Lather Up, Manchego Disappointing; Three-Race ‘Trail’ Sweep Nailed; $23 Top Win Price; Freshmen Fire Hot Results

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July 1st, 2018


A busy weekend ensued with winners, upsets, favorites, scratches and longshots in features and the H2W list.

Here is how it all went down:

Saturday, June 30

First and foremost, the headline is the failure of Lather Up in the Max Hempt Final on Sun Stakes night at Pocono. From the moment the gate left he did not look well and was “steppy” going into the third turn while first over in blistering fractions. That observation was spot on as Lather Up galloped in the early stretch while colts were closing rapidly. One of those colts was our second choice, Nutcracker Sweet ($19.49, $17.40), who once again finished second, though this time not to Lather Up. The advantage of the speedy fractions and Lather Up’s first loss and worse performance was 15-1 Springsteen. Other mentioned exotic contenders, Shitzletdosomthin and This Is The Plan were well out of it.

Our choice, Sometimesawinner, scratched in the “Hempt” Consolation.

Here are the rest of the Sun Stakes features from Pocono (except for the “Beal,” which is covered in the Hambletonian Trail section below):

In the James Lynch a 4-1 beat the crowd’s choice and we were way off the finish line with I’m Trigger Happy (7-1), coming in eighth.

We warned of the strength of McWicked, which we had in the Ben Franklin elim last week but heeding that warning would have gotten you a very short price in the final this week as McWicked won with ease. Our outside contender, Donttellmeagain (20-1) finished fourth to cooperate with the superfecta payoff.

We were third in the Ben Franklin Consolation with Dealt A Winner ($3.40). A 14-1 took that event.

Will Take Charge, our contender in the Cleveland Trotting Classic at Northfield on June 30, scratched, leaving us with a pass.


Eight green colts and fillies were on our list in the first edition of this exclusive TwinSpires harness section. There were four tracks involved.

At Hawthorne we had two winners: EL Game On ($12.80, $3.80, $2.60) and Meyer On Fire ($4.40, $3.40, $2.60). Also at Hawthorne we were third with Crackerjack Bill ($3.40) and fourth with Riley The Mooss.

At Hoosier we were second to the favorite with Elite Desire ($6.60, $4.40) to form a $16.00 exacta and fourth with Mister JB.

At Saratoga we were sixth with Heck Of A Band.

Freshmen losing in their first mentions appear one more time in an upcoming H2W list.


A triptych of Hambletonian Trail-blog winners are left over from last week’s Update, as we nailed the trio of lucrative New York Sires Stakes miles for soph-filly trotters on June 24 at Tioga.

In the first event we hit with our sole contender Tribute To Seven ($9.50, $3.00, $2.40).

Next, we did not defy the public’s huge choice in this pass-or-key split that was the “mortal lock” everyone thought it would be. Atlanta ($2.10, n/p, n/s) swarmed the pools and the mile. We failed with an exacta partner, Ciao Dolce (e4-1), who finished fourth.

A strong mile for our top-choice contender won this for us with Repentance ($7.10, $4.20, $2.20), while we participated in the triple with the show horse, Fury Road ($2.20). That triple payoff, using our two selections and the public’s other choice, paid $45.75.

The Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial for the glamour-boy trotters included the super filly Manchego. However, the unbeaten filly dueled tough around the final turn and jumped badly as the 1-5 choice and finished off the board to Crystal Fashion, who almost beat her in last week’s elim.

The “Beal” consolation was won by the public choice, while our contender, Missile Hill (12-1) galloped home eighth.

TwinSpires Harness Blog:
Severe Handicapping For Harness Bettors


The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Also, exactas listed are included when a H2W horse finishes second with a race favorite or the first two finishers making up the exacta are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses were listed to complete a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices published are correct even when a show price exceeds a place price or any or all of the prices are the same. This week, there were 69 active horses (an 14-percent win hit rate and a 42-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).

Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place, show and exotic results occurring by press time but some horses race after the blog is posted (we list them the following week) It is up to you to follow horses that have not performed before this weekly review


Yankee Osborne, $23.00, $4.80, $3.20, Northfield
Barbosa, $16.60, $5.00, $3.00, Running Aces
Pleasing Form, $5.80, $3.50, $2.60, Buffalo
Cherry Crown Jewel, $4.40, $2.10, $2.60 ok, Scarborough
Our Jerry Lee N, $3.80, $3.60, $2.60, Ocean
Abida Hanover, $3.40, $2.20, $2.20 ok, Northville
Guardian Angel AS, $3.40, $2.20, $2.10, Philly
Brunello N, $3.00, $2.80, $2.10, Buffalo
Fly Away, $2.80, $2.60, $2.40, Running Aces
Fox Valley Gemini, $2.20, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Hawthorne


Sir Bradford, $20.00, $8.40 (Exacta $87.60), Pocono
Levis Day, $7.70, $4.30 (Exacta $46.20), Mohawk
Apple Tart Hanover, $5.70, $3.20, Grand River
All Night Credit, $4.40, $3.00, Plainridge
Faith Prevails, $4.00, $4.00 ok, Northville
Big Place, $3.20, $2.40, Harrington
Frenchkissmebaby, $3.20, $2.20 (Exacta $11.00), Running Aces
Ragazzo Dolce, $3.20, $2.60, Ocean
Delaney R, $2.80, $3.00 ok, Running Aces
Voom Or Bang, $2.80, $2.40, Hoosier
Shesonehotwriter, $2.50, $2.20, Mohawk
Becky Badger Baby, $2.20, $2.10 (Exacta $8.40), Running Aces


Cash Now, $9.40, Saratoga
Skywaybrenlinsfib, $7.80, Hoosier
Sir Bradford, $6.60, Pocono
Trumps Rally, $4.30, Grand River
Opticrombie, $3.20, Running Aces
Pridecrest, $3.00, Running Aces
AFF Bigdaddy $2.20, Buffalo

News & Notes

As you may note in the H2W this week, our pre-season choice for soph pacer of the year, Fox Valley Gemini, won (June 24, posted in this Update due to deadlines) again at Hawthorne. Fox Valley Gemini is the undefeated, reigning Illinois champion, who with 14-straight wins so far in his career. Terry Leonard trains Fox Valley Gemini. It was the May, 2018 edition of Hoof Beats that featured the TwinSpires harness-blog editor’s choice this way: “Fox Valley Gemini launches a sophomore career with nine wins in nine starts and is probably matured enough to become a major force against higher earners at three.”

Unfortunately, Fox Valley Gemini may not get a chance to challenge top members of his division, which include Lather Up, Stay Hungry, Lost In Time and filly Youaremycandygirl, since the colt was not staked to major events. Because any of the glamour-boy pacer events do not allow paid-up supplements, it is highly unlikely Fox Valley Gemini will have a chance to meet the best of his division. However, the Breeders Crown sophomore pace allows buy-ins, is it possible the colt’s connections are saving up for the year-end national championship (this year at Pocono).

The first Hambletonian Future Wager pool (available at TwinSpires) closed on June 24. The total pool came in at $6,991 among 15 interests. Wagering in two more advance pools will be available throughout North America. The next future-wager pool opens on July 20 at noon (EDT). Betting closes on July 22 at 10:00 p.m. (EDT). The minimum future wager is $1.00 and all future wagers are for win only. The official first-place finisher in the 2018 Hambletonian will determine the winner of each pool. The third and final Hambletonian Future Wager pool opens Wednesday, Aug. 1 at noon (EDT) and closes on Friday, Aug. 3 at 10:00 pm (EDT).

Here are the popular closing odds for Future Wager Pool #1:

Field (all other horses eligible to Hambletonian and Oaks) 5-2
Fourth Dimension 7-2
Six Pack 5-1
Wolfgang 5-1
Patent Leather 10-1
Alarm Detector 20-1
Evaluate 22-1
Mets Hall 22-1
Captain Morgan 28-1
Tae Kwon Deo 28-1
Southwind Chrome 28-1
Moosonee 32-1
Samo Different Day 55-1
Shoshie Deo 60-1
You Know You Do 34-1

Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.

And check my monthly column, Alternative Actions, at Harness Racing Update