Matrons At Dover; Hoosier Star Quartet Features; Kindergarten Capers Highlighted At Meadowlands

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

November 3rd, 2016

The remaining two months of the harness-racing season offer the sport’s last stakes series—the Matrons—at Dover, along with other late-autumn affairs for top earners whose connections have decided to keep in play as the year wanes. This week, Kindergarten finals are held at The Meadowlands and Hoosier Park’s intrinsic features offer luring purses. As usual, we will analyze them all to find strong plays of any kind.

And, of course, TwinSpires’ exclusive, productive horses-to-watch list (H2W) continues to offer the best wagering opportunities available on any racing website. Always consider H2W horses when constructing all of your wagers.


With Dover opening its season, the Matrons series get it rolling with big purses in four freshman divisions.

The $147,100 Matron for frosh-colt trotters brings together some familiar names to the green-stakes characters. Devious Man is the top earner and Ron Burke has a trio in the eight expected to race. Walner, the impressive “Crown” winner of the division, is not here but Sortie, who won one of the Crown elims, is aboard. Our interest leans toward Long Tom. We broke in an elim (at 59-1), so we don’t know how he would have done. We do know that we chose him because he looked to be competitive at a price and so we give him support here, taking our usual leap of faith.

Next, the $148,700 filly trot sends eight to the post. We don’t have to look twice to find the Kadabra filly, Winter Sweet Frost, and suggest she should play a major role here. Kadabra fillies have championed their two-year-old seasons and this one is testimony to such behavior. She is the penultimate earner of the group but may be sent off last of the top three, if that. 

Eight frosh-filly pacers go for $170,000 and may present Planet Rock as the favorite, even from the 8 hole. Second for the crowd should be Robin J, who has been a part of the successful crop of Roll With Joe and looks to become a fine sophomore. Our outside contenders are Big City Betty, a productive portion of Howard Parker’s full-time training career, and Rockette, who was unable to make a mark in the Crown (he was 158-1 in a crowded, favorites-losing affair).

The colt-pacing Matron goes for $171,300. Every Way Out, who is nine for 11 this season, is bound to empty some wallets. Western Hill has won half of his eight starts for Tony Alagna and should find reasonable support. But the outsider, Pointomygranson, may race far better than his expected huge odds. He was 35-1 finishing ninth in the Crown elim won by Huntsville (who went on to easily win the final). If he plays a significant role against the possible public choices mentioned, the exotic prices will be heightened. If he wins, the tote will sparkle as well.


Friday, Nov. 4, Hoosier Park presents a late-night quartet of features with six-digit purses. The medley begins with the $115,000 The Crossroads Of America for soph-filly trotters. A field of 10 includes a buy-in for Consolidator, a seven-for-10 winner, and a Breeders Crown participant, Earn Your Wings, as well as “Crown”-elim failure Gin And Lindy and Flowers N Songs. The favorite may be the latter and Consolidator will certainly be close in support. Chris Beaver sends Kerfuffle Cookie into the fray (one of his productive stable members at the “Jug” meet) and another one, Kestrel. “Gin” should race far better than in her Crown elim, where she was miserable against All The Time, and her follow-up affair. She could sit a perfect trip and use all she has late to win at a good price.

The $112,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for soph-filly pacers is next, also featuring 10 at the gate. Burke brings a pair with hefty bankrolls but the crowd may embrace the homebred queen, Seventimesavirgin. She is 12 for 14 in the win column for John De Long and she gets post 1, a spot for controlling the pace. We like the chances for Wine Snob, who may be offering a decent price. Wine Snob has been in the thick of some good races for trainer Ryan Miller, picking up seven seconds that are to be respected. 
Stars are embedded in the next feature, the $220,000 Carl Erskine for glamour-boy trotters, including Crown-champ Bar Hopping. The Jimmy Takter soph will take a huge hunk of the win-pool pie from the other nine, however, he will still have to earn his way to the winner’s circle with a few hot on his trail. Sutton leaves to his right and a dangerous Blenheim will leave from post 4. Outside dangers will include Dayson, Waitlifter K (who showed strong speed in his Crown elim and broke in the Bar Hopping final) and post 10’s Milligan’s School.

Bar Hopping doesn’t have to command this field, he can grind home, as he did in the Crown. Sutton may try to steal it on the engine with Dayson in hot pursuit and local-colt Bridge To Jesse’s (11 for 15 wins) will want a prominent place early, too. All of this sets up a good stretch-trotting victory lane for Bar Hopping but the price on Milligan’s School, who could challenge “Bar” late, may be too good to pass up. He should be in the mix, though wide, and if he cannot beat Bar, he should make for a valuable exotic element.

The ultimate feature is the glamour-boy pacers’ Monument Circle ($200,000). Ten again grace the gate, featuring Burke’s Check Six, direct from his tanking against Racing Hill in the Crown. Check Six dueled early with Lyons Snyder and though he put that favorite away, he tired, allowing 60-1 shot Manhattan Beach to pass him and get the place. Burke has Manhattan Beach here, as well as he sends Downthehighwy, Fine Diamond and JK Will Power. That is not an error; Burke is the trainer of half of this field—all the more reason to back the local hero, Mr Wiggle Pants. The colt is eight for 12 in the Midwest and why shouldn’t Jim Mulinix have his pacer—the unknown “Wiggle,” so to speak) ready to come off a fiery pace against this group? He will be a very good price, unlike when he races against his Hoosier comrades, so take advantage of a good horse at a good price.


The Kindergarten finals are the features at The Meadowlands on Saturday, Nov. 5. Four freshman miles with six-digit purses are available for those earning their way into the conclusion of this series.

The frosh-colt trot is worth $200,600 to this field of 10, including the brilliant Walner, who blew away his Crown final field last week. Even with post 9 here, it is difficult to penalize his chances of winning. That being said, we do like the chances of Limerence, Ake Svanstedt’s son of Yankee Glide. Perhaps he can find a step or two saved from his 5 post trip to edge Walner and the threatening New Jersey Viking from the inside. Ultimately, that may be the stars of the triple in some order.

Next, eight frosh-colt pacers fight for the lion’s share of their final’s $149,800. We were impressed last week with Mac’s Jackpot’s Kindergarten performance. He was closing rapidly on the favorite, Chip Walther, as the public’s third choice and that was his second move in the race. “Chip” gets post 8, to the right of Mac’s Jackpot, who can show he is truly every bit as good as his major foe.

The frosh classic for filly trotters is next for $190,200. From the inside is the filly we endorsed last week (and tweeted from The Meadowlands) who shot out of the field to be third and pay $18-plus (at 132-1), Sunshine Delight. Although she is up against a few more popular gals, we will stick with her, as we expect her to improve on that race and be truly competitive.

The nightcap is the filly pace for $149,100. Crown-upset star Someomensomewhere will not be ignored this week in this field of 10. This is a good time to look elsewhere if the crowd embraces him.

From post 1, Caviart Ally (one of three Noel Daley students in this race), who was flying late to be second last week in a Kindergarten chapter won by Gurl Band K, needs to be taken seriously, as does the filly defeating her, Gurl Band K. She and Caviart Ally may create a fine exacta, keeping Someomensomewhere from the top late, which is highly possible, since that one was a fortunate winner from an easy, suck-along trip.

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.


11/4/16, Eachyahartout R8
11/5/16, +Western Expression R9; GD Airliner R9; Lucky Nadotremblay R9; Livefreeordiehard R12

Cal Expo
11/5/16, +Royal Classic R2; +Texas Rattlesnake ae R6; FF Bigshow R8; +Art Genta R10; Cowboy Mathis R10

11/5/16, +Pictorian Stardust R3

11/4/16, +Rockin Lisa R8

11/3/16, Bags To Riches R14; Socoteur Bluegrass R15

11/3/16, Big Puff Doggie R4

11/4/16, +Speed Trap R7

11/4/16, Bluebird Kidsqueen R1; Twin B Honour R12
11/5/16, +JJ Shark R9; Screaman Seaman A R9

11/6/16, +Noble Trick R15

11/3/16, +Emeritus Maximus R2; +Sir Royson R8
11/6/16, War-n-mum R6; +Yolo Lindy R9

11/5/16, Eastend Eddie R7; Shippin Out R8

11/6/16, Warlock R6; Officernagentleman R7; Vangura R9; Silver Spir R10

11/3/16, Cherry Crown Jewel R7
11/4/16, Pembroke Delux R1; Hawken R8

11/3/16, +Ramset R3

11/3/16, Broad Priority R5
11/4/16, Keene Olivia R4; Western Captive R6
11/3/16, +Kholtans Rei R3
11/6/16, +Orange County R3

11/4/16, +Hollywood Jess R10
11/5/16, +Jersey Boy R1

11/7/16, Skinny Dipper R4

Ray Cotolo contributes to this blog