Meadowlands Features Frosh Finals, High-Priced Pace And Trot Miles

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

November 19th, 2015

The Meadowlands offers one last 2015 stakes-filled weekend on Nov. 20 and 21st.

The Fall Final Four events gather two-year-olds in the Three Diamonds, Valley Victory, Governor’s Cup and Goldsmith Maid, while older pacers and trotters go in six-digit Opens and the historic Tarport Hap (soph-filly pacers) makes a late-season appearance. As well, a quarter of glamour-girl trotters shoot for another wad of dough in the Contentalvictory.

On Monday, Nov. 23, Wiggle It Jiggleit returns, taking on a soft field at Dover for the H.H. Progress Pace elim, raring to go flying in next week’s version of Dover’s signature event.

No main TwinSpires harness blog would be complete without the exclusive H2W (horses-to-watch list), with the suggested contenders that pay off for you to use win, place, show and in exotics at raceways across North America.

Maids And Diamonds

Friday’s stakes action at the Meadowlands is highlighted by a pair of the Fall Four Finals and two lucrative Open mares events. First is the $409,950 Goldsmith Maid, with 10 frosn-filly trotters, nine out to beat All The Time. She has been perfect since the Breeders Crown elim and comes into this with a three-win streak. All The Time will take all the money.

The obvious leaves few options, though a few gals in this can improve or be ready to take advantage of any problems that surface in “Time,” so to speak. Womans Will, Haughty and even our choice in the elim, Ultimate Shopper, all have the credentials to exploit opportunities. Haughty has had some bad moments but at her best could upset here. Beyond those foes, however, are the chances of Double Exposure. She was best of the rest last week against Time and is fresh, as well as greatly unproven in the upper class. The value offered will be up to you, as she could surface the second choice solely based on last week. That may be the trifecta in one order or another, with a questionable return.

There are only eight frosh-filly pacers in the $385,250 edition of The Three Diamonds, which was sans elims. It’s no wonder, since what is left of this division after the “Crown” is a field of debatable talent. Thus, you can make a good case for any of them, hoping the case you make is a profitable decision.

For the third time in as many weeks, we are going with Skinny Dipper because our case for her has not changed; in fact it becomes stronger in this field. Her excuse in the Matron was getting hanged, as she has in her recent four races without the benefit of clearing to take command. Five of 10 times she was in the top three, mostly against the division’s best, so we’ll back her once more

Opens For Mares

A pair of $200,000 Opens for mares on both gaits are the Nov. 21 co-features with the green gals. The Open Pace has a field of seven, most familiar to us through the season. Two solid entries here are, of course, mares we have taken advantage of through the year, Sandbetweenurtoes and Color’s A Virgin. The latter has paid well at three and four, getting ditched for her Midwestern roots most times. “Sand” has worked hard for her four wins against tough stuff, including “Virgin.”

Here, however, we may wind up with a good price using our third choice, Venus Delight. She has been good lately and gets credits for a pair of excused in her last two, where she was the public choice each time. This mile may find her behind in the betting to Virgin and Sand, so watch the board for a bargain. Save a spot for Gallie BytheBeach for exotic plays. Though she has avoided racing with the top tier most of the season, she has been ignored in the pools when she raced her best.

The mare trotters deliver a sextet, including Bee A Magician, whose controversial race last week cost driver Brian Sears to be accused of lagging on purpose. Regardless if it is true or not, “Bee” is looking as if she is tired recently. It has been a long season and the lagging may be Bee, not Brian.

In the upset department, a good trip for Harley Momma may shake the win and exotic pools as well as shaking probable choice Shake It Cerry. Most of what is placed before us in this wistful-widow division makes it rife for an upset and excusing the recent pair of “Momma” efforts would be smart to give her the go-ahead.

Two Of The Fall Four

Saturday, Nov. 21, the Meadowlands hosts six big events, including the remaining two-year-old frosh stakes—the Valley Victory (489,400) for the colt trotters and the Governor’s Cup ($413,000) for the colt pacers.

The Valley Victory features a field of 10, including last weeks upset-colt Waitlifter K (24-1). He took the lead and made the stronger colts work hard. Milligan’s School (a favorite) wore him down to a whisker win. In the other elim, Dog Gone Lucky (trained by Chuck Sylvester who also trains Waitlifter K) looked best of both splits, winning and assuring a public-choice spot here.

We like Lagerfeld again this week and he will probably go off better than 2-1. He was burned early by a colt that is not in the final and tired to “Lucky” and a late rush by Make Or Miss. From the inside, Lagerfeld can stalk Waitlifter K and maybe even Lucky if he decides to set the fractions. If he can save ground he can come out late and nose those two while the rest of the field rushes late, probably too late to win. Lucky and “Lager” could make for a good exacta and a better triple if you include Marion Marauder.

It’s a 10-colt field for the Governor’s Cup and no less than five of them have great shots at coming home first. Ron Burke presents four from his house with Big Top Hanover and Jk Will Power in the top five. “Big” looks best but will be hammered in the win pools. Boston Red Rocks almost took Big in the final steps of their elim and should get major support, too. Katies Rocker beat Jk Will Power by a nose in their elim.

And then there is Ideal Rocky. He was a late season flame, bet heavily until the Matron, where he was awful from post 8 at 28-1 but he was the favorite against Katies Rocker last week and will not get that kind of respect here. That may be a bad move; “Rocky” should be in a good spot to get a good trip and surprise at a surprise price this week. Similarly, Autotune Hanover was right behind Rocky last week, as our choice at 5-1 and he cannot be dismissed here for exotics or a bigger upset than Rocky.

Trot Team

The $144,000 Continentalvictory stars only four soph-filly trotters. Most of the division has had it going up against the top two here, Mission Brief and Wild Honey. The other pair, Lady Winona and the also-trotted Kelsey’s Keepsake have little to no chances getting the top two unless they are relentless with fiery fractions while dueling. “Keepsake” is the only possibility to shake up and exotic or, should things really go wrong, be the last trotter standing for any kind of upset.

The $400,000 FFA Trot is an Open, so soph-colt The Bank gets to take on older ones at the brink of turning four but he won’t get so much support here. Last week we hit softly with the choice, Resolve, and he surely will have the edge here, too, though he may have to share some money with Melady’s Monet. The Canadian punters will back Flanagan Memory and he could be ready for another upset, getting our attention, as well as we would like him in exotics.

Big Paces

A traditional stakes that finds its time slot radically changed to November, the Tarport Hap ($173,500) for soph-filly pacers is another feature on the Meadowlands’ Nov. 21 program. There’s a twist, though—the race is now 1/8th a mile longer. This perplexing division will strike another chord of discord, no doubt, with that factor added. It has been so difficult to cull confidence in any of these gals, as they sink and swim through their 2015 campaigns.

That being said, we need to take another look at Sassa Hanover, who went to a Matron at a remarkable 33-1 (Mosquito Blue Chip wound up 4-1?) and finished like the odds. However, her first-over trip deserves excuse status and in this mile we expect her to perform more like she did at 27-1 in the Crown. Take her confidently and hope that the addition of Yannick Gingras to drive doesn’t play havoc on the win pool.

The FFA Pace is a $400,000 affair with only six familiar veterans. One of them, Jk Endofanera, has bowed to some others in this field of late and gets a shot at making the other five feel overconfident about his winning (he hasn’t won since Oct. 10). Here he gets a chance to burrow through the stretch late on speed that will be forcing the fractions—a perfect scenario for “Jk” and at a bit of a better price than his last two races offered.

On Monday, Nov. 23, Wiggle It Jiggleit goes at Dover for a H.H. Progress Pace elim, raring to go flying in next week’s version of Dover’s signature event. How do you bet against him? The field is weak and a best-of-the rest group after "Wiggle." We will try to pump up an exacta with Wiggle and Roland N Rock.

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.


11/21/15, Most Happy Rider R1; Lucky Nadotremblay R5; +FB Seelster R7; Precise Accusation R12

Cal Expo
11/21/15, Real Attitude R1; Blue Note R12
11/22/15, Marion Miss Julie R5; +Silverlode R7

11/21/15, Alberta Sky R2; +Sea Anna Win R3; Thisgirlcanhunt R5; Gracious Minnie R8

11/23/15, Totally Kissed R4

11/19/15, Alice In Reins R1; Blissfullannmarie R2; PH Sunshine R4; Jeannes Faith R6; All Chocolate R10
11/21/15, Arnies Kick Start R3; Lis Deo R6; Machness R8

11/21/15, +Gray Glory R6
11/22/15, My Candidate R7; +Rock Allstar R8

11/20/15, She Escapes Me R1; Black Wind R7

11/19/15, Caviart Spencer R10
11/23/15, Western Judy R5

11/20/15, Stone Of Magic R14
11/22/15, +Noah’s Shark R9

11/20/15, Detroit Rapper R9; Miss Defiance R11

11/19/15, Exteme Justice R1; Rushing Hero R2; Neutral Court R4; Pop A Top Pop R7

11/22/15, +Lyons Johnny R7

11/20/15, +Need Help Here R3

11/20/15, +Sassy Hanover R7

11/20/15, +Camps Bay R11
11/21/15, +Bet Ya R2; +Camaes Fellow R7; +Crafty Master R12

11/20/15, +Bad Night Mare R5; +Al Raza N R8

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition