Last Stand For Frosh Champs; Delaware Contests Launch; Autumn Sophs Sized Up

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

November 17th, 2016

Dover begins our features’ weekend with a Delaware-sired final for frosh-colt pacers on Thursday and then we go north and stay in Canada Friday and Saturday.

On Nov. 18 we look for strong contenders in a quartet of Autumn Series soph finals at Woodbine. We stay at Woodbine for Nov. 19’s Fall Four Finals, testing some of the season’s best youngsters before they turn in their campaigns to become sophomores.

And the TwinSpires’ exclusive, productive horses-to-watch list (H2W) that brings you super wagering opportunities in all types of bets is here as usual. Always consider H2W horses when constructing tickets.


The finals for two- and three-year-olds bred in Delaware begin at Dover on Nov. 17 with the frosh-colt pacer Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund’s $100,000 finale. Eight horses have earned their way into the mile event.

Henry The Dragon comes into the event without a loss in his first racing season. He’s a son of the Delaware champ Custard The Dragon, and has the biggest bankroll of the other seven competing. Last week we enjoyed a winner with Bags To Riches, who will take a co-starring role in the betting, as will Daylen. Those are the obvious three in the obvious order.

The outside contender here is the inside post’s Automatic Dragon. His presence in winner’s circle would deliver a strong price and in the place or show spot with two of the aforementioned three, he would boost an exotic price.


The Autumn Series has been going on in Canada for a while at Mohawk and on Nov. 18, sophomores will complete the series with four finals at Woodbine.

Trotting colts have 10 behind the gate. Georgies Pockets may very well be the best of this group but there is no reason to go with the crowd this time. On the rail is one upset possibility—JLs Bad Moon Risin. He was third in a leg, just behind a 114-1 Innovative Force, who had it easy after a strong start (Georgies Pockets caught him in a tougher trip). The other upset possibility is The Land Shark, who could steal the race on the engine if he commands the fractions.

Pacing fillies will have to handle Docs Diva on the speed-biased oval. Two closers, one of which was the official favorite, Tempus Seelster, who gets post 9 in the final, nabbed her late. Another public choice, Lady Marina, is on the outside, giving more strength to Docs Diva’s wire-to-wire scenario.

Among the trotting fillies, One Too Many shone last week in a two-move mile at 10-1. That race was won by a 12-1 shot when the favorite tanked, finishing last making only a single move early.

Sure Fired Bet gets post 9 in the series’ final for colt pacers and it may assist him in an evenly matched field of Ontario-bred sophomores. There are no true speedballs here, the pace may be soft and Sure Fired Bet could pull this off at a good price.

Woodbine presents a quartet of late-season finals for frosh trotters and pacers on the cusp of being sophomores.

The $447,000 Goldsmith Maid sends 10 filly trotters to the post. No eliminations were necessary, so these are all of the well-bred gals left in the division that can race for this kind of money. Jimmy Takter’s Princess Aurora gets the inside. She’s a swift daughter of major sire Cantab Hall, the only such progeny in the field. Ron Burke sends two—Myammie Drama and Temple Ruins.

There are three fillies from Kadabra, the superb Canadian stud that has given the sport more than a few champs that reveled at two (how about Bee A Magician for one?). Magic Presto could be the best of the trio, though Gravitator has been maturing quickly. That latter could be a better price but both need to be taken seriously here.

The $520,000 Governor’s Cup for colt pacers also did not need eliminations. As well, it features more familiar names among the 11 involved, including the division’s top, Ray Schnittker’s Huntsville. This is Huntsville’s race to lose. We came close in the Breeders Crown final when longshot Miso Fast was a powerful third. Burke’s Roll With Joe colt has been underrated and keeps getting better. If there were to be an upset, it would be due to Miso Fast getting just better enough to edge Hunstville, certainly possible with a post-1 start, to the left of Hunstville.

The colt trotters have 10 in the $404,000 Valley Victory Final. We were second last week with What The Hill, who wound up the favorite in that elim. He is one of three Burke entries and may not be the strongest backed this week from post 9. Still, there is an outside contender leaving from post 2 that shouldn’t be ignored. Chris Beaver’s Andy M is a son of Andover Hall, a proven sire over the years that has not been so productive recently. Andy M made it to this level for a reason—he is one of the better from Andover Hall (whose misstep cost him a Hambletonian victory) and is in a position to surprise at a price off his best effort.

Lastly, the $427,000 Three Diamonds for the filly pacers once again matches the two top gals in the division, Idyllic Beach and Caviart Ally. There are two here from the prolific crop of Roll With Joe. One is our major hit for the season so far, That’s The Ticket, and the other is Obvious Blue Chip. Breeders Crown winner Someomensomewhere gets post 1 and could attract support to put him in the top three on the toteboard. As well, Rockette, the lone Burke entry, will loom dangerously in an effort to pounce on anyone’s mistake. Then there is Casie Coleman’s local star, Candlelight Dinner. All of this means the betting should be spread out.

That’s The Ticket was second in the rare role as the favorite in her elim and could get more support than would make us interested in backing her. She has made her way into most of the big races but has only managed to get paid for them. Takter’s Idyllic Beach is, hands down, the best filly here, but in a skirmish, which could develop, Rockette will be a strong outsider and is worth a shot to shake up the division.

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.


11/18/16, +Livefreeordiehard R1; +Whitesand Noble R11
11/19/16, +GD Airliner R6; +Lucky Nadotremblay R6

Cal Expo
11/18/16, +FF Bigshow R3; +Pas Corn Squeezin R5; Windy City Diana R12
11/19/16, +Lodi Dorian Blues R2; Galex R8; Natives Revenge R10

11/20/16, Rowlock Hanover R6; +Simon Said R11

11/17/16, R1, +Socoteur Bluegrass R1

11/18/16, +Epic Era R6
11/20/16, +Bounty Boy R2; +Kristol Pistoll R8

11/18/16, +PL Intowin R1; +Sandy Hook Hanover R6; SS Derby Girl R9
11/19/16, +Lincoln Blues R4

11/18/16, Arivas Winner R3; First Best R6; Earl’s Speeder R8

11/17/16, McCams Mollie May R3; Official Stripes R4
11/21/16, Maggie O R2

11/19/16, Maddie Doowop R5; Real Nice Girl R13

11/19/16, Ronix R2; Test Pattern R5; Metajka Road R7; Real Buzz R8

11/20/16, Don’tcallmefrancis R13

11/20/16, Gold Star Bugsy R1; No Bad Dreams R3; +Heart Felt R8

11/17/16, Painite R8; Alarming Quick R10

11/17/16, Doc’s Boy R6

11/19/16, Amazing Quest R4; Nabber Again 5

11/18/16, Major Muscle R2; Jump Jive And Jam R4; Southwind Geisha R5; +Manofmanyimages R8; Selling The Dream R9

11/18/16, Nobles Finesse R5
Ray Cotolo contributes to this blog