Harness Stakes In The East; Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Pacing Derby Fields

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

August 29th, 2019

The Grand Circuit continues in Canada

Border-To-Border Stakes In The East; Contentious Maple Leaf Trot, Canadian Pacing Derby Fields; Sires Stakes And Soph Features Amass

The Grand Circuit continues in Canada with lucrative finals starring some of the most competitive fields in a few seasons, especially in the older ranks. Back in the U.S.A. the Yonkers Trot sends a pair of major soph-colt trotters into the ring, and the pacers are at it too. It’s just the beginning of a few weeks filled with star-studded harness racing and wagering opportunities from the best in the sport. And TwinSpires’ horses-to-watch (H2W) list is at your service. 


Pennsylania Sires Stakes (PASS) for frosh-colt pacers at Philly fill two fields of classy progeny. The splits are each worth $60k.

Two colts in the first PASS event represent budding sire Sweet Lou. We want to go with the less obvious product, Tell Them Lou, who has every good possibility to defeat this field from post 7.

The blood of Captaintreacherous and his sire, Somebeachsomewhere, runs thick in the second PASS episode. Another Ron Burke youngster, Cattlewash (by Somebeachsomewhere) is the expected crowd-pleaser. Hold on for a wild card—Hey Run Me Over (by Captaintreacherous), who will do no running, per se, only to shake the toteboard with a win.


Hoosier’s Indiana Sires Stakes (INSS) continue with two $69k fields of frosh-filly pacers on Aug, 29.

Spotless Foxy Rigger leads the field of 11 in search of her sixth-straight win. It is a perfect time to back a break in that streak with the improving Seventimesacharm (by Always A Virgin), who we caught last week at 5-1. A whole lot of money awaits exotics including those two and Fancy Riggin.

In the second 11, Flirtinwithtrouble (by Tellitlikeitis) is in for the mild upset of probable favorite Grace Rocks (by Rockin Image). Good trip or bad trip, Flirtinwithtrouble is a fine choice for price and purpose.


Yonkers holds a single New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for glamour-boy pacers on Aug. 29 for $80k. Only five colts are left for big money in the division’s NYSS pot, and the lack of entries is made up for with the strong contention of participants.

Two of these guys are three-digit earners but Dealer’s Table is the most prolific finisher with five wins, a pair of seconds and only 11 starts. Among those wins is a lightning finish on a five-eighths track that is faster than the other two fastest. Usually, best-win times are moot for handicapping accurately, but if he races that time or even faster on the Yonkers half, he could win with the length of the Henry Hudson Parkway between him and the other four—at a good price.


On Aug. 29, WoMo offers a pair of $98k Champlain Stakes as the Grand Circuit season ensues. Frosh-filly trotters are on deck.

Ten in the first round appear for new and proven sires. I’m Really Special, the sole Muscle Hill filly here, is in her sire’s top-freshman list among the division. The Muscle Hill gal is a strong property for trainer Per Engblom and could come off strong for backers.

In the other Champlain, Luc Blais sends one of the last in the Cantab Hall line. Whose Blues will have to sit well for a while or blast off if improvement strikes her out of the gate but either way may not disappoint supporters in this soft field.


Friday, Aug. 30, WoMo hosts a single $182,876 Champlain for frosh trotters with 10 aboard. Going with the strength of sire statistics, as we have done successfully season after season during the green horse debuts, we are leaning toward Nylander, the sole product of top sire Muscle Hill in this field of 10.

This is a good race to lean on these stats, since the representation of sires for these youngsters is not so impressive as is the continuing talent of Muscle Hill’s progeny. The sire is doing so well he has become internationally popular, demanding high priced for his sons and daughters on the global trotting yearling sales scene.


Three NYSS divisions for frosh-filly pacers worth $34k a pop are on the Aug. 30 program at Vernon. Six go in the first deal, where we like the speed and style of Turnthefrownaround at a decent price for a six-horse field. The Chris Ryder-trained daughter of Roll With Joe has raced with better and is beginning to really enjoy being in the mix at the wire.

Next, another six line up, five of them hunting Galleria Gal, the top earner and productive finisher. We’ll try to beat her by backing Movie Town, who has proven to be a good earner in the series for trainer Jeff Stafford.

Seven complete the NYSS triad with Merga Hanover, a Burke baby by American Ideal. Not so fast, Ronnie. We have our eyes on Racine Bell, a So Surreal gal from that sire’s hot crop.


Companion to the Yonkers Trot (see Breeders Crown Countdown blog), seven sophomore fillies handle the half-mile at Yonkers for shares of a $124,334 purse.

You should know these gals, though none made the Oaks final. The best earner, Quincy Blue Chip, has been a scourge of the NYSS and tops this field in wins and earnings. As well, Starita is a swift and formidable filly for Joe Holloway.

Amid the group is the one-time “now” horse, Golden Tricks, from the Ake Svanstedt barn. She disappointed a few by not getting into the main fray on Hambo day but this may be the perfect spot for her to shine in a mild upset.


A mere six soph-filly pacers make up the $122,224 Lady Maud Final at Yonkers on Aug. 31. Returning to stakes action is a filly that shook a few heads on Hambo day in the Shady Daisy. Trillions Hanover qualifies as a bet-back from the stakes-laden program where she took second in the stakes with bold stepping around some heavily bet fillies.


It’s only a purse of $171,503, but the Aug. 31 Simcoe division for soph-colt pacers will have bettors yielding to support for Captain Crunch. Of course Best In Show will get some action and even Century Farroh has fans enough to make win bets.

Other than that you have Captain Crunch’s one-time nemesis, Stag Party. Unlike many public handicappers, we have had faith in a return to form for Cass Coleman’s colt. He has been competitive but you know the fans—they abandon earners once the stakes wins decrease. We do not think Stag Party is ready to drop into top conditioners; we demand an upset and back at home against his frosh foe would be a great time for us to cash a ticket on him.


No matter how I cut it, this race goes to Lather Up or Jimmy Freight. A question of odds is up to you but we feel even money on the Prince of Pacers will be a gift. Jimmy Freight could wind up a good bet against him but only if Lather Up is sent off at prohibitive odds below 1-1.

What else can you do (but pass) because Lather Up has proven more than raw speed allows him to win and, moreover, that he is his own worse enemy when it comes to losing.


This is one tough race that the public may send off imbalanced in odds. These guys beat one another at a rapid clip based on many elements most of us do not see coming in the manner these types of races develop.

The best shot could turn out to be Atlanta since the “now” horses leave from the inside. Plus, Manchego and Marion Marauder will attract supporters based on recent improvements and Six Pack may be locked and loaded for this since showing signs of weakness lately. One thing is for sure—stay away from Crystal Fashion and Guardian Angel AS if they are the public choices; it is not worth the risk of playing those two for short returns.

H2W Legend

Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.


8/31/19, Ali De Vie R9

8/30/19, Yooper R2; Sweet Moves R6
8/31/19, Ameriman R2; Oakmont R2; Byby Landon R11; Ransom Demand R11; Sutton Seelster R12

8/30/19, Fitchey For Fun R3; Show Stoppin Monkey R7

8/29/19, +Itiswhatitis R3; Jesse V R11
8/30/19, +Shamwow R6

8/31/19, One Through Ten R5; +Yacht Week R11; Avalance Hanover R12

8/29/19, +Thor R6; +Twin B Onaroll R7

8/30/19, Myeyesadoreya N R3; St Lads Banshee R11; Togetherforever R16
9/1/19, +Ellagator R8

8/29/19, +I’m Done Talking R1; +BN Hopeful R5

8/29/19, +Sew Psyched R1; Muscles Jared R2; +Artspell R3
8/30/19, +I’m A Clown R6; +Sylvia Trench R8

8/29/19, Homicide Hunter R5
8/30/19, Sweet Young Thing R6; Ponder The Odds R12
9/1/19, Revelry R9

8/31/19, +Highalator R10
9/1/19, +Latissimus Hanover R9

Red Mile
8/31/19, +Legion Of Honor R2; +Ready For Moni R2; +Shape Shifter R3; +Miss Kendra D R5

8/30/19, +Lynn Bin Con Kin R13

8/31/19, +Rick’s Sign R2

8/29/19, Shes Got Bling R4; +Buckeyeonbroadway R4
8/30/19, My Shiyen R 1; Belle’s Delight R1; Heidi’s Heart R2; +Heart Of The Ocean R3

8/30/19, +In A Godda Daita R1; Melanies Fran R6; Watchwhatmyfeetdo R7

8/30/19, Golden Dynamite R3
8/31/19, +Fox Valley Steffen R8

8/29/19, +Dew Can Dew R6; Checkmate Hill R7