Hearty Menu Of Power Plays; Pompano Upset Challenge

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January 15th, 2020

Plowing through January, we stop to select ordinary races to make into feature events for the bettor. Profitable plays are everywhere because harness racing is everywhere during the winter months. We have contenders for features and Power Plays (PoP), often complementing great prices for all types of wagers. Do your own handicapping and respect our off-the-beaten-track opinions to spike your to your cashing.

The exclusive H2W (horses-to-watch) list is off to a great start this winner with double-digit winners. H2W selections supply bettors with sharp finishers for win, place, show and most single- or multi-exotic races.


Dover / Race 12
Thursday / Jan. 16

In the Dover Preferred Handicap, worth $30,000, seven older pacers go after Wiggle It Jiggleit (WIJI). Since his return to racing, WIJI has shown traces of his younger strides, good for getting the betting public overconfident. Here he should be the favorite, though the competition runs deep. It’s a chunky purse for this time of year, so some of the top trainers send out some of their best stock for the best pieces of it.

George Leager’s Slick Tony, who beat WIJI last week, has to deal with post 8 while topping the field, thus far, in earnings. Local conditioner Wayne Givens drew the rail for his soldier, Sicily. Quality Bud did well at Dover; his debut included a strong brush to make the finish a neck between two others, all charting at 1:50.2. Jim King, Jr.’s Qs Cruise was a length behind the photo, as was Bo Mach, in the Quality Bud finish. Nifty Norman’s Bettor Memories comes to Dover from a very good start in 2020, an easy third at 4-1 in a Yonkers conditioner. Ron Burke won with Trump Nation at the Meadowlands, as the favorite in mid-December.

We are in for Quality Bud, who could be sent off at a very good price and able to get a super trip and close on dueling speed.



Pompano / Races 3,4,6,7,8
Thursday / Jan. 16
Pompano may as well be called “Wallyworld,” for it is driver Wally Hennessey’s reigning oval. The prolific driver has won thousands of races and in Florida’s solo harness court he looms boldly as the top choice in every race.

Like a lot of the sport’s leading drivers, their great success winning races rarely translates into rich bounty for betters. Wally’s presence on a horse alone attracts dollars and that means smart bettors seeking value in horses’ performances look for the overlays produced by chalk bettors favoring a driver over more important factors.

This is why, during Wally Hennessey’s strongest part of the season, we will share with readers the more valuable contenders likely to beat any horse driven by Wally at Pompano. In now-and-again Wallyworld (WW) features, starting Jan. 16, we suggested contenders that, should beat Wally-steered horses, should pay handsomely.

Race 3
Wally is listed to start his driving duties on either Just Don’t Wait or Perkins and will probably take the former. We suggest Asiago Romano, the Marc Aubin-trained pacer.

Race 4
Three horses are listed with possible Hennessey steers. We think he’ll choose Caleb’s Diamond T but regardless, we want to put a crack in WW with Starcaism from Joe “The Great” Sanzeri.

Race 6
Another trio is offered Wally’s services here but Royal Rex has a great shot at winning.

Race 7
Wally takes Gibbs in this field of seven. We take Sports Analyst, who would be making his second appearance on the H2W but comes to WW instead.

Race 8
The evening’s last race offers Wally three to drive. Tossing them all out no matter his choice, we’ll go with Ugottobinittowinit.


Meadows / Races 8—11
Friday / Jan. 17

the 50-cent Pick 4 streams through Race 11, along with the single-field gimmicks including the exacta, trifecta and a 10-cent superfecta.

Race 8
Finally, at the end of the season, trainer William Bercury got ink. His continuing positive winning percentage at the Meadows has never gotten away from us but he is rarely mentioned in industry race news. This race includes a Bercury barn entry, meaning Carolina Beach cannot be ignored. It’s tough to measure fair odds for any Bercury horse, which is good for bettors like us since the public is not Bercury-friendly with its betting bucks. A single to start is the brave move.

Race 9
Cindys Party Boy comes off of a 26-1 victory here for Yonkers’ regular Peter Stratton. That surprise goes noticed this time around, for sure, so do not expect such generosity in the win pool. Still, he is not a solid single. For inner- and outer-race bets, we include the two Tim Twaddle-trained Phantom Seelster and Avalance Hanover.

Ron Burke’s Razor’s Edge may win by more than his name’s suggested distance and do so with moderate cash returns. For inner- and outer-race bets, a price on Hurrikane Kingklee should be the speed chased and yet not dismissed going into the stretch mid-pack to finish in an exotic spot at a price.

The Twaddle twins [sic] in this field are both familiar to us all. Dapper Dude and Goggles Paisano (arguably one of the best names for a pacer in all of the sport’s history) leave from the first two posts. “Dapper” with Dave Palone will get lots of dough compared to the Meadows’ most prolific workhorse ”Goggles,” and the win-poll action won’t stop there.

For price and purpose, however, Beach House still deserves an upset shot and exotics may not be complete without Stratton’s Jumpin Jake Flash and BBs Harley.


Northfield / Races 5—7
Saturday / Jan. 18

A Pick 3 is the center focus of this stream, with single-race exotics intact.

Race 5
From the outside, William Rhodes’ Mayabelle attempts to continue a win skein that puts her into odds-on material. The key to a good Pick 3 here is to beat her and find strong prices for the next two lets.

Gators Ben Winning won at this level two back, then scratched a step higher and had no chance from the outside again against similar. She should have a decent price against Mayabelle and her two obvious foes, to start this trio of races soundly.

Race 6
Bo I See Time failed at 3-1 in his arrival to Northfield from Miami via Dayton and is in a better spot to race better than he did at those two tracks and last week here.

Buddy Hally hanged tough last out as the favorite and tired from the attempt. This week he could find a spot to suck along and relax, giving him a great shot at being an exotic participant on top or in the mix.

Triple players beware of Body Of Work, who could overcome the 8 hole at a way better price than last week, among the favored, and spike the exotics.

Race 7
A Pick 4 starts here but we look to be alive to finish the Pick 3 with a powerful hold on a big price. The obvious top three for the public are money-burners, so this is a good race to have an upset to win and ignite prices for exotics.

Tiger’s Sue had a terrific two calls after a big brush but wound up first over and faded. She has decent class history and should make some toteboard noise here.

Faith Prevails has weathered tedious miles well in lower conditions but from the rail here she could get a spot to save ground and be better than most expect in the second half of the mile—and at a price.

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.


1/17/20, Le Montrachet R1; +Hi Ho Julio R1
1/18/20, +Capitol Hill R10

1/16/20, +Beatingtheodds R7; +Sweet Rock R13
1/20/20, Darkrshadeofpale N R13

1/16/20, Dazzling Rockette R1; Mary Kat R4; Outlaw Imahotvixen R5

1/16/20, Good Day Mate R7
1/17/20, +Elleofadeli R1; +Noble Warrawee R5

1/17/20, +Awake My Soul R3
1/18/20, JK Captain Jack R5

1/17/20, Tango Star R1; Sullivan R4

1/17/20, Onspeed N R3; +Cruzen Cassi R5
1/18/20, Iam Erik N R6; Beyond Delight R10

1/16/20, +Dafinaty R3; Dexter Jolt R5; Brookstone R7; +Bullville Terror R9

1/18/20, +Hey Sweetie R3; Chasing Madi R11
1/19/20, Venier Hanover R15

1/19/20, +Hesallaboutdabass R3; +Doo Wop Hanover R10

1/16/20, St Somewhere R5; That’s Incredible R6; Alice B R8

1/16/20, +My Sister Lucie R6
1/17/20, Itty Bitty R11; DGs Elsa R12
1/18/20, +Hill Of A Horse R2; +Trotting Grace R2; +Herehecomesarockin R3; Ostro Hanover R11