Meadows Hit, $28, Tops Choices, Completes $60 Daily Double; H2W Tabs 11 Winners

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

November 27th, 2016

We had a great start to our “personal-features season” with a score on Nov. 26 that topped all picks this weekend.

We offered two personal features (PF), hitting the one at the Meadows with Warp Factor Three ($28.60, $7.80, $5.60). That race was the second half of the Daily Double. The first half was won by the public choice; with our winner, that Daily Double paid $60.80.

Our Nov. 25 PF at the Meadowlands was won by the public choice, leaving our outside contender, Meadowbranch Wendy (9-1) finishing seventh and our second choice, Lindys Best Yet (40-1) getting fifth.

The Courageous Lady, a $120,000 soph-filly stakes at Northfield on Nov. 26 was a walk-over for the public’s favorite. She beat us; we were eighth with Time On My Hands (6-1).

In case you did not read our preview blog, here is a re-posting of our analysis for the Monday, Nov. 28 Hap Hansen Progress Pace, worth $314,600 to soph colts at Dover Downs:

Eight colts that have rocked hard through the season against horses like Betting Line, Racing Hill and Control The Moment (all of them gone from this race or competition this season) return to chase one more six-digit purse.

They are led by probable favorite Check Six, Burke’s front-stepper who is bound to come back at four and could be better. Late-season scourge (a big pick for us in a Little Brown Jug elim) Western Fame is here, raring to challenge “Six” at some point and Boston Red Rocks, a disappointment most of the season but showing some late sparks of life, looks to save face with a win against those who have helped make his season so bad.

Also on board is Manhattan Beach, Lyons Snyder, JK Will Power and Katies Rocker, a quartet of check-cashers at various times during the season but rarely making the biggest headlines.

And then there is Easy Lover Hanover, supplemented for $25,000. He sports 14 wins in 30 starts for trainer Ben Wallace but is dwarfed in earnings and the class of his foes. “Easy” was the surprising favorite in last week’s elim and tried to steal the race on the engine but could not handle Six, who took the overland journey to catch him.

Manhattan Beach won the second elim with a shocking Katies Rocker second. That result had a bit to do with Western Fame’s run to the top early, which caught up with him (along with four other foes) at three-quarters. “Boston” was the favorite in that mile and despite a great trip he was unimpressive when it counted most.

Check Six should be the crowd choice and will threaten to wipe up the clock in the way he took a Breeders Crown (BC) elim, on top and in control wire to wire. Trying to repeat that trip in the BC final, he was burned down badly by challenges through most of the mile. In that race, “Manhattan” stormed through tiring boys to be second at 60-1.

Western Fame, according to driver Mark Macdonald, loves to be on top and does badly if he duels for such a spot or has to try a win from behind. Add “Easy” to the front chase and you will be offered a great price on an upset performed by JK Will Power. He will be in a perfect spot to charge if the duel ensues and will also be a huge price and worth the chance since this race goes one way or the other and only one way will pay well.

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 52 active horses (a 21-percent win hit rate and a 46-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.


Heart Felt, $23.40, $8.20, $6.40, Pompano
Galex, $15.20, $8.40, $5.00, Cal-Expo
Lucky Pablo, $14.60, $6.20, $3.90, Batavia
Mcturesque, $8.80, $4.80, $4.20, Batavia
Shark Festival, $8.80, $4.40, $3.80, Cal-Expo
JJ Flynn, $7.00, $3.70, $2.80, Saratoga
Bikinis On Top, $6.80, $3.40, $2.10, Northfield
Candy Love, $4.80, $3.00, $2.10, Meadows
Natives Revenge, $4.80, $2.80, $2.40, Cal-Expo
Maggie O, $4.00, $3.10, $2.10, Monticello
Paydaze A Rock, $2.20, $2.20, $2.10 ok, Cal-Expo


Bryons Angel, $8.00, $2.80 (Exacta $17.60), Plainridge
Herestojessica, $6.40, $3.90, Rideau-Carleton
Docs Boy, $4.20, $2.70 (Exacta $14.20), Saratoga
Allstar Energy, $2.80, $2.40, Meadows
Gold Star Bugsy, $2.10, $2.10 ok, Pompano


Mr. Cherry, $7.40, Charolottetown
May Day Jo Jo, $5.80, Scarborough
Wakazachi Hanover, $5.00, Rosecroft
Eloquent Velocity, $4.40, Northfield
Hart Of Windemere, $4.00, Flamboro
Ronix, $3.60, $3.40 (Exacta $14.20), Northlands
Kristol Pistol, $3.30, Fraser
Lord Of Winterfell, $2.60, Meadows

News & Notes

The Meadows is adding a $7,500 total-pool guarantee for its Pick 5 wager, coordinated with the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Initiative. The track added the guarantee after Nov. 23’s Pick 5, which resulted in a carryover of $2,215.86. In addition, Saturday’s card includes a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, a feature in each Meadows program. The minimum wager for the Pick 4 (Races 4-7) and Pick 5 (Races 9-13) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets.

One of this department’s favorite drivers from the “old” days on the California harness circuit is James Lackey. This week, Lackey could be found in action at what is left of the west-coast harness circuit, Cal Expo. Lackey, 64, has 3,524 wins and over $15 million in earnings. That is one hell of a number considering Lackey has worked mostly in the “cheap” neighborhoods of harness racing. “It’s been a good year,” Lackey said. “I had to make a decision after the meet closed [at Cal Expo] last spring whether I was going to [Running Aces in Minnesota or Hawthorne in Chicago]. I decided on Chicago because I knew a good farm where I could take my horses.” Lackey said he stayed in California during the break to take care of his ill mother, who passed away in September of 2014. He had a very good session at Hawthorne this summer.

Muscle Hill is the leading trotting sire in the world and he is returning to New Jersey to breed at Southwind Farms for the 2017 season. Muscle Hill stood at Southwind for the first four years at stud. In 2014 he was at Marion Farms in Pennsylvania so that his foals would be eligible in the Keystone State, where purses were gigantic compared to the fledgling Garden State offerings. Syndicate manager Mike Klau said the move was based upon “a marked difference in the stalllion’s libido, health and general well being upon his return [to New Jersey] where Muscle Hill spent the off season to collect for frozen-semen markets in Europe and the Southern Hemisphere.

The intrepid trotting sire claims winners of over $12 million this season alone, which is a record for trotting stallions. He has sired four million-dollar winners, led by Marion Marauder, Bar Hopping, Resolve and Southwind Frank. Ariana G and What The Hill headed his 2016 freshman crop. At recent yearling sales, his offspring included Tactical Landing ($800,000) and Story Time Hanover ($410,000). Thirty-four of his yearlings sold for $100,000 or more with an average price of $113,199.

The New York State Gaming Commission has approved an extension of the current Batavia Downs meet by two days: Friday (Dec. 16) and Saturday (Dec. 17) will be added to the current schedule. Post time for Dec. 16 will be 6:15 p.m. and Dec. 17’s post will be 5 p.m.

Extraordinary Extras

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

Ray Cotolo contributed to this blog

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