Holiday Harness Features Sparkle In Three States; Exotics Ripe For Profits

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

December 22nd, 2016

A short week of harness-racing between blogs is presented as the Christmas and Hanukah holidays fall upon Saturday and Sunday in the last week of December. Many tracks will abandon those two days, going dark as the calendar of 2016 enters its final six days.

There are still plenty of races available from Thursday, Dec. 22 and Friday, Dec. 23, so we will stack our personal race features—overnight events we choose from raceways on the TwinSpires track menu.

Plus, it’s payout time for the Woodbine Jackpot Hi-5 on Friday, Dec. 23, so check in for the TwinSpires Players Pool and let’s try to hit that carryover pool once more.

Of course, we include the TwinSpires’ exclusive, productive horses-to-watch list (H2W).

TwinSpires Harness Players Review—On Dec. 29 we will release our year-end blog, which will include our TwinSpires Players Harness Horse of The Year. As is the tradition, the horse chosen will be the highest paying winner from our 50-some-odd- posts in 2016.

Included in that edition, we will list all of the winners from the year that have paid at least two digits (4-1 and up) in the order of win prices high to low (while including their place and show prices). There were many more winners during the year but we’ll reduce the list to the best double-digit paying victors. There will also be an expanded H2W list.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Meadowlands/ Race 5
Thursday, Dec. 22

One of a pair of sophomores in this conditioned pace seems to have an edge in form over a bunch of struggling mares. From post 10, Gypsy Bellevue drops into this mile after failing as the race favorite but deserves attention for a few reasons. She is a daughter of Roll With Joe, a stallion that ends this year with remarkably successful progeny. Another positive is that her Dec. 9 race, where she was the favorite, was a brave attack on the outside, though she did not hold on. She ships back to the Meadowlands from Philly, where she made the board twice from the 8 hole with the same tenacity she displayed on Dec. 9. Finally, other than a Yonkers shipper—Cruisinwithmybaby—there are none here improving at this level.

Aside from the standard menu of exotics, this race is the first leg of a Pick 3 and a Jackpot Super Hi-5 (15% takeout) event. To consider in your Hi-5 tickets are—not necessarily in this order—Cruisinwithmybaby, Twin B Elite, Carobbean Pacetry, Right Stuff.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Meadowlands/ Race 12
Thursday, Dec. 22

From post 10 last week in this class, Relentless Spirit had a strong second half. Since October, she messed with better foes at Rosecroft and Yonkers. Earlier in the year she began to race well enough at Running Aces to take on East Coast pacers, cashing some reasonable checks along the way.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Meadows/ Race 4
Friday, Dec. 23

Coming in from Northfield, Big Game Hunter may very well go under the radar in this group, led by a favorite driven by favorite-son Dave Palone. Big Game Hunter had unreported trouble in his Open event at Northfield on Dec. 5, which was most likely only the class jump. Here he is not over his head, having raced very well and being well supported at this level in Ohio. Once again, let the crowd count their pennies with Palone and take a shot on the shipper. This race launches a Pick 4.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Meadowlands/ Race 3
Friday, Dec. 23

This is a straight $10,000 Claiming race which attracts a few horses worth noticing. First, I’m Sid The Kid failed badly last week shipping in from Freehold dropping down heavily from an affair he stepped up into and rolled well on the half-miler. His two races at this level saw him finishing on the purse grid during tough circumstances.

To his left, Great Soul steps up after two wins for a slightly lower tag. The 11-year-old is pumping. Autobiographical will get a lot of attention running a place streak to four between stints at Philly and the Meadowlands. Stimulus Plan could contribute to exotics as he is in great form for a new trainer after a claim. This is the first leg of a Pick 4.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Dayton/ Race 8
Friday, Dec. 23

Here’s a good race that could support an improving trotter, as is Pine Dream. Although he is taking on another class, he deserves to meet better considering he has already taken on better at this meet. His drop from a tough 10-hole race on Dec. 5 got him an easy lead and win and now he can put a big score and a big price on the board. The crowd will find faith in some others that may not show the strength of Pine Dream and will offer far less for a win ticket. This race launches a 20-cent Pick-6 wager and a .50 Pick3, as well as the usual single-race exotics.

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.


Cal Expo
12/26/16, Hatfield And McCoy R6; +Tornado Henry R7; +Life Signature R7; +Becky B Skipalong R10

12/26/16, +CJ Blufin R3; Sporty B Skipalong R8; +Ideal Lifestyle R12

12/22/16, Ols Whatasurprise R2; ER Bella R5
12/23/16, Joshuas Mercedes R2

12/26/16, +Brody R9

12/22/16, Pantheon Seelster R4; Blue Boy Benji R6; Bella Palazzo R8

12/23/16, Comes Home First R1; Watts Choice R2; +Rollin In Paris R5; +Andy The Manager R6

12/22/16, +Arrivas Winner R1; +Truth  And Liberty R7; +Perfect Road R10

12/22/16, Galyns Gift R7
12/23/16, +Dontcallmefrancis R1

12/22/16, +Feel My Pain R7; +Xactly Mike R8; Samies Delight R8; Busy Corners Rose R8
12/23/16, +Tricks Of Terror R4

12/22/16, Kiss My Yankee R6

12/23/16, Scrappy Fella R2; +Double Loop R4; Archie Bunker R7

12/22/16, +Archery R1

Ray Cotolo contributes to this blog