Harness Racing: Harness Plays In The Heartlands

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September 30th, 2021

Autumn augments the sport in the heartlands of harness racing with the Grand Circuit at The Red Mile and Dayton signing in with signature stakes. We merge the best values of play in features and in the never-ending TwinSpires H2W (horses-to-watch list) and add a new feature, Mohawk Miles, where we indulge in longshot action.


Thursday, Sept. 30

Each week we’ll highlight some probable longshots from Mohawk Park here in our features section. If they do not win at first crack, we will add them to the H2W the following week as a bet-back while adding a few more to this Mohawk Miles section.

In Race 1, Da Royal Miracle leaves from post 10 in a province-bred frosh-filly trot. She is a young Royalty For Life product and like many of the sire’s progeny can improve without warning.

In Race 11, Lyons Pride (Bettors Delight) also goes in a frosh province-bred Grassroots mile. He gained ground impressively from the half to three-quarters but finished eighth.


Friday, Oct. 1
Red Mile

Two weeks of Grand Circuit action go into the first weekend at The Red Mile with the traditional Bluegrass Series. We have selected specific events with our usual spins.

2yo colt trot
Of the seven frosh colts in the program’s first stakes, we lean towards the Marcus Melander-trained Periculum. He’s fast and is yet to display the wealth of his breeding especially against this wobbly group.

2yo colt trot
Again, a Melander colt, Temporal Hanover (by Walner), appears to be a notch better than the others. He may not start the favorite, yet win as if he was the obvious choice.

2yo colt trot
Although we have been behind Global Pandemic midseason, the crowd has become aware of him, reducing his market value in the wagering groups, so we will go with Nancy Takter’s Bar Hopping-colt, Keg Stand, a steady provider in eight starts.

2yo colt trot
Letsdoit S, another from the Melander menagerie (he is apt to have a great Lexington meet), is the decisive factor in this colt test. He has handled much better than these and is the elusive Nuncio-sired strongman with a great future.

2yo colt trot
Fast As The Wind has been working hard to find another race to dominate, and this may be the one. He looks like the next best of the bunch but could wind up best.

2yo filly pace
If we are going to beat Lyons Serenity, it will be at her mercy with A Girl That Twirls. Her recent races point to some bold moves that could take down the division’s queen.

2yo filly pace
We will stick to the lone Huntsville product here—Reenactment. She has the ability to out-pace the undefeated Sea Silk, the Ron Burke blaster.


Saturday, Oct. 2

As the Ohio track begins a new meet, it presents its namesake stakes featuring national trotters and pacers. Six-digit purses adorn the contests.

The $175k Dayton Distaff Derby for filly-and-mare pacers leads the trio and presents the pacing-femme extraordinaire, Jim King Jr.’s Lyons Sentinel. King also sends Soho Burning Love A, likewise a winner of six digits in 2021, into the action.

Not only has Lyons Sentinel been on a roll but Rocknificent, also in this field, has been her exacta partner each time in the current Grand Circuit division stakes. Linda Toscano’s mare has not been able to reverse the positions while racing best of the rest in each.

Jeff Cullipher’s Alexa Skye has a slightly better percentage of finishes as “Sentinel” with a concentration of those from Yonkers stakes early in the season. She is our outsider contender to break up the exacta partnership of Sentinel and Rocknificent and certainly will be worth the decision to back.

The 175k Dayton Trotting Derby is the next stop for Brett Pelling’s When Dovescry, who has taken much of the shine from Manchego’s season. This should be a good betting race, as the division attracts bettors from “Dovescry” to a few others, like Forbidden Trade and Ready For Moni. The latter has a great shot at getting to Dovescry in this field, and we like his recent affairs enough to score here in a mild upset. Plus, Sorella woke up recently and it is about time; she may boost exotics’ values again in this field.

The 175k Dayton Derby for pacers lacks a few better-known aged males but offers strong challenges to the division’s barnstorming Catch The Fire. These are Midwest stars, like the recent Ocean Rock, one we called to win and did on Hoosier’s big night last week. This Is The Plan may wind up going off a decent price against “Fire,” who has been the crowd’s most recent rage, and this may make the race look easy at the wire as well as it presents a decent price for the two classiest in the field.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and confirm the wagers available at the prescribed track. H2W offers possible contenders researched from reviewing races. Horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track with the date of their race and the race number (R6 ). If a + is in front of a horse’s name, it appears on the list for the second time (horses are listed twice only if, at first, they fail to win). An “AE” signals also-eligible. Types of wagers to make are based on your judgment.


10/1/21, +Determined R1

9/30/21, +Sun Chip R4
10/1/21, All About Lynx R4
10/2/21, Ginger Tree Marty R13; Lacey R14

10/1/21, Brave By Design R1; On Higher Ground R7

9/30/21, +Shirley Goodness R8; +Virginity Rocks R14

9/30/21, His Excellence R1; Somethinginthewind R4

9/30/21, Tobins Secret R1; Allieverdreamedof R10
10/1/21, +Make A Statement A

10/2/21, +Uptown Callie R9

10/1/21, Winter Gram R9
10/2/21, +Top Notch R7; +Youda Shark R10

9/30/21, Givem The Goo R5; +Chase Lounge R8; +Evening Stroll R10
10/3/21, +Seeuinnashville A R13

10/1/21, +Make It A Double R5; Jericho R6; L Dees Yoyo Ma R8

10/2/21, Play Trix On Me R6; +Bully Boy R6

Red Mile
10/1/21, Demy Ivy R8

10/1/21, Shady City R8

10/1/21, Narina Hanover R5
10/2/21, Denton R1

9/30/21, River Otter R2; +Linbar Rose N R5; +Bold Of Beauty R10
10/2/21, +Patriot Nation R1