Mohawk Rides Again With Stakes Elims; Meadowlands For Brief Stint; NYSS Frosh Splits

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

September 7th, 2017

With the sport’s eyes looking ahead to the 2017 Little Brown Jug week at the Delaware, Ohio fair, a “Jug” preview, the Grand Circuit at Mohawk and a brief Meadowlands meet for features are the Ohio overtures.

The TwinSpires-exclusive blog—the Breeders Crown Countdown—offers suggested contenders for Mohawk-feature elims and a Scioto feature for older pacers. Get your betting accounts filled for action, compare your choices with our suggestions in both blogs and fire away.

A common tool, the H2W (the horses-to-watch) list, is here for your perusal to help you spice up the prices on all betting pools. Do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections when playing your bets. Of course, remember to be fully armed with a plentiful TwinSpires betting account.


As the green guys and gals of harness racing get faster and faster, New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) frosh colt trotters go in two $54,000-plus splits on Thursday, Sept. 7. Split one has seven inexperienced colts from top sires in the program. Five are from Muscle Mass and the other two from Chapter Seven and RC Royalty. The latter is a colt yet to eclipse his maiden and worth the shot here. L Dees Courageous comes from the Dan Daley barn, meaning this colt from this sire is overdue.

Seven more go in the second split, all of them with only a maiden win. John Butenschoen handles the RC Royalty colt in this wide-open affair. We like the chances of Funknpancakes for more than his bloodline, as he has hit the board in four of six starts and leaves from the wood here.


The Meadowlands’ brief meet features Sept. 8’s Miss Versatility leg for $40,000. The bad news is there are only four trotting mares involved. Sounds easy? Don’t jump to conclusions because this is one of those divisions that can explode with prices even with a small field.

Sandwiched between Caprice Hill on the inside and Broadway Donna on the outside are two rare members of the division’s stakes cast—Oho Diamond and PL Jill. These two have not faced the talent the others have faced but among their own ilk have more success. And of the two, Oho Diamond has the better percentage of wins, places and shows, making her the choice in the quartet. Back the upset or pass this one.


Two $40,000 elims for the Canadian Trotting Classic open the Mohawk program Saturday, Sept. 9. Straight from his Hambletonian “win” disqualification, What The Hill returns to make a safe attempt to get into next week’s final. He will be a huge favorite here and it makes sense considering the other six. With only seven on tap, though, why not look for value with Lindy The Great? The Antonnaci barn is always kicking for an upset. What The Hill can still make the final if he gets second—so there’s that.

The second elim offers only six but it seems a tighter mile for contenders. Dover Dan comes off a good win; International Moni is among the best of Antonnaci-land and he was bothered and broke in the Hambletonian and is coming off an easy win; and Long Tom was a big Hambletonian choice but he broke stride and was eliminated. Here, Long Tom may not be the choice, which would be a crowd’s mistake, one we will take full advantage of because in a break-free mile, he is the best here.


The glamour-girl trotters have a pair of elims for the Elegantimage ($35,000 each) on the same Mohawk Saturday program. In the first chapter Ariana G draws the outside but even if that is a handicap you have only to look at the rest of the field to know it is not much competition for her, regardless of her post or even on a bad day. Perhaps since she was beaten last week and draws out here bettors will go fishing, leaving her with a fabulous price, which in her case would be even money.

The second elim looks like a good spot for Glitzey Gal. Nifty Norman’s soph could offer a good price with two Takter-barn entries and Dream Together, who could be the main threat here but should get hammered in the pools.


Soph-colt-and-filly pacers negotiate the Mohawk circle in Simcoes on the Saturday card. The colts number 10 on the gate ($162,838) and are missing the division’s top few. Here is a good spot for Ocean Colony, who eyes the Little Brown Jug and did all right in the Messenger. Takter has had a lot of faith in him but he has not been able to keep up with the best of the division which, as we mentioned, is not here. Takter needs to put this mile into the colt so why not win it and cash before the “Jug”?

Nine girls go in their Simcoe ($96,400) in a tight contest outside of Idyllic Beach. Takter’s filly will be winging here but we want to invest in the chances of Blameitonthenight. Tony Alagna’s entry is in the perfect spot for a mild upset (unless we mistake the betting forecast).


For $125,000 at Scioto on Saturday, Sept. 9, the “Jug” Preview presents a strange situation that may not represent what we will see when the Jug Final comes around in late September at the Delaware, Ohio fair. With the exception of Fear The Dragon, who we feel may succumb to second thoughts about being in the American classic pace, the group assembled here raises questions even as it displays a great disparity in talent. .

An oddity that is not explained anywhere we looked to find an answer is that five in this field do not appear on the eligible list for this year’s Jug—Dunk On Your Love, Scotch McEwan, Sports Column, Bettor’s Pick and Henry The Dragon. What kind of a preview in any form is that?

As for competition, Downbytheseaside draws post 1 in this “preview.” He doesn’t need any more artillery to beat the horses leaving to his right but he gets it. So where does this leave a bettor? Should one key Downbytheseaside in an attempt to find the strongest paying exotic? Should one find the entry with the least knocks against him and hope for an upset? You pick it.

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.


9/8/17, +Sheilas Share R2

9/8/17, +Act Like A Diva R6

9/7/17, Wild Chic R4
9/8/17, Relentless Dragon R6; Maverick Joe R7
9/9/17, Lambo R3; Real Sheila R12

9/9/17, +Pecorino R5

9/9/17, Apach Of Luck R11

9/8/17, Run Run Kermit R4; Reidio Star R6; Intractable R8

9/10/17, Higgs Boson R9; +Macs Jackpot R12

9/7/17, Ianthe Hanover R7
9/8/17, +Fox Valley Arctic R7

9/9/17, +Oneisalonelynumber R6

Red Mile
9/7/17, +Special Miss R2
9/9/17, +Newsday R1; +Tipp City R2; Rush To Judgment R4

9/7/17, Darkest Secret R4; Bettim Chris R7

Running Aces
9/9/17, +Franks Best R1

9/7/17, Prince Of Minto R5; Mr French R9

9/9/17, AAs Glory R8

9/9/17, +Silver Arrow R7; +Mr Profeta R7; +Aces In Heaven R8; +Delightful Joe R8

9/8/17, Mach It A Par R12