Harness Weekly Update: 64% Hit the Board; Public Rules

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

August 15th, 2021

The TwinSpires Harness Blog Weekly Update covers our successes and failures from selected features and the H2W (horses-to-watch list). See News & Notes for additions to H2W lists.

Friday, Aug. 13

The Dan Patch Invitational was much like last week’s Hambletonian; it produced a low-priced winning favorite that clearly had a swarm of competition. In both stakes, we bought into the low-percentage scenario that if we were not passing the race we should gently back a possible upset.

Our two choices, Sintra (20-1) and No Lou Zing (14-1) finished eighth and 10th, respectively. Meanwhile, the horse to threaten the favorite best was a 68-1 local colt we had backed in state-bred competition (Tellmeaboutit). Our longshot hopes were based on two colts with class and some strong races against far better stakes colts than the Indiana locals.

It is a scattershot to accurately handicap (measure in odds) the chaos developing beyond the first three public choices of any race, and we do it less often than we find horses like Tellmeaboutit finishing second (especially to a favorite). Sintra and No Lou Zing may be strong bet-backs as this Dan Patch strongly resembles a Key Race.

In Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) action at the Meadows, a frosh-colt trotter we have considered recently won the second of two PASS splits. Global Pandemic ($13.80, $3.20, $2.20) dominated his division coming from a stakes race, though Donzel Hanover (45-1) was unable to finish on the board getting sixth.

In round one we lost all chance with Nice Guy Eddie (4-1) when he broke to become embroiled with judge decisions, finishing third, then placed second, and ultimately placed fifth.

Two New York Sires Stakes for soph-colt pacers at Yonkers were won by public choices. We lost to the race favorite in the first split with Stop Staring (44-1) and to the second race favorite in the second with Town Gossip ($2.10, $2.10 OK), and I’ll Drink To That (7-1), who finished fourth.

Saturday, Aug. 14

At Northfield, our and everyone else’s choice, Charlie May ($4.60, $3.40, $2.40), defied the Flying Turns, coming from behind to win the “Milstein.” Just as what happened in the Dan Patch, a longshot (71-1) that we have backed during the year—Mysweetboymax—got second. Our exacta prospect, Heart Of Chewbacca (7-1) broke and was eliminated. Minnesota shipper Alilthundadownunda (76-1) never took a step in the right direction, finishing ninth.


The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Exactas listed include a H2W horse finishing second to a race-favorite or if the first two finishers are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses are listed—a cold exacta). The note “OK” determines that prices are correct (even when a show price exceeds a place price or all prices are the same).

Please note that some results reflect horses racing after the blog posts (they appear the following week).

This week, there were 22 active horses (a 14% win hit rate and a 64% ATB [across-the-board] hit). Horses with asterisks before their names were tweets @FrankCotolo. Follow for late choices.


Virgin Boy, $21.20, $9.00, $5.00, Hoosier
Diamondtequilashot, $4.40, $2.60, $2.40, Northfield
Jericho Willie, $2.80, $2.10, $2.10, Vernon


Oneida Blue Chip, $9.00, $6.80, Running Aces
Brians Magic Girl, $7.40, $4.20 (Exacta $10.10), Running Aces
Finally Found Away, $5.80, $4.20 (Exacta $13.60), Philly
Swanful Grace, $5.20, $3.60 (Exacta $31.20), Hoosier
Grantmeawish, $4.00, $2.60 (Exacta $8.00), Scioto
Iron Wheel, $3.80, $2.60, Meadows
Shambamthankyamam, $2.60, $3.00 OK, Hoosier


Swan Prodigy, $6.20, Hoosier
Doin The Most, $4.20, Vernon
Major Offense, $4.00, Pocono
Staycation Hanover, $2.60, Pocono


H2W alert: Since our spinoff Hoosier Park weekly Wednesday article on TwinSpires Edge comes from the same source as our main blog, we begin this edition adding all win, place, and show-paying horses from that blog in the following Harness Update blogs each Monday. The contenders having paid 4-1 or more from all preceding Hoosier Plays blogs will be recorded in our seasonal roundup.

Hambletonian winner Captain Corey is the only member of the Hambletonian Final who does not qualify for our Key Race Watch (KRW) surfacing from the Hambletonian Final’s field and the Hambletonian Oaks’ final field. Each season all members of the two fields are automatic bet-backs since the two major events are “key” races, which are superior fields that catapult every member to near-guaranteed wins the next one or two times out.

Bettors, we highly recommend reading a Guest Column by veteran handicapper Bob Pandolfo over at the Harness Racing Update site. Bob speaks out for harness bettors with opinions backed by experience and currency and often as a lone voice. 

It’s time to count down and compare the Little Brown Jug contenders. Our top five in the first installment follows fair publicity director Jay Wolf’s top five.
1. Perfect Sting / Lawless Shadow
2. Rockyroad Hanover / Southwind Gendry
3. Southwind Gendry / Perfect Sting
4. Lawless Shadow / Abuckabett Hanover
5. American Courage / Rockyroad Hanover

We continue with our comparison of the top five contenders for the North America Cup:
1. Bulldog Hanover / Southwind Gendry
2. Perfect Sting / Lawless Shadow
3. Rockyroad Hanover / Perfect Sting
4. Southwind Gendry / Rockyroad Hanover
5. Lawless Shadow / Bulldog Hanover

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in our columns, Alternative Actions and Bettors Banquet, at Harness Racing Update