21, Bag Pipe Major R4; +Mach Up A R9; Touch Of Dragon R11
9/19/21, Kolin R3
9/17/21, Hankscoltfortyfive R2; Numbered Account R4; Captain Terminator R8
9/18/21, Rockin TJ R3; Persistent Threat A R7; Rock N Jo Z R9; General Idea R10
9/17/21, Unusual Clarity R5
9/18/21, Major Leaguer R2; +Bet Big On Blue R8
9/17/21, Classic Pro R2; Waves Of Fire A R5; Griffon Hanover R9