Meadows Cold Exacta Pays $76; Freehold Cold Soph Trot Exacta Brings $47; Century Score Top Winner At $21

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

May 8th, 2017

The majesty of Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days shone right through the Friday rainstorms and through the mud of Saturday’s track and it was wonderful to be a part of the seventh-largest crowd in “Derby” day’s 143-year history. While I fought the elements for my first appearance at Churchill, my standardbred comrades simulcast the events while engaging in a plethora of races, many resulting in the kind of favorite that was Always Dreaming, who won the Derby (though his 9-2 favoritism was more generous than some of our harness hits.

Still, our best of the favorites at Saturday’s Meadows Pennsylvania Sires Stakes (PASS) won over our second choice, resulting in a cold exacta. The first PASS division winner was our choice, Fear The Dragon ($6.20, $3.80, $2.10), beating Photobomr Hanover ($16.20, $4.40) to deliver an exacta worth $76.20.

In the other three divisions we finished fourth, respectively, with Machiavelli (27-1), Stealth Bomber (29-1) and Rough Odds (11-1). In each of those we were defeated by the big choices, including Huntsville and Downbytheseaside in their first 2017 soph races.

Our Hambletonian Trail blog began with the Dexter Cup and Lady Suffolk on May 6 at Yonkers. The Lady Suffolk has dual divisions and we scored in both. The better of the two resulted in another cold exacta for the weekend. Our first choice Romancing Rachel ($5.80, $3.20, $2.40) and our second choice Celebrity Ruth ($9.40, $5.60) combined for an exacta worth $47.00.

In the first Lady Suffolk split we partnered with the favorite, Princess Aurora , who we forecast would be the biggest threat and most strongly supported, and who won, with Sparkle Plenty ($11.80, $10.00) for an exacta worth $68.40.

The “Trail” archive result stories appear on the Hambletonian Society’s website.

At Pocono we were surprised at the odds of our choices in the Van Rose mile on May 6. Rockin Ron (20-1) and Soto (12-1) lost to a 14-1 shot where the favorite was second. Our pair finished seventh and fifth, respectively.

The first of a pair of Graduate divisions at The Meadowlands on Saturday night was won by a favorite over our Artmagic (33-1) and in the second we had the favorite, Missile J ($2.10) who lost to the public’s second choice at 3-1.

On Sunday, May 7 at Miami Valley, it’s penultimate program featured the return of Hannelore Hanover’s return to the races this year in the Miami Valley Distaff Trot. We thought she could be beaten by Kestrel (8-1), who led most of the way, setting the pace for the upset we forecast, though it was performed by a 9-1 shot.

On various Wednesday nights we tweet for TwinSpires Twitter members from @FrankCotolo –retweeted by @twinspires—and the raceway involved. Losers from each week will appear on the next week’s horses-to-watch (H2W) list unless they race before that blog is published, so watch for them returning to the races on days in between blogs. Watch for special tweets from raceways on various Wednesdays.


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 45 active horses (a 24-percent win hit rate and a 56-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 is posted.


Skade, $21.20, $10.40, $6.80, Century
Burl Hanover, $8.20, $3.40, $2.10, Plainridge
Charlie B, $8.00, $3.60, $3.00, Northville
Ragins Flight, $7.60, $4.00, $2.60, Cal-Expo
Know It All, $6.60, $3.50, $3.30, Yonkers
March Awareness, $6.60, $4.90, $3.40), Yonkers
Budgirls Hanover, $5.40, $2.80, $2.10, Bangor
Cruise Queen, $5.00, $3.40, $2.60, Miami
Getting Rowdy, $4.40, $3.40, $2.20, Northville
Splitsville, $4.00, $3.00, $3.60, Pocono
Catalyst, $3.80, $2.20, $2.20 ok, Freehold


Spinarama, $10.40, $3.20 (Exacta $31.60), Yonkers
Color Palette K, $8.60, $3.00 (Exacta $23.80), Scarborough
Rosietellthetruth, $5.60, $3.80 (Exacta $39.00), Harrington
The Green Knight, $4.30, $3.40, Saratoga
Cabo Pan Lucas, $3.70, $5.10 ok, Charlottetown
Freakonomics, $3.40, $2.80 (Exacta $21.80), Pocono
My Sugar Daddy, $3.20, $2.40, Harrington
Won For Gigi, $2.20, $2.20 ok, Miami


PL Adder, $6.60, Northville
Zebs Cam Bo, $4.00, Northfield
Gold Star Sonata, $2.40, Pompano
Color Palette K, $2.20, Scarborough
Soul Diva, $2.20, Scarborough
Cam Tizzy, $2.10, Scarborough

News & Notes

Final preparations are being made for the 10th season of harness racing at Running Aces in Minnesota. The five-eighths-mile oval just north of the Twin Cities in Columbus opens on May 20with a first post of 6 p.m. Horses begin arriving from all over the country this coming week, with qualifiers on May 13 and May 16). The new season offers a new 20-cent Jackpot Pick-5 wager, plus 50-cent pentafecta wagers in the final two races. Also, there are 20-cent superfecta minimums.

Running Aces will host many Late Closing events from June to July, boasting purses of more than $163,000 while featuring the $30,000 guaranteed Dan Patch Free For All Pace on July 23. The 52-night season will culminate on Sept. 16 with the traditional Night of Champions for Minnesota sired/owned horses with more than $250,000 in purses. Running Aces will be race Tuesdays at 7 p.m. (CDT) and Saturdays and Sundays at 6 p.m. (CDT). There will be a special Monday card of live racing on July 3 at 5 p.m. (CDT) and no racing on July 4.

Monticello Raceway has announced the formation of three new series in an effort to include as many horses as possible. The series will begin May 15, 16 and 17 and includes one event for fillies and mares, one event for horses and geldings and one event for trotters. Horses are eligible to be claimed for $5,000 in their first start, $6,000 in their second start, but no claiming will be allowed after the second start. Each series has three legs, which increase in purses each week ($4,100, $4,600 and $5,100). The finals for each event will be raced for a purse of $8,000 (est.), with a $5,500 consolation. The top eight point-earners will be eligible to the final, with not more than two from any stable or owner.

The field for the 2017 Molson Pace at Western Fair is taking shape, including a few new faces expected for the $150,000 Invitational Pace on May 26. One of the confirmed starters is Bit Of A Legend N, a winner of more than $1.5 million; Soto, a regular at Yonkers and a foe in the “Levy” series, as is Rockin Ron. Night Pro, an impressive record of 15-11-0 from 27 starts over the past two seasons in Ohio and Indiana, confirmed his participation. Back to defend his title is Evenin Of Pleasure. The wagering menu has been expanded to include a $5,000 guaranteed early Pick 3, $10,000 guaranteed early Pick 4, $15,000 guaranteed late Pick 4 and the addition of a third Super Hi-5 – all low 15 percent takeout wagers.

Extraordinary Extras

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

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