Harness Racing: Hoosier Park plays for Aug. 11

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

August 11th, 2021

(Each week, Cotolo employs money-management tactics to build wagers that focus on plump profits.)

For the program on Aug. 11 at Hoosier Park, we suggest some horses for selected plays that may fit in any type of wager.

Race 1

Two-year-old trotters open the Wednesday program. This is the kind of race every teacher of fundamental handicapping warms you to ignore. They say the horses are too young and inexperienced, inconsistent and unreliable for a person to wager upon. We disagree with those teachers because they base avoidance on the usual elements bettors employ to evaluate contenders. There are elements to use for this class that are more important than in any class above it. As we have and continue to cover this class at many harness tracks, you should learn them by reading our coverage and be more interested in betting this class of trotter (or pacer) for strong returns.

Second-time starter #7 CN Toottootfrdan should be rated by his most recent qualifier. The trip matters and was not important to his first start because he made no effort from post 10. His only race on stride ends with him finishing third in 2:02.4 after stressful dueling in the first quarter. He will improve, and if he does so in this race to the point of winning, he will pay a huge price—and it should not be a surprise to those of us who trust in the early signs of a trotter or pacer this green. Also, he is well-bred on the maternal side coming from a Valley Victor mare.

The Aug. 5 effort from #3 Swan Prodigy is a major sign of life that trainer/driver Don Eash will take seriously here. Coming from a good finish at Goshen against top-bred youngsters, trainer-driver Don Eash was caught hanging for two calls in the race that brought the Swan For All gelding back to Hoosier. He will show productive early speed here if not challenged.

Race 4

Looking for her first win in only two starts this year, #6 A Donnie Lass is the best bred of this sophomore group. She is by Hambletonian winner and productive sire Donado Hanover, inheriting speed and durability. She has only one race at Hoosier but has not embarrassed herself at Scioto against more promising types (hence the program note that she is dropping).

Traveling to and from fairs, #1 Swanful Grace has made a few bucks despite some bad posts racing on four turns. In this class (available for a $12k claim) she was smooth at Hoosier before going to the fairs. A well-bred Swan For All with a dam from Cantab Hall, she has every reason to improve.

Race 5

Two-year-old filly trotters are up for support in this field, led for us by #7 TNT Lady. Her first race was a trial from post 10, but she took an overland route to make up ground lost from a 13-length deficit to come as close as second to a foe that trotted away from the field to win. This Uncle Peter filly should be in the thick of this finale for Robert Taylor.

From the outside comes another daughter of Donado Hanover, #10 Chake. She shows gait problems, but one is due to interference and the others come with the territory as a youngster. They came at Vernon Downs in New York, where she showed speed against tougher foes. Her 1:59.1 qualifier at Hoosier after a strong recovery from a break at Vernon is a huge factor to support her here.

Race 7

A hearty return to the winner circle is more likely than the morning-line maker’s measure of #3 Cream Virgin. The program lists this Always A Virgin filly at 8-1, noting a step up in class off of the win. Duh! She is improving before our eyes in speed and class. She appears to be a much better filly on her way up than the morning-line favorite, #4 Shambamthankyamam.

Race 10

In this field of non-winners of one, frosh maidens, we have proven losers against promising colts. We will take the necessary leap of faith (a strong handicapping element for youth like these) and go with the promising. One of them is #5 Virgin Boy. Dylan Davis is not so recognizable in the Midwest but he places this son of Always A Virgin from a mare by Somebeachsomewhere coming from a winning Hoosier qualifier. As a first-time starter, he may show immediately that he likes the idea of finishing first because he has done so and because his blood drives him to do it.