Holiday Harness Action Highlighted For All Pools At Dayton, Meadowlands, Northfield, Northlands And Western Fair

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

December 21st, 2017


The global holiday weekend approaches, lightening the bulk of weekend harness racing action as the last week of the year begins. This is, then, our penultimate preview blog (there’s one final update blog to post on Christmas). There will be one more preview blog for racing into the final weekend of 2017 (Dec. 28) and, of course, our special blog, the annual TwinSpires Harness Bettors’ Horse of the Year edition closes the year as a special blog post.

Below we have more selected features, rounds of Partners For Picks (PFP) and Power Plays offering a player a variety of valuable suggested contenders to multi- and single-race exotics at a few venues in North America.

There is also a bevy of choices available to consider in our weekly H2W (the horses-to-watch) list, which will post horses through Tuesday, Dec. 26, since the holiday schedule has reassigned some racing days. Do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections when playing your bets. Of course, remember to be fully armed with a plentiful TwinSpires betting account. Check it out along with all of the North America harness action covered below.


The PFP suggests some outside contenders, as we foresee them, to use in a multi-race exotic (consider them for other bets, too). In this case, we present possibilities for a Pick 4 at the Meadowlands on Thursday, Dec. 21. The stream begins with Race 3. It’s second and third legs launch Pick 3s and the final leg is the start of  a Pick 4.

Leg one, Race 3
This lower-class conditioned trot begins with a ragged field of shippers and it’s tough to evaluate as does the the morning line (ML). We, then, have some confidence in beginning the Pick 5 with two possible outsiders. The first is Duluth, a Saratoga competitor that comes from a race at 26-1 where he came closer to his first win in two lightly raced seasons. He failed two back as a favorite due to a break that eliminated him. This is only his 13th race of 2017 and he could find a good spot to open the Pick 5 with a big price. Also of note is Monticello invader Brookroaddonnie. He just won in a “per-start” conditioner and should enjoy two less turns and a strong effort that would produce another super start for the exotic.

Leg two, Race 4
In this $10G claimer you must pay attention to About The Benjamins. Claimed after a sterling win streak at Pocono, he stepped up in tag price at Philly. It was a decent affair but then he was taken to the four-turn mile at Freehold where he raced well at this level but took the long way around twice, burning out before being able to make impressions on the toteboard. They were two tedious miles, especially on a pair of “off” tracks. Even post 8 here means little if he gets started like he did at Pocono.

Leg three, Race 5
Another conditioned mile with an unpredictable mixture of shippers leads us to an outsider that could make some noise and definitely could boost the price of a Pick 5. That’s Whataorse. Two efforts at this level at this track have been enough to prove he can take the heat here. He was fourth to Invictus Hanover, who is the ML favorite here and not a strong one, so Whataorse’s ML at 12-1 could be a great addition to any Pick ticket.

Leg four, Race 6
One of the in-house features, the Dash For The G Notes final gathers the series’ highest earners from two weeks of legs in December. Fox Valley Cadet was terrible last week at 5-2, getting a bad start and lagging throughout. His race in a leg before that, though, found him the favorite, finishing right behind this race’s ML choice. Yet, his ML is 10-1. That has spoiler written all over it.

Leg five, Race seven
Ending the Pick-5 stream with a $10G claimer, the 10-post entry, Yankee Artillery, comes back after a claim at Philly, where he was being productive at this level and in some conditioners earlier on the calendar. His post and his ML will leave him with higher odds than his chances, we feel, especially since the ML choices are not exactly on fire. The new connections should be all out to finish on top, which would probably happen late as cheaper speed burns out down the lane.



Dayton / Race 8
Thursday, Dec. 21

Betting pools are available for an exacta, trifecta and superfecta in this pacing adventure on Dec. 21. Power Plays suggest four contenders that may participate in any or all of the exotics with a promise to yield strong prices. Here they are in post-position order:

Karefree Kara is the ML second choice, debatable with the morning line (ML) first choice, which we will not endorse for the sake of a better price and considering the 5-2 ML choice, Roll With Josie, can finish fifth or worse. It’s her third race since dropping. She was just caught last week and her first at this level was a decent mile from post 8. Her speed and back-class may work best from the rail here.

Art Critic has an ML of 8-1 would be a wonderful wager on its own. She is back at this higher level due to conditions but raced well here at 21-1 four back from post 8. Last week she sucked along from the inside and finished third against softer, so here she has a great shot to be in the exotic mix, at least.

Queen Ann M won at this level at Dayton last October and has gone way over her head before dropping to the level above this, where she put in a great effort at 48-1, finishing a closing third from post 8. She steps up a bit from her terrible 8-hole loss, again from post 8, but will be tough from post 4 and at her 6-1 ML would affect exotic prices.

Beach Club comes from the Ron Burke barn to the care of Steve Carter and drops enough to be a threat to our suggested contenders. She’s three, going on four in 11 days, and her New York and Pennsylvania experience with tougher stock will give her a big edge here. She ran into a rough patch of health before getting to the Carter barn but is among the noticeable here and a fine addition to any exotic ticket.


Northfield / Race 4
Friday, Dec. 22

From the second tier, Missevil may be ready to pay off after a tepid New York campaign. She was well-meant and well-supported at this Northfield level two back, finishing third at 7-2. When she returned she was 17-1 and finished on the exotic grid. Trainer Sam Schillaci will drive her again (he was obviously the reason she went from 7-2 in one race with Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. to 17-1 in the next with Sam up) as listed and hopefully there won’t be a change because Missevil’s odds will be more to our liking this way.



Northlands / Race 3
Friday, Dec. 22

A claiming/handicap pace sends seven to post with an exacta, triactor and a superfecta on the betting docket. Here are our suggestions for any and all pools, in post position order:

Odds Western Three may try to steal this from post 1 but in any event deserves to be in the thick of exotics after a strong trip at this level last time and a good resume against some of her foes in this field.

Alexas Princess is a beaten favorite after a storming attempt, also against some of these. She has won four of five up until her most recent race and loves to take the top and work the fractions to her favor. She’s from the final crops of Rocknroll Hanover and on the precipice of turning four.

Here’s the key to a large exotic or two and most likely the value wager—Golden Echo. Top trainer Catherine Reid sent this conditioner to claimers two races back after a brief hiatus. The Mach Three mare needed her last and may be on the upswing again, considering how well Reid trainees race (she places her stock well). With a 12-1 ML, Golden Echo will assist the price of any exotic and if she races as she did in October she will be a sterling price for a field of seven.

The ML favorite, Nightime Chase is in a perfect spot leaving from post 7. She is a stalker and a closer, just the right style to be there late while, hopefully, the second ML choice (Big Shir) will be burning out chasing Odds Western Three too aggressively. Keith Clark’s filly beat many of these last time doing just that and although we wouldn’t want her to win over our other three contenders, she should be at the wire with them under most circumstances. 


The PFP suggests some outside contenders, as we foresee them, to use in a multi-race exotic (consider them for other bets, too). In this case, we present our choices for a Pick 4 at Western Fair on Saturday, Dec. 22. The stream begins with Race 3.

Leg one, Race 3
Regal Again is coming back to her New York form where at this level her main struggles were her gait, not the foes. With a new conditioner and one extra-distance race under her belt at London, she could surprise the crowd.

Leg two, Race 4
Another claiming pace with some suspicious droppers favored by “class” alone allows for some outsider additions to a Pick-4 ticket. Falcon Justice returns a race much like his last at London, when he was third at this level. Toss his last two at Flamboro out and expect a better price and a better race than from the obvious ML choices

Leg three, Race 5
Zippo has raced better among fields here in the past few months and was on the precipice of a win before interference hampered his 13-1 effort at Flamboro on Dec. 17. Even then he gained well. This could be a big mile with a good trip. If Rising Dragon gets into the race, his third race in his lifetime will find him dangerous to a bunch of race-torn, low-class warriors.

Leg four, Race 6
Drake was compromised while in the lead on Dec. 4 at this track and could not sustain after a mid-mile duel, fading to seventh at 2-1. Before that, he stuggled in Preferred company at Flamboro but won at that level at Western Fair—and from post 8. In this he seems superior, though the ML favorite odds go elsewhere. Good.

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.


12/26/17, Kiss On The Lips R1; +Kukalaka R7; Miss Banjolina R9; Coastal Treasure R10; +I’m Blue Too R14

12/26/17, +Sarandon Seelster R7; American Captain R8; Political Crisis R10

12/21/17, +Cantab Lindy R7
12/22/17, +Bookem R1; Princess Baby Ella R2; +ABC Dynamite R5

12/21/17, JJ Flynn R10

12/21/17, +Trot Commander R9
12/23/17, +Sunshine West R3

12/23/17, +Mission Mar R5; Drawing Dragons R6; Boy Meets Girl K R8; +Nitro Seelster R12

12/21/17, +Lordbullville R6; Rockinsangria R6; KJ Dale ae R6 ae R8; Rosie Rozzo R7; Overtime Hanover R10

12/22/17, +Dustlanemissmolly R3; Power Everywhere R9; Beamer N Bud ae R16

12/22/17, HF Princess Peach R2; KG Johnny G R4; Art The Third R6

12/23/17, Bar Wine R1; Wishingonadragon R7; Blue Zombie R8
12/26/17, Archibald R5

12/21/17, Business As Usual R1; Can Art R6; Donna Party R9; After Market R10

12/23/17, Warum Hanover R2; Surfer Chick R3

Western Fair
12/23/17, Kendal Fresco R7; The Duke Of Zorra R8; Mercenary R10