Harness Weekly Update: Yonkers Elims Easy For Best

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

June 27th, 2021

The TwinSpires Harness Blog Weekly Update covers our successes and failures from selected features and the horses-to-watch list (H2W).

Thursday, June 24

We were on the board in both of the Minnesota-bred soph opens at Running Aces. We beat the favorite in the pace with Brooklyn Wind Up ($10.20, $4.60, $2.60). Then, we were second to the favorite with outsider Maze ($6.40, $3.00), which sparked a $7.60 cheaply based exacta.

Friday, June 25

At the Meadows, the filly-trot Currier & Ives was won by the public choice, while we finished sixth with Dazzling Reign (9-1).

The big night of elims at Yonkers was a chalk choker with dominance from the obvious division leaders as the season heads toward its signature races. We expected a heavy dose of majority-wagered winners but only went to win with a few.

We joined the public in the MGM Park Pace elims for filly pacers. The winners were Heart Of Mine ($2.90, $2.10, $2.10 OK) and Test Of Faith ($2.10, 2.10, 2.10 OK). We were third with Shania Blue Chip ($3.50) and fifth with Lindy On The Beach (7-1) in the first episode and added no others for exotics to the Test Of Faith pick.

The Messenger elims were both won by big favorites. In elim one Always A Miki (14-1) was disappointing and did not make the final. Whichwaytothebeach (21-1) finished fifth, also being denied a berth in the final.

An upset contender for the final was our choice, Mysweetboymax (81-1), making the final finishing fourth. Highlandbeachsbest ($3.50) finished third and Billy Clyde (48-1) made no moves, finishing seventh.

The Yonkers Trot elims were also branded with favorites. A surprise hitting the board in the first elim was no surprise to us. Mon Amour ($3.40, $2.60) getting second (Exacta $4.00) has only been on our top-five list as a Hambletonian contender. On A Streak (6-1) made the final finishing fourth and Calle Palema (61-1) broke and was eliminated.

In the second elim, the entry favorite finished one-two and we settled the $4.60 exacta with In Range ($2.40) third, while The Irishman (13-1) broke and was eliminated.


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 24 active horses (a 13% win hit rate and a 38% ATB [across-the-board] hit. Horses with asterisks before their names were tweets @FrankCotolo. Follow for late choices.


American Empress, $10.20, $4.40, $3.00, Scioto
Joe Joe Joe, $5.60, $3.60, $3.80, Hawthorne
Talking Again, $4.20, $2.20, $2.20, Northfield


Island Beach Boy, $4.90, $3.30, WoMo
Mr French, $4.70, $3.60, Vernon
Joey Bats, $3.20, $2.40 (Exacta $4.80), Plainridge


Splash Blue Chip, $6.00, Meadowlands
Native Liberty, $5.00, Meadows
Shakeitformegear, $2.80, Northville


I attended the first harness program at California’s Fairplex Park. It was a courageous experiment running a harness meet far from the madding Los Angeles crowd and I was there as a bettor and a journalist (covering the opening for HUB RAIL). I attended as a bettor until the meet tanked. I recall the first race won at the new meet—Winning Season (or something like that) driven by Rick Plano. The itinerant horseman won his 4,000th training victory on June 23. A successful remnant.

H2W followers may have noticed that choices in some tracks are not being posted. This is due to the drawing schedules of raceways conflicting with our TwinSpires Edge deadlines. Readers need to do some H2W following on their own, which was always the case but is now essential for not missing H2W horses race. We suggest you keep the previous week’s list when the new one is posted to keep up.

Opinions of the top contenders for the July 17 Meadowlands Pace continue. Dave Little’s week eight list of the top 10 contenders is official. We compare our choices for the top five next to his.

1. Southwind Gentry / Abuckabett Hanover
2. Abuckabett Hanover / Lawless Shadow
3. Perfect Sting / Always A Miki
4. Exploit / One Eight Hundred
5. One Eight Hundred / Perfect Sting

For Ken Warkentin’s 2021 Hambletonian top 10 contenders, week five, we compare our top five choices.

1. Venerate / Venerate
2. In Range / Sonofamistery
3. On A Streak / On A Streak
4. Really Fast / Mon Amour
5. Cuatro De Julio / In Range

Extraordinary Extras

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