Harness Racing: Stars battle big in early June

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

June 2nd, 2021

It’s June, almost like the pre-pandemic June, and in the swell of the coming summer, harness racing stakes are blooming, including Ontario action (welcome back Woodbine/Mohawk [WoMo]). More solid handicapping action is once again available at the TwinSpires Harness Blog, including the never-ending TwinSpires H2W (horses-to-watch list), with suggestions enhancing exotic combinations and fair-priced win, place and show finishes.


Thursday / June 3
Running Aces

Minnesota-breds are rarely the topic of the industry’s journals, but smart bettors understand that these animals pay the same 9-2 prices as the coveted Pennsylvania-breds. This is why a pair of sophomore features at Running Aces gets our attention, turning up a feature on this preview edition of our harness blog.

It’s only a quintet going to post in this $10k event, but a pair of them has already raced and earned four times. Sire-wise, two entries are by Vlos, a son of Dragons Lair that wound up on the breeding roster. He was quite a racehorse in Pennsylvania with a sire bloodline traced to Meadow Skipper on both sides. In Pennsylvania he earned a half-million bucks and was the state horse of the year. Vlos-inherited speed may be better than a lot of sires in the Midwest and could show up in the miles of Jinni’s On Fire.

With only one race to his name he cannot be dismissed. His kin, JK Saving Grace, is also by Vlos but has not shown much in five starts. Jinni’s On Fire may be a whole lot different and in a five-horse field of novice opponents can prove it.

Six battle in a $15k state-bred in the other feature. This presents more experienced sophomores, including Luke Plano’s Doubleontherocks, the field’s top earner by $3k over SD Watch Me Now. Still, we like Alilthundadownunda, who is by Malak Uswaad N. At two, Alilthundadownunda was 10 times in the money with four wins. Nick Rolands is handling him with two wins and two places in seven starts this season. He is a striking competitor this season in his division.


Friday / June 4

It’s a huge night at Vernon with New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) glamour-boy-and-girl trotters fighting for big division money in four splits worth $54k-plus each. A quick look at the quartet follows:

Race 6
Sire Chapter Seven is represented in four of the six going to post. They all look worthy of a win but it is the EL Titan-sired Platinum AS getting our attention. The productive Anette Lorentzzon stable takes on bigger properties than before but has raced two and hit the board as many times. Getting good enough to beat these is a good reason to pass Ake Svanstedt’s Incommunicado, the biggest earner (Dexter Cup winner) but nowhere near a certain winner against these and way too cheap for a win bet.

Race 8
The first of two NYSS soph-filly splits offers seven, all sired by Chapter Seven. The obvious choice is Trip Sevens with three wins in eight starts going against maidens (two starting the season). One of those, Darlene Hanover, looks like a bet for us. She qualified at the Meadowlands in a dominating mile. She won over $200k at two, out-classing this bunch then and probably now.

Race 10
The second filly division goes with another seven in this NYSS contest. Jula Shines On was on the H2W last week. This would be week two, so let’s go with her here, where she is among her division foes, including Splash Blue Chip, which also comes from the Svanstedt barn. She is a EL Titan gal that will be competitive against her barnmate.

Race 12
The other colt NYSS division is a tough field of seven. Ohio-trainer Walter Haynes Jr. is in the running for this division with Latin Lover (by E L Titan). His conditioned win at Hoosier beat some tough foes. He made two moves and took an outside route to the win, beating the favorite—also Haynes trained. And always dangerous is a Julie Miller-trained colt, Steel, because the Millers are always dangerous in play.


Saturday / June 5

The $200k Battle of Lake Erie, a Free-For-All pace, brings together some familiar faces from this refreshed season. Yonkers’ champ This Is The Plan, who is the top money-winning horse based upon the top purse of the year, heads the pack and is the ML favorite. We won’t be backing him; not based upon a single race or the depth of his competition in this event. This is a stronger event field than most in that there are many arguments for each. On the half-mile this could be a crazy configuration through four fractions.

We note the early season success of Century Farroh. At three we followed him through some heavy races and his return in 2021 has been exceptional. In three races he has been truly competitive in the older ranks and here he is given a 6-1 ML. Also, we look for a good mile from Hesa Kingslayer N, who faced This Is The Plan with success in the Yonkers series.


Saturday / June 5

For $50k the four-year-olds strike in round two of this series.

Race 4
Trotters: Get Legs is still the value wager in this series and with good behavior the Millers will have her flying to the win at a good price since Beads will attract most of the crowd off of her win last week.

Race 6
Trotters: They beat on each other regularly. Hillexotic surprised fans and we like his chances and his price against these as Trond Smedshammer sends him from the rail where he can glide and take over late. Ready For Moni is back and should be solid here with a big-brush attack as the fans go for It’s Academic and Play Trix On Me and leave us some scratch.

Now, the pacing Grads:

Race 8
Pacers: The Yonkers contingent, trainer Nik Drennan and driver George Brennan, are on a big roll and won’t sink trying to win this mile (apologies for the obvious joke). Tattoo Artist should not be put out by post 7; he is going to be much better as an older pacer than at three and this is one more event to prove it.

Race 10
Pacers: Chief Mate is in the catbird seat and with Ruthless Hanover leading the way he can suck along and smash his own speed record in the late going. Beware of Cattlewash. He returns at four and Ron Burke will have him winging first time out, offering a good price across the board.

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) follows. 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 failed to win. An “ae” signals also-eligible. Types of wagers to make are based on your judgment. Some repeating horses may not appear due to our deadline to post.


6/4/21, +Gallant Major R3
6/5/21, +Arrhythmic Surge R3

6/4/21, +Hot Rod Dylan R6

6/5/21, +PL Leeroy R2

6/3/21, Pennys Spirit R3; Repeal Or Replace R6

6/5/21, +Sea Shadow R5; +Delight Kate R8

6/5/21, +Skyway Toxic R8

6/3/21, +Go Byem R2; Barley R12; +Paraglider R13

6/4/21, +Surprize Mission R7

6/5/21, Shane Adam R7; Ideal Cowboy R9

Running Aces
6/3/21, Shesureissomething R7

6/3/21, Shenzi AS R3; +Hill Side R4; +Itsmachmeitsyou R11

6/4/21, +Drop The Mic R14; Royal Envy R15
6/5/21, Nanuet R1; +Chase My Lindy R3; Frisky Joe R6; Jenny Lake R10