Miami Pick-3 Leg Delivers Two Winners And $124 Exacta; $29 Pompano Hit Is Best Spot Win

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February 5th, 2017

Along with a few double-digit winners from the horses-to-watch list (H2W—see below), our personal features produced a few winners and within the two-of-three winners in the Miami Valley Pick 3, a three-digit Exacta. So, we’ll begin this week’s update with our contenders’ success on Friday, Feb. 3.

Though our first-leg suggestion in the Pick 3 at Miami Valley finished sixth, Dune On Time (33-1) was beaten by a 12-1 shot and the next two legs on their own delivered winners and more.

In the second leg we wound up with a favorite, Ride A Cowboy ($4.80, $3.20, $2.60), while the other choice, Tashia (5-1), finished eighth.

Then, in the final leg, our choices combined for an Exacta worth more than the Pick-3 payout. The winner was one of our two choices, Marco DeVie ($7.00, $4.20, $3.40) and our other choice for the ticket, finishing second, was ER Truevalue ($12.20, $9.40). That combo in the Exacta paid $124.40. Two of three from our blog delivered the winners, while we nailed the better paying Exacta in leg three and the Pick 3 paid $69.80.

The feature week began on Thursday, Feb. 2 at Freehold with a third, Deny Deny Deny ($2.40). Our exotic partner in that race, The Bad Deputy, scratched.

That evening we finished seventh at the Meadowlands with Broadies Song (24-1). Both of those features were won by the public choices.

Saturday, Feb. 4, our Meadowlands feature contender, El Bloombito (33-1) had a good start and was still charged at three-quarters when broken equipment contributed to a complete halt. He finished 10th of the 10.

All horses that did not win in our personal features (if not scratched) appear in the following week’s H2W list as second-time (noted: +) entries. Keep an eye on their second times around; more than a few come back to win.

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 32 active horses (a 13-percent win hit rate and a 34-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.


King Of The Crop, $29.40, $13.00, $6.80, Pompano
Bullville Bren, $13.80, $5.00, $3.20, Monticello
Rock Star, $6.60, $3.60, $3.40, Meadowlands
Never Ever Clever, $2.80, $2.20, $2.10, Meadowlands


Stakeout, $16.00, $9.00, Freehold
Braveheartedmillie, $8.40, $3.60, Freehold
Fight Night, $6.90, $3.30 (Exacta $26.40), Buffalo
Quint Largo, $5.30, $3.50 (Exacta $12.80), Monticello
Frankie C, $4.70, $2.70 (Exacta $9.50), Monticello


Givemeyourheart, $2.80, Yonkers
Mustang Sena, $2.10, Monticello

News & Notes

Sadly, Meadowlands race-caller and one of the most beloved people in the standardbred industry, Sam McKee, suffered a debilitating stroke last Thursday. As of this writing, Sam was out of surgery but not out of harm’s way. A man with a dynamic taste for calling harness races, Sam has been an encouraging promoter of the sport. Sam has been supportive and inspiring to novice harness fans and I personally appreciated the attention he gave my son, Ray, when the boy was introduced to live harness racing. A GoFund Me account has been set up to help the McKee family as Sam takes the long and difficult road to recovery. Find it at

The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission approved the submission of applications for the state’s remain harness-racing meet license. For 120 days, the commission will accept proposals, then it will review them and have hearings. The license has been floating around for some time and became available again in December of 2016 after a company vying for it was denied by a court.

In March and April, the Meadows offers eight early-and late-closing series, including four for three-and four-year-olds and four for sophomores only. The events for horses three- and four-years-old are limited to state-owned or sired horses, each race to feature two preliminary legs plus a championship with an estimated $20,000 purse. The series for sophomres, restricted to state-sired horses, include two preliminary legs and a final worth an estimated $25,000.

Horse Racing Alberta has released the province’s 2017 harness racing date calendar, a total of 107 programs spread across Century Downs, Northlands Park and Enoch Park. The calendar shows Century Downs scheduled to host 71 dates. Northlands will race 34 dates, while Enoch Park has been granted a pair of dates. The calendar also reveals that Saturday racing will continue at Northlands until Feb. 18, when action shifts to Century Downs on March 18. Century hosts racing until Sept. 9, then racing shifts to Enoch the following weekend (Sept. 16-17) for two-cards. Racing will then return to Northlands on Sept. 22 and run right until New Year’s Eve.

Aaron Merriman is a terrific horseman and continues to have more success each season as a harness-racing driver. Since mid-January of this year, his total wins were in the late 8,000s. In 2016 he won 891 races. He has, oddly enough, had more success since a misfortunate accident in the bike circa 2010. Aaron broke both wrists and an elbow during a race mishap and it wasn’t clear afterwards if he would be able to return to driving. He missed most of that season, only to come back to a full schedule and excel on the Midwest circuit. We have not totaled his lifetime figures as they would affect a player (we don’t know if he delivers a flat-bet profit) but he deserves the honor he will receive for his accomplishments when the U.S. Harness Writers Association honors him as leading all drivers in North America in wins soon in Las Vegas.

Extraordinary Extras

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

For Thom Pye cartoons, informative harness history and more, click here ~