Mid-March Madness For Harness Bets Across North America

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

March 10th, 2016

At mid-March we are getting closer to official features and series, heading into April, hopefully, with all of our winter profits for springtime action. This weekend we diverge our features’ attractions, beginning Thursday, March 10 with Freehold and move on to spot-play action at just-opened Saratoga and roll into the weekend at Miami Valley and Yonkers and more.

TwinSpires’ signature horses-to-watch list (H2W) isolates contenders that, mostly, are not mentioned by any other handicapping source and that produce valued win, place, show and exotics’ payoffs across North America.

As with our features’ selections, use your judgment when handicapping, respecting your expertise and our years of experience isolating the kinds of contenders that are chosen “out of the box.” We think profits when wagering, so trust our choices and put them in context with the obvious conclusions.

CORRECTION – In our review blog Monday, we forgot to add a winner one of our features produced. For the record, we won at the Meadowlands, on March 5, in our Race 10 feature with Jacksrluckytoo ($7.40, $3.80, $3.00).

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Freehold/Race 5
Thursday, March 10

Art Of The West has found a home at Freehold and offers no good reason to lose after a great qualifier and a win in a conditioner. The slight rise in class is much more positive than the drop by the morning-line favorite (Whataorse) or promising trips by others that have not produced top success.

Saratoga/Race 7
Thursday, March 10

Beginning a Pick 4, this conditioner brings together a mixed group from other tracks and/or vacations from Saratoga’s 2015 meetings. Amid the group, though, is Jolly Jubiter, whose Feb. 27th race at the Meadowlands wound up short after an aggressive push to the stretch at 14-1. As well, Jolly Jubiter produced his most recent win at Saratoga and though it was at a lesser level, he is apt to be every bit as powerful as any in this field.

Saratoga/Race 8
Thursday, March 10

In the second leg of the Pick 4, pay attention to Cup Day Spur N, who may offer some value from post 7. His recent two lines suggest less-than-productive form but both are strewn with incidents. Aside from coming back to a comfortable level in this affair, an interference break and wide brush in both of the recent past performances still place him very close to the wire at the end.

If you care to embark on a Pick-4 ticket, you may want to use TJ’s Rocky in leg three (Race 9). He returns fresh to Saratoga and the 2016 season with this class in mind. And in the last leg, Race 10, the H2W lists Depth More Depth, a shipper from Yonkers, and a must-add to the multi-race exotic.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Yonkers/Race 4
Thursday, March 11

A $2 Pick 3 launches off of Race 4 and the first four from the inside dominate the morning-line choices. With only seven going, there are cases to be made for all of them and if the public feels the same there could be a few worthy contenders with chances to win better than their odds. One of them is Girllookatthatbody, who has done well at Yonkers from the inside (post 4 here) and can explain her losses at the Meadowlands with a few undeniable reasons.

Miami Valley / Races 9-12 / Pick 4
Friday, March 11

Harness action this Friday night remains as competitive as ever as we begin to exit the winter months. The Miami Valley Pick 4 kicks off the weekend with some possible profitable opportunities.

Bombs could blow away the field in the first leg (Race 9) of this series, a conditioned pacing event for fillies and mares. To the inside, Artie’s Last Party draws better after dueling on the lead for a majority of the mile. Dropping from the Open ranks last out, his trip around the track this week will either involve him setting the pace or stalking one of the few other speedsters present, such as Ken Doll J.

However, the pace of this race also appears fragile, so a closer could easily sweep by everyone as well. More specifically, Velocity Lana should be positioned well in the event the race sets up for a stalker. Competing at this level last out, she raced from second over and edged wide into the lane to come a head short of the win. Her outside post has the potential to compromise her performance, but her tendency to race from off the pace should compensate for that.

Claiming pacers will battle in round two (Race 10) of the Pick 4. My Hare Lady, starting from the inside, has every right to go off a prohibitive favorite. Stepping down from the $20,000 ranks into the $15,000 level, this mare has suffered from poor trips in her last three outings but has a win on her record against $20,000 pacers four starts ago. By starting at the rail, she should be more forwardly placed, where she races her best, compared to her effort last week from post 8.

Despite My Hare Lady’s likely dominance of this field, Caseofthesillies is a strong prospect moving up in class. Gaining on the leader after parking first over against $10,000 pacers, she prepares to make her fourth appearance on the track in 2016. She has climbed the class ladder even though her three races this season have involved rough trips. The issue with Caseofthesillies is that this level may be where she plateaus, but, at the same time, it could be where she’s successful.

The toughest leg of this sequence is leg three (Race 11), which compiles an even field of filly and mare claimers. Ginger Spice N and Allthatjazz De Vie are practically veterans of this company, with Ginger Spice consistently finishing well from either a first-over position or from off the pace, and Allthatjazz De Vie’s talent for flying off cover and attempting to catch the leader in the final quarter of a mile. Yet, while those two are valid contenders to throw onto the ticket, Gran Gabriel is another mare to beware. Getting claimed two starts ago for $15,000, she moved into the $20,000 ranks with a first-over trip where she never faltered, rather her second place finish was due to the sweeping move by the mare riding her back throughout the mile, A Little Starstruck. From post 6, expect Gran Gabriel to be coming from the middle of the pack.

A conditioned trot closes out the Pick 4 (race 12). The competition of this race derives from the mediocrity of every one of the trotters entered, making this race somewhat of a guessing game as well as one that requires deeper analyzing. Getting claimed in his last two starts, Its Jesse Time is one of two trotters here that could claim this race. Tossing his effort last week, he has otherwise been a trotter that consistently races competitively and finishes well. It’s at least a positive sign that he was claimed off his abnormal effort last week, also.

Tinder seems like an obvious choice against this field, but may be value regardless. He will make his second start in two months, with his return mile being a somewhat poor first-over effort. But, he went on layoff after reaching the peak of the class ladder and racing well at the top in the process. Ultimately, he should improve with a start under his belt, but don’t expect him to be doing a ton of work in this mile.

F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S ~ F E A T U R E S

Meadows Race 3
Saturday, March 12

You should add an outside contender to any Pick-3 ticket you are buying in this event. We can expect the crowd to shy away from the chances of Exactly Black, who comes off a good qualifier and dips to this level raring to go for this season. In late 2015 he was doing well around this class at the Meadows and, being fresh helps him, even though he doesn’t meet much to worry about in this field

Meadows Race 7
Saturday, March 12

Though Royaltyhasarrived has to handle post 9 in a field of 10 (the 10 starts in the second tier), he needs attention by us while the crowd punishes him for the post. Royaltyhadarrived has a strong brush and could pace back to his Feb. 16 mile from post 8 on these grounds. The post and his zero-for-seven wins this season should make him a prize of a price.

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.


3/9/16, +Red Carpet Tonight R6; +Blue Mitchell R8
3/12/16. +Stirling Cadillac R8

Cal Expo
3/13/16, +Gigiyyy Gigitty R1

3/10/16, Goldin Parachute R8; +All Gold R10

3/13/16, Thrift Shop R10

3/11/16, +My Camalina ae R6; Incognito Cowboy R8; +Eliseuinthedust R9
3/13/16, Cajun Beat R4; +Lisplaced R8; +Credit Risk R10; +Broadies Dancer R11

3/10/16, +Preoaks Prayer R3; Victory Ahead R6; +Hailstorm Volo R8

3/11/16, +Fox Valley Legend R6

3/11/16, +Arties Last Party R9; +ER Taylor R10; +Love Pf Liberty R10; +Ride A Cowboy R11; +Its Jessee Time R12; +Tinder R12
3/13/16, +Kyron R13

3/9/16, +Regalwood
3/10/16, Just Like Tiger R7; Boy Of Mine R9

3/12/16, +Hopeful Trust R12

3/12/16, +Super Duke R1

3/10/16, Palms Beach R1; CSI Whats My Name R6
3/11/16, +Depth More Depth R10

Western Fair
3/11/16, Maid Of The Money R3; +Electricintensions R8

3/10/16, +Maddys Credit R2
3/11/16, +Boat House Row R1; +Candida R2; +Jetpedia R5; +Wildcat Magic R6; +Muscles All Over R7; +Yes You Can R8
3/12/16, Mego Moss R2; +Twin B Sweetheart R5; +O Narutac Perfetto R6; +Zingers Laugh R10

3/10/16, McCeded R4
3/11/16, +Cracker Coffee R7

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition